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A Plague On Both Your Parties

Readers Report


Your asking whether the GOP is "Still the party of big business?" (Government, Sept. 14) overlooks the notion that religion is as much a business as the rest of the "nonprofit" sector, which provides a huge market for labor and materials. My problem with the religious right is that it uses its clout to impose its views on others, including nonbelievers. For instance, some insist that terminally ill people suffer indescribable pain, rather than allowing individuals the right to seek assistance in ending their lives.

Mack A. Moore


Your article was a clarion call for a third party in the Year 2000 Presidential election without even hinting at the possibility. On economic issues, I consider myself a moderate conservative; on social issues, a moderate liberal. With both parties dominated by their extreme factions, I may not vote at all.

I have long been hoping for a moderate party dedicated to a pragmatic agenda and devoid of idealistic zealotry. If such a party could be formed, it would be a boon to broad-minded Americans. It would also be a good place for Corporate America to invest its political-action-committee money.

Martin I. Selling

PhoenixReturn to top


Bauer claims to love his country, but he despises the federal government and its employees--unless, of course, they're forcing his will on the rest of us ("Rumble on the Right: A talk with Gary Bauer," Government, Sept. 14). He doesn't want "the Washington bureaucracy to get within 100 miles" of public schools when it comes to education standards, but he hopes to persuade the federal courts to allow prayer in the classroom. He says: "Washington will regulate a business to death," but he encourages it to regulate our sex lives. He supports human rights (instead of freer trade) with China, but his pinched view omits women's reproductive freedom and wants to make global trade agreements conditional on abortion restrictions.

Bauer's agenda is self-serving hypocrisy. If the radical Religious Right wins its political battles, it will be the death of the Republican Party.

Rodney Hoffman

Los AngelesReturn to top


So Chairman Louis V. Gerstner Jr. should reinvent IBM: an insightful story from a boardroom point of view ("Big Blue should get a little smaller," News: Analysis & Commentary, Sept. 14).

Let me provide an insight from the consumer point of view. To provide consistent, reliable, and global customer service, IBM should integrate its operations in North America and Asia. Those of us in Asia who operate North American-made IBM computers find ourselves lost in the "continental divide," with each division fobbing itself off on the other. Think global, IBM, think customer.

John Hanlon

TokyoReturn to top


"Is your reproductive system in danger?" (Science & Technology, Sept. 14) was misleading. Rates of breast cancer are stable, not "soaring." The increased incidence of this disease from 1980 to 1992 was due to improved detection methods. Screening mammography became widespread, and more low-grade tumors were detected; note that mortality rates were level during this same period and now show a slight decline.

The article also alludes to a report by John Brock, who found an association between high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in a small, retrospective study. There are many other studies that found decreased incidence of cancer in workers who had been occupationally exposed to PCBs for decades.

An Environmental Protection Agency plan to spend millions of dollars in testing thousands of potential "endocrine disrupters," while children go without vaccinations, is another example of the waste of our scarce public-health resources on pseudo-threats and scares.

Gilbert L. Ross

Medical Director

American Council

on Science & Health

New YorkReturn to top

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