EDITORIAL, LETTERS

By , Steve Bell, and Mark Bechtel

Conference Priorities Misplaced

Coverage of the Beijing Women's Conference, including the opinion-page article ''World's Family: Fact or Fiction?'' Aug. 22, has largely ignored or criticized the views of those who feel the conference does not appear designed for the good of the world's women.

Today's worldwide crisis for women is the loss of opportunity to rear one's own children. This, not abortion rights or pay equity, is the ''lifestyle issue'' of the modern woman.

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The assumptions that economic productivity is a higher good than filial love must be challenged.

I have read nothing about this conference that suggests delegates will discuss how to keep women from being involuntarily torn away from their children by tax and economic structures that are patently anti-family and discourage child-bearing.

The fact that this conference is being held in Beijing is appropriate: The land of one-child families, forced abortion, and infanticide is a good place for a conference that seems to assume that children are a problem. Children, motherhood, and being a woman are gifts from God, not a burden.

Sonja Cassella Irvine, Calif.

Lessons from Weicker

Like all mainstream journalism today, the editorial ''Powell, Bradley, Perot, Ike,'' Aug. 21, sounds pessimistic.

The view that a president with ''NO party'' is the worst of all possible scenarios is not what's floating in my crystal ball.

Connecticut elected Lowell Weicker governor in 1990 as an independent. Unfortunately for Connecticut, he gave us the first state income tax and runaway state spending on ill-conceived, inefficient, and fraud-ridden social programs. The end result: Connecticut is the only state in the union to have its population decline during the '90s. But Governor Weicker was effective at getting what he wanted as an independent, why?

For the same reason an independent president would be effective at implementing his agenda. If we elect an independent, Congress will bend over backward trying to be cooperative.

Steve Bell Harwinton, Conn.

A job well done

I would like to compliment the Monitor for its investigative journalism concerning the recent massacres in Bosnia.

The front-page picture of captured Bosnian troops, Aug. 18, was haunting. Very disturbing to me, and hopefully to other readers, was the idea in the headline ''The Price of Truth in the Balkans May Be the Truth,'' Aug 23.

Mark Bechtel Topeka, Kan.

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