Keeping airport delays in perspective

Your July 18 article "Record delays clog crowded skies" fails to note the positive. The article states, "In June, 48,448 flights out of a total 14.2 million were delayed 15 minutes or more." That calculates to only 0.34 percent of all flights. Positively, it says your chances of being delayed is one in 293! Please present both sides of an argument.

Robert E. Freeman Redlands, Calif.

Regarding your July 18 article, the delays at our nation's airports can be attributed in part to the short-sightedness of the US Congress, which year after year has continued to pour billions of dollars into the airline industry and turned a deaf ear to pleas of Amtrak to help it provide high-speed rail transportation. Why should Amtrak be asked to be self- sufficient and not the airlines or highways?

Now the air is saturated with planes when the railroads could provide safer, more comfortable, and equal service for distances up to 300 or 400 miles. We are five or 10 years too late to do what should have been done long ago. Except for the East Coast corridor and some progress in California, little has been done. Each year when Amtrak asks for funds to improve and expand its service, Congress grants the bare minimum. Most people either drive or take the plane, not realizing there is an alternative way.

William L. Starr Lyndhurst, Ohio

Men, boys, and feminism

Regarding Marilyn Gardner's July 20 book review of Christina Hoff Sommers "War Against Boys": If Ms. Gardner was so easily tired by Ms. Sommers' attacks on the likes of Carol Gilligan, try life in the average male's shoes for the past 35 years. I find it conspicuously convenient for someone to talk of truce in the gender war just when the other side is finally starting to fight back.

The fact that men's issues are now spearheaded in the mainstream media by women like Sommers, Kathleen Parker, and Kathy Young is evidence of an unspoken ban on males that still persists. Now, as some reasonable women fire the first recognized retaliations to three decades of feminist vitriol, Gardner calls for a truce?

Were it indeed a truce, complete with the opportunity for dialogue that a real truce implies, then I would be all for it. But that truce would include the voicing of Sommers' ideas, not silencing them. Indeed, it would include an open invitation to men to stand up and speak, and a mandate to the other side to give them a fair hearing.

Paul Elam Houston, Texas

In his July 24 opinion piece "Let's lose our 'toxic' image of boys," Tom Regan is quite willing to look at the problems boys face as long as no blame can be cast on the feminists. I must disagree. Feminism is the most successful ideology of our day; it is widely accepted in government circles, in editorial pages, and in the classroom. Recognizing what feminism has done to American boys is not a matter of blaming the feminists, but of being willing, as men and women, to take responsibility for the negative consequences of the ideology we have embraced. If we are unwilling to take that responsibility, we are unsuited to turn boys into men.

Paul C. Robbins McDade, Texas

Beyond American heroes

I was just grimacing a little at the patriotic flavor you expressed through your July 24 article "An American in Paris ... and Scotland..." on American dominance in sports. Then I noted your balancing act with the same-day editorial "Tiger, Lance ... and James" on Australian James Pittar, who also broke many barriers with his epic swim. Thank you.

Barry Collins-McBride Glenelg, Australia

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. We can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number.

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to oped@csps.com

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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