Letters

"A power plant a week" is not the answer

Regarding your May 2 article, "Can the US really build a power plant a week?": You write that "finding places to put [power plants] may be the biggest problem."

You miss highlighting a critical point. Our emissions from coal and natural gas are not ours to keep. They cross state and national borders. They contribute to global warming. This would be a very selfish solution.

Bill Hawkins Everett, Wash.

I'd like to respond to your article on power plants. I belong to two energy e-groups with perhaps 800 members, some of them quite prestigious, and I'm certain not one of our members would think a power plant a week is either possible or sensible.

On the one hand, nearly all of the plants would have to be coal-fired, since natural gas is in short supply and running out. On the other, what seems to be behind the plan is a need to accommodate a growing population that is immigration-driven.

Cut back severely on our overly generous immigration, and the building of over 1,000 new plants would not be the emergency the administration defines it as being.

Marvin Gregory Renton, Wash.

Tax cuts leave issues unaddressed

The media seems to have missed the fact that President Bush's tax plan is not just tax cuts, but includes increases or take-backs. Has no one recognized that the plan to reduce the inheritance tax will recapture lost revenues through increased income taxes when inherited securities are sold?

Presently, taxes on inherited stocks and bonds assume the acquisition cost as of the date of death. The new bill will tax the appreciation from the date of the original purchase.

This will be a significant cost to the average heir, who, probably, would not benefit from the reduction in the inheritance tax.

Fred Pyecroft Naples, Fla.

At a congressional hearing on April 25, one state election official after another testified that only through increased federal dollars can more accurate and reliable voting systems be deployed in their states. But unfortunately, Congress has no current plans to support this.

On the very same day, George W. Bush and Senate members were debating how large the tax cut should be - not whether or not it can be justified.

Let me try to understand this. A tax cut that will primarily benefit the most affluent members of our society is a must, but there aren't enough funds to ensure that our elections are fair and that the outcome is accurate.

Do I have this right, or am I missing something?

Steve Nesich Seattle

Parity for parodies

Regarding Jeff Shaffer's May 4 column: "Alice Randall, you go girl!": I'm checking my genealogy to see if I'm descended from William Shakespeare. I want to sue Tom Stoppard for writing "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead." And I can do it now, thanks to the wonderful precedent set by the Mitchell estate, which blocked Alice Randall's parody of their famous ancestor's novel "Gone With the Wind."

I have a strong case. Mr. Stoppard uses scenes, dialogue,and characters from "Hamlet." Never mind the cerebral nature of the play - the judge's ruling fits this case quite well.

All I have to do is get Congress to pass the same special copyright legislation for "Hamlet"that they gave Mitchell's overrated, trashy celebration of racism and slavery.

Matt Osborne Florence, Ala.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Due to the volume of mail, only a selection can be published, and 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 Street, Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to oped@csps.com.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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