Letters

Equal emphasis on caribou and gas mileage

In "Gas Mileage and Caribou" (Editorial, April 24), you wrote: "Environmental leaders need to lead more than pander to Americans. The higher priority is persuading the Senate, as it nears a vote on an energy bill this week, to raise mileage standards for SUVs and light trucks."

Just because the Senate caved in to auto manufacturers and labor unions and voted against stronger gas mileage standards is no reason to accuse environmental leaders of "pandering" to Americans.

I received just as many alerts from environmental groups urging better gas-mileage standards as I did from those same groups promoting protection of Artic National Wildlife Refuge. I wrote numerous letters and complained loudly when higher standards were defeated. And scores of conservationists across the country wrote editorials and letters to editors urging the Senate to favor stronger standards.
Gene Sentz
Choteau, Mont.

Career choices spur pay gap

Your editorial on the persisting wage gap between men and women ("Women's pay gap and choice" April 15) left out what seems to be an obvious factor.

Women often tend to pursue a course of study in college that is more geared to personal growth than to earning potential upon graduation. Look at the gender ratio of such majors as art, dance, and literature on one hand versus engineering, business, and computer science on the other. Men tend to be more likely to follow career paths that offer more financial compensation with perhaps less personal satisfaction, whether it's due to their values or the expectation that a higher income will make it easier to attract a mate.

This is not to say there is no wage discrepancy, since studies have shown, for example, that male university professors are paid more than female professors.

But any attempt to explain the pay gap that does not take into account men and women's educational choices is missing an important point.
David Findlay
Portland, Ore.

Fighting an uphill battle against spam

Regarding your article "War on e-mail spam ratchets up in courts, legislatures" (April 18): I get approximately 20 spam e-mails per day, pitching everything from credit cards to Viagra.

I have tried to stop the flood by "unsubscribing." But when I unsubscribe from one e-mail list, my address is sold to other lists. I used to get about 10 unsolicited e-mails per day, but after getting frustrated and unsubscribing from every list sending me spam, the number doubled.

I enthusiastically support the legal actions being taken against companies that send unsolicited e-mail. E-mail spam is the bane of Internet commerce. I no longer give out my e-mail address if I can help it. I don't use e-commerce except through the few companies I trust.

Finally, advice for the spammed: First, create a secondary e-mail address that is used solely for companies and websites that require registration. Second, use initials instead of a real name when signing up for an e-mail account. And lastly, for the really frustrated, call companies that are spamming.
Jason DeBord
Cincinnati

Your recent article on the efforts to eliminate spam is interesting. But what use are laws if they are not enforced? Take, for example, unsolicited faxes. They were outlawed at least a decade ago. Yet I receive at least 10 unsolicited faxes each month. Notwithstanding federal laws, you can purchase "fax blaster" software and CDs with fax numbers. Clearly there is little or no enforcement.
Philip Baumeister
Sebastopol, Calif.

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.

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