Letters

North Dakota's Devils Lake: Discharge will be harmless

Regarding the May 26 editorial "Pure water makes good neighbors" about North Dakota's Devils Lake Outlet: The lake has inundated hundreds of homes and businesses and more than 90,000 acres of surrounding land over the past 12 years. After federal, state, and local governments in the US have spent nearly $500 million for recovery and mitigation, Canada is opposing our efforts to bring relief to our people.

Canada is seeking to further delay and ultimately halt the project by referring it to the International Joint Commission (IJC).

The permit for the Devils Lake Outlet was awarded under the authority of the US Environmental Protection Agency and places strict limitations on quality, quantity, and timing of water discharges. Water from the outlet will flow past 40 percent of the population of North Dakota and has multiple uses, including municipal water.

The state of North Dakota will not jeopardize its unblemished record of environmental responsibility for the Devils Lake Outlet or any other project.
John Hoeven
Governor, North Dakota

European nations offer cohesive society

I was relieved to find the June 2 article "Europe's balancing act" to be closer to the reality I perceive in Europe. The majority of articles I find about Europeans and their welfare states are based more on fanatical capitalistic mysticism, wild imaginations, American naiveté or assumptions, or simple ignorance.

The Europeans seem to have real societies with the cohesiveness to produce enough compassion to take care of one another. In cases like America, where there can be so little agreement on anything, the economy replaces society. Do not forget that most American citizens are in consumer debt up to their necks, and the welfare of the economy reaches levels of desperation. Anything will be thrown into the furnace of efficiency, often even our young.

You must love those Europeans with their healthcare systems that work and cost half as much as America's yet serve twice as many people. Their infant mortality rates are lower and the transit systems are a wonder. Pay taxes they do, but look at what they get in return.
Mark Dunn
Zacatecas, Mexico

EU constitution disregards Christianity

Concerning the May 31 article "When 'Non' Means So Much More": One can only be encouraged by the decision of the French people to reject the European Union's first Constitution.

The Constitution promises to protect the status of religious communities in member states and pledges dialogue between political and religious institutions. But this is meaningless since the constitution has already, in its text, broken faith with organized religion by deliberately failing to mention Europe's Christian roots and identity.

The road has now been paved for a democratic government that will authorize anything that any group in society asks for, as long as the group phrases the request in the language of "rights." There will be anarchy.

Already we have seen the nihilistic yet impeccably democratic result of such contemporary legislation involving life itself. I am thinking here of legislation - such as that found in the Netherlands - that legalizes various drugs, prostitution, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, abortion, euthanasia, and genetic manipulation.

The constitution's missing reference to Christianity shows an undervaluing of historical evidence and of the Christian identity of European peoples. One cannot cut the roots from which one is born.
Paul Kokoski
Hamilton, Ontario

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, 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.

Any letter accepted will appear in print and on www.csmonitor.com .

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 Letters.

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