In response to the July 19 article, "Gulf region's newest pipeline: human trafficking": It is unfortunate to read about some Gulf states' treatment of Filipina workers.
While living in Geneva in the late 1990s, I met some Filipinas who had escaped from their employers in the Gulf region. Their stories were heart-rending. These women were educated, decent, loyal, and hardworking people who only wanted to provide the best for their families.
The Gulf region should seriously address human trafficking and prosecute abusive employers. It would be good to try to prevent this practice from the supply side as well.
Given that this has become the reality of our global economy, there should be an international convention that mandates countries to abide by principles of humane treatment of overseas workers.
Roqueña R. Domingo
Responding to the July 19 article, "Can we talk? The cellphone debate at 35,000 feet": I sincerely hope that common sense will prevail concerning using a cellphone while in flight.
As a frequent flier on several airlines, I find the few-hour flight a respite from the office being able to reach me, which allows me to catch up on reading and work e-mail - thanks to my laptop. And sometimes, yes, the flight is just a break in the action.
I abhor the idea of sitting trapped next to someone yammering away on their phone while I try to concentrate on a book or work or even just listen to music in relative quiet.
Cellphone usage makes private conversations public because users seem to think their conversations are so important that they have to take place now, not later when at least a little more privacy is obtained.
David P. Smolik
I enjoyed the recent article on cellphones in planes, which discussed the annoyance many people express about other people's public conversations.
I couldn't help recalling a remark made by a friend of mine: "It's not the talking that bothers them, it's the fact that they can't hear the other end of the conversation!"
R. L. G. Atwood
Regarding the July 14 article, "The real first responders: citizens?": There is a training program in place, supported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), that helps to organize groups of citizens into Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT).
CERT training provides citizens with the knowledge and skills to be able to take care of themselves, their families, and their neighborhoods in cases where the usual government services are overburdened or delayed.
As a CERT member, you can help save a life.
Member, Huntington Beach CERT
Huntington Beach, Calif.
The violence in Iraq should be quelled more easily if more reports are written about the diversity and culture of Iraq, as found in the July 19 article, "Iraqi show jumpers get back in the saddle."
The media should report on examples of courage and attempts to live normal lives in Iraq, not so much on instances of violence - although we can't ignore it.
Violence begets violence and peace begets peace. Success begets more success.
So it is important that we read more about such things as the horseback riders who are motivated to succeed, hoping to one day compete again in the Olympics.
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