Letters to the Editor

Readers write about drug-free baseball players, 'clean coal,' and the US tax code.

Asking clean baseball players to speak up has limited use

In response to your Dec. 19 editorial, "Baseball can step up to the plate": Surely the Monitor is right that hearing the voice of players who have achieved their goals without the use of performance enhancing drugs would help a little in stemming the tide of drug use. But exactly how much would it help, given the millions of dollars and fame that are involved? And exactly how many athletes are involved?

Senator George Mitchell warned that his report is but the tip of the iceberg. With the players union forever obstructing efforts to clean up the sport, and the difficulties in detecting some of the drugs, how far will it go?

At the very least it is a necessary step in a war that will not be won overnight.

Carl Mattioli
Newtonville, Mass.

'Clean coal' isn't clean to land, people

In response to the Dec. 19 article, "Futuregen to build a 'clean coal' plant in Illinois": This new Illinois project would seem to be a step forward in addressing the need for cleaner energy. But the basis of this article – the assertion that so-called clean coal is a solution to America's energy challenge – is flawed.

While this new technology would offset some of the emissions created by burning coal, there is no way to mitigate the horrendous environmental and human health impacts of coal mining.

The incomparable public lands in the West are sacrificed for the sake of coal. This leaves a toxic mess in its wake, and many lives are lost each year in the mines. In the East, the practice of mountaintop removal further exemplifies the environmental cost of extracting this so-called "clean" resource.

Instead of heralding cleaner coal, we should be addressing real problems with energy production and distribution, and working towards cleaner, decentralized solutions.

Nuclear power is not an option because, like "clean" coal, the "cleanliness" conveniently ignores the fact that nuclear material must also be mined at great cost to human health. And the atomic waste remains a threat for many generations.

Jeremy Christensen
Northern Utah Organizer, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance
Salt Lake City, Utah

Taxes: What would Jesus do?

In response to the Dec. 6 article, "Are big-spending clergy abusing US tax code?" Moralistically speaking, most of these ministers who spend excessively and take over payments from their innocently tithing flock are guilty of at least one of the seven deadly sins. Did not Jesus teach that it is better to live frugally?

Politically and economically speaking, this is another fine example of tax abuse that would be wholly corrected by doing away with the current federal tax structure and implementing the Fair Tax, which is supported by Mike Huckabee.

Kirsten Tautfest
Stillwater, Okla.

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 may appear in print or on our website, www.csmonitor.com. Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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