Letters to the Editor

Readers write about expanding Internet access, how Israeli settlements effect relations with the Palestinian Authority, nuclear waste, and expanding your family via adoption.

US Postal Service can lead in expanding Internet service

In regard to the Oct. 6 editorial, "Candidates click on broadband": Expanding broadband Internet service to rural communities should be easy if we just utilize the nationwide network that already reaches out to every household in America six days a week: the United States Postal Service.

While mail volume declines due to increasing usage of the Internet, the Postal Service is poised to develop into the realm of communications beyond those on paper. Post offices around the nation already have Internet connections, and extending those to their customers by providing computers in their lobbies seems sensible and easy.

Recommended: Could you pass a US citizenship test?

Providing reliable and secure mail service to all our citizens at cost is, in principle, the right thing to do. Now that mail service will just have an "e" in front of it.

Jasmine Krotkov
Neihart, Mont.

Israeli settlements block path to peace

Regarding the Oct. 17 article, "When settlers strike, Palestinians point and shoot video": Although US politicians have long decried Israel's settlements as impediments to peace, they have refused to characterize the settlements and the settlers living in the occupied territories as illegal.

In fact, however, the settlements and the settlers are both illegal under international humanitarian law. The International Court of Justice stated as much in its July 2004 advisory opinion, which ruled that Israel's wall in the occupied West Bank was illegal.

If the US would declare the settlements and settlers illegal, and demand that Israel withdraw the settlers and turn the settlements over to the Palestinian Authority, the path to Israeli-Palestinian peace would be considerably opened.

Peter Belmont
New York

Nuclear waste is never safe

In regard to the Oct. 21 editorial, "Build steam for nuclear power": It's bad enough that, seven years after the 9/11 attacks, we still have chlorine gas and other ultrahazardous cargoes hauled by rail and truck through all 60 US target cities. Perhaps the Monitor thinks that somehow US foreign and economic policy and actions will change decisively into benevolence toward the oil-rich nations we are fatally dependent on, so we can relax about terrorism? If not, imagine how reckless it would be to have nuclear waste casks lumbering very visibly across the US, moving on a suite of routes through the major heartland target cities. The Department of Energy has already done field tests showing that a shaped explosive can blow through the casks.

No nation has "solved" the nuclear waste problem.

Fred Millar
Arlington, Va.

Want a large family? Adopt

Regarding the Oct. 21 Opinion piece, "Thanks to Angelina Jolie, having lots of kids is hip": Birthrates falling in Europe or being low in the US is not an excuse to overbreed. What about the rest of the world? In Africa, Latin America, and Asia, millions of children are starving and are often left parentless because of AIDS and other diseases. We have an overpopulated planet and dwindling resources, and we have got to stop acting as if we have some kind of right to reproduce ourselves ad infinitum.

At least Angelina Jolie adopted kids from some of those areas before she had her own.

If you want larger families, adopt! It's not hip to overbreed. Share your love with needy kids by adopting them.

Ardeth Baxter
Santa Fe, N.M

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, 210 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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