US Is Not the Only One to Let the UN Down
Regarding the Jan. 14 opinion-page article, "The UN Needs to Change and Will, but the US Must Not Opt Out": The author's urging of the US not to opt out of the UN would have been more persuasive if he had candidly dealt with the fact that his own country, the United Kingdom, has just pulled out of the UN Industrial Development Organization, as the US had already done.
An explanation of the UK's reasons for giving up on UNIDO, and why those reasons do not apply to the US, would have added to the usefulness of the author's argument. I speak as one who has for many years studied and participated in parts of the UN and is aware of some of its strengths and weaknesses.
Editor, United Nations Law Reports
A more humane space program
The Jan. 10 article, "Troubled Russian Space Effort Relies on US to Bring Borsch," raises serious questions about the future of joint United States-Russian space missions. With both nations facing reduced budgets for space programs, they should eliminate waste wherever possible.
The Bion project, a joint Russian, American, and French effort, has spent millions of dollars to blast monkeys into space to study the effects of weightlessness on humans.
Scientists implant sensors in the muscles, eyes, and brains of rhesus monkeys and send them into space for two weeks. This project has not led to useful scientific conclusions but has maimed and killed many animals while wasting valuable resources in the American and Russian space programs.
The US Congress nearly killed funding for this program in the 104th Congress, and the Humane Society of the United States urges the new Congress to put US tax dollars to better use.
Research Assistant, Humane Society
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