Remember the Animals in Cloning Debate

I appreciate the Monitor's editorial, "Hello Dolly," Feb. 26, regarding the ethics surrounding the cloned sheep. While most news reports mention only concerns about cloning people, the Monitor cautions that people must establish limits on how far to interfere with the natural existence of animals.

I think it is as wrong to clone sheep as it is to clone humans. This research treats animals like machines, to be designed and manipulated without regard to their quality of life.

And this costly research represents a distorted set of funding priorities. People desperately need to learn how to live within their means more happily and to improve the circumstances of the many who are undernourished or badly exploited. We need to live simpler, more sustainable lives. This research offers expensive benefits to few and nothing to more sweeping environmental and social problems.

More than a cloned sheep, we need an agriculture that builds soil rather than depletes it. More than genetic engineering, we need reverence for all life.

Catherine Badgley

Chelsea, Mich.

Low birth rate in Italy

In "Italy Ponders a World Without any Italians," Feb. 18, instead of deploring the low fertility rate, we should be citing it as an example for the rest of the world population to follow in order to save mankind.

The world resources are even now being overly exploited, and the worst is yet to come as Asia, South America, and Africa try to raise their standard of living to that of the industrialized nations.

R.E. Reinert

Topeka, Kan.

World government threatens freedom

The Feb. 11 letters, "The UN - Too Much Power or Not Enough?" were in rebuttal to a Jan. 24 letter on the threat of the UN to United States sovereignty. They reflect some terrifying thought patterns. The references to the US Constitution are apt, because states and citizens today are fighting to regain constitutionally delegated powers from the federal government, which usurped them and increasingly seeks to micromanage our lives.

History does not provide many examples of governments voluntarily limiting their power, and the idea that freedom and abundance for mankind will be furthered by yet another layer of government is a sophism. No government can give what inherently belongs to man.

Some hold that we should be embarrassed by our country's abundance, that we may have a little too much freedom, that our gains, won in some "cosmic lottery," are to be harvested for dispersion to those who appear to have less.

A world government would provide a legal framework for the harvesting of these thoughts for the benefit of those who misuse their power. At the root of famine, war, and mankind's other scourges lie tyranny and corruption condoned or promoted by those in power over their fellow man.

Yet the fire of freedom burns in the heart of all mankind, leading the oppressed to flee their countries for ours, or to fight to regain freedom from their enslavers. We US citizens live free by the grace of those who fought our tyrants. Every day presents new struggles to maintain that freedom. It is not impossible that we may someday have to fight to regain our freedom, and God help us if that fight must be waged against a world government.

Rod Barto

El Paso, Texas

Send the money on down

Regarding the letter, "No Charity in the Term 'Corporate Welfare,'" Feb. 18, there's a giant money-vacuuming machine in place that takes the bottom's money and keeps it. I see nothing wrong with a measure of redistribution to the bottom. After all, the top has redistributed to itself - and is doing so unchecked as we speak.

Karl Roebling

Fern Park, Fla.

Letters for publication must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Letters should be mailed to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, faxed to 617-450-2317, or e-mailed (200 words maximum) to oped@csps.com

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