'Reality' television is nothing but fantasy

Todd Nelson's Feb. 1 opinion piece " 'Survivor' has it all wrong" has it right that the television program "Survivor" and its genre are misnamed reality television. The more appropriate adjective would be "fantasy."

Having dabbled with wilderness survival and camping in my youth and as a camp counselor, I can assure you that the chances for survival increase with teamwork and cooperation, and diminish with pettiness and divisive selfishness. This basic truth is why businesses send employees to programs like Outward Bound, which not only build morale but also instill a sense of comradeship and teamwork.

Erik Randolph Penbrook, Penn.

The Feb 1. opinion piece "'Survivor' has it all wrong" by Todd Nelson was right on the money. I find that the so-called "reality" shows present an extremely dark view of life: backstabbing, gossip, betrayal. People watch them because they don't portray real life, but appeal to our base instincts instead. For me, reality is loving my children and my husband, doing a good job at work, and helping my neighbors when they need it.

Susan Agel Yukon, Okla.

Bush damaged the economy

I wanted to respond to the Jan. 31 opinion piece by David Perlmutter, "Happy New Year! Your 401k is tanking": He says, "If a recession comes, no one will blame a freshly inaugurated president from the party absent from the White House for eight years."

I disagree. I do attribute the present stumbling to the election fiasco, and President George W. Bush getting into the White House.

His lack of governing experience and his isolationist and conservative leanings have certainly contributed to the worry over the next four years, on both domestic and international fronts. To me, it's small wonder that all of a sudden the worries are serious.

Meg Ross Madison, Wis.

Taiwan lobby should be supported

"The rise of China" opinion piece by Pat Holt (Feb. 1) made intimation of "a Taiwanese attack on the mainland."

One of former-President Lee Teng-hui's distinguishing acts after his election in 1992 was to declare cessation of hostilities between the opposing sides of the Taiwan Strait. Though this was unilateral without Beijing's concurrence, it was followed with President Lee's "Principles for Reunification" and his initiating of the cross-strait dialogue with the mainland.

Beijing agreed to the dialogue but suspended it two years later. The dialogue has not been resumed since, despite Taipei's persistence in asking for its resumption.

The Free China lobby in Washington has encouraged these policies on the Taiwan side and the US congressmen who support them should not be told to "stand up" to this lobby.

Yu-Tang D. Lew Taipei, Taiwan

Try buying an electric car

In your Jan. 31 editorial "Clearing the smog, carefully" you mentioned that people are lining up to buy the Toyota Prius, suggesting that hybrids are a commercial success. But maybe all-electrics aren't.

You should have mentioned something that Detroit doesn't want us to know. People are waiting in line for their electric cars and trucks, too.

It's just that Big Auto won't deliver any. Try calling your California dealer and asking to buy an electric car.

They give you such a hassle and won't promise delivery.

Charlie Garlow Silver Spring, Md.

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(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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