Abstinence can be 'cool'

Regarding your Feb. 28 article "Deciding it's OK to wait": I was encouraged to find that abstinence is not a past practice but that many teens today still see the importance and the need to abstain from premarital sex.

Living in a society with degenerating values and an almost nonexistent moral system, it becomes challenging for us young adults to decipher right from wrong. Sadly enough, I have seen the negative effects of premarital sex and the devastation and heartache it not only causes a person who engaged in the act but also each member of his or her family.

This heartache is unnecessary and easily avoidable through teaching the youth of today that "virgin ... isn't a dirty word" although many television shows and popular music groups promote just the opposite message.

May your article serve as a reminder that as our nation's moral standards decline, we as individuals do not have to give into the "norms" of society.

Christy Price Rexburg, Idaho

Trade that hurts American workers

In his March 2 column "Bush foreign team's rocky start," Daniel Schorr mentions several instances where "the Bush administration has made a faltering start on the world stage during its first six weeks."

The administration is on the cusp of still another faltering start on the world stage - this one affecting the nation's performance on the domestic front as well as on the world stage.

The issue is trade policy, including President Bush's declared determination to seek a free trade area encompassing the whole Western Hemisphere. The administration shows no awareness that such a proposition, or indeed any far-reaching free-trade initiative, will not be successful without a coherent domestic-adjustment strategy addressing serious problems American workers, companies, and communities may encounter from the programmed removal of trade barriers.

American corporations and organizations advocating free trade have themselves failed to grasp what needs to be done to ensure the political viability of the trade policy they favor.

David J. Steinberg Alexandria, Va.

Consumer appetite for bigger, better

It was indeed enjoyable to read Marilyn Gardner's March 7 "Connections" column, "Trimming Paul Bunyan down to size."

Americans are totally enthralled by things that are bigger, better, taller, or faster; if more zeros are involved in the price of these desired objects, so much the better, especially if it might impress the neighbors.

In Germany, the ubiquitous Unimog has been used by farmers and contractors for more than a quarter century. It is an extremely rugged (oops, another beloved American adjective) vehicle with a high center of gravity. Before the future typical buyer gets one, he or she had better consider raising the height of the three garage doors at his or her starter castle.No problem!Just contact the friendly banker and have a few more zeros added to your jumbo mortgage.

In the meantime I shall enjoy living in my six-room Cape and driving my humble Honda.

Emil Gertsch Essex, Mass.

Editorial bias in tax-cut headline?

The main headline of March 8 says "Bush's risky tax-cut power play," which to me belongs on the editorial page. Are not the words "risky" and "power play" expressing your opinion only?

Emily St. John Oswego, Ore.

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