Outlaw carrots next!

Regarding your June 15 article "No smoking out here. This is a park.": Absolutely! I think children should be protected from the sight of anybody smoking. Similarly, children should be protected from the sight of anybody eating anything but carrots, and certainly from the sight of anybody merely lolling around a bench instead of getting up and jogging. In fact, I think anything that anybody ever finds "bothersome" or "troubling" should be made against the law.

I am personally bothered by grotesque priggishness, and troubled by its recent ascent in American life.

Linda Stewart New York

Haddock on fish rights

Regarding your June 22 opinion article "Fair water use for all": Mr. Haddock is certainly correct when he says "The interests of fish shouldn't be paramount." How about consumers? He talks about property rights, illegal taking of water from farmers without just compensation, FifthAmendment mandate, etc., but nowhere does he mention we the consumers of the products grown by the farmers.If the farmers don't get water they don'tproduce, we don't eat.

Wilbur Johnson Sequim, Wash.

Defending Israel

Regarding your June 12 "Israeli 'indiscriminate' use of weapons questioned": Earlier this month, thousands of Israeli attended the funeral of 5-month-old Jewish baby killed not with tank shell or gun bullet, but by Palestinian terrorists with a stone - Israel has a right to defend its people with every thing available to them as American government and American people would do!

Regina Oksinenko and Albert Epshteyn Richmond, Va.

Repression not just in Egypt

Regarding your June 18 article "Egyptian feminist faces stiff penalty for statements deemed anti-Islamic": The assault on Nawal Al-Saadawi is a terrifying reminder of how fragile human rights to free speech are in a world of bigotry. What many Americans do not realize is that similar insults to human dignity are increasing daily in the US.

I am a professor of college English who is about to be suspended for a third time, without pay. My crime? I am accused of offending one person's sensibilities, of blasphemy, and of uttering language not found in textual material under discussion. Even federal courts (6th Circuit, in my case) argue that the First Amendment is invalid when any student alleges that classroom speech has made him or her uncomfortable - for any reason.

Repression in Egypt has its vile resonance in the heartland of America.

John C. Bonnell Roseville, Mich.

Soaring praise for pilot, teacher

I enjoyed reading "A pilot who's kept to her flight plan," your June 20 piece on Iris Critchell. As an alumni of both Harvey Mudd College and the Bates Program which she led, I can honestly say that she changed my life, and there are many, many of us who owe a tremendous debt to her.

What she teaches transcends aerodynamics, mechanics, and flight operations. She has the uncanny ability to identify the potential in everyone she meets, and lead us all to pursue the excellence that lies within us. Her skills as a leader, a pilot, and an educator are phenomenal. More impressive still is her modesty. Those who would like to meet a truly exemplary American and learn something worth knowing about flight need travel no farther than Claremont, Calif.

Louis F. Rossi Newark, Del.

Can I get a witness?

Regarding your June 20 opinion article, "Keep reporting on religion," I can only say, "Amen."

William D. Clarke Hazel Green, Ala

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to oped@csps.com

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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