Turn off, tune out, and drop in

In his opinion piece, David Perlmutter described his attempts to free his daughter from the perils of television but found that neither he nor his wife, nor their daughter, could cut the cord ("No television? Get real," June 27). He concluded that to absent the TV would mean "demonizing it or creating forbidden fruit."It would mean that he and his wife would have to "suppress (their) cravings" for particular shows. Instead, they will watch together.

As a member of a household in which there has been no TV for over 15 years, I find these struggles amazing.We raised our daughter without TV and she survived.Of course she was able to watch TV at her friends' houses. The point was that we did not watch TV and saw no need to own one.We still don't. That was the message.Life was full (sometimes to overflowing) without TV. Our house is filled with books; we listen to the radio or CDs; we garden; we visit or entertain friends; we serve on boards and work to improve our neighborhood; we take walks, watch birds, go to movies, concerts, etc. In short: We live.

Through all these years, we have talked to each other, not to the TV.Whether our (now grown) daughter has or does not have a TV in her apartment, is her own business. What matters to us is that she knows that there is an alternative. We are not hooked on TV.We are living our lives.

Regi Teasley Ithaca, N.Y.

The Hague seen as biased

While it is encouraging that Slobodan Milosevic will be tried for his alleged crimes ("Key suspects may follow Milosevic to The Hague," July 2) he should have been tried in Serbia by a Yugoslavian court. Instead, he was tried in an anti-Serbian and ethnically biased kangaroo court that seems primarily interested in prosecuting alleged crimes committed against non-Serbians - and not crimes committed against all innocent civilians, regardless of ethnicity.

We have now set a precedent that any leader of any nation (such as Ariel Sharon of Israel and Yasser Arafat of Palestine, as well as NATO leaders) may be tried for crimes against humanity by nonelected, politically biased judges. Americans should be concerned at this loss of their jurisdictional authority.

Michael Pravica Las Vegas, N.M.

Christian clubs as a front? No.

If Justice Souter's reason for dissenting from the Supreme Court decision to allow a Christian club to hold after-school meetings on public school property was indeed what your article says it was ("Classrooms open to faith groups," June 12), then we are in trouble. Many groups sponsored by Christian denominations exist precisely to discuss specified subjects from a particular point of view, just as most non-religious groups do. To assume that group discussions are a front for evangelization is unfair to the club, to its members, and to the denominations from which they are drawn.

Rev. John W.S. Eyrrick Greenwood Lake, N.Y.

Uncivilized in Seattle

From one who received an unprovoked personal attack of tear gas, pepper spray, and billy clubs from the storm trooper-clad Seattle police force while peacefully demonstrating during last year's World Trade Organization meeting, your feature on civil Seattle ("In the city of the nice, critics warn: Don't push it!" June 28) is a joke. To me, Seattle will always be a symbol of unbridled aggressive authority and an affront to our national democratic freedoms.

Tom Wilson Viroqua, Wis.

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(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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