In supporting war, not all women are maternal

I must take issue with some of the assumptions evident in "In this war, American women shed role as 'doves' " (Nov. 6), in which the writer correctly identifies the disappearance of the gender gap in support for military action. But why attribute women's newfound support for war to maternal instincts? Unless women with children were compared to women without children, there is no support for this assumption in the data. The only time women with children were explicitly polled, as reported, was when they were asked about the missile-defense program. The percentage of mothers supporting it was given, but the percentage of women without children who support it was not. Nor were any numbers provided representing how fathers feel versus men without children. I appreciate the discussion of nature versus nurture, but I would urge more examination in future reporting about polls.

Hilary D. Claggett Westport, Conn.

Microsoft - competitor or monopolizer?

Regarding the issue of the Microsoft settlement presented in your editorial "The Microsoft deal" (Nov. 5), the rules of this settlement read as if they were handcrafted by Bill Gates himself. It's void of forward motion. (In fact, it's void of any motion at all.)

It's not commensurate with the overt violations of monopoly maintenance found by the district and appeal's courts, and considering Microsoft's penchant for snubbing its nose at consent decrees, it won't live up to the "good faith" of this settlement - a settlement that would be a huge win for Microsoft and a huge loss for consumers, competition, innovation, and our economy.

It's embarrassing and sad to me as an American how often big money triumphs over justice and fairness.

Steve Jones Seattle

What Microsoft does with their product should not be our business. They should be able to build their product the way they please. We live in a free country where you, and anyone else, can start your own company and build anything you like, so go for it. We should not continue down this road of punishing success. This stifles those who would choose to take chances and build companies, hire the unemployed, and provide a good economy for all to enjoy.

Joe and Dorothy Brown Clearwater, Fla.

Privatize airport security

It's extremely difficult to sue government organizations or employees for failure to perform. I believe we should privatize all airports and the FAA so people can be held accountable. Had that been the case on Sept. 11, the security personnel and management who failed to do their jobs could have been held responsible.

With that kind of accountability, people pay attention to their jobs. Many of those responsible for the government-owned airports are political appointees; therefore, government employees were responsible for airport security on Sept. 11. Federalizing more employees will only make our airports more incompetent and irresponsible.

Bill Holmes Carlsbad, Calif.

Bring on those national ID cards

Regarding your Oct. 16 editorial "Can ID cards spot terrorists?": I have been on four airline flights since Sept. 11, and the security doesn't seem much better. I feel we need a national ID card for flying.

Let's get moving in the right direction. People are afraid to have a national ID card, but our Social Security numbers, passports, and drivers licenses are all too easy to replicate.

Sally Bergmoser Clarkston, Mich.

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