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Letters

Universities: liberal? or just in some disciplines?

Regarding the April 15 article "Park the cause in Harvard Yard": In all the reactionary rhetoric regarding the "skew" toward liberalism in institutions of higher learning, no mention is ever made of the likelihood that the same "skew" toward conservatism and reactionism exists in subject areas such as physics, business, and engineering.

Is it because instructors and practitioners in those fields are expected to have a conservative or reactionary viewpoint that no mention is made of their existence?

Or is it an attack on the diversity of thought on college campuses in an attempt to wrest ideological control for a more monolithic point of view? Thanks for your article and for making me aware that, even at Harvard, a liberal viewpoint can still be heard, at least for now.
Ray A. K. Crawford
Belmont, Calif.

Quebeckers' right to self-determination

Regarding the April 18 editorial "A vote for Canada? Peut-Être": Your analysis of the Quebec election is well done, but your opinion that "A united Canada ... is in everyone's interest" is not.

The right of the Quebeckers to self-determination has been recognized by the highest court of Canada. Everyone's interest is best served when Quebeckers themselves decide whether or not they wish to exercise their right to self-determination by becoming an independent state.
Walt Landry
Arlington, Va.

Outsourcing government jobs

While I found the stories in the April 21 article "When the boss is Uncle Sam" to be true to my experiences in both the public and private sector, I take issue with the comments on contracting out federal jobs.

When more than 2,000 jobs were contracted out in the US territory of Guam, the private contractor who won the bid did not cover the same services the Navy covered. The contract has been increased and now it's more costly than the use of civil- service employees while the level of service is lower.

People may forget that the appointed officials interviewed have an interest in passing government funds onto their private-sector cohorts. And their rewards, promotions, and future private-sector jobs depend on their ability to deliver government jobs to the private sector.

While it's true that the private sector does certain tasks faster, the government requires accuracy. Do you want Enron checking the quality of your food? I prefer the Food and Drug Administration.
Alice Hadley
Guam

CNN should have pulled out of Iraq

Regarding Dante Chinni's April 17 opinion column "About CNN: Hold your fire": Very simply, CNN should have done what William Shirer did in 1939 when he left Berlin and closed down AP operations in Germany because it was no longer reasonably safe to report the truth. Anything less than this is a sign of CNN's moral bankruptcy. Eason Jordan should leave CNN, and there should be a house cleaning of those who think as he does.
H. J. Stouse
Houston

Giving voice to circus animals

This is a short note of appreciation for Marlene Fanta Shyer's April 18 opinion piece "The darker side of the circus hoopla": I've never liked the circus, but my middle-class, suburban friends insist on bringing their kids to the event when it hits town, and inviting my kids. All with good intentions, but I'm glad to have a well-voiced opinion on hand to pass along with my declined invitation.
Stacey Toevs
Denver

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