One week you inform us of all the pork in the highway bill. The next you inform us of all the pork in the Department of Homeland Security. It's amazing that the people who keep loading us down with all of this unnecessary spending are consistently re-elected. When are the voters in this country going to realize we can change things by voting these people out of office?
R. E. WEST
You said Science Applications International Corp. radiation portal monitors installed by Customs are less than effective because they cannot differentiate the radiation from nuclear and naturally occurring radioactive materials ["A Radioactive Contract"]. These first-generation RPM s, the best technology available when selected several years ago, adequately detect and provide protection against the importation of nuclear materials. The occasional "nuisance alarms" from naturally radioactive materials are resolved by a secondary inspection. For the past two years, SAIC has been delivering RPM s that meet lab and Customs specifications.
LARRY J. PECK
Enterprise and Infrastructure Solutions Group
Science Applications International Corp.
Oak Ridge, Tenn.
The opportunity for the average Joe to purchase a home and raise a family is disappearing ["Through the Roof," June 6]. Housing is increasing in value tenfold. The increased value is great for people who bought a home years ago, but what happens to newlyweds and college grads who want a starter home starting at $250,000? Soon America will look like a ghost town with thousands of empty homes just waiting for the next millionaire to purchase.
Royal Palm Beach, Fla.
In "The Media In Trouble" [May 30], John Leo laments that so few of today's journalists have done military service, contributing to an antimilitary bias in reporting about the armed forces. He also laments that journalists are hired directly out of college, bringing their elitist liberal views to the newsroom. Journalism has grown ever more technical and specialized, and no one is going to roll back the need for college-educated reporters. However, there is a solution to the lack of military service: Restore the draft for men and women, with no college deferments. Give everyone, journalists included, a full stake in whatever military adventures the United States gets involved in.
Pulliam Professor of Journalism
For years we've heard complaints from the far right about the biased liberal media, and now, as Leo points out, that criticism has become fashionable for the mainstream. In my experience, however, the popularity of an idea is not always highly correlated with truth. In fact, the separation of the media from the influence of popular opinion should be a hallmark of a healthy democracy.
ERIC D. STOLEN
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
"European, Not Christian" [May 30] complicates what is happening in Europe and America. Both regions seem to be at war with the principle of institutional religious control. Greater Europe continues to walk away from this smothering principle toward the fresh air of individual freedom and its collective expression, an uncontrolled democracy. America, on the other hand, is being stampeded toward religious control by the religious right, which includes the Roman Catholic hierarchy. Should the right win, in time America will go the way of greater Europe. Christianity and other religions, when interpreted on the basis of the universal principle of individual freedom, are still powerful forces for good.