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Anti-UN efforts by few ultimately harm us all Two cheers for David Newsom's editorial about the UN crisis ("US owes more than dues," Feb. 10). Why not three cheers? Because Mr. Newsom fails to mention the source of the anti-UN efforts which seem to be succeeding even though polls show that 65-70 percent of Americans support the UN.

The public needs to know that a small but active group of "Christian conservatives" not only keeps the US from paying what we owe the UN, but also keeps our government from ratifying a host of treaties in support of the rights of women and children, the elimination of nuclear tests, the development of a governance system for the oceans, and the creation of an international criminal court which could hold individuals accountable for war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and aggression. Yes, the UN is in crisis, but it is not by accident. We should not forget how it was the Senate that undermined Woodrow Wilson's League of Nations. Now there is an effort centered in this country to destroy Franklin Roosevelt's United Nations.

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Ronald J. Glossop Jennings, Mo.

It has been the shortsighted view of cold-war relics like Jesse Helms that has held the UN hostage to insufficient US funding. Americans can party every July 4 over our Declaration of Independence, but the reality of our interdependence remains. Our security, health, and prosperity is dependent on the quality of life in the rest of the world.

If US policymakers fail to pull the UN out of its crisis, it won't be the Clinton impeachment hearings that historians will focus on. It will be the essential work that Congress failed to do while following the will of a few who lead with a narrow political agenda.

Chuck Woolery Washington, DC

Choosing a moral president

I appreciated columnist John Hughes observations on the outcome of the impeachment process ("Process, presidency intact - a nation's enduring strengths," Feb 17). That we were able to get through the ordeal with words and not swords shows that the strength of our constitutional system overshadows mere politics.

Mr. Hughes suggested that Americans will have time to reflect on the importance of character at our next presidential election. His specific concern about Clinton's morality indicates his expectation that we will choose a leader who would have no reason to lie about his personal life. That is certain to be a factor in our vote next time around.

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We will also avoid supporting anyone who would undermine a political opponent by exploiting a private weakness. We will dismiss those who would condone the secret recording of a young woman's intimate thoughts. And we will reject anyone who would allow such private conversations to be broadcast across the land for everyone to hear. These are important character issues too.

James B. Toy Seaside, Calif.

Nice catch, but they got my bad side

Greg Lamb's Short Takes column ("The Word is out: Video will rule," Feb. 5) about the growing dominance that television holds over our daily experiences reminded me of an amusing incident last summer at Fenway Park. The Boston Red Sox were at bat. The Baltimore Orioles readied for action. I had a good view of the outfield from my bleacher seat with the huge replay screen behind me. A Sox player slugged a hard, low-line drive deep into center field where Orioles outfielder Brady Anderson made a terrific mid-air catch. Once the play was over, the clearly curious Anderson could resist no longer.

Turning around, he looked up at the instant replay monitor to watch his own performance on the big screen.

Katherine Dillin Boston

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