Regarding the Feb. 9 article "For India's daughters, a dark birth day": What is so mind-boggling about sex-selective abortion and infanticide is that women so devalue their own sex as to destroy their own kind.
On a practical level, there is a way to fight this cultural and moral scourge. The United Nations Population Fund strives to bring a message of women's and girls' worth, equality, and rights, to the world, and yet the United States continues to withhold from UNFPA its yearly congressionally approved contribution - $34 million in 2004.
Cofounder, 34 Million Friends of UNFPA
The solution is really not just in educating the woman and giving her a sense of dignity and self-worth. Much more important is educating the man. A woman is physically not equal to a man and when ignorance reigns, might is right. If men were made to see the light, the problem would be automatically solved.
I would like to get this word out to whoever is working on this in India or China or wherever this barbarism exists. Educate the man, and the woman will never put herself down.
Regarding the Jan. 27 article "In New York, a welfare experiment for single dads": Over the past few years, I've seen more and more fathers become the sole custodians of their families. In fact, my elder son is raising his 4-year-old, with help from us.
We certainly would have fewer "throwaway kids" if we made marriage more than a fancy ceremony. My husband and I have helped more than a few of these kids over the years as neither parent wanted to be bothered during difficult times.
Helping those fathers trying to support their kids on low incomes is the right thing to do for those children already born. But please, let's start at the beginning. I would urge mandatory premarital classes covering the responsibilities of marriage, including financial responsibility of both partners, and parenting skills.
Mrs. F. R. Plumhoff
Thanks for the Feb. 8 article "Smoke-free zones gain new territory." I am an ardent nonsmoker. However, to fire people, not to hire people, and to force people to take classes because they smoke is blatant discrimination. True, smokers may have more health issues, so they may have more health insurance claims, but what about the obese?
Lately, any time I open a magazine or a newspaper, I see an article about the crisis befalling us due to our lack of exercise and poor eating habits. If institutions are going to discriminate against smokers due to higher insurance claims, then they ought to play fair and do the same to the overweight. That might put a damper on targeting smokers over any other high-risk group.
The Feb. 9 article "Environmentalists push for a 'greener' iPod" on the nonrecyclability of the iPod misses an important development - the entry of third-party vendors into solving this problem. NewerTech, in conjunction with Other World Computing, is now offering replacement batteries for the iPod for $25 to $40. These batteries have a significantly higher charge-capacity than the original Apple batteries.
This development has not gone unnoticed by Apple, which now offers battery replacement (their technician changes it for you) for the outrageous price of $99.
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