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Top 10 Letters

"Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," Gary Coleman, why Saddam's innocent, and more.

12:00 AM, Aug 18, 2003
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In addition to the aspects mentioned in Ami Horowitz's Kazakhstan's Run, Kazakhstan is also the site of Russia's main space launch base, Baikonur, as well as the former Soviet Union's nuclear weapons testing facilities. Also, although not generally known, the government of Kazakhstan asked the United States to send a team to destroy the old Soviet underground nuclear test sites in order to make sure they would never be used again. America's involvement in a country that was once so important to the USSR--and is still very important to Russia--shows just how thoroughly the Cold War was won, and just how valuable our friendship is considered to be.

--Robert Eleazer

*7*

In response to Christian Lowe's Learning On the Fly, I have some questions.

Why is Saddam a fugitive? What court of law has examined evidence and found Saddam Hussein guilty of a crime? Does the Iraqi population continue to suffer while this criminally incompetent administration finds a cure for its ills?

--Otis G. Barlow

*8*

Insightful comments from David Skinner on "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy"--and it was refreshing not to read the sort of panic about homosexuals that I tend to find in another popular conservative periodical that will go nameless.

With regard to Skinner's point that "Queer Eye" is to gay / straight relations what "Diff'rent Strokes" was to race relations, I would offer that the comparison is probably less to "Diff'rent Strokes" and more to "The Jeffersons" (or even "The White Shadow") which was a far more aggressive, comedic take on race relations and stereotypes than Gary Coleman and company.

--David Penn

*9*

I watch "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" and enjoy it immensely (I'm a single, straight, 44-year-old female).

I am encouraged when I see that straight, clueless, slovenly males are capable of making the jump to Civilized Man (unlike many of the men I have encountered in my life). And the gay patter throughout the show is laugh-out-loud hilarious.

But has anyone else noticed that most of the clueless straight guys depicted in the show are from the generation of males who were raised by wolves (no dads, working moms, and latchkey)? Most of these men seem to be stuck in their late adolescence. I find it ironic that all those moms whose career fulfillment came first ended up raising sons that no decent, intelligent woman would want to date or marry-- and that only a team of 5 gay men can teach them to stop dragging their knuckles and grow up.

--Janet Stroble

*10*

As someone intimately familiar with U.S. MagLev initiatives and the Transrapid high-speed MagLev technology, I would like to offer some insights on Rachel DiCarlo's dismissal of Maryland's MagLev project (Slow-Motion Boondoggle).

The MagLev project is neither unnecessary nor a waste of money. Investment in a U.S. MagLev project, which also has military applications, would provide valuable experience in implementing and improving this revolutionary and safe transportation technology--experience the Chinese are now gaining, while we cut taxes and wonder why there are budget deficits.

Building a MagLev between Baltimore and D.C. would be a boon to the area's economy; from the estimated 25,000 jobs created, the demand for steel and other materials, the launching of a new industry, the additional passenger capacity created without adding to our already overburdened road systems, and the truly fast and improved travel reliability between travel destinations. Imagine being at Union Station and entering a MagLev that departs at 12:00 p.m. and knowing that you will enter the BWI air terminal at precisely 12:14--every time, regardless of weather conditions. Or, quite possibly, leaving D.C. at 12:00 p.m. and arriving in New York City at 12:43. This type of high-speed, safe, ultra-reliable, and stress-free transportation system will also spur intense economic development within a half mile of any station along its route and reintroduce Americans to reliable travel schedules. It is estimated that travel delays cost this economy an estimated $80 billion a year.