If war comes, industry won't suffer
The oil stranglehold which has plagued us since the 1970s imostly of our own doing. Before it is too late, we should consider the following:
There is an abundance of oil reserves here in the Americas which we have control or influence over.
The knowledge and research is available for alternative forms of energy if we apply the effort and dollars now.
The public is bought off by low prices at the pumps; as long as this continues we will tolerate almost anything, including war.
The Arab world has been in turmoil since the dawn of humankind. Who is our friend today could be our enemy tomorrow. Saddam Hussein is not important to our interest; he will soon be gone, and someone worse or better will take his place.
Our industrial complex thrives on crises; this makes a few very rich and the rest of us very poor.
The threat of financial loss is nothing compared to the loss of families - their sons and daughters - if we turn to war. You can be sure of one thing: It will not be the captains of industry who will suffer the losses.
Reading about the Israeli army and civilian brutality toward Palestinians was unsettling. It became more of a reality to me when I broke my leg in two places while recreating.
I'm no stranger to pain, but the realization of broken bones is something new to me. The pain is constant (even with good medical care), and helplessness and immobility are ever-present. While recuperating, I think of the casualties in Palestine and know that Palestinians are not getting the medical care I'm getting. I'll be able to walk within six to eight weeks and be completely healed. Most Palestinians who have had their bones broken will never heal.
Israel is keeping a very low profile while America is guarding its oil supply in Saudi Arabia. The press should be more open and tell us what is happening on the West Bank and on the Gaza Strip. As Americans, we have a right to know, because for many years we have given grants to Israel at the rate of $2.5 billion per year.
Israeli actions show that human nature is the same everywhere! People's brutality knows no ethnic, religious, racial, color or national origin distinctions.
Herbert J. Scism
Church and state
I would like to take exception to a comment made by Ray Jenkins in his Sept. 29 column, "Not so far apart."
He states that many people believe a politician who claims to be "pro-life" personally but "pro-choice" publicly (as do governors DTC Schaefer and Cuomo) is in a "morally untenable position."
In fact, both Schaefer and Cuomo have shown that they understand politics and the division of church and state much better than their critics. A public official is elected by the people to serve their interests. He or she is their public voice. Private, moral or religious feelings must remain private and have no place in the public domain. Isn't it ironic that the principle of the separation of church and state, which New York's Cardinal John O'Connor and others are attacking, was the very foundation of the campaign and subsequent election of our first Catholic president, John F. Kennedy?
The most vexing problem about extending the school year is not the additional costs for personnel - teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria help, etc. ` or the cost of maintaining the facilities or installing air conditioning. The most troubling problem is that a longer school year is being equated with producing a better-educated student.
What is needed is more respect for education and for educators, and a dedication to a process that teaches children to think and to transfer learning from the classroom to general lives.
Other countries that have longer school days and years also value and offer quality education, have active and dedicated parents, professional teachers, excellent resources and a general philosophy that requires excellence and makes no excuses for students and parents of students who are not serious about learning. A longer school year without such basic changes means more uneducated graduates ` young people who cannot speak properly, who cannot organize their thoughts in writing, who cannot spell or punctuate and who cannot do simple math.
Education administrators should be looking at school systems that are successful in places like Japan, Israel and Germany and use what works there. For once, let us go for what will make a real difference, not for a quick, fraudulent fix.
Sara Erica Haus