Bell's GeniusRoyce Holland was quoted July 27 as calling...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

August 16, 1993

Bell's Genius

Royce Holland was quoted July 27 as calling the telephone industry something from the Jurassic Period and referring to "Bell System dinosaurs."

He is obviously too young to really know the Bell System.

The Bell Laboratories developed sound movies. Watch an old black-and-white movie where the credits show "sound by Westrex."

The Bell Labs held (and may still hold) patents on such dinosaurs as transistors, solar cells ("batteries"), lasers and a host of other high-tech items. In the growth of telephone switching, the Bell System has gone through five generations of local switching systems and a variety of toll systems.

The fiber-optic network that Mr. Holland wants to install was actually validated by Alexander Graham Bell himself. He proved that sound could be transmitted over a light beam from the roof of the old Franklin School on K Street in Washington, D.C., to another building blocks away.

When Mr. Holland looks down his nose at the local remnants of the former Bell System, he's really looking at his own big mouth.

George O. Clark

Annapolis

Action in Bosnia

The slaughter continues in Bosnia, and it is clear the Europeans and the United Nations will do nothing to stop it -- although they are all too willing to prevent the Bosnians from defending themselves.

Consultation with the Europeans has become nothing more than an excuse for doing nothing.

If the United States does not act to end this conquest-by-atrocity, no other country will.

As the president of the United States, Bill Clinton must take action or the genocide will continue. Don't forget that when they're done in Bosnia, the Serbs will almost certainly start killing the Muslims in Kosovo.

Mr. Clinton does not want to be remembered as the president who stood by and did nothing while modern-day Nazis did their worst in full view of the world.

Tim Cliffe

Emmitsburg

Improving Schools

Over the past several years there have been a few editorial writers or contributors to Letters to the Editor who have written constructive, impartial opinions on education. The recent article, Reforming School" by William Salganik (July 31), is noteworthy.

Most of the articles and letters are written by people who are promoting a cause or protecting their special interest. His remarks about recent administrators' infatuation with new programs deserve special attention. This multitude of new programs makes political sense, they do create government jobs and votes, but experience has proven they do not enhance learning.

Mr. Salganik suggests we might improve education if we spent more time evaluating and eliminating the myriad of past programs rather than dreaming up new quick fixes. The dilemma in education is proof that after all these years of throwing money at the problem, we have not learned how to educate children in the public schools. We have done more to build a huge bureaucracy than educate kids.

Another analogy by Mr. Salganik is interesting and compares schools with political polls, which indicate most people do not think highly of legislators, but feel their representative is O.K. -- ''the annual Gallup Poll on education always shows that people think American schools in general are not doing very well, but the schools in their community are pretty good and the school their own kids attend is just fine.''

It is refreshing to read an unbiased opinion from a former education writer.

Forrest F. Gesswein Jr.

Parkville

A Big Difference

In Gwynne Dyer's Aug. 3 article, "The Tragedy of Israeli Justice," he asked the question, "Why is it wrong to kill innocent ++ people in gas chambers, and right to kill innocent people with helicopter gunships?"

I was shocked that a man of Mr. Dyer's intelligence would make such an analogy. The question alone suggests the tragedy of Mr. Dyer's own inability to make a distinction between innocent victims and supporters of terrorist aggression.

The question was in reference to Israel's recent bombing of Lebanon compared to the 1942 murderous actions taken against people in concentration camps by John Demjanjuk.

While I advocate that it is wrong to kill innocent people under any circumstances, nevertheless there is a big difference in Mr. Dyer's scenario, because the people in the gas chambers did not wage a war against the German people during 1942; they were innocent civilians.

However, the people in Lebanon were not entirely innocent civilians. When you aid and abet the enemy who is shooting rockets at you, then you become the enemy.

The people in Lebanon have given the Iranian-backed terrorists their support and have never protested the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists who use their country as a base to fire rockets against Israelis.

If they were innocent, they would have tried to kick these terrorists out of their country, especially knowing that they were trying to undermine the Middle East peace talks.

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