German Immigration vs. Cultural Diversity
The editorial "German Unity - and Diversity," Sept. 2, was fine in theory, but it had one flaw. Every right-thinking person naturally deplores the barbarous treatment the recent immigrants to Germany are receiving at the hands of a small but fanatical right-wing minority.Skip to next paragraph
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But we need to understand that Germany does not enjoy the luxury of cultural diversity that Americans do. It is a fact that Germany is more ethnically pure than is the United States. The cause of the flood of immigrants into Germany is economic not political; it is the same problem that we are experiencing in this country.
The solution is for Germany to tighten its immigration laws and let some of the other European countries share the burden; otherwise, there is a very real danger that Germany may turn irreversibly to the right and produce another Hitler. Bob Gideon, Fairfax, Va. Kenya's election
The Opinion-page article "Kenya's Rigged Election," Sept. 2, demonstrates what appears to be a prejudgment on the outcome of our forthcoming multiparty elections. The author recycles rumors, but he makes no attempt to recognize signs which prove contrary to his arguments. The author also fails to recognize the basic elements of the parliamentary system in Kenya. He complains that no election date has been set, and that it will be announced with little warning. In many parliamentary democracies, including
Britain, the election date is set in precisely this manner.
Contrary to the author's complaints, Kenyan politicians both from the ruling Kenya African National Union party and the opposition parties have been campaigning, holding elections, and recruiting members across the country for the last nine months. It is no secret to any Kenyan and informed observer that the Constitution requires a general election no later than March 1993.
During the past year, the public debate regarding the election blossomed in the Kenyan press. For much of that time, the Kenyan media have been highly critical of the government. Lately, however, the Kenyan press has turned its attention toward the opposition parties, some of whom are struggling to overcome internal divisions and conflicts. The author claims that this new attention is the result of government manipulation. In fact it is the result of a hungry press sensing an easy prey. Denis D. Afande, Washington, Ambassador of Kenya to the US Funding scientific research
The Science and Technology page articles "Virtual `Life' Evolves in the Lab" and "Spinning Straw Into Gold Happens Only in Fairy Tales," Aug. 19, represent opposite faces of the same coin. The first is an enthusiastic celebration of the power of computing. The second is an accurate and balanced view of a science-related matter.
Economic constraints, however, have had opposite consequences on the two basic approaches to science - experimental and theoretical. Theoretical science flourishes because once one has bought more powerful computers, one must use them to their full potential.
Experimental science requires a huge variety of hardware and can be much more expensive. Consequently, it is greatly inhibited, and only exaggerated claims, combined with first-class public relations, seem effective. Small, unfashionable research projects tend to disappear. But historically, researchers have made the most fundamental and important discoveries with such projects.
So why have we let our science-funding policies become so distorted by economic pressures? I expect it is the dominating influence of money. David J. Turner, Bristol, England