Taxpayers shouldn't pay for nuclear cleanup

Regarding "States' last-ditch attempts to keep out nuclear waste" (July 11): Several weeks ago, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that because of a lack of funding, 33 of our nation's most toxic hazardous sites will not be cleaned up. One in every 4 Americans lives within four miles of a Superfund site and is consequently at greater risk of developing serious health complications.

Five years ago, the polluter-pay tax, which ensured that polluters pay for the cleanup of their toxic sites, expired. President Bush would have the tax burden shifted onto regular taxpayers to account for the $1 billion needed to clean up the sites. The last thing this country needsis another tax increase, especially one that's strictly to clean up someone else's toxic mess.
Jared McCaffree
Worcester, Mass.

Video games no substitute for real life

I found your article "Getting into the game" (Arts & Leisure, July 12) and the idea of people learning "life lessons" via a video game upsetting. I can appreciate the idea of a child learning to care for a pet, for instance, without ever having to "flush a single, real goldfish down the toilet in the service of that lesson," or the doctor who learning how to deal with his guilt via dying cyberpatients, but I still think this is taking us down the wrong road. It is just one more not-good-enough reason to pin people to a picture tube, instead of getting involved with and confronting the real world.

What people really need is more interaction with real things. If a kid has to flush a real fish down the toilet, at least he's having a real experience.
J. Thomas
Los Angeles

UNRWA has its own bias

Since 1948, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has conspired with Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and the rest of the Arab world to prevent the resettlement and absorption of Palestinian refugees into the Arab countries where they now reside. When Israel came into control of the territories and their camps, Israeli efforts to provide decent housing in apartment blocks, as well as secondary infrastructure, were met with worldwide condemnation – spearheaded by the Arab countries who wished to avoid the suggestion of their permanent status.

UNRWA has admitted that they are aware of the anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli invective rife in these communities, plastered as graffiti on UNRWA buildings, and spread throughout the children's school curriculum in UNRWA schools. They are aware of known terrorists using their facilities as shelters, and they allow this. Officials claim they are powerless to change things, lest they be labeled "collaborators."

It is absurd to claim that the UN, its organs and officials, are "neutral" where Israel and Jews are concerned. One need only look at the mass of one-sided anti-Israel resolutions in the General Assembly, Israel's exclusion from the Security Council (the only country in the world), and the recent UN-led Durban conference against racism to realize the depth of depravity to which this once highly principled organization has sunk.
William Bilek

Bush's paper-thin CEO speech

Along with George Bush's call for CEOs and industrial polluters to clean up their acts "voluntarily," why not simply urge voluntary measures by all American citizens to do the right thing? That way, we could disband taxpayer-funded prisons, police departments, and judicial systems. The savings could be mailed out as another tax refund, or used to fight those evildoers overseas.
Matt Orr
San Francisco

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