Understanding class warfare

Regarding your Jan. 9 article "A political theme emerges: class war": You quote Rep. Charles Rangel saying, "Never in a time of war have we reduced the tax burden on the most privileged. At the same time ... we send a disproportionate number of lower- and middle-class kids to fight a war. If this is class warfare, I ask who started it?"

Every man and woman now in the service is a volunteer and - like many of my relatives - did not go into the military to make money, but for love of country.

If some rich guys are getting a tax cut, great. They pay most of the taxes and usually work hard for what they made. Let them keep a little.

Mr. Bush's tax plan means the poor will pay no taxes and the middle class will be able to keep more of their earnings, so all income groups win. Mr. Rangel should not use the military to spark a class-warfare debate.
Joseph R. Gutheinz

In response to "A political theme emerges: class war": President Bush's tax cuts are again scaled toward the rich and well-to-do, yet when citizens question these tax cuts Mr. Bush yells class warfare. My own senator, Chuck Grassley, uses the term very easily.

Bush and Mr. Grassley know nothing of class warfare. CEOs who make millions a year while they lay off workers, cut wages, and decimate benefits are a great example of class warfare. After the layoffs, Wall Street gives the CEO general a raise while the working troops endure the cuts. Not prosecuting these people fully is an excellent example of class warfare.

Workers are almost powerless in this political and economic class warfare, even as the president whines about it.
Harold Tuchel
Waterloo, Iowa

Home schooling for Muslims

Regarding your Jan. 14 article "Muslims craft their own curriculum": I should not be surprised, but I certainly am depressed by the extent of misunderstanding, intolerance, and outright hate Muslim students have received in US schools.

Neither America, public schooling, nor Christianity are well served by the kind of bigotry and intolerance Muslim students apparently endure. There is nothing patriotic in abusing followers of Islam, who are at least as diverse as the followers of Christianity.

To presume that the desperate, deluded, and insane individuals who on Sept. 11 flew those planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon are typical of or speak for all of Islam is like presuming David Koresh of Waco insanity fame was a good example of typical Christianity.

I am sorry that these Muslim families have opted for homeschooling as we lose such dedicated, intelligent, energetic, and caring people from the public school system.

On the bright side, several of these Muslim families seem to have created vibrant websites that are accessible to all a true image of American openness and tolerance.
Katharine Wiley
Rockland, Mass.

Put the environment before money

In response to your Nov. 27 article "Tie an ecoprotest round the old oak tree": How sad to hear that greedy developers may get their way and destroy a 400-year-old tree. Only in America would greed be allowed to succeed. In Europe they would find a way to build the road and save the tree even if it cost more money.

There are some things more important than money and I hope our culture will one day reflect values that incorporate respect for nature and define success by more than just money.
Sally Hampton
Los Angeles

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