A battle between liberty and security

Regarding the Jan. 7 opinion piece "Politics just doesn't get it": Jonathan Rowe truly misses the point. The battle is not between two old political parties with old notions about the market and the state that have not responded to change in the political and societal paradigms, as he asserts. The battle is an ancient one between liberty and security.

The Democratic Party has always been about maintaining power and control, and has shifted its allegiances to do so. The Republicans are also about maintaining power. But they are worse, because they mouth platitudes of liberty, freedom, and the marketplace. But when push comes to shove, they abandon principle and liberty in a heartbeat. Both parties are into legal vote-buying with our tax dollars.

Mr. Rowe says that the corporate marketplace and government are becoming the same thing. It may appear so, but what is really going on is government regulation and monopoly-granting to satisfy the monied interests of both parties. As the state extends control, it is bought by the money the corporations can throw at it. This money buys corporations protection from the state. This creates for us a secure, regimented, pigeonholed life. It is not liberty. We have given up liberty for security.
Edward Tonkin
Erie, Pa.

The necessity of war for peace?

Tuesday night's speech had little to offer for those looking for some good news in these stark times. President George Bush asked us to trust in his vision of achieving peace through war, while Israelis reelected a man who has spent a lifetime demonstrating the futility of this formula.
Ken Galal
San Francisco

It seems many have forgotten that Iraqi soldiers attacked and pillaged Kuwait just a few years ago. Saddam Hussein is not just a dictator we dislike, his soldiers have attacked Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. If US and other alliance troops were not stationed in Kuwait, he would have already attacked again. He is spending money not on food and medicine, but on rebuilding his armies. As for the US preparing for war, we can't go in with too small a force when dealing with the lives of our troops.
Carl Vandevender
West Lafayette, Ind.

Skepticism of journalists' impartiality

Your Jan. 30 article "Into harm's way" said that there is "a deep skepticism in the Arab world about the impartiality of Western, particularly American, journalists." There is a lot of that same skepticism in the US about the fairness and impartiality of news reports. Too many reporters are incorporating their bias in their reports, either directly, or indirectly by only reporting views and showing scenes that represent their own personal values. There is an increasing tendency to show shortcomings in the government, the military, or any other group that they are philosophically opposed to.
John Fasching
Salida, Colo.

Schools shouldn't ever have to be saved

Your Jan. 27 article "A Colorado town rallies to save its schools" depicts the sacrifices of teachers and the contributions of students and townspeople to assist the financially ailing St. Vrain Valley School District. While their generosity is laudable, the situation itself is unconscionable. Public education should never be at the mercy of philanthropy. The crisis could be addressed in a more enduring way by ensuring adequate state and local taxes as well as fiduciary responsibility on the part of the district and the school board. Our funding should reflect the priority of our country's most valuable resource - its youth.
Cathy Yandell
Northfield, Minn.

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