Regarding Jeffrey Folks' Aug. 30 Opinion piece: The author claims that the latest conspiracy theory regarding presidents is that George Bush "has done nothing more in the past two years than mislead the American people concerning the threat posed by Iraq."
This is hardly a conspiracy theory. We were told that there were weapons of mass destruction and now we realize that there were none, yet the claim of WMD is what convinced the American people that invading Iraq was necessary.
It is also interesting to note that Mr. Folks refers to the "Clinton recession." When Mr. Clinton left office we had a budget surplus. Now we have an enormous budget deficit that our children will be paying for for years to come. We have invaded Iraq and lost our good relations with other nations, something that might take years to rebuild.
Mr. Folks claims that President Bush has made sound decisions for America. The current state of affairs in Afghanistan hardly justifies calling US action in that country a "victory" or "brilliant." The White House aggressively sold the Iraqi WMD threat to scare Congress and the public. Senior administration hawks have enjoyed a chummy relationship with Ahmed Chalabi, one of the primary intelligence fabricators.
After 9/11, Mr. Bush missed a momentous opportunity to change the direction of a half-century-old US energy policy that increasingly requires costly military commitments in the world's most volatile region. Bush's stubborn delivery of major tax cuts to his "base" during a recession and with the deficit rising, and his rollback of environmental regulations, plainly show us whose interests Bush values most.
Regarding your Aug. 31 article "Immigrants' children ace sciences": As a biophysics PhD who has focused for more than two decades on the glut of US technical professionals, I am concerned by the agenda of the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), whose recent study was cited in your article. The NFAP advocates further expansion of the H1-B visa program while there are millions of unemployed and underemployed high-tech professionals in the US. Immigration and Naturalization Service statistics show that there were more than 17 million visa admissions between 1985 and 2002 in just five high-skill special visa programs. This fresh (inexpensive) young blood has caused the permanent job displacement of millions of loyal, hard-working American citizens, regardless of their country of origin.
For 13 of the 20 years since I earned my PhD, I have been unemployed or underemployed. NFAP's advocacy will lead to a similar fate for almost all of today's young science and engineering talent, including children of immigrants.
Your article makes little mention of the countries of origin of the high-achieving students profiled in your article. The vast majority of immigrant children in the US have Mexican parents. Statistics show that these students have the highest drop-out rates and the lowest test scores, in spite of the advances they make within the first generation. There should be widespread concern about these millions of children and young adults who have little practical education and few skills, both in terms of their personal development and their contributions to society at large.
I can imagine the gains made by the high-achieving immigrant children being undermined by the costs and negative social impact associated with a large, relatively unproductive segment of our population.
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