US/Russian cooperation on nuclear waste is a boon to all
Regarding the Feb. 6 article, "Russia and US as global nuclear waste collectors?": The US and Russia working together to control sensitive nuclear material processes is a great idea. These countries have already shown leadership in this arena by converting into electricity highly enriched uranium and plutonium from their stockpiles of weapons in emissions-free nuclear reactors.
This new proposal goes a long way in enhancing the goal of nonproliferation and involves technologies that are already in practice or have already made their way over significant hurdles. Nations with guaranteed fuel supplies will have no reason to enrich uranium on their own, nor recycle fuel for material that could become clandestine weapons. The leadership of Russia and the US in this area is one of enlightened self-interest and will be a win-win for our two countries, indeed for the entire world.
Gilbert J. Brown
Westford, Mass. Dr. Brown is professor and coordinator for the Nuclear Engineering Program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
In your Feb. 8 editorial "Yes, it does take a rocket scientist," I found it striking that while the Monitor praised the president for proposing a plan to increase the offering of high school Advanced Placement classes, it failed to mention the nearly $12 billion that is being cut from Federal Student Aid.
As a college student, I depend on federal loans to pay for my tuition and believe federal aid is crucial to America's educational competitiveness. My high school was too small to offer AP science courses. But I place a much higher value on the student loans that allowed me to attend Miami University than I would have placed on the opportunity to take more AP courses in high school. I think AP courses are worthless if a college education is kept out of students' reach by the government's failure to provide the student loans that make college affordable.
Exercising free speech responsibly
In response to the Feb. 2 article, "Schools grapple with policing students' online journals": I do not believe that "free speech" was ever intended to be "irresponsible speech." Put another way, my right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins. Keep the Internet free - in all respects. But that said, since the Internet is a very real part of our lives, schools have the social and moral obligation to try to educate students about it - in all respects, good and bad.
Ultimately, in the ideal world, it is not a matter of "live and let live," but of "live and help others live." Whether we're considering a website on a school computer, in an Internet cafe, or in a home, the basic principle of adding value and making this world a better place should be acted upon.
Peter J. Kizer
William Loizeaux's Feb. 8 article, "In memoirs, varieties of truth," was excellent. I've been working on my "memoir" for five years, and because of the scandal with James Frey's "A Million Little Pieces," I have worked harder than ever to fact check, clarify, and edit my book before I start submitting it to publishers.
One thing I realized recently is that I think it's harder to put honest work into a book when it's telling the truth than it is to write fiction masked as truth (as Mr. Frey did). Hopefully other writers will learn from what happened to Frey - like I did - so that the quality of memoirs in the future will be much better.
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