Example of peace needed for Iran and Israel
Regarding Vali Nasr and Ray Takeyh's Dec. 14 Opinion piece, "How Iran's president is being undercut": Now that the threat of a nuclear armed Iran is no longer, it is time for a new approach by others with true nonproliferation credentials to work with Iran and Israel, and any others who might be tempted to go for "the bomb."
If I had my way, Canada, with capabilities dating to the Manhattan Project, and Ukraine, which inherited a nuclear arsenal but disowned it, could take the lead (by example and not by bullying tactics) in demonstrating the benefits of peaceful uses only of nuclear technology.
Foreclosure's winner: Construction
In response to the Dec. 11 article, "In pockets of foreclosure, housing woes spread block by block": It is truly painful to hear that houses are being bulldozed as a response to the mortgage default crisis. It is a stark example of how skewed priorities can be in our economy, when perfectly livable houses are destroyed, while many people experience forced dislocation.
This article indicates that many of the defaults are by real estate investors who lost 10 to 15 houses at a time – meaning that many renters, in addition to struggling home-owners, were forced to move from their homes. These demolitions are presumably a form of appropriation by the municipality; why not appropriate the properties and hand them back to those who are in need of homes?
I'm guessing the only winner in this situation is the construction industry, which will eventually be called upon to rebuild.
Do top marks in high school matter?
Regarding the Dec. 5 article, "New report ranks US teens 29th in science worldwide": I'm tired of hearing how American students are statistically behind students living in other countries in math, reading, and science.
The media continues to report that our educational system needs to be changed in order for our citizens to compete in the global marketplace. But don't we have some of the top scientists, mathematicians, and business people in the world? I have heard plenty of stories of very successful people who dropped out of college or never went and still made it to the top of their field. They were born, raised, and educated in the United States. It doesn't just take a good education to go places in life.
This country is filled with entrepreneurs, inventors, dancers, writers, artists, teachers, and politicians. Why doesn't anyone check to see if we are tops in any of those areas? Many Americans have jobs and receive international awards despite the fact that they didn't get top marks in math, reading, and science when they were 15 years old.
Respect and friendship with neighbors
In response to Janine Wood's Dec. 14 Opinion piece, "Love your suburban neighbor": Yes, I love my neighbors! I don't care one bit about how long the grass is, or how many leaves fall down, and where the wind blows them.
But I try to keep my lawn the way the neighbors want.
When I was in a hospital, the house was empty. The neighbors took care of the property at no charge. The next summer after I returned home, groundhogs had eaten half of my food from the garden and tilled under my garage. Neighbors caught and took care of all three groundhogs.
Marvin L. Zinn
St. Joseph, Mich.
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