Improved mine safety a must
The Sept. 27 photo essay, "Children toil in India's coal mines," shows the dark reality of how unregulated extractive industries often take away much more than just coal or other minerals. They also are taking away the health and safety of these young children, no doubt shortening their lives beyond measure.
While the United States might be ahead in child-labor matters, we may not be as far ahead in mine-safety matters.
Five months after the worst US coal-mining disaster in 40 years, the US Mine Safety and Health Administration issued emergency regulations to mitigate the explosiveness of coal dust in America's mines.
As this country awakens to the urgency of increasing mine safety, we should challenge India and other nations to move forward with more humane practices as well. Any initiatives in this direction should receive our enthusiastic support.
David K. McClurkin
Republican praise for Clinton
"The Clinton touch" in the Sept. 27 issue makes one think of President George Washington's motto, "Deeds, not Words." In this regard, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers impressively. Secretary Clinton's job performance "deeds" have not only altered my Republican view, but leave me wondering if she would consider switching to the GOP. (We are in dire need of strong female leaders of the type she embodies.)
I am heartened by Howard LaFranchi's indication: "[Clinton] will replace [Defense Secretary Robert] Gates when he fulfills his self-announced departure from the Pentagon sometime next year, some say." This would certainly be an appropriate move for President Obama to make. Clinton would undoubtedly leave America's enemies running for cover (with their tails between their legs) in a manner not witnessed since the days of Joan of Arc.
New businesses create jobs
I appreciated the ideas that the two commentators made regarding job creation in the Sept. 27 "1 Minute Debate," "What's the best way to create more jobs in America?"
But they overlooked the richest source of job creation – new businesses.
It has been estimated that between 625,000 and 2.5 million jobs could be created if the US Patent Office were properly funded to enable it to process the 1.2 million patent applications now backlogged. There should also be tax credits on income produced by those who create jobs.
Unleashing the creative and entrepreneurial energy of the American people will create jobs like nothing else.