The Israeli-Palestinian conflict; the future of nuclear power; carpool lanes
Welcome to thrift
Re “Got knocked down, got up, and then got better,” Opinion, March 13
Apparently the irony is lost on Ann Brenoff, who comes off as quite smug over discovering thrift and saving all by herself. She relegates those of us who are employed to the status of clueless voyeurs, blithely overspending while she valiantly sees the light, bartering and cutting coupons.
But the fact that she still shops at Macy’s, One-Day Sale or no, and still eats at Subway tips one off to the fact that she’s a recent convert to this exciting notion of frugality.
I am employed, as insecurely as anyone else, and I save 43% of my monthly take-home pay. The “new Bloomingdale’s” that are thrift stores have existed for more than 40 years, during which time I have shopped at them and not department stores.
And as for the Saks cashmere sweater for $5 — too expensive.
The Mideast cycle of violence
Re “A fatal Israeli-Palestinian flaw,” Editorial, March 15
Would it be only Israeli “tit for tat”? In any negotiation, you must assume that the goals of each participant are the same. Otherwise, talks are doomed.
How many times have we heard, “We will push Israel into the sea”? As a country surrounded by enemies, do you actually expect it not to defend itself or to react to a hideous massacre?
When a child is taught to hate his neighbor, when women are often treated as property and when the exposure to education about the rest of the world is limited, you cannot say the negotiating parties are on the same page.
Israel’s decision to build more apartments for its citizens in Judea and Samaria is undoubtedly unpopular with the Palestinian Arabs and their sycophants in the international community. Nevertheless, to argue that this construction is part of the “cycle of violence” that “provoked” last week’s bloody massacre of a Jewish family reveals a shattered moral compass.
Your editorial repeated the canard that the Jewish settlements violate international law.There is no legal treaty that prohibits Jews from living in any part of Israel. Further, such an accusation becomes grist for the incitement to murder.
Israel’s decision to build apartments may be controversial as a matter of policy. To compare it to killing children, however, is to rationalize evil.
The writer is national vice chairman of the Zionist Organization of America.
Israelis have much more firepower than the Palestinians, they want all the Palestinians’ land and they have to take it without getting the world mad at them.
So they invent excuses: The Palestinians killed five of ours, so we’ll build 500 homes in their territory.
What about this solution: Stop all aid to Israel. Declare all U.S. organizations basically formed to help Israel agents of a foreign power. Cooperate with the United Nations to place an international peace force on Israeli soil to force an end to settlement construction.
Then do you think the Israelis might catch on?
Your ascribing the brutal murder of an Israeli family by Palestinian thugs to some “provocation” on the part of Israel actually, though probably unintentionally, states the matter well.
The continued existence of Israel is a provocation to the Palestinians, who refuse to recognize or tolerate its existence and strive to annihilate it. The only way for Israel to remove this “provocation” is to commit national suicide. That is the “peace” sought by the Palestinians.
This act of terror was carried out in an effort to pressure the Israeli government to halt building in the West Bank. The reason the government decided to allow more homes to be built was to send a clear message that the murder of innocent civilians is not a means by which to accomplish political goals.
We cannot allow murderers to control government decisions. The “cycle of violence” will continue if they see that their violent acts bring about the consequences they seek.
By building, the terrorists receive a punishment instead of a reward.
Silver Spring, Md.
It was the Arabs who rejected the United Nations partition plan of 1947 and who refused to negotiate with Israel after the 1967 war. It is the Arabs who call for the destruction of Israel. It is the Palestinian media that incite their population against any acceptance of Israel.
Your linkage of barbaric murders to building and communities on land historically claimed by the Jewish people is itself barbaric.
Maale Adumim, West Bank
New nukes are needed
Re “Nuclear fails the test,” Editorial, March 15
The failure to develop safe nuclear technology is shared by every frightened editorial and every screaming alarmist and cowardly politician who have collectively stifled any investment in new reactor designs for 40 years, designs that would have prevented the scenario unfolding in Japan.
Instead, we are left with aging reactors still in operation based on technologies that predate the silicon chip.
If people cared about safe nuclear energy even a fraction as much as they do about the cachet of their cellphones, we would be living in a safer, less oil-dependent world right now.
Like it or not, affordable or not, nuclear power is not just part of the future; it is the future of energy generation.
The supply of fossil fuels is finite. No existing alternative such as wind, solar, geothermal or a combination thereof is positioned to take up the slack when the pump runs dry. We need to redouble, not scale back, our efforts to design and build nuclear power stations that are safe to operate.
The cost of atomic power will be very attractive when the prospect of energy rationing looms on the horizon.
Louis H. Nevell
How many Chernobyls and Three Mile Islands does it take to explode the myth of “safe nuclear power”?
Jean Holt Koch
Let us vote
Re “Hamilton High students fight for quality education,” Column, March 16
The educational catastrophe at Hamilton High School is a perfect example of the tyranny of the minority in our society.
It is inexcusable for the Republicans to hold our school systems hostage by not permitting us an opportunity to vote on extending taxes. Many of us are willing to save that system, pay the taxes that many of us can still afford and save our youth.
If the legislators did their job, they would simply extend those taxes without calling a special election and save a few dollars. Our children and schools are too valuable to sacrifice.
Re “Toll-lane plan faces renewed resistance,” March 13
When single-occupant motorists pay to use carpool lanes, overall congestion is reduced and traffic speeds increase in all lanes. Spreading the traffic out more evenly over four lanes is more efficient than having a carpool-only lane and jamming the bulk of the traffic into three lanes.
These lanes are based on the false premise that they are occupied by carpoolers rather than by multiple occupant vehicles. Many of those using diamond lanes are not deliberate carpoolers who would otherwise use separate vehicles.
Suggestion: Announce a one-month amnesty in which all lanes are open to all vehicles, and compare the results with existing conditions.
Re “An advanced degree in construction,” Opinion, March 13
No one can argue with Connie Rice that politicians and educators shouldn’t build schools.
But the insanely expensive work at the Ambassador Hotel site, and the even more appalling cost of the dysfunctional downtown arts school, make it clear that however effective her School Construction Bond Citizens’ Oversight Committee might have been at one time, it is no longer getting the job done.
A cure for the common opinion
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