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Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Corporate interests push for retaliation
In 2003, President George W. Bush punished al-Qaida attacks from Afghanistan by tearing apart Iraq, eventually killing 650,000 Iraqis.
President Obama now presses toward Syrian involvement. Secretary of State John Kerry’s absolutist assertions don’t answer why Bashar Assad would unleash chemical weapons while gaining against rebels and hosting inspectors. Who exactly ordered the chemical attack?
With too many Syrian rebel groups to count, Israel feeling threatened, Syrian allies Russia and Iran coiling, and American defense corporations anxious for continued business, conditions are ripe for intrigue, false flag attacks, the tail wagging the dog, CIA machinations and government collusion with corporate interests.
American retaliation, possibly based on wrong information, will terrorize, kill civilians, send more refugees fleeing and may punish the wrong party — further harming American credibility and security and causing retaliatory terrorist and cyber attacks on America.
We must stay out of Syria to avoid repeating the miscarriage of justice that constitutes the false intelligence and failure in Iraq. Obama’s chief military adviser’s statement advocating more training and arming of rebels belies a hidden agenda of regime change. Obama should resist coercion and use diplomacy to reduce regional tensions — the only way to avoid exploding the region into devastating proxy wars.
U.S. needs to close a renewables gap
It is often stated that replacing global-warming fossil-fuels energy with renewable energy will cause unemployment. Those statements are false.
Fossil-fuel jobs are short-term jobs, as within one or two decades those jobs will disappear as fossil-fuel extraction declines. This includes jobs extracting shale oil, shale gas and oil from sands.
Sure, jobs for cleaning up the environmental mess from burning fossil fuels and from the devastation caused by extreme storms due to global warming will be around for hundreds of years.
But are those the jobs we want our descendants to have?
Jobs creating the infrastructure for renewable energy and for maintaining it are permanent jobs.
The United States is far behind many countries in replacing fossil-fuel energy with renewable energy.
Germany collects 6,000 percent more solar energy than does the U.S., although we have 3,900 percent more solar radiation than does Germany. The German government subsidizes the solar-energy and wind-energy industries, while we subsidize the oil and gas industry.
Our country needs a massive project larger than the Manhattan Project to quickly replace fossil-fuels energy with renewable energy.
As a byproduct, the increase in jobs would help move us out of the continuing recession.
L. DAVID ROPER
Support Cathcart, and reform of the SOLs
As a retired teacher and an elementary math/science consultant, I am pleased that Freeda Cathcart, candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates, 17th District, is supporting Standards of Learning reform.
I encourage political and educational leaders not only to re-examine the “testing culture,” but to seriously examine the Virginia standards themselves.
As a teacher, I was always in a race against the clock. All teachers I talk with are frustrated and discouraged by the sheer volume of information they must cover each year, and parents are concerned about what the system is doing to their children. Making the tests more difficult and adding “rigor” does not help if students are lost or must “learn” the information so quickly they promptly forget it again.
Mathematics and science education is critical in the 21st century if we are to compete with Asian and European countries, which teach their children differently than we do and out-score the U.S. on virtually all measures of student achievement.
Cathcart is a former teacher who, if elected, will listen to parents and teachers who understand how children do and do not learn.
Teachers must be given realistic goals. Then they and their students will succeed.
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