Muslims should realize what world without the U.S. would be like
This is to reply to your article entitled "Why they hate us" and the views of Muslims regarding the United States. Pardon me if I don't fall to my knees beating my chest and crying mea culpa for the transgressions of my country.
I doubt if there is a country anywhere in the world that hasn't somehow or some way benefited from the largess and generosity of the United States and its people. Over the past 100 years, the United States has saved the world from tyranny in two world wars. At the end of World War II, we rebuilt our enemies into world economic powers. We were a primary proponent for the United Nations to provide for a peaceful dialogue among nations. We fought a Cold War, resulting in the defeat of godless Communism, and tens of thousands of Americans lost their lives in Korea and Vietnam.
If there is a calamity or catastrophe, the United States is the first one there with aid of all kinds.
Within our own borders, our people built a society built on the principles of equality, law and hard work. We were the first country to develop a strong middle class and the first to require and provide for universal education. We built the best health care system in the world, and it is available to anyone who simply walks through an emergency room door at any hospital. Our mechanical and technological innovations have revolutionized the world, raising the standard of living both here and abroad.
We have opened our doors to people from every nation in the world. Muslims have been welcomed into this country in increasing numbers. They have been successful, active participants in the business, professional, and educational communities. Many are pillars of the communities in which they live. Muslims are free to practice their religion and without fear, even though most Americans haven't a clue about the nature or content of their beliefs. Whatever they are, they are welcome to practice them here.
While our foreign policy is riddled with contradictions and often times appears to be unfair, the Islamic nations of the world should take a good look at things and picture a world without the United States.
Would it be dominated by a Hitler or a Stalin or a Pol Pot, or how about a bin Laden? The Nazis wanted a world dominated by the master race, in which, most assuredly, the Muslims would not have been included. Would they have eventually suffered the same fate as the European Jews?
So I thank the Islamic nations and Muslims, both within and outside of the United States, who have firmly condemned, without reservation, the horror of September 11. For those who are looking at us with trepidation and perhaps secretly feeling a sense of justice from the attacks, they better take a good look at the alternative being proposed by the perpetrator of the act.
Remember, the German middle class thought they could control Hitler. Instead, Hitler devoured them. Who should accompany Islam into the future?
If the answer is bin Laden and the Taliban, the ash heap of history is filled with despots much worse than these. They will fail, caves notwithstanding. If the answer is the United States, the freedom and prosperity of Islam will be assured, along with all of the great religions of the world.
MARK G. MANGIE
Fascism alive but not well in Cal Thomas' column
It Is hard to believe that you would give space to a column that calls for the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Cal Thomas' column calling for the use of nuclear weapons in Afghanistan was criminal. People who advocate genocide should be put on trial and punished just as if they committed a crime against humanity. It has nothing to do with "free speech" or "personal opinion."
The only difference between Cal Tho mas and Adolf Hitler is ...
Sorry, there is none. Shame on you for printing it. Shame on you for not refuting his racist ideology. Shame on you for keeping his fascist views on your editorial pages.
Religious invoke prayer for a more just world
In March of this year, we Sisters of the Humility of Mary committed ourselves "to be non-violent in all aspects of personal, communal and ministerial relationships." The events of September 11, 2001, and thereafter have challenged us to the depths of our spirits to find ways to respond nonviolently and to call others, particularly our country's leaders, to do the same.
In light of our commitment, we, therefore, urge each person of good will to search for a new way to respond to this horrific assault without inflicting even more violence on our battered world. While we experience deep anger as a result of the attacks and realize the need to bring the perpetrators to justice, we are dismayed at the daily news of continuing bombings in a country that has already suffered so deeply. Can we as a nation learn to respond differently? It seems so impossible to find a different way, and the pressures to retaliate are tremendous. But our God is a God of peace who can and does change hearts, even the hearts of those who are so full of hate.
We pray for every person in our country, that we may all be open to the spirit of God within and among us, a spirit of peace and forgiveness. Let us find the courage to search for new ways to bring about a more just world. Let us examine the ways in which we as a nation and as individuals may have been complicit because of our policies, attitudes and behaviors toward other nations and peoples in the past. Our ability to respond nonviolently to this event will define us for future generations as a truly great nation.
Let us pray for each other, and for God's continuing love and mercy on us all.
LEADERSHIP TEAM SISTERS of the HUMILITY of MARY
Villa Maria, Pa.
X The letter was signed by sisters Ruthmary Powers, Jeannette Abi-Nader, Anne Victory, Susan Schorsten and Janet Burkhart.
Response to terrorism risks Americans' rights
Last month, you printed a column by Edwin Chemerinsky. Your headline writer was right on when he captioned the article "Loss of liberty not to be taken lightly." When I listened to Attorney General John Ashcroft on our local PBS radio station, I was at a loss for words to describe my feelings on his recitation of the steps that must be taken to bring the perpetrators of the September 11 act of terrorism to justice.
The attorney general ended with a statement that I must paraphrase, as I was not in a position to tape his exact words. But the essence of the statement was simple. The steps that he had outlined would mean that the American people would have to forego a "little" of their "constitutional rights" in order to bring the terrorist to justice. The words in quotation marks are the words he used in making his statement. Those words were almost lost in his ending of his proposals to bring the terrorists to justice.
Mr. Chemerinsky has written on this subject in a very understandable way. That article should be read and reread to get its full impact. I would like to quote a part of Mr. Chemerinsky's last paragraph. "They [the terrorists] took away our shared sense of safety and security. We must take great (my emphasis) care to ensure that they not be responsible for unnecessarily taking away our freedom."
LEONARD J. SAINATO
Endorsements boomerang on Austintown bond issue
If a stick is just a boomerang that doesn't return, then a political endorsement that does absolutely nothing should be highly desirable.
Unfortunately, boomerangs do come back, and political endorsements make a difference.
Even more unfortunate, they sometimes have a boomerang effect. When there is a critical bond issue on a ballot and a very, very close trustee race, two board of education members, a former Austintown school superintendent and a retired Austintown educator (now a state representative) should not endorse one candidate over other equally qualified candidates. Voters may very well become angered and react negatively to the school bond. Sadly, our children and community lose. Those men make me feel shame.
Readers, this could happen in your community. A board of education is to inform us of our fiscal needs and then do everything necessary to make those funds available for our children's education.
Boomerangs do return.
X The writer is a retired Austintown educator.
Most school districts do right thing about molds
Given the controversy over the way that the Girard school board and former superintendent handled the indoor air quality problems at the new Girard Intermediate School, I thought that it might be interesting to see how other school districts have handled similar situations. Here is what I discovered in my research along with my sources.
East Cleveland, Ohio: Aug. 27, 2001, the Kirk Middle School in the East Cleveland City School District was closed permanently only days before school was scheduled to open. The school was closed for several reasons, among them was a water-damaged roof, unconfined asbestos and an outgrowth of black mold. (Cleveland Free Times Sept 5-11, 2001)
London, Ohio: Aug. 2001, two schools in London were forced to close shortly before school was scheduled to start because of mold. Superintendent Thomas P. Coyne said that not even teachers were allowed into the middle school until hazardous-material crews cleared the school of potentially dangerous mold. Insurance adjusters who were inspecting the school at the beginning of August found the mold in the basements that was caused by flooding in late July. According to Coyne: & quot;Pretty much everything from those basements has to be destroyed. ... We never dreamed it would be this bad." (Columbus Dispatch 8/18/01)
Portland, Maine: Sept. 2001, Portland's Jack Elementary School will not open for the school year after the presence of Stachybotrys chartarum, a slimy black mold, was found in the air. (ICS Cleaning Specialist Industry News 9/4/01)
Austin, Texas: March 2000, district officials closed Hill Elementary School in Austin after tests found potentially harmful mold in the school. The move comes after several teachers and at least one student were treated at local hospitals. & quot;It is a prudent and cautious step we are taking, & quot; said Superintendent Pat Forgione. & quot;We cannot take a risk when we have a health concern and we don't know the specific nature and extent of it. & quot; Tests at Hill turned up stachybotrys, penicillium and others. Officials say they don't know how pervasive the mold is or at what levels. (IAQ News, EPA 3/1/00)
Five different school districts, two different approaches to very similar situations. Four of them chose to face the problem, close the school and work through it. One chose to ignore it and leave the school open for approximately six months after their initial study showed a potential problem.