Remove the Reagan-Colored Glasses
Apparently overcome with the poetry and splendor of the current Reagan revival, in the opinion-page article "Reaping the Rewards of Reaganomics" (Nov. 4), Dinesh D'Souza has chosen to overlook some realities of President Reagan's policies and philosophy.
Reagan was wrong that there needed to be massive spending to combat the Soviets. The Soviet's military was crumbling from within, and the government was already in a period of change. That vast amount of taxpayer dollars could have been invested in more useful technologies, such as research in alternative energy - a program Reagan scrapped soon after entering office. He also was an advocate of rolling back energy efficiency standards. As a result, we are more dependent on foreign oil than ever before. This will inevitably force us into military confrontations to defend our domestic cheap oil policies.
Perhaps his most unfortunate policy was to help nurture a culture of corporate and individual greed that has stayed with us to this day, with his bogus "trickle down" theory. His tenure brought us the savings and loan crisis, as a result of relaxed regulation. His policies also helped weaken labor unions. The wealth in this country is more concentrated in fewer hands, and the divide between rich and poor is greater than any time in recent history.
I will agree that Reagan undoubtably believed in his policies. And indeed he was a man of action in a city of politicians with feet of clay. But a great visionary? Hardly.
Behind Netanyahu's decisionmaking
Although it is a welcome sight to see your coverage of the attempt in Israel to curtail religious freedoms ("Israel's Orthodox Want Only One Way to Pray" Nov. 4), one of the photo captions is absolutely misleading. It reads: "Power of Religion: Prime Minister Netanyahu confers with Sephardic leader Rabbi Kaduri. The Orthodox are a key to Netanyahu's power."
The Israeli prime minister was certainly put over the top in elections by the religious vote, and, yes, Netanyahu must juggle their demands so they do not bring down his government. But it is a mistake to put forward the notion that Netanyahu is in ideological agreement with the extreme right religious factions.
Netanyahu is forced to make tough decisions because of the political dynamic at work. Bibi, as he is known, is the last person who would desire to see Israel slide downward into the abyss of Middle Eastern-styled religious fundamentalism.
Thank you for your Website link to Jerusalem Gate coverage of the struggle for religious liberty being waged in Israel today.
Jerusalem Gate editor
Guide students away from cheating
Well, cry, cry, cry. Then file a lawsuit ("Term Papers At the Click Of a Mouse," Oct. 27.) What do universities expect? Of course, students will take the short cut to success. We've made degrees our goal; we haven't focused nearly so much on learning.
As a college instructor myself, I have to ask, where are the professors with the plan sheets, the outlines, the reference reviews, the mid-course face-to-face discussions, and the final oral reviews? Unfortunately, I suspect, they're cranking out articles for publication to stay employed.
The universities are at fault, not the students, for inciting the mentality that we can get away with more by doing less.
I'm afraid that at many universities, there's little teaching by the experts. Teaching students step by step can be boring, frustrating work, especially when an instructor has been over similar material 56 times. Nevertheless, it's what we were hired to do.
We either have to limit our classrooms to a workable number of students and really teach them, or we may as well accept that they will find alternatives to fulfill requirements that are difficult - or uninteresting. Filing lawsuits is a waste of university funds. If successful, it is only a stopgap solution to a problem of the universities' own making.
Bonnie J. Hollis
Ivy Technical State College
Your letters are welcome. All letters are subject to editing. Mail to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org