International -- Readers Report
WHO'S REALLY BEHIND THE `NEW ORDER' IN AFRICA (int'l edition)
To expand on comments made by Ramon Ayala ("The `new order' brings no power to the people," Readers Report, Feb. 10), there is a far broader issue that permeates the debate between the First World and the Third World.
Africa has suffered the effects of colonial greed for nearly 350 years. The patchwork quilt that is Africa today bears little relationship to the continent's tribal divisions. These artificial borders were imposed, based upon Europe's imperialistic frenzy and resource hunger. Having abandoned Africa to inevitable political strife on one hand, the West has contributed, on the other hand, to the debasement of African currencies and, therefore, to the value of its abundant resources. The multinationals have continued the tragedy of imperial rape of the weak and defenseless, while Western media have sought to impose the worst of the First World's hedonistic covetousness as a way of life. No thought has been given to what was and is right for Africa.
Islam often refers to America and its allies as the "Great Satan." Judging by their largely amoral and antitheistic policies, this may not be an unfair label. While physical slavery has disappeared, a more subtle, but no less destructive, kind of economic slavery and cultural terrorism has taken its place.
South AfricaReturn to top
MORE THAN THE BUDGET NEEDS BALANCING (int'l edition)
"Life under a balanced budget" (American News, Feb. 10) was long overdue. But we shouldn't hit the poor and elderly without cuts in the $50 billion-a-year tax break for home mortgages. Census data show a 39.6% increase in the median size of new homes since 1971. When used to buy a bigger house, the mortgage subsidy adds to the home buyer's cost of living through increased home-ownership costs--taxes, utilities, maintenance, furnishings, etc. Cut the home-ownership subsidy and solve two problems at once--more personal saving and a smaller deficit.
Washington State University
The plan to balance the budget by 2002 has not only the ring of a bumper-sticker slogan but also the deceptive glitter of political gimmickry.
Budget balancing is impossible as long as our nation consumes more than it produces, imports more than it exports, and values leisure more than work. This has to be reversed. The dilemma can be resolved only when an informed and angry public demands integrity and fair treatment.
Martinez, Ga.Return to top