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Letters in the Editor's Mailbag.

Byline: The Register-Guard

Microchip may be misused

I am concerned about the lack of attention being given to the recent development of microchips that can be implanted under the skin. I have read that they are eventually going to include global positioning devices so that people can be tracked and located.

While I don't discount the positive value of being able to track someone with a memory or mental disorder, I am convinced that the negative possibilities for misuse far outweigh the benefits.

For example, what if this microchip were available to governments with cruel dictators? There are governments that would probably not hesitate to have their whole population injected with these chips in order to obtain more control over them.

Should our government support the production of something that has the potential to be such an effective weapon? I don't think so.

Consider, if you will, what would happen if an Asian country required all of its population, or just one segment, to have these chips. What if the rulers of a Buddhist country required all non-Buddhiststo wear chips so that their movements could be tracked? Wouldn't this constitute a major violation of personal freedom?

The United States should not support something that has such enormous possibilities for misuse.


Avoid snap judgments

As a teacher in the International High School program in Eugene, I feel compelled to respond to the April 1 letters of Hal Applebaum and Shlomo Libeskind, and Bob Strelow's letter of two days earlier. All three men asserted that student Jordan Blumberg-Enge's March 23 letter is indicative of biases in the IHS curriculum that do not allow for an exploration of the legitimate concerns of Israelis and the specificities of their history.

All three writers failed to acknowledge that students often make their own decisions about what is right and wrong, regardless of the curriculum or teacher. Independent thinking is what education should seek to engender. Have any of them entertained the idea that perhaps Blumberg-Enge did receive a balanced exploration of the current conflict and came to her own conclusions?

To judge an entire program or a teacher's quality because one disagrees with one student's letter is, in my mind, an enormous error in judgment. Do Applebaum, Strelow and Libeskind reason that someone's education is fundamentally flawed every time they read an opinion that they disagree with? If so, they must have a hard time reading the paper.

All three writers express legitimate concerns, but I would encourage the writers (and anyone else in the community) to abandon snap judgments and to come speak with me, review the curriculum and look at the peace proposals that students created at the end of the unit on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If they are truly interested, I will be expecting their call.


An inspiring story

I was introduced to The Register-Guard by a friend of mine who lives in Eugene. I like to log on daily to read it on the Internet, as it is an easy, informative read and covers a wide range of topics.

It was with a wonderful feeling of warmth that I read reporter Rebecca Nolan's story (April 1) on Bai Edward Fornah's reunion with his longtime friend and saviour Timothy Meinzen. As a fellow citizen of Africa, I was touched by the determination that both these men showed in fighting for what they believed in.

I often feel like I want to make a difference, yet I echo the same sentiment of so many other people with good intentions when I think "What difference can I, as one person, make?"

Meinzen's efforts showed that the world is not such a huge place after all when it comes to one person making a difference. And his fund-raising efforts allowed so many other people to make a contribution toward rescuing Fornah, something they must be very proud of.

In the Talmud it says "he who saves one life is as if he has saved the world entire." I think that Fornah's story should serve as an inspiration to all those people who have such good intentions but never act on them. All one needs is a good heart and determination, because Meinzen has proven where there's a will there's a way.

I would like to wish Fornah all the best for his new life, and hope that he can one day return to his home country, rich in his newfound knowledge, and live in peace.

VANESSA FRANKAL Cape Town, South Africa

Mindless movies

The Register-Guard's editorial on the late Billy Wilder (March 30) brought to mind his statement on the caliber of movies being produced these days. "Audiences today prefer mindless violence to solid plotting, four-letter words to intelligent dialogue, pectoral development to character building," he said.

Movie producers are nurturing these attitudes in our young people. Movies and TV programs have reached an all-time low, and it's time for the industry to take responsibility and raise its sights. For the past 10 years, their message has been that violence is the answer to disagreement and that indiscriminate sex brings happiness.



Letters received in past week: 148

Letters published: 61

What's on readers' minds: Palestinian-Israeli violence in the Middle East dominated Mailbag flow during the past week. We received 29 letters on the Middle East, nine of them in response to a March 23 letter from Jordan Blumberg-Enge. We also received nine letters on the West Eugene Parkway and eight on the recent elections mix-up involving Eugene City Council candidates.

- The Register-Guard


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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Apr 6, 2002
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