Independents must look to Democrats
TO THE EDITOR:
Regarding Ron Wynn's July 14 commentary, "Democrats finally take off kid gloves against Bush", many of us who opposed the Iraq war are grateful (and surprised) that there is at least one Democratic candidate that is willing to take an uncompromising position against the president.
The Democrats are slowly realizing that the candidate who opposes Bush next year is in for an all-out political bloodbath. The Bush Corporation will use any and all means at its disposal to discredit, malign and neutralize its opposition, no doubt playing the "unpatriotic" card every chance it gets. Any Democratic candidate who cannot take the fight to the White House is guaranteed not only to lose the election but also to do so in disgrace and perpetuate the stereotype of Democrats as unorganized, spineless and ideologically incoherent.
Many independent voters such as myself who are stunned at Bush's contempt for life, liberty, accountability and international diplomacy are forced to look to the Democrats in 2004 to speak up for these values on our behalf. The Democrats must, as the Republicans have done so successfully, clearly and simply define their message for the U.S. people. They cannot afford to wait any longer - our national security, self-image, and economic recovery hang in the balance.
Get government out of education
TO THE EDITOR:
There should be no public schools. Government should have nothing to do with educating children. All schools should be privately owned and managed without tax money. Public education is poor education, expensive education, and inevitably involves indoctrination in ideas the government wants to push. But if there are to be public schools, they should follow certain principles, which should eliminate racial issues.
Parents should be able to choose the schools their children attend. Preference should be given to children who live near a school. Freedom of choice is the correct policy. If black parents want their kids to attend predominantly black schools in their neighborhood, so be it.
To encourage selection of neighborhood schools, the school system should aim at equalizing all schools. The physical plant, the faculty, the curricula, the activities, etc., should be comparable from one school to another. Parents should not tolerate a situation in which one elementary school is new, while another has a leaking roof, peeling walls and broken toilets. Administrators should aim at having equally competent and motivated faculty at all schools.
Extracurricular activities should be eliminated. Schools should concentrate on education, not on athletics and social activities. Field trips having little or no educational value should be banned.
Students should be coached on how to think critically, how to express themselves intelligently in correct English, and how to write good grammatical prose. I suspect that many schools have never attempted to do these fundamental jobs or accomplish little in these areas. It is disgraceful for taxpayers to be forced to pay thousands of dollars per student per year to produce graduates who cannot think, cannot speak or write good English, and who know nothing about U.S. history, government and culture - children who are uneducated despite their diplomas.
Americans have made a poor bargain with public schools. In return for free education and free supervision of children - paid for with money taken by force - we have gotten a bureaucratic, incompetent system that wastes the time of children and the earnings of working people. If we must continue public schooling, it must be radically reformed.
I don't doubt that the ranks of public school teachers include intelligent, knowledgeable, hard-working individuals, but they are drowning in a bad system based on bad ideas.
Osama, Saddam: members of 'mob'
TO THE EDITOR:
Let me explain the linkage between the Taliban, Iraq, Iran, North Korea and others. The United States has already experienced what we are facing today with the war on terrorism. We have been waging a war on "organized crime" for decades.
Remember the "mob"? That war continues today with new Mexican and Russian gangs operating on U.S. soil. On the day after Sept. 11, 2001, President Bush told the nation and the world that he had declared war on all terror. All nations that harbor, support, fund or provide aid to terrorists were put on notice. The U.S. people overwhelmingly supported him. There was nary a peep from anyone.
Organized crime is composed of many different gangs, some of whom hate and kill each other. Many of them have no ties, but they are all part of organized crime. That is the connection between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. They are the Al Capones and "Bugs" Morans of organized terrorism. Now does everyone get it? The president is only doing what he said.
So stop all the obvious political and personal attacks on our leaders.