Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 9/20

Outrage and silence

Not surprisingly, most Republicans don’t think the Iraq war was an overreaction to Sept. 11. Recently, I spoke with Dr. John Clements, who went to Iraq to find WMDs. He instead found a rusted weapons infrastructure, untouched and inoperable for over a decade (probably since the 1980s; despite Saddam’s use of chemical weapons, the Reagan administration still supported him against Iran).

According to Dr. Clements, Iraqis sold gullible CIA agents (eager to please Bush) bath beads, etc. labeled as the chemical weapon “sarin.” He followed countless false leads by “Curve Ball,” who was paid millions as Dick Cheney’s “informant.” Cheney’s Iraq/al-Qaida link proved false, and Hussein’s “nuclear program” was little more than empty posturing by a paranoid dictator.

However, Colin Powell’s 2003 speech to Congress (which he now regrets) and Condoleezza Rice’s “mushroom cloud” speech stimulated popular and congressional support for the war. Bush confirmed the lies with his “hilarious” speech at the 2004 White House Correspondents dinner.

What does it say about Republicans that they are “outraged” at Obama’s $800 billion stimulus for America (one-third of which was tax cuts) but are silent about their bloody, trillion-dollar war?

Pat M. Fidopiastis

San Luis Obispo

Backward logic

I am an avid student who enjoys learning, and not just material that we will be tested on in standardized tests. In 2001, the No Child Left Behind Act was implemented, and it is a shock that it has not been repealed.

The law was enacted to improve every child’s math and reading score to be at grade level. For the government to encourage schools to improve their teaching of math and reading is one thing, but to have the results for standardized tests determine schools’ funding is irrational and illogical.

NCLB causes the curriculum to be designed to match material on standardized tests, so the school gets more money. Unfortunately, now the education system is less about expanding the minds of the young and more about getting money.

The backward logic of NCLB is this: There is a correlation between the amount of money a public school is given and the quality of teaching the students receive. Therefore, limiting funding to poor schools with low scores and expecting higher test scores in the future is completely irrational.

I think that the No Child Left Behind Act is ironically named, for it only limits children’s unyielding creativity, and should be repealed immediately.

Ilona Istenes


Missing information

In Bob Cuddy’s article about my possible candidacy for supervisor for the 3rd District (Sept. 16), he stated that I “endorsed conservative Mike Zimmerman,” a Republican, for supervisor of the 4th District in 2010, which is true.

However, Cuddy failed to mention that I had endorsed Jim Guthrie, a Democrat, before the primary election.The implication in the story that I base my endorsements solely on party affiliation is just not true.

Ed Waage

Pismo Beach