Letters to the Editor

Posted: August 27, 2012

Democrats say wrong things, too

Your editorial Wednesday ("Will comments define GOP?") asked whether Missouri Republican U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin's controversial comments about rape would define the GOP.

I don't know, should Joe Biden's comment about putting "y'all back in chains" define the Democatic Party? Should Harry Reid's comment to schoolchildren that "this president [George W. Bush] is a loser" define Democrats? How's that for civil discourse!

Maybe we should define Democrats with this gem: Speaking to a NASA official about a satellite being sent to Mars, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee asked if the unmanned rover would pass the spot where American astronauts left the flag. How about defining the Democrats with any vapid thing that comes out of Nancy Pelosi's mouth?

Akin didn't do anything illegal. He didn't have stacks of ill-gotten money stuffed in his freezer like a certain former Democratic congressman, or lie before a judge while attempting to prevent an American citizen from having her day in court like a certain president did, who is a hero to the Democratic Party and the Inquirer Editorial Board, along with the entire national press. And wasn't it just four years ago that the press was shouting in unison that the Clintons were racists? Funny, strange, weird, but that's the Democats for you.

Akin said something that was ignorant and probably fatal to his chances of ever being a U.S. senator, but if we were playing on a level field, there would be plenty of ignorant, stupid, racist, misogynist things said by Democrats that, if reported with as much emphasis as this has, could have been used to define them too.

Fran Steffler, Philadelphia, fsteffler@aol.com

Ryan budget bad for poor people

In Wednesday's article, "Ryan stresses economy in Pa. visit," Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan was quoted as saying a Romney administration would produce an "opportunity society" with "upward mobility." What Ryan doesn't say is that his (and Mitt Romney's) budget would provide opportunity for those already on top in terms of family income, education, health care, etc.

What Ryan doesn't tell you is that his budget would cut billions for the poor and less fortunate who rely on food stamps to supplement low incomes. He also would cut millions of people from Medicaid and reduce funding for Pell Grants, which enable low-income students to go to college, thereby decreasing poor people's upward mobility.

Statistically, a country is more prosperous when all of its citizens, not just a few, have the support they need to truly have equality of opportunity and upward mobility.

Chris Rafalko, Cherry Hill

Factory-model education doesn't work

The war on teachers continues unabated ("The injustice schools ignore," Wednesday). While school administrations are increasingly limited in their ability to remove recalcitrant and behaviorally challenged students from mainstream classrooms, and parents are increasingly burdened with multiple jobs in broken families in order to make ends meet in a recession economy, teachers are increasingly accountable for the resulting academic failure.

The classroom academic model is increasingly unsuited for the electronic environment in which most students grow up. The classroom without physical education, arts enrichment, music performance, or scientific hands-on inquiry, has failed to account for the physical and emotional needs of children to move and feel.

We are moving our schools precisely in the wrong direction. The children know it, and are increasingly hostile to those intent on enforcing their unnatural confinement. An alternative to our current factory model of education would require more spaces for recreation, movement, and exploration; more teachers, aides, electronic tools, and venues; and more flexible arrangements for teachers to supervise and relate to their students.

Ben Burrows, Elkins Park

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