House Democrats; Student Assignment Policy; More on SEIU-UHW; Obama’s Religious Faith …

by on August 27, 2010

To the Editor:

I don’t disagree with your analysis that losses by “anti-progressive” Democrats in Congress would make a leaner/meaner and more ideologically coherent caucus. But the statement , “especially in conservative areas such as the Deep South, where Democratic congressional candidates made considerable inroads in 2006 and 2008″ is not exactly incorrect. I read the emphasis on *conservative,* not *Deep South.* The fact is that Dems occupy more than 40 districts carried by John McCain, and have seen a massive deterioration of their position from their apex. That they’re going to get whooped this year is unquestionable, the only question is whether it’ll be bad enough to lose the house.

Alex Lantsberg
San Francisco

To the Editor:

Thank you, Lisa Schiff, for your time in writing this article. I was happy to see in your conclusion the truth of the matter which is “Despite the remaining uncertainties in the student assignment system, we can be sure of one thing: all families want their children to go to a school they feel confident in. Regardless of where a family lives, their background or what level of schooling the child is entering into, the desire for a good education for our kids is more or less a shared, fundamental value.” If the Board of Education focused on the quality of education, the rest will take care of itself. Since we don’t fire the underperformers they have what you would call a default school they will end up, in and we know where those school are. It’s SF version of NY Rubber Room called the Southeast.

Omar Khalif
San Francisco

To the Editor:

Yet another social engineering experiment. While I fully understand what the SFBOE is trying to do, it will fail just like all the other programs have. Which is not to say that they should not at least try, they should. The basic fundamental problem is that if you have a school full of kids that want to learn, see value in education and apply themselves they will learn. It will be a curve to be certain, but generally the vast majority of kids will do well and if you have the opposite expect the opposite result.

The chances of an opposite result has very little to do with teachers, administrators or school boards. It has to do with parents, and that is where the buck stops. If a child is raised with the notion that education IS the magic bullet that respect for those who provide is something that is paramount, then the chances of a positive result go up by orders of magnitude. It is time that we stop giving 3rd, 4th and 5th chances to disruptive, disrespectful and violent students. If they have problems no matter what the source, they need help and that can be part of the social safety net. But we cannot have them in our schools, because it simply ruins things for those students who are there to learn.

Bill Sappington
Oakland, CA

To the Editor:

Thank you for exposing the newest (and most obscene) corruption of SEIU-UHW. This latest manifestation of corporate unionism at its worst is no accident. It is a continuation of Andy Stern’s philosophy of collaboration with employers instead of workers. In the case of Sutter Health it is particularly despicable, in that this is the most viciously anti-worker and anti-union employer in the health sector. That SEIU would give Sutter such a public lap dance is a disgraceful indicator of SEIU’s weakness and lack of support among health care workers.

The SEIU leaders who are carrying out this outrageous betrayal will go down in history as class traitors and scoundrels of the highest order. Their shame knows no bounds.

Charlie Ridgell
Oakland, CA

To the Editor:

Unfortunately, religion is enmeshed within us. We are in its net like a fallen gladiator on the verge to be speared to death. Prop 8, and the ferocity with which people, politicians, think tanks, have reacted to the Mosque in New York suffice to prove the malignancy of the tumor. Sports and religion are the opiate of the people, therefore the elite will use them to their at most advantage to keep the lid on. As Sartre put it in Huis Clos (No Exit).

Nafiss Griffis
San Francisco

To the Editor:

Re. “On Obama, Facts No Longer Matter” (BeyondChron, 8/23/2010), and “Christian or Muslim” (BeyondChron, 8/24/2010), concerning the recent Pew poll declaring that the percentage of Americans who believe that President Obama is a Muslim has increased to 18%. Consider these facts:

1. The American news media thrives on spinning and perpetuating the myths generated from such poll results – – especially if it is a slow “news day” and if disseminating those myths can sell newspapers and generate more business for online media.

2. Read and evaluate the wording of the survey questions contained in these polls. While the Pew Poll regards itself as reputable, and the American media considers it as such, the Pew Poll and other polls are oftentimes biased and skewed.

3. When someone states that she or he perceives President Obama as being a “Muslim” rather than a “Christian,” what does that indicate? Are there aspects of religious and racial bigotry, racial and ethnic hatred, and racism involved?

4. If any American disagrees with President Obama’s policy on a particular issue, say so clearly. Don’t be a coward by labeling him a “Muslim” or by perpetuating false myths. If any American doesn’t like the degree of melanin in President Obama’s skin color, say so. Don’t be a coward by hiding behind one’s religious or ethnic bigotry or hatred, or one’s racism.

5. The American people, and the world community, are fortunate to have President Obama in the White House. Regardless of our agreements or disagreements with any of President Obama’s policies, this fact is critical: President Obama’s innate brilliance and gifts are a rare commodity.


Anh Le
San Francisco

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