Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for Feb. 25

Toughness won’t fix education problems

Oh, goody, goody! Once again, the politicians and businessmen (Washington and Sotelo) are going to heal American education by getting tough on it. We even have a wonderful new motto: “Race to the Top.”

Boy, that’ll fix it!

American public education suffers from a zillion woes, which many critics have analyzed, but no one seems to read or act upon their analyses. Among the problems:

American children have had their minds warped and brains damaged by years of television, video games, computers, and lack of stimulating verbal exchanges with adults. (Read Jane Healy and Todd Oppenheimer.)

Too many children, especially those from poverty-ridden minority societies, are ill-prepared for learning because they have not been taught by their parents during the critical preschool years.

The entire American public school system, which Charles J. Sykes calls, “The Blob,” is a monolithic, inbred, self-serving mediocrity from education colleges through state bureaucracies to district bureaucracies. (Read Martin L. Gross, too.)

Educationists fall in love with insane, worthless methods, such as constructivist methods of teaching math, which violate neuropsychological principles. (Read Bernard Baars and E. D. Hirsch, Jr.)

And the list goes on.

American schools range from lousy to mediocre because of fundamental problems with American society and culture, and no amount of money or political toughness is going to change that. The entire system needs a comprehensive remodeling, but the prospects for change are depressing.

BURTON S. GUTTMAN, Olympia

Fear the Fairness Doctrine

Freedom of thought and freedom of speech, both pretty basic tenants to our American way of life, right? Now, go and Google “The Fairness Doctrine.”

If this piece of legislation doesn’t rock you to the core about government intrusion into our daily lives, then I don’t know what will.

In a nutshell, the Fairness Doctrine tells radio stations what views to express. If your market is dominated by liberal talk radio, the Fairness Doctrine mandates that you give equal time to the opposite view on your station. Sounds tame enough, but not if you really start thinking about it.

With newspapers, radio, TV and the Internet, you have endless choices where you can get your news from. If you don’t like a certain station’s political views, change to a different station, it’s that simple.

The government needs to back off and let us, “We the People,” decide what our radio stations talk about based on our input via ratings, not an FCC mandate.

What’s next, mandating “equal time” views in your place of worship? Your government would never go that far — or would they?

MIKE KERANS, Olympia

Help women bring child into this world

It is despicable to me that pro-life people fill Olympia sidewalks with hatred, every week — most recently with a sign reading, “It’s easy to be pro-choice when you’re not the one being killed.”

The sign was held by a man who doesn’t have a clue what it’s like to be pregnant and unsure if you are ready and capable of parenting. I’m sick to death of passing those outrageous signs and depictions of fetuses. Shame on them!

Planned Parenthood has helped millions of women and men think through the very difficult, serious decision about whether to bring a pregnancy to term. While I agree that fetuses are alive, and become human sooner than we used to realize, assaulting the public with horrifying, grotesque images and disrespectful signs would never encourage me to keep my pregnancy.

Good help raising my children, job prospects beyond McDonald’s, and affordable health care would. If you really want to help people, lobby for things that would actually give pregnant women incentive to bring children into this world.

JANET BRODSKY, Olympia

Blame MMR vaccine for autism epidemic

I am in support of the research done by Dr. Andrew Wakefield in 1996 as a surgeon/gastroenterologist in London.

As parents with their autistic children came to him, he found:

 • The autistic child had normal early development.

 • Regression to autism came after the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine.

 • Recurrent infections.

 • Neurological symptoms of brain toxicity.

 • Bleeding within the colon as a response to the measles virus.

 • Immune deficiency/autoimmunity.

John O’Leary, PhD., a molecular biologist from Dublin, confirmed the Wakefield studies with his TAQMAN sequencing technology. In almost every autistic gut they found measles viruses from the MMR shot.

Further confirmation of Dr. Wakefield’s work comes from V. Uhlmann in his article “Potential viral pathogenic mechanisms for new variant inflammatory bowel disease.” Molecular Pathology, Vol. 55 (2): 84-90, April 2002.

Autism incidence exploded upward after MMR was introduced in the United States in 1978 and in the United Kingdom in 1988.

Jeff Bradstreet, MD., has hypothesized that perhaps some autistic children lack the ability to clear the vaccine strain from the measles virus and this is a cause of their symptoms.

V. Singh, PhD., a specialist from Utah who has studied hundreds of cases of autism, found that these children had an autoimmune episode in which their own body was attacking the lining of their nervous system — myelin. Dr. Singh characterized the autism epidemic as hyperimmune response to the measles virus.

ANN CLIFTON, Olympia

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