Letters to the editor on Benghazi, soda, standardized tests, women voters, beggars, smile kits

11/28/2012 12:00 AM

11/27/2012 5:17 PM

Where was GOP uproar over Powell?

I’ve read and heard a lot of uproar from the far right about Benghazi. Specifically, Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is getting blasted for her “talking points” about the attack, even though it has been revealed that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence cut specific references to al-Qaida and terrorism from the unclassified talking points given to Rice – with the agreement of the CIA and FBI (Nov. 21 Eagle). The White House or State Department did not make those changes.

My question is: Where was the outcry from the far right when then-Secretary of State Colin Powell gave a speech to the United Nations in 2003 with known faulty intelligence? The results: a war in Iraq based on known faulty intelligence, and more than 4,000 U.S. casualties.

The problem is that each side is willing to blast the other side, but almost never willing to admit its own mistakes. The sooner the extremists on each side realize the double standards and general deceit that occur within their party, the sooner they will see the big picture from an independent point of view.



Cut back on soda

The obesity epidemic is serious and costly. In 2008, the medical costs of obesity in the United States totaled $147 billion, not including the lost productivity of illness. Here’s just one example: In a recent study of more than 100,000 men and women followed for 22 years, those who drank sugar-sweetened drinks were as much as 23 percent more likely to develop diabetes than those who didn’t.

Overall, obesity is an expensive flood that requires not just one solution or sandbag. Cutting back on the 7 percent of calories from soft drinks is one such sandbag against the flood (“Don’t blame soda,” Nov. 26 Letters to the Editor). Soft drinks do not carry other nutrients, just empty calories. Even “vitamin water” and “energy drinks” gush calories without necessary nutrients.

Why incur the expense of soft drinks, whether short term or long term, personally or for our great nation?



Limits to tests

The testing and measurement movement in education has been in vogue for several decades. But there are a plethora of goals that students should attain that are very difficult to measure by using paper and pencil tests.

Many teachers use small-group work in the classroom to assist students in social development. They observe, for example, if learners are respecting the ideas of group members. Assistance must be given by the teacher, as well as students, to facilitate cooperation.

Tests also are weak in measuring creativity within learners. With students being drilled in doing well on standardized tests, much time is spent on rote learning and memorization. This is opposite of creative endeavors. Time during the school day must be given to creativity as an objective for students to achieve. This can be done by integrating creativity into many ongoing activities, such as in discussions in social studies, with students being challenged to come up with new ideas.


North Newton

Back to Eden

The election of 2012 set all mankind, male and female, back into the Garden of Eden.

Just as Eve led Adam to disobey God’s word, women on Election Day decided their needs and their bodies were more important than God’s word. They believe their willpower is stronger than God’s will, and they asserted their words and will upon all other voters and Christians everywhere.

They not only took a bite from the apple; they destroyed the seeds that produce more apples and plowed up and destroyed all the seedlings the seeds have produced.

May the Lord forgive them the wrong they did to all the world on Election Day.

If Christians (Catholic or Protestant, male or female) had stood up and voted for our Christian values in obedience to God’s word, we could have changed the election, regardless of all the Eves in God’s garden/kingdom/church.

May the Lord forgive us the wrong we did to all the world on Election Day.



Apply for a job

I can relate to “Stop begging” (Oct. 13 Letters to the Editor). I regularly see begging (bumming) for cigarettes and money, or God knows whatever, at the downtown Transit Center. To the beggars: I am not a cigarette factory, nor am I an ATM. Get on a bus and go apply for a job.



Stocking smiles

Although fluoridation didn’t pass, alternative paths can reach, teach and treat children’s teeth.

Christmas is coming. Pinched parents could add 6-ounce fluoridated toothpaste tubes and toothbrushes to Christmas stockings. Or the entire stocking could be filled with these items and a picture of a smiling Santa. These are priceless gifts at less than the cost of many toys.

Smile kits also could be part of charities’ Christmas toy giveaways, and added to mall wish-making tree gifts or motorcycle toy runs. They also could be included in weekend food backpacks and offered at schools’ free summertime lunches.



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