Student aid just another handout

To the editor:

In her recent letter, Aimee Riley, student body president of the College of Southern Nevada, appealed to Nevada Sens. Harry Reid and Dean Heller to not cut Pell Grants. In other words, she wants me to transfer some of my assets to her so she can achieve her dreams.

That's called wealth redistribution.

At 72, I did not manage to fulfill all of my dreams. Like President Obama, I, too, experienced some bumps in the road -- such as World War II and poverty-stricken parents. Starting with a full-time job at age 14, then immigrating at 18, I worked my way out of the ghetto and retired after 56 years of hard work.

So who is Ms. Riley, demanding that I spend my retirement money on her dream?

This country provides unlimited opportunities to those with ambition and a willingness to work. So go for it. If you are truly among our best and brightest, you will succeed without government handouts. If you can't, you don't deserve it.



GOP extreme

To the editor:

In Congress, Republicans are pushing their radical agenda against Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid under the guise of fighting for deficit reduction. Their goal is to slash benefits, raise the retirement age and move toward the eventual privatization of a program which has, for 75 years, successfully helped many millions of elderly Americans retire with dignity.

At a time when the United States has the most unequal distribution of income and wealth of any major country, extremist Republicans in Congress want more tax breaks for billionaires, businesses and corporations while they balance the budget on the backs of low-income workers and American families who struggle to survive with the high cost of basic necessities, food, rent and medical care.

American workers pay into Social Security and Medicare every pay period during their working years with the expectation that their government will make good on its promise to provide guaranteed monthly benefit checks and medical care during their retirement years.

Extremist Republicans are ready to turn the "tea party" dream into reality in the 2012 presidential election to continue the attacks on low-income Americans, the middle class and organized labor.



Blame the doctors

To the editor:

A Tuesday Review-Journal article reported that about a quarter of Nevada kindergartners are obese.

When will our governor and his chum, Michelle Rhee, who call for teachers to be evaluated poorly, fired or have their pay reduced when students don't perform well on tests, support health care reform? When will they demand that pediatricians be held accountable and be paid based on patients' health status, including childhood obesity?

Betty Buehler

Las Vegas

Dumb jurors

To the editor:

On the Casey Anthony verdict:

Once again, America couldn't find 12 people who understood the meaning of the phrase "reasonable doubt." A result of the dumbing down of America.

God help us.



Cheating teachers

To the editor:

A note to the Clark County School District, the Nevada Legislature and to Gov. Brian Sandoval:

The cheating scandal in Atlanta has now proved what Clark County School District teachers have stated since the onset of evaluating teachers on test scores. You want great test scores, but teachers want their jobs. Back them up against a block wall and see what you get.

Atlanta has proved that when self-preservation sets in, it's no holds barred. Skewing the testing norms will occur as people will want to reach for that brass ring, just like they did in Atlanta.

Those in Atlanta just got caught. But how many others will slip through the cracks?

If this is what the school district has demanded, along with the Legislature and Gov. Sandoval, they had better be able to pay for the consequences.

Clark County teachers by far are an honest lot and deeply concerned about our children's education. There are none better to speak of. History, however, will repeat itself. What played out in Atlanta recently will play out here.

Caring, devoted and highly educated teachers assigned to at-risk schools will suffer the most because their students are not on the same playing field as Cadillac schools -- and they do exist in Clark County. At-risk students will not fare well -- this is a cold, hard fact. Do we punish the teacher for the children being in a multi-language school and not understanding or being able to comprehend instructions? Under the new law, yes we will.

I miss common sense most of all, and I fret that "The Teacher From the Black Lagoon" will appear in my granddaughter's classroom. How sad, what the Clark County School District has become.

But let's keep those great test scores coming, folks.

Kim L. Chesley

Las Vegas

The writer is a retired 38-year educator.

Fallen Rebel

To the editor:

In response to Thursday's coverage of the death of former UNLV basketball star Armon Gilliam:

Armon Gilliam wasn't a good guy. He was a great guy.

It is sometimes easy for the athletes of today to treat their coaches, administration and fellow players well. But the true character of the person comes out when he treats everyone the same.

I was an athletic training student during those years at UNLV with those Runnin' Rebels. Mr. Gilliam was always nice and sincere when speaking to me. Always a kind word, even asked about my mom, who was the biggest fan.

Did he have to do it? No, he did not, but that was not Mr. Gilliam.

He was special, and we are all better for knowing him and having him be a part of our lives.

Patrick Ballinger

Las Vegas