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LETTERS: Duncan can’t quiet Common Core foes

To the editor:

In response to the article on Education Secretary Arne Duncan (“Duncan again slams those who oppose Common Core,” Monday Review-Journal), Mr. Duncan’s writing off of opposition to Common Core state standards as political silliness didn’t work. Throwing the tea party under the bus didn’t work. So now Mr. Duncan is bashing “white suburban moms.” Is it because he lacks the testosterone to verbally attack the fathers?

Or is it because Mr. Duncan is just table-pounding mad that America’s moms — of all ethnicities — have not only called “fail” on Common Core standards, but we are also quite possibly the only group left in America that has not been bought by Bill Gates’ money. Our children are not for sale, and no amount of verbal abuse from Mr. Duncan will change that.

Was Mr. Duncan’s remark — “white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were” — perhaps meant to insult us on some level? You bet our children are brilliant and funny and smart and sharp and thoughtful, and no arbitrary methodology of assessing or testing them will change that. Furthermore, shame on the mother who doesn’t think that about her child.

Mr. Duncan has just ensured the demise of his national education program and subsequent federal takeover. In one sentence, Mr. Duncan managed to rub an entire country of mothers the wrong way. I feel confident in saying that collectively, our No. 1 concern is that we keep our children out of harm’s way, and Mr. Duncan is harmful. He has been given a great deal of power, and his abuse of that power has been appalling. His refusal to admit that the standards may be flawed or may need to be revisited is the scary part of this entire scenario. One man, completely inflexible, should not be given this much power.

The standards have been in place in several states for more than two years. Mr. Duncan has heard from academics, professionals, superintendents and teachers, not to mention psychologists (several of whom are nonwhite moms), who have said the standards are lacking, inappropriate and overreaching at certain grades and, in general, will bring down the academic level of our teens graduating from high schools. However, instead of taking a look at the standards themselves and the less-than-qualified individuals who wrote them, Mr. Duncan chooses to lash out at anyone and anything in a pathetic attempt to keep us from focusing on the obvious.

No, Mr. Duncan, poking a stick at the mama lions was not your most brilliant move. Don’t bother with an apology, because you’ll never be heard over the deafening roar.



Is 80 percent enough?

To the editor:

The Obama administration says the Obamacare website will be considered working when it is able to process applications 80 percent of the time. Does that mean my taxes will be paid when my payments reach 80 percent of the amount owed?



Obamacare blame

To the editor:

More than three years after President Barack Obama signed into law the Affordable Care Act, confusion, disappointment and chaos continue to be associated with the law. Obamacare is still unpopular, as evidenced by recent polls. So, which politicians should we Nevadans blame for Obamacare?

Can we blame President Obama? Yes. The law is named after him, he proposed it, he campaigned on it, and he pushed Congress to pass the bill. Can we blame Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.? Yes. Reid is Senate majority leader, and no bill gets a vote without his authorization and approval. He fully supported Obamacare and guided it through Congress. Can we blame Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev.? Yes. Rep. Titus is on record for voting to pass the bill in 2010 when she represented the 3rd Congressional District, a position she lost in her re-election bid. Can we blame former Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev.? Yes. She is on record for voting for the bill. She is no longer a member of Congress.

Can we blame Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev.? No. When the ACA was moving through Congress, Heller was in the House of Representatives, and he voted against the bill. Can we blame Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev.? No. When the bill was passed into law, he was not a member of Congress.

No Republican member of Congress — either in the House of Representatives or in the Senate — voted in favor of the Affordable Care Act. Obamacare is a Democratic law. Only the Democrats supported, voted for and are in favor of keeping the law. Therefore, only the Democrats should have to pay the political price for not listening to the majority of Americans.

Remember that the next time you vote for someone to represent you in Congress or as president of the United States.



Casino recycling

To the editor:

As the big-name casino companies in Las Vegas begin to implement company-wide recycling programs, they are being chastised for participating solely for the profit. The competition began because of the profits and good image the casino companies stand to gain from their efforts, but at its base, the implementation of recycling programs was simply a great idea (Nov. 15 Review-Journal).

The programs will help reduce waste that the casinos already produce and reduce the amount of garbage going into landfills. The casino industry’s effort to recycle waste is a win-win situation that doesn’t warrant negative responses.



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