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Letters to the editor

July 17, 2009

If you were a terrorist, who would you want in power?



To the editor:

Well, the Democratic congressional leadership is at it again.

According to a July 12 story in the New York Times ("Obama Faces a New Push to Look Back" by Scott Shane), they're again pressuring Obama and his henchmen into investigating secret special ops efforts, initiated by Dick Cheney, to hunt down and kill top al-Qaida leaders right after Sept. 11.

Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. also is supposedly close to assigning a special persecutor to investigate "whether prisoners in the campaign against terrorism were tortured ..." Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who is the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, called this a "big problem." Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., agreed the secrecy "could be illegal" and demanded an inquiry.

Imagine! The nation's leaders just after Sept. 11 might have actually been attempting to deal with those terrorist mass murderers in an effective, yet, perish the thought, secret manner. Now, the Democrats want to prosecute them and presumably punish them for doing it. This is absurd. In fact, it's worse than absurd - it's nauseating.

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I doubt anyone after Sept. 11 would have had any problem with any of these efforts to defend us. That is, with the probable exception of this assembly of Democratic Party leftists who are running our country (into the ground). I have a feeling this push to persecute has more to do with Nancy Pelosi's struggle to justify her recent anti-CIA efforts than any moral considerations she or the Democrats might have regarding these issues.

I'm almost certain, if al-Qaida could, with complete anonymity, donate large sums of money to the Democratic Party to help ensure their continued empowerment, they would jump at the chance. The "they" and "their" in that statement could refer equally to the terrorists and the Democratic leadership.

If you were Osama bin Laden, who would you rather have leading the United States - Barack Obama coupled with this 111th Congress or Dick Cheney and a non-Pelosi-like Congress? If you were a terrorist leader, would you rather have in power people who initiate secret special ops activities to kill you and destroy your terrorist organization or people who would seek to jail anyone who would do so?

Doug Harp
Greencastle, Pa.




How good are Washington County's high schools?



To the editor:

How good is public high school education in Washington County? I could ask the school administrators or I could read one newspaper story and two reports. The newspaper story is on the front page of the July 12 edition of The (Baltimore) Sun and is headlined "Student math doesn't add up." This short story mentions one 72-page report published by The Abdell Foundation in April titled "Doing the Math."

The Abdell Foundation report mentions a 37-page report by the Maryland Higher Education Commission dated March 2009. The Maryland report is titled "Student Outcome and Achievement Report (SOAR) College Performance of New Maryland High School Graduates."

I learned in Maryland's public high schools, core students might be thought of as students taking college preparatory courses including Advanced Placement courses. Noncore students include all other high school students.

Many recent Washington County graduates who were considered core students and who attended colleges and universities in Maryland needed to take remedial courses in college before they could take the college courses that counted toward their graduation requirements. In math, 31 percent of them needed remediation; in English, 26 percent needed remediation; and in reading, 16 percent needed remediation.

The results were predictably worse for the noncore students. In math, 42 percent of them needed remediation; in English, 30 percent needed remediation; and in reading, 23 percent needed remediation.

If I apply the selective use of statistics (as WCPS loves to do), I will select Dorchester County's core students and St. Mary's County's noncore students for comparison purposes. For Dorchester County's core students, in math, only 9 percent needed remediation; in English, only 4 percent needed remediation; and in reading, only 9 percent needed remediation. For St. Mary's County's noncore students, in math, only 21 percent needed remediation; in English, only 22 percent needed remediation; and in reading, only 13 percent needed remediation.

How good is public high school education in Washington County? You could ask the school administrators or you could read one newspaper story and two reports.

Daniel Moeller
Rohrersville




Wallace McClure demonstrates arts will survive to the end



To the editor:

There is one indisputable fact - there are so many things evil, scary in this world. Many Americans, and people around the globe, are simply not doing their job.

There is another indisputable fact - only the arts will survive eons from now or until the Earth ends.

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