Krauthammer wrong on Republican record

Regarding Charles Krauthammer's Aug. 4 column, "GOP battles show natural tensions, not fracturing":

This column shows how thoroughly cracked his pot really is.

Krauthammer mentions only two issues, security and Obamacare. He should recall that Republicans were neither isolationist nor internationalist under George W. Bush. They and he were interventionists, waving the 9/11 flag for regime change. But there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, justice was at the bottom of a waterboard and GOP security measures included never closing Guantanamo Bay.

As opposed to Obamacare, the Republicans offer "Don't care."

How about the deficit? The Bush tax cuts supposed that government was taking too much of your money. Bill Clinton had a surplus, but Republicans said the economic growth spurred by the new tax cuts would help everyone. Instead, we saw wild speculation, unemployment and bubbles. The tax cuts for the wealthiest tended to go into government bonds, since the rich already had more money than they could spend. So the rich not only got the tax cut but also get continued interest on the money. Republicans: Fighting the deficit while creating it.

BOB FILIPCZAK

Linwood

Palio horse race

a dangerous idea

Regarding the June 24 story, "Assembly all in for Atlantic City race":

The story concerns an Italian-style horse race to be held on the beach in Atlantic City in October.

What is the matter with the people of Atlantic City? Will they do anything to draw people in?

In Italy, this type of race has been held twice a year for about 700 years. It is run on a dirt track through the tight confines of the city of Siena and is probably one of the most dangerous horse races in the world. And there are only 10 horses and riders involved. Just because it can be done, doesn't mean it should be done.

Unless horses are specifically trained to run in the deep, soft sand of the beach, this idea screams broken legs. With as many as 50 entries expected, this will be nothing but a free for all with injuries to horses and riders alike. Aren't we, as a nation, already doing enough to abuse our animals? How could the organizers of this event possibly say that this race could be run without danger to the horses or riders? Even in the controlled environment of the race track, horses and riders are often killed and injured. This whole idea just screams insanity to me.

As one online commentator said, "It would be as dangerous as staging the running of the bulls on the Boardwalk."

GINA C. MILLER

Sea Isle City

Common Core marks

takeover of education

Regarding the Aug. 13 column by Thomas J. Donohue and John Engler, "Common Core will help schools and the economy":

The writers paint a misleading picture. The Common Core State Standards represent a government and corporate takeover of education.

They claim CCSS were developed by the states. But the Gates Foundation put $30 million into developing CCSS. General Electric contributed $18 million.

David Coleman, who helped develop the standards, said "The GE Foundation is going deep in this work, and its commitment to improving public education for all students is exactly what it is going to take to seed real and lasting change, especially during these tough economic times." Coleman, of Student Achievement Partners, is aligning the SAT/ACT to the Common Core standards.

Curriculum experts have refused to validate these standards because they are mediocre.

The writers also claim there is bipartisan support for the CCSS. But in 2009, when Education Secretary Arne Duncan acquired $5 billion from the stimulus bill for education finance incentive grants, cash-strapped states were told they had to adopt CCSS to get a share of the money. That is when states, not school boards, began to align with this new federal program.

Common Core will bureaucratize education. It will create a central authority over our schools.

ROCHELLE PORTO

Philadelphia

We need new ideas

on keeping A.C. clean

The street I live on in Atlantic City is filthy, and I feel hopeless when I try to do anything about it.

I clean the area around my house, often even cleaning my neighbor's property, but I cannot figure out how to get my neighbors to clean up for themselves. I would love to approach them about the matter directly, but I do not have that kind of relationship with my neighbors.

As is the case in most Atlantic City neighborhoods, the residents in my neighborhood do not know each other very well. It is not for lack of desire; it is because we are afraid to open our houses and lives to our neighbors because that would make us more vulnerable. In what one ranking calls the ninth most dangerous city in America, we cannot afford to be vulnerable.

So how are we to move forward? It seems to me one way could be for the city to intervene. If the city could start inspecting and fining houses that don't comply with cleanliness standards, I believe residents would benefit from a higher quality environment and businesses would benefit from an improved city image in the public eye. Another intervention could be weekly or monthly cleanup days, in which the neighborhood comes together to tidy up its streets.

Am I the only person who believes this is a problem? Have others tried to do anything about this? Do you have any alternative ideas? Let's start a conversation and build some social capital.

HIPOLITO LLANGA

Atlantic City