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Issue: "Muddy Gras," March 4, 2006

Backlashes

The Conservatives still control only slightly more than a third of the Canadian Parliament ("Left & right," Feb. 4), so they'll have to make more compromises than they'd like, but it will still be a good change from the corrupt Paul Martin and his Liberal Party loonies. Now Canada can return to its status as an ally and member of the West in foreign-policy dealings. Another thought: Might the strong focus on and backlash against the corruption of the governing party foreshadow what may happen to Republicans in '06 or '08?
-Joseph Allen; Herndon, Va.

Testing, testing

Joel Belz's column ("A real test," Feb. 4) illustrated what many of us already knew: Today's public-school standards are lower than they once were. More money is (as Mr. Belz noted) not the answer. Expecting good results while teaching the same humanistic, evolutionary, nonbiblical concepts is denying reality. Christians spend far too much time concerned with the plight of the government schools. It's time to separate.
-Greg Wallace; Moweaqua, Ill.

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As a public-high-school teacher I was disappointed by "A real test." In 1924 student achievement was measured by rote memory and the ability to repeat lectures. None of the prompts listed on this test challenged students to demonstrate skills such as reading comprehension or personal connection to the subject, only two of many skills currently taught in our public schools. Please do not compare our education system to one that is clearly outdated.
-Maeve Roach; St. Peters, Mo.

Slanted readers

It would be nice if journalists at newspapers and other news sources could tell us what their slants are, but some don't want to admit bias exists and, in any case, I'm not sure that's something that can be easily defined from the inside ("Paper-thin argument," Feb. 4). The "slant" is likely to look different to each reader, depending on his or her own view of things.
-Gene Yow; Wenatchee, Wash.

Marvin Olasky described the benefits of the vast variety of news available on the internet, and comparing various views on a given subject is an excellent thing. Sadly, many peruse the flood of perspectives to find "what their itching ears want to hear." Then they exclaim, "Look, it is true!"
-Bill Brown; Golden Valley, Minn.

Be warned

Ralph Reed is deeply compromised by the Abramoff scandal ("Focus on the finances," Feb. 4). His behavior is a warning to all Christians who would get involved in politics.
-Randall Van Meter; New Brighton, Minn.

In 2001 I worked to close a casino in El Paso that grossed $60 million a year in flagrant violation of the law. We mailed direct-mail letters and aired radio ads opposing illegal casinos. Texas law makes clear that no one is required to register as a lobbyist "if no more than 5 percent of the person's compensated time during a calendar quarter" is spent in direct lobbying (Texas Code, Title 1 34.43.b). Your report failed to describe the requirements of the law.
-Ralph Reed; Duluth, Ga.

Focus on the Family enters the sad Abramoff story only because we fought the same casino at the same time. We did it because gambling hurts families-and, as always, we used our own money. Our trusted Louisiana allies, Tony Perkins and Gene Mills, alerted us to this fight, not Mr. Abramoff or Mr. Reed.
-Tom Minnery, Focus on the Family; Colorado Springs, Colo.

Don't despair

Gene Edward Veith's analysis is usually right on, but I think he missed the point of Gonzales v. Oregon ("Life-changing decisions," Feb. 4). The Supreme Court's ruling wasn't about federalism or a constitutional right to life. Instead, it was a case of statutory interpretation: The Court ruled that when Congress wrote the federal drug law, it did not give the executive branch authority to prohibit the use of controlled drugs to assist suicide. That interpretation of the statute may have been wrong (Justices Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas thought it was), but it is in any event easily fixable by amending the statute. There is still an anti-life majority on the Supreme Court, but this is a minor decision and no cause for despair.
-Bradley P. Jacob; Virginia Beach, Va.

Face place

Thanks for running the Facebook article ("Peer review," Feb. 4). I have had ambivalent feelings about my college daughter's participation with this site. She teasingly has yet to show me her posting. The good news is the site allowed her to reconnect with a college cousin a continent away.
-Cindy Boyll; Cincinnati, Ohio

As a teen, I see no reason to bash a website where kids can have a place to meet others in the same situation. I am sure that Facebook is governed by someone. Sometimes adults seem to like to suck the fun out of everything.
-Josh Sullivan, 17; Vergennes, Vt.

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