Beg to differ

To the Editor,

This letter is directed to David Ignatius in rebuttal to the Jan. 22 opinion on “Conspiracy theories shot down.”

I read your article about the bipartisan Benghazi report and felt I had to voice my opinion so I responded to specific paragraphs in turn:

Paragraph 1: The Republicans in Congress did not waste a year arguing about anything. Indeed, they spent that year trying to untangle all the stories that were told to the American people by President Obama, Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton and most of the mainstream media. Digging out the truth from this administration is not a “phony” issue.

Paragraph 2: Although digging out the truth is not a phony issue, it is a very tough job because Rep. Darrell Issa and Sen. Lindsey Graham were stonewalled at every turn. The Obama administration knew within minutes the attack was carried out by terrorists and yet they lied for over two weeks saying it was a demonstration gone wrong. U.S. Gen. Carter Ham (at this time head of AFRICOM) himself, stated within 15 minutes that it was clear that it was a terrorist attack. The “Accountability Review Board” had no integrity because Under Sec. Kennedy supervised the selection of the Benghazi ARB staff and the State Department itself appointed four of the five members of the board. Also, Hillary Clinton and Cheryl Mills were given a heads up by retired Adm. Mike Mullen prior to her interview with Cheryl Lamb. I do not consider these actions on the “up and up.” Sounds more like a cover up.

Paragraph 3: You really should refrain from using the word jihad when referring to any group of citizens in America … It is not a word to describe Republicans or Democrats or conservatives or liberals. It is a word used to describe terrorists' murderous agenda against free people.

Paragraph 5: I must ask why there were no U.S. Military forces available to protect and/or rescue our brave men who were working for our State Dept. under Sec. of State Hillary Clinton? It seems no one in this administration knows that answer or is willing to take responsibility for that situation. Here is a zinger for you … a true zinger … President Obama and Hillary Clinton could not possibly let it be known by the world that there are still terrorists alive and well planning jihad against the free world. After all, he (Obama) had killed the core terrorists and saved the world. Talk about spin … there’s your spin, and what a dangerous spin it is! On Sept. 25, 2012, Obama gave a speech at the U.N. Assembly and blamed the Benghazi terrorist attack on a crude, disgusting video. That was not only a spin but a lie and it was a full two weeks after he knew the truth.

Paragraph 7: I consider your conspiracy theories tirade against Republicans offensive to say the least. The erroneous speculation was injected by President Obama, Susan Rice and Sec. of State Hillary Clinton when they publicly told their story about the crude and disgusting video. Sometimes it becomes necessary for someone to stand up, be brave and try to uncover the truth in all the muddled cover up and lies that have been prominent in this administration.

Paragraph 9: As far as I have learned so far, they have not discovered where the errant talking points originated. Perhaps a comprehensive and credible investigation should have been done before the administration spewed its own spin on the matter. As for the inadequate security problem at the embassy and surrounding compound, that was due to the failure of this administration to provide adequate security, a finger should be pointed directly at Hillary Clinton, never to Ambassador Christopher Stevens as he was very active in requesting more security.

Jane Rowe


Education today

To the Editor,

Hats off to Mr. McGinnis! He is correct. For too long our local schools have been on this child-abusive path of non-stop test preparation.

But, hey, you don't have to take my word for it. Do as I do with my nieces/nephews. Talk to a kid for five minutes about school and you'll learn that he/she is overwhelmed by the work of school and underwhelmed by the idea of learning.

The younger ones spend their days on forgettable packets. They are constantly arranged and re-arranged into test score groups to customize their packets (remember Dante's Inferno, anyone?). It's all about one size fits all test preparation. Hey, if Johnny can't sit still for hours of remediation, maybe a little Ritalin will help?!

The older ones, by the way, are programmed to call their non-stop-test-prep "proficiencies" (a word my spell checker also does not understand). No wonder, these children have little enthusiasm for school or, worse ... learning!

Kids hardly ever do art, a play, sing a song, listen to rhymes, go on field trips, or write poetry. Science, the arts, listening to a good story, hands-on learning, reading for pleasure, Forestry, wood shop, metal shop, home-economics and so many other valuable activities do not exist.

. Kindergarten has no play centers or nap time; it’s now the land of work packets and pre-algebra!

Why? It's all about what is/is not on the test. And the teachers?

Sorry, but they are directed to be obedient cogs in this giant, test-prep machine ... or else.

Yes, read Mrs. Ravitch's book or just Google her name and educate yourself. It will help you understand how/why this is happening. The one thing that should not be surprising is that a lot of people like Bill Gates, publishers and many so-called experts are doing very, very well.

John Votaw

Three Rivers

Contract Publishing

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