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Where's City's anti-war voice?
I've been in the anti-war movement since the Vietnam days. One thing on which we could always rely was the loud and continuing support of liberals – until now. President Peace Prize has involved America in more foreign military adventures than any president in history, and your near-silence is deafening.
Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry, formerly anti-war activists, have sold their souls for political power and today are among the most hawkish figures in public life.
What's City's excuse?
Warren can bring important change
You stated that "Richard's withdrawal turns the focus to the changes ahead under a Warren or White administration – in schools and development" ("Theories and Questions for a Post-Richards Race").
I think City News misses the significance of Rochester's first black woman mayor. Lovely Warren could be a game-changer on a spiritual level. She does not fit the mold of a city manager.
We have problems that go deeper than simple fixing, with poverty, crime, racism, education, etc. Rochester needs change from within, but we the people seem unwilling to get involved. Maybe Rochesterians are just too conservative, too resistant to change for their own good. I am one who resists change.
But maybe a Mayor Lovely Warren can awaken the spirit of change. This could be the beginning of a new era for the city and the region. Think of all the ideas that need to be heard. Think of all the potential involvement of our people.
Perhaps she can kindle a flame that can spread throughout Monroe County.
HARRY S. PEARLE
The path to health care reform
"The discoveries of healing science must be the inheritance of all. That is clear. Disease must be attacked, whether it occurs in the poorest or the richest man or woman simply on the ground that it is the enemy; and it must be attacked just in the same way as the fire brigade will give its full assistance to the humblest cottage as readily as to the most important mansion. Our policy is to create a national health service in order to ensure that everybody in the country, irrespective of means, age, sex, or occupation, shall have equal opportunities to benefit from the best and most up-to-date medical and allied services available." – Winston Churchill, 1947.
Most European countries have national health services that cover all citizens and even residents. And they've done so for decades. I know: I've lived in England, Germany, Greece, and Portugal.
What is our problem? Looks to me like it's a combination of classism and racism: "if you're not making enough to pay for medical care, it's because you're lazy – and besides, you're probably African-American or Latino-American." Surely it's not an accident that the Tea Party is largely European-American.
One solution would be an effective multi-party system – Tea Party, Republicans, Democrats, Socialists, etc. – that really worked, like, say Germany. Of course, neither of the two ruling parties would support that.
If we can't have that, how about elections where candidates don't have to sell themselves to wealthy contributors and lobbying groups, then repay them with legislative favors? In Mexico, that counts as corruption. In the US, it's legal – and has become essential if you want to get elected.
And if the rich can buy your vote, they might not want you to raise their taxes to support those lazy folks who don't work hard enough to deserve health care.
So what's left? You might consider moving to Canada. Or Europe.
If we don't like the way things are going and want to stay in the US, we have to work to change the system.
Behavior issues, in school and out
While responses with "aggression and defensiveness" might unfortunately be relevant to the culture of some students in their neighborhoods, it is not appropriate for schools, and when it becomes disruptive to the learning of other students it is unacceptable ("School Board Members Don't Trust Suspension Data," News Blog).
[School Board member Cynthia] Elliot seems to justify behavior that is harming the ability of all students to learn. Inside a school building it is a pretty easy objective to measure, independent of racial/gender/cultural factors, when behavior of some students creates a roadblock to the learning of the majority of students by disrupting learning and instruction. If Ms. Elliot is not aware of some of the ridiculous behavior that is displayed by some students on a regular basis that merits suspension, she might want to spend a little more time in school buildings to earn some of the $20K+ she's earning yearly as a school board representative.
The mayor should call a press conference and call out the so-called black community (Richards Demands Plan to Stop Youth Fights," News Blog). It's a community issue (home, community, then all else), a "cultural crisis." As an African-American grassroots leadership advocate, I am disheartened, disgusted, and embarrassed over the so-called black community's inability to manage its future.
"School officials blame student behavior, not transportation for problems on East Main Street."
As they should! Don't blame buses for kids fighting, blame the kids and their parents for thinking it's ok to just brawl whenever they feel like it. What exactly are they fighting about? Maybe we should look into the causes.
I ride by Monroe High School every day where there are lots of kids hanging around before and after school, and they manage not to fight each other.