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Use My Standards
I can take having my Party, Republican, and my President, Bush, bashed; however, your quasi-mock religious article ("The W Beatitudes," by John F. Sugg, July 28) was trash, and should not have been printed. Leave God alone.

Your writer implies that Republicans aren't Christian because we don't care. If Religious-Right Republicans don't care, then why are we the ones that speak up for the persecuted church as well as unborn babies? Christians in the Third World and babies in the womb need love and support, which we give.

Your writer writes about ancient homosexuality. Judas Iscariot was a disciple, but he fell from grace. This shows that even at the beginning, there were some that fell from the fold with false teachings.

I know CL is for free thinking, but this article goes well over the line. You really should consider some standards as to what you print.

-- Kenny Houck, Pineville

Students Lose Out
While Lewis Guignard makes an excellent point in stating that the real goal of CMS administration is the perpetuation and growth of administration ("CMS's Business Is Not Education," Letter to the Editor, July 28), allow me to take that one step further.

The real goal is money, more money, and MORE MONEY for CMS administrators. Considering that administrators' salaries are tied to body counts, it's no wonder that CMS goes to great lengths to avoid expelling students. Likewise, keeping the body count high is the same reason CMS does everything possible (including having "Dropout Prevention Counselors" at each high school) to prevent students from dropping out of school.

It would certainly be better for serious students if students having no interest in learning are removed from school (or are allowed to drop out of school). Unfortunately, administrators don't see it that way. And when what's best for students conflicts with what's best for administrators, students lose out every time.

-- Stephen V. Gilmore, Charlotte

Tara Should Try Teaching
It appears to me, as a substitute teacher for Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools, that Tara Servatius has a deep-seated vendetta against our local public school system. I have to wonder why would Ms. Servatius spend time on numerous columns to rant incessantly about CMS and their dysfunctions if she never taught in a classroom. If she taught in public school classrooms, perhaps I can gain broader clarity for her overall hatred toward CMS and their perceived lack of concern toward their students and employees ("Students As Sex Offenders," July 21).

Working for CMS can have pluses and minuses, but then again no public school systems are 100 percent perfect. It is the persistence of teachers and staff members who are willing to extend themselves that create safer environments for their students to learn regardless of socioeconomic status. Perhaps she needs to find a school where success is actually achieved among its students. I will be happy to provide a list when she is ready to write about the positives.

-- Adrian DeVore, Charlotte

Halliburton Not Losing Money in Iraq
I disagree with several points made in James Signorile's letter regarding Gene Lazo's column ("Gene, Thou Shalt Be Judged," July 21), but while issues around lying vs. having misinformation and the intentions behind the oil pipeline in Afghanistan can be painted with a partisan brush, I think the following piece of information about Halliburton is irrefutable:

"NEW YORK (Reuters) - Energy services giant Halliburton Co. (NYSE:HAL - news) on Friday posted a quarterly loss as charges from a troubled deepwater oil project and asbestos litigation offset gains from robust drilling activity around the globe and government contract work in Iraq (news - web sites)." Halliburton may be losing millions -- but it isn't on Iraq.

(source: news?tmpl=story&cid=580&e=1&u=/nm/20040723/bs_nm/energy_halliburton_earns_dc)

-- Samantha Bailey, Charlotte

So There!
I was taken to task recently by Larry Oliver ("Bush Supporters Delusional," Letter to the Editor, July 28) for my letter in the July 21 issue. Unfortunately, Mr. Oliver's retort was akin to a child's reply of "Nuh Uh" when confronted with evidence of their wrongdoing.

With respect to the items that he mentions, the best evidence he supplies to refute my statements is to say that I am either on drugs or delusional and Bush is a crook. The facts remain stubbornly on my side. These are the words of Thomas Kean, the Co-Chairman of the 9/11 Commission: "There was no question in our minds that there was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda." And then there is this from Richard Clarke in an e-mail to Sandy Burglar, I mean Berger, in November of 1998: "the large Iraqi presence at the Khartoum chemical facilities was probably the direct result of the Iraq-al Qaeda agreement.

Now what was that Mr. Oliver was saying about mind slaves repeating something over and over again despite evidence to the contrary?

-- James Signorile, Waxhaw

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