In the recent article "Money and Politics" (issue of Sept. 19), I found the attack by Councilwoman Leslie Ghiz on the Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) and the upcoming levy issue to be completely in character with the Republican Party's creed. But there is more to it than that.
The attack on CPS is only a surrogate for attacking African-American school-age children in Cincinnati. If the levy fails, a disproportionate number of these students — 71 percent of the student population — will receive a lower quality education due to higher student-to-teacher ratios and fewer central office services. Ultimately, these 24,000 African-American students will be hurt the most as access to high quality education diminishes for them.
The main issue people should understand, as pointed out in Margo Pierce's article, is that the state funding system for public schools was declared to be unconstitutional years ago. Conveniently for Republicans, the Ohio legislature has refused to do anything about the unjust and illegal system used to fund our public schools.
The public schools funding system in Ohio is rigged for failure on the basis of racism. A familiar tone rings out: money and racism.
It sounds like the Republican campaign season is well underway in Cincinnati.
Here lies the true culture war in America: the Republican Party vs. African Americans.
— Brian L. Sersion, Cincinnati
Derf Knows the Truth
I read CityBeat every week and always look forward to it, especially "The City" cartoon by Derf. I especially enjoy his irreverent view of the conniving President Bush and the phony war in Iraq.
I don't know how old the artist is, but in the recent cartoon in the Cool Issue (issue of Sept. 19) he questions where the protests are against the "war against terror" in Iraq. I was eligible for the draft while we were still in Vietnam. The current military men and women are volunteers, fighting a war as they are trained to after seeking out a military career.
This is not the same as a young man or woman being drafted, trained and then shipped off into an unjust war. He and others might also gain some insight into this phenomenon by reading The First Total War by David Bell.
The book describes the emergence of the professional military since 1800. The creation of this separate class of society contains its own culture of military thinking distinct from the civilian tradition and thought process. President Bush is a product of this thinking.
He bristles at the idea of "civilians" in Congress interfering with his prosecution of his war. I'm going to guess that, in his mind, President Truman was wrong to "interfere" with Gen. Douglas Mac Arthur when he proposed invading China during the Korean War.
— Tim Werner, Mount Auburn
Stop Bullying Cancer Patients
Reading about the medical marijuana-themed playing cards my organization recently distributed to U.S. Congress members ("Dope Dealing," issue of Aug. 29), I realized we could design 20 more decks and never run out of arguments for providing safe access to seriously ill patients.
Unfortunately, the federal government continues to harass patients who use medical marijuana with a doctor's recommendation, even in the 12 states with laws protecting them. This summer, the Drug Enforcement Administration staged armed raids on licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in California and Oregon despite the protests of local citizens and officials.
Surely federal law enforcement officials have better things to do with our tax dollars than bullying cancer patients.
— Dan Bernath
Assistant Director of Communications
Marijuana Policy Project
Because of an editing error, two questions in Cool Issue profiles (issue of Sept. 19) were not verbatim versions of the questions asked by writers.