Letters to the editor
Published 5:48 pm, Thursday, October 7, 2010
A positive side to
the redistricting plan
Out of a negative can come a positive.
That is what I believe has come from the redistricting "Plan E" that the Fairfield Board of Education passed by a small majority. This plan, and the grandfathering that goes along with it, has created a groundswell of interested parents and citizens who want to pursue a reasonable plan that works for families and for taxpayers. With their interest comes the next generation of government and education advocates in Fairfield.
Our excellent public schools draw new families to our community and public education is a vital part of the life-blood of Fairfield. In addition to educating our youth, it drives and grows real estate and business.
Plan E has sparked the coals of advocacy and democracy in our town and I believe that is a good thing. Over the last two weeks the public has come together to make their voices heard through e-mails, phone calls, rallies, petitions, surveys and more. I want to thank all of the parents and citizens who have taken the time to get involved and speak out on behalf of their town and its school government. I have listened and talked to so many of you, and your passion and commitment is inspiring. You are a very important part of Fairfield's governing process and your involvement makes our town and school system even stronger.
Government is a system of checks and balances and to stay balanced we need the people to hold their leaders accountable. Please stay involved. We need you now more than ever.
Editor's note: Perry Liu is a member of the Board of Education. The opinions in the letter are his own, as a resident, and do not necessarily represent the board's.
Plagiarism is plagiarism
I'm not surprised that the "usual suspects" were irate with me [Fairfield Citizen, Oct. 6], the person who exposed one of their own, after he was caught red-handed at plagiarism, which is defined by The American Heritage College Dictionary as: "To use and pass off as one's own, the ideas and writings of another."
It's not complicated and there's no getting around it -- that's precisely what Wynn Allen did in his letter to the editor on Sept. 29, even if, after being caught, he admitted it in a follow-up letter (Fairfield Citizen, Oct. 6) by offering the lame excuse that it was merely an oversight and he was just careless in forgetting to include references crediting the original writers.
Are you kidding me! It's a likely story concocted after he was nailed. Try getting away with that excuse when submitting an academic paper. It's about as believable as "my dog ate my homework."
I'm not shocked that Mr. Allen tried to deflect the fact that he was busted by attacking me with a rant about all sorts of stuff I never said. That's known as a straw-man ruse. (However, I'll give him this, at least those words were his own.)
The fact that Allen says the original writers of the piece had no problem forgiving Allen, after the fact, does not mean it was not plagiarism. Why wouldn't they forgive him? Allen is one of their sycophants spreading their gospel. It's sort of like an abused wife who forgives her husband after he's been arrested. It's a mockery.
And as for my critic, Jack Foley, who accuses me of quackery, in your zeal you were too quick on the trigger and you've got egg on your face because Allen has admitted to leaving out references and credit to the original writers in the letter he submitted to the Citizen as supposedly his own writing.
Julie Criscuolo, who would forgive and defend plagiarism, well that's just a sign of low character. What sort of person would endorse plagiarism?
And a special note to Julie with regard to your intriguing comment, "Am I next?": "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." (For the record, those are the words of Shakespeare.) I hope this won't cramp your writing style.
The Obama and Heisenberg uncertainty principle
Barack Obama is truly a man for the future and a marvelous example of what might be the "theory-of-everything" man! He seems to use the electrons of his brain cells in such an advanced manner even Werner Heisenberg, a 20th century German scientist who developed the uncertainty principle, would have marveled.
Obama does seem to have that uncertainty thing going for him. Since no one can figure out what he stands for, an illusion is created that he stands for everything and nothing at the same time. Has our president managed to tap his inner quantum?
His very thoughts and actions seem to be in multiple places at the same time, similar to quantum theory where the sub-atomic particles exist in multiple places at once. How else could he be for repealing "The Defense of Marriage act" (DOMA) and at the same time defending it, or closing Guantanamo and keeping it open simultaneously, or an offshore oil drilling opponent and supporter at the same time? He denounces "Don't ask don't tell" (DADT) and protects it all at the same time. He is a supporter of the public option yet doesn't support it. He has called water-boarding torture, which is illegal, but he won't prosecute anyone.
It was Heisenberg who worked out a theory that the smallest particles of matter could not be pinpointed at any one place because the mere act of observing them would change them, often referred to as the "measurement problem." Like the allusive dancing particles that Heisenberg describes, a single glance from a Republican seems to easily create a measurement problem in this president. If Obama's sub-atomic brain particles exist in more then one place at one time, that could explain his mysterious behavior. Obama is clearly not an alien to the USA, but who knows maybe from another time and space.
Plan E is too costly
"Clueless in Fairfield" best describes the last two Board of Education meetings. How else can you explain the Board of Education voting on the most disruptive redistricting plan and not knowing the costs that this plan would incur upon implementation?
To think that Mr. Kery and Mr. Mitola were able to provide 100-plus hours of study used to come up with "their" plan, but they failed to request a cost analysis or anticipate the need for additional buses under grandfathering prior to bringing the issue to a vote, is unfathomable. In addition, the superintendent of schools can only provide an "estimate" of the costs of additional buses ($342,000), has no idea if there will be other additional costs or even where the money will come from. This provides little comfort to this parent and taxpayer. How can you make decisions without knowing all the facts?
Ultimately the rush to vote by Mr. Kery, Mr. Mitola, Mrs. Iacono, Mrs. Albin and Mrs. Zahn on Option E is going to be very costly to the children and taxpayers of this town. Instead of developing a plan that is the least disruptive and therefore would cost the least, these members voted to spend and therefore tax an educational system that is already strained from last year. This is the same board that had to eliminate a teaching position in music and take money from technology and building maintenance to meet budget cutbacks, and now they are voting for something without knowing the financial implications.
Grandfathering was necessary -- the children shouldn't have to pay the penalty of a short-sighted majority on the board, but with a current price tag of $342,000, it will be the children of this town who ultimately pay in the quality of the education that they receive. Option E is too expensive and too costly on so many levels, the Board needs to put aside their "pride" and rescind their vote and start over. They owe that to our children and the taxpayers of this town.
Democrats duped into supporting healthcare reform
Obama passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and we were told not to worry because we would find out its genius as soon as it was passed.
Six months later, few, if any, Democratic candidates are willing to discuss their historic vote for this healthcare reform, because we are realizing that we were duped into believing this bill would make insurance more affordable, help small businesses, lower deficits and improve the economy.
Parents will be able to keep their children on their plans until age 26. Great, but Obama should have been "laser focused" on the economy, making sure the trillion dollar stimulus was actually stimulating so college graduates could find employment and pay for their own insurance. Parents deserve a break.
Health insurers like Cigna, United HealthCare, Aetna and others have stopped writing "child only" plans because they cannot afford the pre-existing condition mandate. So parents who are hanging on to their jobs in this economic recession could be paying an estimated $3,380 per child, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
In addition, college students will lose access to limited benefits policies previously offered by universities due to the new "required" benefits designed by Obamacare. How many college students do you know need prostate exams or hip replacements? College graduates are discouraged by the prospects of getting employment and paying off their loans and now must figure out how to pay for healthcare.
This healthcare reform will cover an additional 30 million Americans. What Jim Himes doesn't mention is that almost half will be placed into Medicaid, a system already crippled with access problems. Limited access resulting from an exodus of doctors will lead to rationing. Not to mention the financial burden on states across the country. Will the federal government continue to bail out states indefinitely? Just take a look at Massachusetts. Higher taxes on the middle class are inevitable, because as generous as the Democrats are with their mandates, they are spending our money, expanding government programs, and you and I will be paying dearly for their decisions.