Your editorial ("Mere Merger," August 9th issue) is misguided. As a result of the county commission's recent public records request, my use of the phrase is revealed in correspondence with the chairman of the Transition Planning Commission, Barbara Prescott, last April, long before it completed its work. It was by no means used to diminish the good work of the Transition Planning Commission conceived by the legislation which we enacted last year.
Rather, it was used to contrast what we, or any other county similarly situated, could aspire to create in the way of a new, countywide education system as opposed to what we would otherwise end up with even if we did nothing at all — merely one big school system where there were previously two.
I wrote, "I must reiterate that your unwillingness to consider any option other than a mere merger is problematic given the intent of the legislation which was, and remains, that the TPC think outside the box and consider options including the role of municipal districts within a unified system."
I had urged the TPC to embrace the concept of a new construct for education by including, rather than excluding, municipal districts within the unified system. Like states within the United States so, too, could municipal systems within a unified system serve to form a more unified community. "Unification without unity fails of its essential purpose," I warned. "Put differently ... unification without unity isn't unification at all — it is merely a merger. If that's your only focus, that's all you'll get. And perhaps less."
Your editorial misuse of my choice of words is ironic. You paraphrase me and the Constitution out of context. You correctly observe the Constitution begins with "We the People." But you stop short of including the next eight words: "... in order to form a more perfect union." The Constitution succeeded the Articles of Confederation "in order to form a more perfect union" — not a less perfect one.
Despite a commendable effort by a remarkably dedicated and talented group of individuals, the Transition Planning Commission was no Constitutional Convention. And, in the absence of the municipal component intended by the law which gave it life, this particular union will likely be far from perfect.
Senator Mark Norris
R & R
Romney and Ryan are out on the campaign trail serving Kool-Aid to the gullible. Ryan is the Tea Party choice, and he has led the charge to hold up bills that would help small business and create jobs. Ryan has forced his own leader, John Boehner, speaker of the House, to refuse any comprise for the good of the country.
Those happy crowds at Romney and Ryan's campaign stop must all have health insurance and $100 million IRAs, like Romney. Between 2007 and 2009, 401(k)s and IRAs lost $3.4 trillion, or 31 percent of their value (unless, like Romney, yours was in an offshore account). Under Obama, those same accounts have regained 26 percent of their value. Without a defined pension plan and Social Security, we would have seen the return of bread lines and poor houses by now.
We have an important choice this November: a return to the Bush years and those failed economic ideas or vote to stop the GOP from taking us back to the future.
In response to a letter from Dagmar Bergan (August 16th issue): The fact that Paul Ryan is Catholic yet only has three children is a laughable point. If Bergan had done even a basic search of Wikipedia, she would have seen how scientific and logical natural family planning is. It is merely a natural way to either achieve or prevent pregnancy, and although many Catholics are open to large families, it is not inclusive to the practice of natural family planning. I should know; as a longtime practitioner myself, I have never gotten pregnant while using it.
If Bergan is so interested in the government staying out of her vagina, she shouldn't be so interested in them paying for it. If it is her body and her choice, shouldn't it be her responsibility? You can't have freedom without any responsibility, which is what all of the free-birth-control advocates seem to want. It is simply a pro-Pharma initiative, not women's rights. Why else would it not cover vasectomies or classes on natural ways to prevent pregnancy?
Correction: The hours for Local Gastropub in Overton Square will be
11 a.m. to 3 a.m.