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Re: the teacher criticizing Dave Cornblum (Letters, Aug. 4). Cornblum has substituted for my classes many times. My students like him and have a healthy respect for him. He has never failed me. He has followed my lesson plans as I have directed, and I make certain to ask for him before calling upon any other substitute on the list. I would like to add that students who do not respect their teacher will not respect, perform or behave for a substitute. The behavior of a student is a direct indication of how that student feels about the teacher. Believe me, my students behave. Unfortunately, this is not the case with far too many students at far too many schools. Substitute teachers should be hailed for what they walk into everyday, not reprimanded for telling the truth. I applaud Cornblum for his candor about being a substitute teacher. We need more good people like him in our school districts!

R.E. Watson
Long Beach

After reading Nick Schou's article ("Harald Martin's Army," Aug. 4), I think California Coalition for Immigration Reform should change their acronym to mean "California Coalition for Irrational Rhetoric." Lest people think Barbara Coe is the only irrational member of the group, Schou's article showed more of the kooks involved and their lousy logic.

Gustavo Arellano

A little late, but I just found R. Scott Moxley's July 21 response to my letter, written to answer what I'd thought was his authentic query. If he feels the compulsion to add the last word, especially so artlessly and dishonestly, then that's up to him. Still, one hopes (against hope?) that an "alternative" weekly would abandon the axiom, planted in Moxley's response, that roads can be owned and operated only by the government. Now that, truly, is the dogmatist's approach-which is especially disappointing in a publication that parades its iconoclasm.

Will Swaim and Moxley: the world really is moving away from such dogma. The ascension of private alternatives, of course, is not without complication and corruption-and therefore is fertile ground for good investigative journalism.

We're all learning about different kinds of privatization-some that serve the public and some that mix in too much politics and payoff. In Moxley's blanket view, apparently, any privatization is of the latter sort.

One must approach this new world, with its expanded role for the free market, with openness and intellectual honesty. If Moxley wants to brand my assessment as stupid, then I'm afraid he betrays himself.

He stunts his growth from a pretty good reporter to an outstanding and, one might hope, a truly iconoclastic journalist. No alternative thinking in that, more's the pity.

K. E. Grubbs, Jr.
former opinion editor

The Orange County Register
Irvine R. Scott Moxley responds: What does it mean to say there's an axiom "planted" in my response? It means that I didn't say it but that you're going to infer it from what you think you know about my politics. Neither in my original article about the failings of the press to cover the toll-road fiasco nor in my response to your letter did I propose-or even suggest or imply or "plant"-the axiom that roads can only be run by the government. What I said-what I've said for four years-is that capitalism without failure is like Christianity without hell: using the public's money to guarantee private investment in the toll roads is a taxpayer rip-off. That's a real-world observation that neither theRegister nor theLA Times had the courage to publish when it might have made a difference, when these ridiculous roads were first proposed by private developers and their friends in government. Whether any of this strikes you as "iconoclastic" or "alternative" is irrelevant to me. But you might apologize to your many readers for years of shilling for big business.VOTE FOR THIS

I enjoyed Alison M. Rosen's article "Peek State" (August 4). While reading about her feverish experience at the Tony Robbins seminar, I thought about George W. Bush's closing words at the Republican convention, something like, "Americans live on the sunrise side of the mountain; Americans are waiting on the new day to come. . . . Thank you, and God bless America, and God bless all of us."

"Sunrise side of the mountain"? How creepy is this guy? What is this prose? Winston Churchill is spinning in his grave like a fan belt. Fuck the GOP and their sunrise side of the mountain.

I feel like I was raped by 12 inches of stupid, but I hope to be fully recovered by the time Al "Is This Mic On?" Gore puts me into a four-day coma, a coma induced by his endless, monochromatic droning, his polo shirts and his khaki pants. Is anyone buying this guy-next-door bullshit? The guy next door to most of us dropped out of truck-driving school and watches pro wrestling. Someone should sneak up behind the VP, stick a defibrillator on his ass cheeks and shout, "CLEAR!!!" While they're at it, they can save a little juice for me. I'll need it.

I would not vote for either of these spoiled, dimwitted, preppy twits to captain a regatta across Irvine Lake, let alone to helm the country. I think I'm voting for Nader-at least he has no chance of winning.

Steve Baxter


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