Imagine that Mohamed Mohamud had had the knowledge of explosives to ensure he had a working bomb ["Mohamed and 'The Terror Factory,'" WW, Jan. 9, 2013]. Imagine further that instead of showing up at his designated time and place, he had shown up a day later, when the FBI stakeout had given up on him and gone home.

Substitute the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for the FBI, and you get what happened in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. The copious evidence of this government sting operation gone horribly wrong was laid out in detail at the time by the San Jose Mercury News and radio talk-show host Chuck Harder, but largely ignored by the mainstream media, which was content to parrot the government's daily press briefings at Timothy McVeigh's trial, and by the alternative media, which perhaps couldn't summon the same sympathy for a murderous, redneck white supremacist that they now can for a murderous, immigrant Muslim.

Peter Parslow
Northeast Portland


I wish Rudy Crew luck ["Wrecking Crew, WW, Jan. 16, 2013]. Schools need a big injection of innovation and accountability (for teachers, administrators and students), and that would be very tricky to manage even if it weren't a dire threat to the status quo.

I don't think the teachers' unions have to be an obstacle—actually, the effort is doomed unless you can figure out how to engage them and their members as partners. Acknowledge that the unions have a responsibility to protect their members' interests, and focus on how they can help cut dead wood out of the system (it's no mystery at any school who the crummy teachers are), get more resources into the system and use them effectively.

And there needs to be a lot more support for kids in poverty. It makes a ton of sense to put more resources into the less-successful schools. Of course, it's more expensive to educate less well-prepared students bringing a lot of other issues to class with them. For those inclined to whine about "throwing money at the problem," have a look at how rich people approach this. Do you think there are 40 kids in a class, sharing 20 textbooks, at Andover (or Catlin Gabel)?


Rudy Crew would be an even more interesting change agent if he would adopt the position of another nationally famous African-American reformer, Cory Booker.

Booker, the Democratic mayor of Newark, N.J., is passionate about education reform, including a broad school-choice agenda.

—"Steve Buckstein"


In last week's story on Oregon Chief Education Officer Rudy Crew ["Wrecking Crew," WW, Jan. 16, 2013], a quote from Crew was mistakenly attributed to former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. WW regrets the error.

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