A sampling of Snohomish County readers' letters, faxes and e-mails.

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Teachers struggle to keep up as society raises the stakes

Editor, The Times:

I am a science teacher and am therefore part of the “education industry” derided by your letter writer of March 14 [“Its alumni built the 21st century,” Snohomish Voices]. We have been accused of demanding “ever-increasing funds to teach whatever and however.”

It’s not me who has demanded that 20 percent of our students be classified as special-education, with the accompanying increase in cost due to federal requirements.

It’s not me who demanded that students take after-school jobs, and who invented video games so they “don’t have time” to do homework.

It’s not me who has changed the world.

I graduated from a Snohomish County high school 40 years ago, and at that time it was OK that not everyone graduated; there were plenty of jobs in the woods or on the farm.

That’s no longer possible. What was an acceptable basic education 40 years ago is no longer good enough.

By sending us students who are harder and harder to educate, society has raised the stakes by requiring a better and better education of anyone looking to support themselves and a family.

— Linda Hill, Bothell

War on terror

We drank the water, now Iraq can’t find it

This administration has been more than just an administration, it has been a test of what happens when you elect a not-very-smart president who is led by puppeteers with an agenda he was never let in on.

Most of the upper echelons of this administration have never served a day in the military but continue to issue edicts as if they know what they are doing.

Bush and Cheney have put our government in a place it has to back out of, with nothing gained from the endeavor. We have destroyed Iraq, but have not managed to mend the rift between the two major religions Bush didn’t even know existed.

Get us out and let them sort out the new map. The Iraqis are not stupid. After all, it is Mesopotamia, where civilization started, and we need to leave them alone to find the water level they can live with.

— James Dunn, Marysville

Hitler got away with actions awhile, too

I understand the sentiment that prompted the articles on the personal side of the war in Iraq [“Living with the war,” Times, front page, March 18], but we should consider the possibility that it is an indulgence we can ill afford because it diverts us from the greater picture of coming to a time in our history when we have allowed fear to turn the tide of democracy to a course that can only destroy us as a nation.

Rome had a working senate until Caesar rendered it impotent in the interest of creating autocratic rule. Germany had a president whom Hitler merely instructed to sit down and shut up or die.

A new Caesar has risen from the ashes of 9/11 and wooed us with a siren song of “terrorism” into a war that he can only have begun for power and profit. As a result, thousands of our people have died for absolutely nothing.

This is the time for heroes. We must say it out loud. We have been suckered by a moron. He must be stopped by Congress while we still have one.

— Harold Pettus, Everett