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Government shutdown is political terrorism, not negotiation

Updated: November 3, 2013 6:20AM

Some of the right-wingnuts have tried disingenuously to misrepresent the Republican shutdown of the government as simply “negotiations,” where each side supposedly compromises. It is nothing of the sort. When a small faction essentially says, “Either you do what we say, or we will destroy the federal government,” that isn’t negotiation. That is political terrorism. Whether they are threatening to ruin the economy due to a procedural gimmick, or threatening to detonate a nuclear warhead in D.C., it is the same thing: a terrorist threat. And it should be treated as such.

John Schauer, Evanston

CTU hypocrisy

The hypocrisy of the recent letter by Jackson Potter of the Chicago Teachers Union concerning tax-increment financing funds is staggering. He acknowledges that waiting lists at selective enrollment schools like Payton are evidence of strong parent demand for high-quality schools. We agree. But then he dismisses charter public schools as an option for parents who want better schools, even though charter schools account for all 10 of the top 10 performing non-selective enrollment high schools in the city. Jackson also ignores the fact that according to CPS enrollment figures, charter enrollment grew this year by more than 4,000 students while the district’s overall enrollment has declined to 400,000. Jackson’s thesis is that Chicago has not done enough to provide better school options in low-income areas of the city. He doesn’t seem to understand that his organization’s position on high-quality charter growth has contributed to this problem.

Andrew Broy,

President of the Illinois Network
of Charter Schools

Negotiating with Iran,
not Congress

Is President Barack Obama’s ego getting in the way of a solution with Congress? There’s no negotiation with Congress but he’s willing to negotiate with the Iranian president. America deserves better.

Tom Ploski, Mount Prospect

Kudos for Iran chat

I applaud President Obama for picking up the phone to talk to Iran’s new president and for discussing the importance of U.S.-Iran cooperation to resolve global conflicts. This phone call marks an important step forward in pressing for an end to the vicious cycle of confrontation that has plagued the U.S. and Iran for decades. This is what a true leader does and Obama is the best president we have had for many years.

Solving problems between countries requires compromise on all sides, and the U.S. and Iran are no different. Iran needs to agree to greater transparency of its nuclear program and other steps to ensure it does not build nuclear weapons. The U.S., for its part, will have to lift some sanctions in exchange for Iran’s concession, in order to prevent war and a nuclear-armed Iran.

Norma Nelson, Orland Park

Dem Senate and president wanted shutdown

It seems that the media blames the Republican Party and particularly those who identify with the faction called the Tea Party for the governmental shutdown. The Republican Party has expressed dissatisfaction with certain provisions of the health care bill, which reflects the opinion of most Americans. For several years the House of Representatives has produced and sent to the Senate budget bills, all of which have been ignored by the Senate. The most recent action of the Senate was to reject a budget proposal then adjourn and the president went golfing. There is no doubt that the president and the Senate want the government shutdown so they can blame the Republicans and regain the majority in the House of Representatives. Neither the president nor Democratic senators have expressed a willingness to reconcile differences as they are supposed to. That’s why we have a separation of governmental functions, to avoid a tyrannical rule to our republic.

John Culloton, Norwood Park

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