Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

Georgia Connections Academy

My child, Andrew Freiji, is proudly attending Georgia Connections Academy, a public and free “virtual” charter school. Georgia Connections Academy has been a life-transforming solution for our family. We chose GACA because it offers a revolutionary high school academic program that rivals that of any other public or private high school in the U.S.

Georgia Connections Academy maintains an exceptionally well designed and organized virtual system of learning and instruction that can free students from all the negatives of the conventional classroom -- from distractions and unnecessary influence, peer pressure and bullying. All students are given the same opportunity to fully engage in the learning process regardless of their background.

That is why our son emerged from a low-achieving to a high-achieving student in only one semester. We are all thriving under this new arrangement. Assistance is made readily available, and a variety of field trips are frequently scheduled year round, connecting students, families and teachers.

This Thanksgiving season, I’m writing to say I’m so thankful to the governor, the state Board of Education and Legislature for providing funding for charter education.

Thank you to all those parents, educators, students and community leaders who spoke up and said this school was needed for students throughout the state who are academically gifted, need extra assistance, want or need a flexible schedule or seek a better alternative to the conventional classroom.

Thank you, Georgia Connections Academy.

-- Sam Freiji

Atlanta

The problem

Our dilemma in the Middle East is that most of the one billion-plus Muslims in the world are Sunni, and they believe the Shiite governments in Iraq and Syria are suppressing fellow Sunnis. They believe our bombing of Islamic State fighters is supporting the Shiite governments in Iraq to maintain control over Sunnis. This is the reason Muslims from Europe are going to Iraq to join the fight. They are concerned about Iran’s emerging nuclear capability and their support for the Shiite government in Syria and terrorists groups in Lebanon.

We are supporting the Syrian Free Army, the smallest Sunni group fighting the Shiite government in Damascus. The Islamic State and al-Qaida in Iraq are also fighting the Shiite government in Damascus and trying to destroy the Syrian Free Army.

Muslims believe that if we continue to bomb the Sunni jihadists that the Shiite government in Iraq will be able to recapture the territory they lost and expand their domination of the Sunnis and Kurds.

History has taught us that an outside government cannot stop religious and ethnic conflicts in a region. We have to work with the Sunni governments in the Mideast to partition Iraq and Syria into distinct religious and ethnic regions. Iraq should be divided into three regions: a Shiite region in the south with Baghdad as its capital, a central region that’s an independent Sunni territory, and the northwestern region should be an autonomous Kurdish region.

Syria should be divided into three regions. A Shiite region should be established in the northwest with Damascus as its capital.

The central region should become an independent Sunni territory. The northeastern region should become a Kurdish region. Eventually, it could be combined with the Kurdish region in Iraq.

I realize many readers will not agree with this approach. If we do not do something constructive soon, the revolt in Iraq will continue and the civil war in Syria will expand. If the fighting does not stop, the Islamic State could establish a caliphate that would control the entire Arabian Peninsula. This would be a threat to both Turkey and Israel. They would be able to spread their influence into Africa.

-- Jim Costello

Perry

Morningside kudos

If I may offer an “Amen!” to Ed Grisamore’s Nov. 16 column spotlighting Relinda Smith of the Morningside assisted living staff. It was wonderful to see her spirit, her caring and her efforts on behalf of her residents characterized so clearly.

Smith (and many other excellent Morningside staff members) assisted my husband and me throughout the five years we lived at Morningside, until he passed away in 2012. We were very grateful to be there, and Smith’s constantly reliable, enthusiastic, loving support was invaluable. A few years before we needed assisted living because of my husband’s strokes, my father had lived at Morningside.

Because of his experience there, when we decided to move to assisted living, we never considered any other facility. The care my father received from Smith, whom he called “Sunshine,” was one of the key ingredients in that care.

Both Smith’s statewide recognition by the Georgia Senior Living Association and Grisamore’s accolades are so well-deserved. My thanks to Grisamore and to The Telegraph for the excellent column.

-- Claudia Kirkwood

Macon

Underestimated?

Bestiality and zoophilia refers to humans who have a sexual attraction or relationship with animals. Sodomy is generally described as anal or oral sexual activity between humans or between humans and animals. Exodus 22:19, Leviticus 18:23 and 20:15-16, Deuteronomy 27:21 and others emphatically forbids such conduct as does the laws of nature.

The absence of a federal law and the hodgepodge of state laws addressing these abominations are themselves an abomination as is the Senate’s 2014 Defense Authorization Bill that includes a provision repealing the military’s ban on sodomy.

Because of this, bestiality, zoophilia, sodomy and pornography are spreading like wildfire across the melange of electric devices drawing both young and old into a vortex of sexual depravity that’s devouring their sexual sanity and their souls. Bestiality farms, animal trainers, breeders, pornographers and drug peddlers catering to this vileness views Christianity as a group of disorganized whiners to be tolerated rather than a force to be reckoned with.

-- Travis L. Middleton

Peach County

Amnesia

When it comes to remembering the architect of Obamacare is Jonathan Gruber, President Obama seems to have amnesia. According to official White House visitor logs, Gruber signed in 20 times. What the hell was he doing there, having afternoon tea? Go figure.

-- Chet Lambert

Warner Robins

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