How to Save Cleveland
As a 30-year resident of Cleveland, I congratulate you on your sobering yet accurate portrayal of the city, its plight, and its leadership ("How to Save Cleveland," June). You were candid in your summation of how Cleveland got to where it is today and, I fear, reasonable (if not optimistic) about its future prospects. My only regret is that the article may not be widely circulated and read by Cleveland's population.
There are many areas in "How to Save Cleveland" I would like to comment on, but education is a good starting point.
The public school system continues to fail at educating our children, both in terms of job training and in terms of citizenship. This is because of the system's bureaucratic incentives. Teachers are not held accountable as unit managers would be held accountable for achieving objectives in a private corporation. They are also not rewarded financially for the success of their students when it comes to test results. And the biggest benefactor of all, private enterprise, is not required to invest in an education system that provides free training to future employees.
You shouldn't only work on getting things privatized in the city of Cleveland. You should also concentrate on Cuyahoga County. There are many programs in the county that should be in the hands of private industry, such as recycling.
The Wrong Kind of Toyotathon
Ronald Bailey's article on the hysteria over Toyota's "runaway acceleration" issue ("The Wrong Kind of Toyotathon," June) misses one point: Although the "runaway acceleration" claim about the Audi 5000 of 20 years ago turned out to be a hoax—driver error combined with driver delusion and media hysteria—the onboard computer systems in today's cars make a similar claim more plausible. Many modern cars have a "stability control" system that controls braking (and sometimes acceleration) independently from the driver's foot. Tests are now being conducted to determine whether this technology can indeed cause the car to accelerate against the driver's will. Furthermore, Toyota did itself a disservice by initially blaming badly fitted floor mats—which now seems like a cover-up.
Silver Spring, MD
CORRECTIONS: Contrary to "Red Ink and Green Jobs" (July), the AB 32 Implementation Group has not endorsed the ballot initiative that would delay the adoption of California's carbon rationing scheme. The AB 32 Implementation Group does not take positions on initiatives or legislation.
"The Age of Limbaugh" (August/September) misstated the meaning of "dittos" on The Rush Limbaugh Show. The word expresses a caller's general appreciation for the program, not his endorsement of the host's views on the specific topic of discussion.
"The Defector" (August/September) incorrectly claimed that the Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz had called Salman Rushdie "a terrorist." Mahfouz was referring to the Ayatollah Khomeini, not Rushdie.