Speak Out 6/19/05

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Standing ovation

FORTY YOUNG people are doing the work of adults from morning to night this week on two new Habitat for Humanity houses here in Cape Girardeau. All are engaged in real, meaningful action. As a result, the good families to whom Habitat for Humanity gives a hand up instead of a handout will buy affordable new homes and move into a better future -- All on the shoulders of these young people. You can hear the applause all over town from the standing ovation we're giving these determined young workers. They earned it.

Meeting etiquette

I REGULARLY attend city meetings. I am sick and tired of so-called concerned citizens parading into the meetings at whatever time suits them. This behavior disrupts the meeting. If there is an item on the agenda that greatly concerns you, get to the meeting 10 minutes early or at the least on time. And don't storm out of the meeting as soon as your item has been discussed. Use some courtesy. These are official city government proceedings.

Not a hate crime

I AM a gay male, and I think that charging that man with a hate crime is ludicrous. Should he be charged with assault? Yes. But punching someone in the nose is not a hate crime. There are plenty of fights in this town. How many of them do you hear of being considered a hate crime?

Not fully funded

NO DISRESPECT intended for state Sen. Jason Crowell, but he is blowing smoke. Passing a new formula to fund public education was an empty gesture because it will not now and never will be fully funded. Crowell is on record opposing an equal amount of money behind each public school student in Missouri, thus perpetuating inequality. Thus, I would strongly encourage school districts to continue with the lawsuit attempting to straighten out school funding. I also would encourage other districts to join the suit.

Power of persuasion

THE ART of persuasion in these politically polarized times is particularly difficult. Most people want to hear and read only those with whom they already agree. However, Jon Rust is a sincere master at the art of persuasion. His piece on the merits of making a public commitment to the anti-litter campaign was very persuasive. With the Southeast Missourian pledging to donate 50 cents for every dollar donated by individuals, businesses and civic groups, the decision should be a no-brainer. Thanks, Jon.

More important

WHATEVER HAPPENED to common courtesy? If someone of the same sex makes an unwanted advance toward you, why not politely tell him you are not interested? Why should it have to end in violence? There are more important things in this world to deal with other than beating each other up because of one's sexual preference.

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