Speak Out 11/14/05

Monday, November 14, 2005

Don't blame the arts

THE RIVER Campus is being funded by grants, private funding and donations. Don't blame tuition increases at Southeast Missouri State University on the arts. Drive by the new university entrance and fountains and ask yourself, "Why is the cost of SEMO going up?"

Desire to learn

I HAVE had children in the Cape Girardeau School District for the last 20 years. I have been active in various school organizations like PTA and booster clubs. My spouse is employed by the district and is in the schools every day. We have great schools and terrific teachers and staff members. The biggest reason minorities are performing worse is very simple. Minorities generally don't consider school a priority. We have always been amazed at how few minorities attend parent-teacher conferences, early year orientations and other programs. We can provide all the great programs and services we can dream up and throw millions of dollars at the problem, but if the desire to learn is not there and there is no support at home, they will continue to fail.

Government gouging

SOMEONE SHOULD ask the senators who are demanding that oil companies give up 10 percent of their profits why the government doesn't give back part of the 46 cents a gallon it makes. That's three times the profit the companies make with no capital investment. Talk about gouging.

Kudos for Habitat

HABITAT FOR Humanity is a great organization, and I hope it meets its goal. Keep it up.

Choose to succeed

UNTIL BLACK students and their parents understand that the choice to succeed rests primarily with them and their efforts, the achievement gap will always be there. I am a teacher in a school district with a large black population. We have programs in place to help minority students. The only thing we are not able to do is take the test for them. Most of my black students do not try on the MAP test. This might not be the most politically correct statement, but the truth is seldom politically correct.

Choral excellence

I ATTENDED the wonderful choral recital presented by Jackson High School Tuesday evening. It was refreshing to know that Jackson schools are bucking the trend and not bowing to the pressures of political correctness by allowing religious songs to be sung. Many naysayers would view the singing of these beautiful songs as allowing prayer in public schools. Bravo, Jackson students and faculty. Keep up the excellent work.

Parents, take charge

WHY DO we continue to let parents off the hook for taking responsibility for their kids? Putting up fences to stop children from being hurt by trains. Censoring television shows with adult humor. Not wanting Plan B contraceptives to be allowed to be sold over the counter to women over the age of 16. These ideas seem to be proposed because we can't trust parents to keep their kids off of railroad tracks and monitor what their children watch on TV or educate them on abstinence or safe-sex practices. Parents, it's time to take some responsibility for your children's lives. It's not the FCC or FDA's responsibility to raise your kids.

Failing miserably

DEMOCRAT BASHING is becoming a little ridiculous. In case conservative Cape Girar-deau hasn't noticed, President Bush is not so popular anymore. In fact, current polls show that his approval rating is at an embarrassing low 38 percent. A recent comment said the polls must be skewed by the media. When your party is in trouble, yes, blame the media. Media outlets did not sabotage Bush's ratings. Bush lowered his ratings on his own with his bad decisions for the country. Bush is failing miserably, and not only the polls, but America's current state proves this fact.

Check out day care

I AM glad that little Chloe Street is once again a happy, trusting baby. But for her parents to categorize all home day care as bad is unfair. I have operated a home day care for 11 years, and I love each child as if it is my own. I have watched them grow from infants to school-age children. Two are straight-A students and still come back to visit me. Parents should always be very careful and check out where they leave their children while they are at work, whether it is a licensed day care or home day care.

Behind bars

I SAW on the news where they're thinking about giving Andrea Yates, who drowned all five of her children, a new trial, trying to get her out of prison and into a mental hospital. If we let somebody out like that, why don't we let Susan Smith, who drove her children into a lake, free, too? Both of them should stay behind bars. I hope people will get behind this and make sure that these people who kill their children stay in prison.

Gambling getaways

MY HUSBAND and I both voted for the riverboat for Cape Girardeau, which passed, but I'm glad we didn't get it, because we can make get-away trips from Cape for a luxury hotel suite, fabulous buffets, free entertainment and fun. Thank you, Cape. Otherwise we would not get out of town.

Drawing the line

AS A Jackson High School alumnus, I agree with the principal's decision to ask a student to leave the dance for not adhering to the school dress code. I have known all of my life that my ancestors on my father and mother's sides of the family are Cherokee. Would it have been OK for my male family members to wear nothing but an animal-hide loincloth to a school function? Where is the line drawn? I feel a reasonable dress code is necessary. In my experience, the principal is a fair administrator.

Family of heroes

THANK YOU, Southeast Missourian, for your story about Mandy Davis. It was powerful. She is clearly a wonderful woman and a wonderful mom. I cried for her. And I thank her and her husband and her husband's family for their sacrifice. They are all heroes.

Transportation needs

I DON'T understand what is so funny about the low-income people of Cape Girardeau wanting public transportation. Our $6-an-hour jobs don't go very far compared to our monthly expenses. If we can afford a used car, it usually doesn't last long. We don't put our children's needs on the back burner in order to keep our vehicle running, but we help keep Cape Girardeau running. We work at your retail stores, your gas stations, hotels and fast-food chains.

No honor among ...

AH, PLEAS of innocence. Did you know something like 99.9 percent of prisoners in jails today maintain their innocence? Do we really expect criminals to profess their guilt? Unfortunately, they do not live their lives by the honor system.

Debt of gratitude

I WANT to say thank you to the Davis family, the Romines family, the Hall family and all the soldiers and their families who protect us and strive for freedom in the world. You make us proud. The story about Mandy Davis was a powerful reminder about the courage not only of the soldiers, but of their families. May God be with you, Mandy. May God be with your son. Your husband is a hero, and we owe him and you a debt of gratitude that can never be paid in full.

Deserving of honor

HOUSE SPEAKER Rod Jetton asks the right question in his op-ed column. Aren't there always too many people who are suffering from injustice? Heroes are those who set their own well-being aside to serve others. Our soldiers are doing that, whether they are serving us by helping to create a safer world or serving the Iraqi people who have lived beneath oppression for decades. We should honor them, which also demands honoring their cause.

Economics lesson

WALTER E. Williams presents a simultaneous defense and indictment of the free-market economy in his defense of windfall profits. To be sure, if bread sells for $20 a loaf, bakers will eventually produce more. But what do the folks who cannot afford the $20 eat in the meantime? Not only does Williams not offer a remedy for this real human dilemma, he doesn't even think about it. This is exactly the dilemma that has led nations away from pure free-market economies to mixed economies involving a balance of freedom and regulation. The profits being reaped by oil corporations and their executives are obscene and continue even as the poor working stiffs of this country take the hit. This is what current Republicanism brings you.

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