Speak Out 8/9/06

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Strict dress code

THE ADOPTION of a draconian dress code by the Cape Girardeau School District is a direct assault on allowing students to express their individual personae and an attempt to revert to an early 1950s anti-multicultural mindset. A similar experiment was attempted in the early 1970s and was an abysmal failure. There is no reason to think the coming crackdown will have a different outcome.

Exxon expose

THIS IS a message to the Exxon stockholder. You're correct, Americans are continuing to consume more gasoline and are directly increasing the value of your stock. Kudos to you. On the contrary, you claim that people drive three miles on a half-gallon of gas. That's six miles to the gallon. NASCAR cars running as fast as possible achieve about five to six miles to the gallon. Not even super-exotic cars are EPA rated with city MPG that low. Also, the closest Mobil station is in Farmington, Mo., and the closest Exxon station is in Paducah, Ky. Hence, local drivers and their driving habits actually harm your stock values because they are purchasing gas other than an Exxon product.

Mixed media message

BASED ON the way our news media condemn Mel Gibson's remarks while at the same time humanizing Hezbollah and its glorious fight with Israel, one would think that it's OK to kill Jews as long as you don't say anything bad about them while you do it.

Economic push

ISN'T IT odd that the Bush administration urges Cubans to fight for democracy and overthrow the dictatorship while supporting the Saudis and many other brutal dictatorships? Why is this? The answer is simple: When dictators comply with the U.S. economic agenda, they are generally supported. When they don't, they are a menace to the world. Chavez, Castro and others would be viewed as fine global citizens if they'd just cooperate. But the really amazing thing is that the U.S. public seldom sees through their own corporate-driven media propaganda. Kuwaitis good. Castro bad. Citizens salivate on command.

Spend on kids

IT IS that time of year again for the big school supply list. Along with buying clothes and shoes, you have to buy tennis balls and baby wipes? We work and pay taxes and send our kids to public school. Why doesn't the school buy tennis balls instead of landscaping and flowers? We pay enough taxes to cover facial tissues, but our kids are expected to bring six boxes. Each year the list gets bigger. Parents think the money should go for the kids. That is what should matter the most. Kids don't care about landscaping.

Not from prison

TO THE person who said tattoos are gross and dirty looking, I have to say mine are pretty. I don't have skulls, naked women or curse words. Only a purple heart and a fancy B. Maybe if I would have got them in prison they would be gross and dirty looking.

Turn off AC

MANY HAVE died in the recent heat wave. Though it seems counterintuitive, I call upon area citizens to assist in the fight against global warming by turning off their air conditioners for the remainder of the summer. Air conditioners increase greenhouse gases and make it harder for nighttime air to cool. To quote from an Internet article, "Outdoor air used to cool at night, allowing us to recover from the day's heat. Now it doesn't. To fuel our own air conditioning, we're destroying nature."

Prefer isolation

WHY DOESN'T David Limbaugh have the courage of his convictions to blame not the Democrats, but the American people for our inability to take a tough enough stand against Iraq, Iran, Syria and North Korea. Surely Limbaugh knows the isolationist mindset has always been strong in the Midwest and is growing throughout the nation. The Democrats and growing numbers of Republicans are reflecting the views of their constituents. Rightly or wrongly, the American people have come to believe we're way too overextended in the world and would be better off building a stronger Fortress America.

Sales-tax math

I SAW the scramble to get a discount on school-related items on the tax-free weekend. People with carts full of clothing, school supplies and computers were rushing to the checkout lanes. Then they pulled out a credit card to pay for it all. I know that most will not pay the credit-card balance at the end of the month. So these shoppers saved 4 to 7 cents on the dollar that would have gone to our local governments. They are going to pay 18 to 26 percent interest on their credit-card balance. It's no wonder why people are retiring with nothing to show for it and expecting the government to pay for their golden years.

Tax savings help

THANK YOU, Cape Girardeau City Council and Missouri Legislature. The sales-tax break made it a little easier for my family to get the school supplies and clothes we need. Putting four kids through school at the same time gets expensive, and every little bit helps.

On the carpet

AS A teacher in the Jackson School District, I can understand a teacher being afraid of retaliation. If I didn't work here, I wouldn't believe the stuff that's going on. Teachers have been called into the principal's office and accused by a team of administrators of making calls to Speak Out, even when the Speak Out caller identified himself as a parent and talked about his child. When the teachers deny making the call, they are threatened with dismissal if they do this again. No matter what the teacher says, they are ignored and browbeaten. Afraid of retaliation? You bet.

List grows longer

I AM amazed at the variety of items now required as school supplies. In addition to the zip-top bags, wipes and host of other items mentioned by a previous caller, Franklin Elementary School lists headphones for computer class. I can afford them, but many cannot. It is my understanding that beyond a No. 2 pencil and lined writing paper, public schools cannot require anything else. Would anyone from the school like to verify that?

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