Speak Out 11/13/03

Thursday, November 13, 2003

A fitting tribute

I HAVE always been proud to be an American, and now I am proud to be a resident of Scott City. As a resident and teacher in the Scott City School District, I would like to commend both the school and the community for the touching display of American pride at the Veterans Day assembly to honor our local veterans and all veterans around the world. The music, the speeches, the tributes and the sight of local veterans being honored was very touching. God bless America, and God bless the Rams.

Action needed

I'M OUTRAGED that the prosecuting attorney can make a mistake like giving a gun back to someone that beat his girlfriend, then the guy kills someone with it. I think the prosecuting attorney should be at least relieved of his job.

Not competitive

THE POINT is that SEMO has no business spending taxpayer money on Division I athletics, because it has never been nor will it ever be competitive. About 25 universities dominate NCAA Division I tournament play in basketball, and SEMO is probably not in the top 200 schools. Football is little better.

Troop levels

PRESIDENT BUSH indicated just last week that additional U.S. troops would not be needed in Iraq, saying, "General Abizaid makes the decision as to whether or not he needs more troops. ... And he told me he does" have enough troops. But the Pentagon announced plans to temporarily increase troop levels by as many as 50,000 in Iraq before reducing total troop size in Iraq to 105,000 by next spring. So, whom do we believe, and how many times will the story change by the end of the year?

All on the teachers

IF CLASSROOM teachers are supposed to lead and teach every aspect of education, social skills, discipline and citizenship, just what are the responsibilities of the parents?

Unruly students

WHO IN a public school system is going to take responsibility for restoring a peaceful environment to the classroom for students who want to learn? Unruly students should be turned over to their parents after suspension. Upon return to school, if they are still uncontrollable, they should be expelled. They should not be able to hold a classroom hostage through their disruptive, unruly behavior. Someone has to take responsibility. This will relieve the teachers so that they can teach instead of being disciplinarians.

Roses, not taverns

CAPE GIRARDEAU is becoming the City of Taverns, not the City of Roses. The police are going to have another drive to try to catch all these kids who are supposed to be drinking. Get rid of the taverns. That's our problem. We need roses, not taverns.

Protecting life

WHEN CONGRESS passed a bill banning partial-birth abortion, the practice of taking a baby halfway out of the mother's womb and then killing it, Bill Clinton would not sign the bills passed by the majority of Republicans and Democrats, owing his allegiance to the pro-abortion groups. President Bush, thank God, signed a bill preventing this hideous act. Maybe some day all abortion of children will stop and some won't consider civil rights over their body more important than a human life.

Stopping the terrorists

THOSE "ACTS of terrorism two years ago that helped create an unsettled economy," as stated in a recent editorial, were much more than just acts of terrorism. That Arab attack on America was a direct challenge to America. Our loyal President Bush answered that murderous and devastating challenge by taking action in Afghanistan and Iraq. That's where the enemies conspired. The unsettled economy was another victim of that attack on America, but the enemy will pay dearly for challenging America and causing all this damage to the United States. Terrorists worldwide and their supporters will be exterminated. The wise, loyal American leadership of President Bush will see to that. Terrorists will regret they ever attacked America.

Political reality

THIS IS to the person who said we should impeach an elected official if he doesn't fulfill a campaign promise within a certain amount of time. You are a political genius. And let's start mailing our letters to Santa and the Easter bunny early this year, because you have shown all of us the light. Look up impeachment in the dictionary. Memorize it. Go to Jefferson City and stand on the highest stump you can find and scream out the definition. Count how many people agree with you and how many people laugh at you. Politics does not work that way. If you are voting for someone because of what they can give you, please do all of us taxpayers a favor and don't vote. If you get something from the government, the funds to pay for it come from someone else's pocket.

Job unhappiness

I REMEMBER at eighth-grade graduation, the speaker told us one cannot be happy in an occupation he's not suited for or he's not happy with. That's what high schools are for, to prepare you. You were told the best thing, if you're not happy, is to go in the service and find your occupation there. It's only understandable if people are not happy with their occupation.

The heart of education

I KEEP reading in the paper about how important the athletic department and being in Division I are to Southeast Missouri University. This shows how much times have changed. I graduated about 45 years ago from college. Back then, when I chose a college, I looked at its standing in academics and how it was rated within the field that I would study. This can be done whether it's business or liberal arts or science. But to choose based on athletics seems like we've totally lost touch with what education is about.

Leaning to the right

I DON'T buy it. The "old ex-democrat" who "used to campaign for Jack Kennedy" but now thinks the party is part of the socialist fringe is completely disingenuous. The Democratic Party is now more right-leaning than the Republican Party under Richard Nixon. Bill Clinton's major accomplishments included NAFTA and welfare reform. Far from being an irresponsible tax-and-spend liberal, Clinton was a fiscal conservative who balanced the budget. I've read the same rant from the "old ex-democrat" before. Give me a break, the last true liberal in the Democratic Party was FDR.

Show some respect

IT IS with great sadness that I have finally come to realize that, as an educator, I am no more than a puppet with strings attached to the federal, state and local governments and the taxpayers who fund the schools. I am not known to anyone as the person who sits with your child when he is frustrated and talking of dropping out of school, searching for a confidante, needing a counselor, wanting approval and acceptance, dealing with social issues, pregnancy, drug problems, self-esteem, divorce or hopelessness. Yes, you invest taxes that support our schools, but we invest in your children. Please show us some respect.

Brilliant column

MORLEY SWINGLE'S column about the judge and the concealed-weapons law was brilliant. He exposed the judge's illogic with great humor. I hope the Missouri Supreme Court disposes of the judge's flawed and ridiculous thinking with such grace.

Pea-and-shell game

APPARENTLY, THE university's administration and regents are playing the pea-and-shell game with the day, time and place for the board meeting where Phase 1 program cuts will be announced. This speaks volumes about the integrity of this group and its unwillingness to face criticism.

Criminal advantage

THE SECOND Amendment gives us the right to bear arms. To take away the right to defend ourselves only serves to benefit the criminal and those with the most horrible intentions. Politicians and judges were put into office to serve us, not to disarm us so that the criminal who will always be armed has an advantage over a law-abiding citizen. How warped is the thinking that would put the criminal at an advantage by disarming his prey?

A patient doctor

I FEEL sorry for the person who has a doctor who doesn't take the time to examine him. Fortunately there are still some doctors out there who have the time and will take the time to not only examine you, but also listen to you and talk to you. I have been lucky enough to have such a doctor. Thanks for doing a great job every time I see you, Dr. Ken Phillips. You are a blessing from God.

Primary function

IT IS truly amazing that yet another Speak-Out caller should be suggesting, just like the Southeast administration, that athletics should be saved and academic programs should be undermined. What, exactly, is the primary function of Southeast Missouri State University? Is it really local entertainment? Is it really appropriate to spend 10 percent of the academic budget, namely taxpayers' contributions to this university, for athletics that serve zero educational function?

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