Speak Out A 11/23/03

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Football and philosophy

THERE IS no distinction between philosophy and football, as Southeast Missouri State University's late, great philosophy teacher-football coach Jim Hamby demonstrated so well. Football mirrors all of the philosophical issues we face in life. Thus, SEMO is correct in its assumption that teaching philosophy in an academic setting is superfluous. If one doesn't play football and wants to learn philosophy, attend football practices and games.

Protect the students

WHAT HAS Southeast Missouri State University cut from the top? I hear about the programs, teachers, tuition increases, athletics, secretaries, supplies and increasing class size -- all the things that directly affect a student's education. But what has been trimmed from the top? It looks like SEMO needs some new leaders who will look out for the students' education and services.

University disgrace

TO THE caller who thinks Southeast Missouri State University president Ken Dobbins did a great job with the cuts: The university only cut $35,000 from athletics. The rest came from cutting majors and faculty members as well as other staff positions. What a disgrace to the university.

Right decision

I AM a community member who served on the budget-reduction task force for the Cape Girardeau School District. I volunteered my time and energy to sit on the committee because I have a twofold vested interest in the school system: my children and my tax dollars. I can honestly tell you that the process was an unbiased, genuine attempt to look at and recommend some very difficult ideas about how to save the system that we have to work with. There was no political lobbying or influential rhetoric that took place at any time. While I understand the community's cynicism, I commend superintendent Mark Bowles for not allowing the media in. It would have tainted the dialogue and provided an inaccurate description of a complex process. Rest assured. The community was represented adequately.

He broke the law

ALABAMA CHIEF Justice Roy Moore was removed from office for disobeying the law. As David Limbaugh correctly pointed out, the likes of Moore cannot be tolerated. We are a government of laws and not of men. Moore's claim to have a better insight than other mortals into what the law means is ludicrous.

Playing by the rules

I READ with interest the Speak Out comment from the person who hopes Republican senators will change the rules governing judicial nominees. Go right ahead. And then when we have a Democrat in the White House, the Republicans will not be able to stop his or her nominees. The Democrats are holding up six of Bush's nominees. The Republicans held up 60 of President Clinton's nominees.

It's all discrimination

DISCRIMINATION is discrimination regardless of whether the victim is in the minority. To say that a minority cannot discriminate is kooky.

It isn't going to happen

I SEE Jackson and the school board are paying $24,000 of our money for another study, this time to see if we taxpayers are willing to be taxed a few million for a community center. You can forget it. It is not going to happen with the current mayor, board of aldermen and school board. Someday maybe. But not now.

Lacking qualifications

I DON'T understand how it is acceptable for some parents to decide to homeschool their children when they don't have education degrees. This is comparable to disagreeing with a doctor's diagnosis and deciding on your own treatment for your children. A normal person does not have the medical knowledge to treat his children. Nor does a regular person have the teaching knowledge to teach a child. There is a reason teachers are required to get a college degree.

Must-see TV

FIRST, LET me extol the greatness of being able to sit at home on my couch and watch the Cape Girardeau City Council meetings live on TV. If you have not made this every-other Monday night part of your must-see TV viewing schedule, then you need to tune in and observe. Those not fortunate enough to catch this week's episode missed our fine council members unanimously rejecting a special-use permit in the long-running Edgewood coffee crisis that's plagued that neighborhood for months. I watched in amazement as not even one council member was able to use logic, common sense or law and instead relied on emotions for making an important decision. Either there's something about this case that I'm missing, or that this should have been a decision the scarecrow from the "Wizard of Oz" could have easily made even before he made it to Oz.

Relying on emotion

I CAN hardly believe the Cape Girardeau City Council bases its decision on the emotions of a neighborhood. This is in regard to the people on Edgewood wanting to store coffee in their home. The council members opposing this act as if these people are going to be running a Starbucks on Edgewood. The council didn't even try to clear this up with the people opposing this special-use permit. The council is wrong in not granting this permit. What about the other businesses on Edgewood? Can our council members just do what they want because they like or dislike the people involved? Shame on the entire council and mayor.

Some perspective

LET'S PUT this in perspective. The Republican controlled Senate only approved 80 percent of President Clinton's judicial nominees. The current Senate has approved 97 percent of President Bush's judicial nominees.

Effective discipline

I REMEMBER being in school when you got paddled for bad behavior. It usually only took one or two paddlings every two weeks, and everyone acted fine. Remember how everyone in the school knew when someone was getting a paddling? And remember how the discipline issues would just fade away for awhile? I wish we could bring that back.

Bad judgment

SOUTHEAST MISSOURI State University has made a critical mistake. SEMO has had to make several cutbacks. However, SEMO has its priorities wrong. The university is an academic arena and should focus on that. Instead, it put athletics ahead of academics. To save the college, more cuts should have been made in athletics than academics. Sports suffered only minimal loss, while in academics severe cuts were made. Shame on president Ken Dobbins and the regents for their bad judgment.

Computer was misused

I'D LIKE to respond to a caller who suggested that we remove the computers from the classrooms in the Cape Girardeau School District for budget cuts. I agree. I worked at a school last year as a teaching assistant, and I can tell you firsthand that the teacher I worked with did not use her computer very much for classroom work. She used it for e-mailing her former college friends and for business for her alumni association. She used the computer one time a week to print out spelling tests, and that was it. I feel like that's a waste of our tax dollars.

They chose to serve

I HAVE to take exception to what Sharon Mueller, president of the Cape Girardeau School Board, said: "It probably looks bad, but you have to remember this is a voluntary position that requires a lot of time." Being a school board member is not a voluntary position. It's an elected position. Those people decided to run for election to take that position on the school board. If they don't have the time, they shouldn't be on the board. They have to take along the responsibility to show up for the meetings.

Smackdown coming?

MARK BOWLES bowls me over with his brazen willingness to break Missouri's Sunshine Law in order to stick it to the Southeast Missourian. Next thing you'll know, he'll be single-handedly challenging the Southeast Missourian editorial staff to a smackdown at the Show Me Center.

Short-sighted decision

I AM an alumnus of the Southeast Missouri State University. The decision of the regents to cut academics with only token cuts in athletics is deplorable and short-sighted. The sciences are and have always been a mainstay of national security as well as the various discoveries of medicines and inventions of new products which have boosted the health of our economy and made it the best in the world. The rationale of the decision of the regents is beyond my comprehension.

Shoeboxes for Soldiers

A SHORT time is left for preparing Shoeboxes for Soldiers. There is a need for 300 shoeboxes for a whole battalion, and so far it's reaching the 100 mark. This week, even on Thanksgiving Day, you have a chance to help others by putting together a shoebox. It's so simple to put in microwave popcorn or get a plastic bag and put in some envelopes and paper for the soldiers to write home. Other suggested items are baby wipes, hard candy, little games or playing cards. I would ask that people take time to do a Shoebox for Soldiers. If you can, give a $10 or $15 donation and drop it off at the armory near Arena Park. That will help defer the cost of mailing. We can make a difference for these soldiers over in Iraq this holiday, and we need to do it soon.

Limbaugh's rationale

AS A fellow chronic pain sufferer, let me add perspective to the Rush Limbaugh controversy. I wish nothing but the best for Limbaugh, but the apologists are trying to separate him from every other junkie in the world. I know from experience that modern medicine will continue to treat chronic pain when there's no need to obtain massive quantities of illegal narcotics. If you listened to Limbaugh's return to his radio show on Monday, you heard him admit that his use of illegal narcotics was because he liked them. In his own words, these were used for recreational purposes. Isn't it ironic that Limbaugh has become the poster boy for the decriminalization of drugs?

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