Speak Out 04/21/04

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Gifford has big impact

THE STORY of Dr. Robert Gifford's retirement was quite touching. As a former student, I recall the immeasurable inspiration he conveyed to everyone in his sight. He is a teacher willing to sacrifice anything to enhance his students' appreciation and understanding of great music. While there are many great teachers in the area, only a few have had such a huge impact on so many successful students. Thank you, Dr. Gifford.

Obey the law

I HAVE a novel idea: Drive the speed limit and you will not get stopped by the police. We should be a little more grateful for our police officers.

Thanks for the wig

I WOULD like to thank the young man who ran after my wig. It blew off my head. The young man must have sprinted 300 feet before recovering it. Thank you, Tony, for a job well done.

Read what he said

SAVE THE Indian? Read Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal Act of 1830 as well as his farewell address. We're a little late.

Outrageous taxation

WOULD THE Southeast Missourian like it if a liberal legislature passed a tax specifically on the Missourian simply because it prints opinions the legislature doesn't like? I doubt it. But that's what our state Rep. Rod Jetton and state Rep. Jason Crowell are attempting to do to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Kansas City Star. It's an outrage by two out-of-control demagogues.

Political agenda

THE REPUBLICAN-controlled Missouri House promised it would pass no new taxes. However, after the St. Louis Post-Dispatch printed an editorial strongly condemning the House members' use of state money for their personal health insurance, the House vindictively and quickly responded with a new tax on the Post-Dispatch and Kansas City Star. Not only has the House lied about taxes, it has acted contrary to freedom of speech. The reality is that there are people in the House who are threats to this country and to our freedom. They will do anything to advance their personal political goals. Several of these people represent our region. It is a very sad time indeed.

Insensitive behavior

IT'S UNBELIEVABLE and indicative of incredible ignorance and arrogance that anyone would want to continue with the Indian name at Southeast Missouri State University. We waged genocide on these people for a century and then herded them onto the poorest land in the country. Now we feel it's all right to mock them with caricatures. Why don't people get it? It's just plain disrespectful. If you want to perpetuate the prevalent stereotype that Southeast Missourians are a bunch of insensitive, undeducated, simple-minded, knee-jerk conservatives, just keep the name.

Time to apologize

I SEE where Illinois has apologized to the Mormons for kicking them out of the state more than 150 years ago. When is Missouri going to do the same? The extermination order issued by Gov. Boggs was only lifted by Gov. Bond in the 1970s. Now it is time for Missouri to apologize for forcing the Mormons out of their homes in the dead of winter in the 1830s. Then let's talk about reparations. All the Mormons property that was seized from them should be returned to them, including a large part of the city of Independence and most of Caldwell County. Just because it happened a long time ago doesn't make it OK.

Rebuilding plan

IN RESPONSE to the editorial that asked about John Kerry's plan to salvage Iraq, it may just be that President Bush has gotten us into such a mess that no one can come up with a good plan at this moment. The more critical issue is that the Bush administration has managed to irreparably alienate critical countries whose help we desperately need to address terrorism and to develop whatever plan for Iraq may be possible. This alienation is virtually total when it comes to Bush. No one will trust him. Kerry, for all his faults, opens the possibility of beginning to rebuild those international relationships. Most Americans -- apparently even the editorial staff of the Missourian -- are unaware of this absolutely critical factor of rebuilding international cooperation.

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