Speak Out 05/09/04

Monday, May 10, 2004

Special DARE program

I ATTENDED the DARE graduation at Central Middle School. What a pleasure it was. I want to thank my son's teacher for calling me and letting me know about his winning the essay contest and being able to read his essay at the graduation. I would like to thank my employer for letting me attend. It was a very nice program, and I'm really glad I was able to attend.

Nell Holcomb concert

THERE WAS some wonderful entertainment going on at Nell Holcomb School, the gym walls were shaking with a fantastic music program put on by the Nell Holcomb band, guitar class and junior high chorus directed by Mary Mims. Music ranged from "What a Wonderful World" to "Ring of Fire" and included so many favorites. The talent shown by these young people and their director was fantastic. It was a night enjoyed by all who were lucky to be there. Watch the marquee in front of the school for future concerts, free and open to the public.

Look at nature

TAKE A closer look at nature. Splendid blossom, your beauty is enthralling. The aroma of leaves that surround you mingle with your perfume and excite wild delight. You give creatures big and small great joy by your presence. Fish, you are marvelous, gentling gliding in your domain, keeping spry on a warm, spring day. You temp the angler, beware. Buck, your form and magnificent feathers fascinate me. Playful, your antics make me smile. Calm water, you are home for many living beings. Perhaps someday all people will respect you. Become a naturalist. Look closely at tiny insects. Look closely at groves of mushrooms and other fungi. Read about ecology and understand the perfection of ecosystems. With understanding comes appreciation. With appreciation comes rapture.

Proud representation

JACKSON HIGH School has always been proud to represent our school as Indians. Intention has been and continues to honor America's Indians. Let those who love and respect representing American Indians live in peace.

Will regents listen?

A CURRENT poll shows 69 percent of our area residents want to keep the Indian as Southeast Missouri State University's mascot. I hope our board of regents will not be foolish enough to derail a SEMO tradition that is important to the hundreds of alumni who respect our Indian heritage.

Let supporters vote

NEARLY 1,200 students voted for a new nickname? I am amazed. I have attended many home basketball games and haven't seen anywhere near that many students -- ever. Perhaps the voting should have taken place at athletic events where only those who care enough to show up get to have a say.

Too much extinction

GREAT. WE'RE going from an extinct culture (Indian) to an extinct animal (red wolf)? I like red hawks better. At least they're still around.

Patching potholes

CAPE GIRARDEAU has a weird way of patching streets. First workers lay down an excessive amount of gravel in low spots. Then sometime much later, they cover the area with asphalt. Numerous vehicles have to travel over these dangerous and annoying gravel piles. This is a very dangerous and costly scenario. Who is responsible when my windshield gets cracked by a flying rock city crews put there?

No common sense

DID YOU know that Mississippi is an Indian name? Let's keep our minds on unimportant issues and rename it the Muddy River. Does the public really think this will encourage tourism and more students to Southeast Missouri State University? And do you believe SEMO is paying someone to check on campus rumors? Where is common sense?

Treatment of women

IN MID-APRIL, the Muslim government of Sudan had a Christian woman arrested for not wearing a head scarf in public. An Islamic court fined her 40 lashes on her back and the equivalent of about $40, which was about a third of her salary. She was traveling on a bus through the town to her home in a Khartoum suburb where she lived. Muslims exercise tolerance, faith, love and peace. But they want all women to be like their women.

Mascot meeting

IN REGARD to the "Bad timing" comment about the open forum on the mascot change: There is an open forum at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Academic Hall. Your hard-earned money is not going to fund this mess. The people involved in this are volunteering and committing their time.

Indian backers cut off

SOUTHEAST MISSOURI State University's hearings on the mascot name change are a sham. Several people and I were planning on going to the last one to speak on behalf of saving the Indian mascot. We received an e-mail that the meeting had been canceled only to find out in the paper the next day that it had been held. And some people were wondering why no one was there to speak in favor of it. Everyone spoke in support of changing the mascot. Over and over again we have been shouted down. The majority of us who support keeping the Indian name do not even exist, according to the university. University officials have an agenda and are not going to rest until the name is changed.

Responsible breeding

ABOUT THE article on puppies and backyard breeding: I am disgusted. I have three dogs, and we do occasionally breed them. We have purchased our dogs through licensed breeders. How can having a license and keeping dogs in small pens be better than keeping a dog in a clean 15-by-30 run, even though you're not licensed? If keeping dogs in small pet carriers all the time and having poop piled outside around the cages is acceptable, then I will never be a licensed breeder and will always just be a backyard breeder. We have a couple litters a year, and I am very reputable. We have good references. People love our dogs. We are not irresponsible.

Coverage of abuse

IRAQI PRISONERS aren't the only ones over there being abused. But the news media is totally blowing it out of proportion, in my opinion. The media are falling right into Iraq's hands.

Tables are turned

OUR ENEMIES in Iraq have burned and dismembered American bodies, dragged the bodies behind vehicles, hung American bodies off bridges. What is the major concern of the mainstream media? The U.S. military is humiliating Iraqi prisoners. Give me a break. Not long ago these prisoners were trying to kill Americans. Now, according to the media, we're supposed to feel sorry for these prisoners. How absurd.

Disgraceful torture

THE ARMY generals are being quick to deny that any actual torture occurred. But an Iraqi prisoner who was tortured under Saddam's regime by electrocution and by being hung upside down with his hands behind his back said he was stripped completely naked and forced to bend over by American troops. He says he vastly preferred the physical torture of Saddam to the disgrace under Iraqi culture he was put through by American soldiers.

How they treat us

IT SEEMS some people are getting bent out of shape because we mistreated some Iraqi prisoners. What about what some Iraqi people are doing to our people over there? They're shooting them and blowing them up, they're killing them with rockets and everything else. But that's OK. You shouldn't get bent out of shape. Just get bent out of shape if you have an Iraqi prisoner mistreated a little bit. I'd say let them fuss about what they're doing to us, and then we can get concerned about what we're doing to them.

Children in the street

I ALMOST ran over a little kid behind a convenience store on William Street. Children were walking in the street They were on one side and then the other, riding bicycles and walking. I was watching the kids on the right and this little girl on the left almost walked in front of me. If my son hadn't hollered at me, I probably would have run over her. The street is not a playground. It's ridiculous. Parents should keep their kids at home or supervise them. They need to stay out of the street before somebody gets hurt or worse.

Problems at school

THE PROBLEM with Cape Girardeau's public schools is not money. The district apparently doesn't want to deal with children who have different needs or those children they want medicated because they don't have the time or the motivation to attempt a different approach. I realize a teacher can't focus on one child at the expense of the rest of the class, but that doesn't mean a child who sees things differently and learns kinetically should be labeled a troublemaker because the teacher can't find the time to do anything differently for that child. If a child does well in every other environment than school, doesn't that suggest that the school is the problem?

Chain of command

THERE IS little doubt in my mind that the soldiers who committed the abuses against Iraqi prisoners will be made fall guys and scapegoats for carrying out orders that came from much higher up in the chain of command.

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