Speak Out 05/17/04

Monday, May 17, 2004

Familiar flowers

APPLAUSE TO all the wonderful folks who have such beautiful roses, peonies, iris beds and other oldie-but-goody flower varieties in their yards. What a treat to see these lovely sights. In this day of strips malls and less and less green space, it is a wonderful way to keep our hometowns beautiful. To all of you who are planning your gardens, consider adding the above in your plan. And don't forget to add them in your front yards where everyone can enjoy them. And, last but not least, remember to stop and smell the roses.

Don't involve Jackson

THE WHOLE nickname issue at Southeast Missouri State University is a very interesting debate. There are many sides to it, none of which have anything to do with Jackson High School. Please do not ever compare the Jackson mascot to Southeast. I would hope the university would never go back to insulting Native American culture by dressing a mascot to dance on the field. The current debate is about Southeast. Let's keep it that way.

Mixing cultures

I HAVE read many comments about why Southeast Missouri State University should not retire the Indian nickname. One is because the Chiefs and the Redskins are not going to change, so why should the university? How about because Southeast is an institution that is supposed to educate individuals, not promote stereotypes? "Indians" is a generic term that lumps together a multitude of different Native American cultures and traditions. This is wrong, and an institution if higher learning should not be involved in this practice. Change the nickname.

Looking for tradition

I AM tired of the few Southeast Missouri State University alumni who are claiming that by changing the university nickname we would be "taking away" tradition. They should be glad that they got to experience tradition, because right now there isn't any left. The Indians and Otahkians are not used; therefore, there is no tradition anymore. There's nothing to take away, only something to give to the current and future students.

Finishing the bridge

MY FATHER is one of the workers on the Diversion Channel bridge. Do you all think construction workers are trying to take as long as they can to build the bridge? No. They want to get it done. Those workers are doing all they can to finish the bridge as fast as possible. The workers have a job to do just like the rest of us. I think they are doing an excellent job. Keep up the good work, guys.

No perfect world

THIS COMMENT is addressed to the person disgusted with the media. It's not a perfect world where people get a get-out-of-dying-free card. It's not a perfect world where honest people live. So what if it so happens to be Iraqi prisoners who are being mistreated? So what if the soldiers violated the Geneva Conventions that state torture of prisoners is against international law? There is a point behind the coverage to expose those willing to commit heinous acts against humanity. And using the blameless "I was just following orders" is wrong.

No hidden agenda

IF I walk my dogs after dark it is out of consideration for others who might not share my love for animals. I think there are some paranoid people in this world who have no clue. Everyone is out to get them. My dogs take care of business in their own back yard. There is no hidden agenda except for exercise.

Now the consequences

HOW ABSOLUTELY unfortunate that the U.S. soldiers involved themselves in abuses of Iraqi prisoners. They and their superiors have single-handedly caused permanent damage to the United States' global credibility. They, their superiors and those who did not heed the previously submitted report of abuses in Iraq, are 100 percent responsible for the death of the man who was beheaded yesterday and for further retaliatory abuses to come from the Iraqis. Their foolish, deplorable, actions have had grave consequences.

SINCE SOUTHEAST Missouri State University wants a more marketable mascot, it should be held accountable. Taxpayers and alumni should see the results of those marketing efforts. I think the best marketing tool you can have is winning teams. Then the money will come in and the mascot really won't matter that much. It's always about the money.

We're not thugs

IT IS true that American abuse of Iraqi detainees, as far as we know, pales in comparison to atrocities committed against us. The inhuman beheading of an American makes the case. However, the argument provides very cold comfort. We hold ourselves up to the world as a model of humanitarian treatment of detainees and prisoners, not as being relatively less thuggish.

Shooting at invaders

WHY ARE people surprised that Iraqis are shooting at our troops and blowing them up? We're the ones who invaded and occupied their country. I'd be doing the same thing if another country invaded and occupied us. If you don't want Iraqis shooting at and blowing up our troops, then get our troops out of Iraq and back home where they can do what they are supposed to do, namely defending America.

Limbaugh's truth

IN DEFENSE of David Limbaugh, he has spent so much time trying to convince others of the exclusive truth of Christianity, he has convinced himself.

Red is the color

SINCE THE the university wants to pick a mascot theme that will also allow us to continue to use the present school colors, be a icon of our region, and appeal to our "fighting" spirit, I suggest we use the one creature that appears in no danger of extinction in Southeast Missouri. Please welcome the Southeast Rednecks.

Thimerosal legislation

THIS LEGISLATION is so important for our children. Parents everywhere urge you, Senator Kinder, to please move on this before it is too late. I have a 2 1/2-year-old on the autism spectrum. My son had the measles mumps and rubella shot and broke out with a fever of 103 and a rash from head to toe. My son had a 20-word vocabulary that instantly stopped two days after the reaction to the MMR shot. We need to stop this madness. Why would we believe that anyone, especially children, could endure shots with mercury/thimerosal in them? Think of our future.

Likes dresses

I WANT to thank the Southeast Missourian for running the prom pictures online again this year. I enjoy seeing all the dresses.

Shame on Bush

SHAME ON President Bush for not taking charge of the Iraqi prison situation earlier. This president has no curiosity. All he does is trust his advisers without holding them accountable. He's a puppet for Cheney as anyone who isn't hopelessly brainwashed by Republican zealotry can see.

Who's the enemy?

CAN THE contrast be any more stark? Americans are in an uproar, God bless us, because some of our troops humiliated Iraqi prisoners who were being kept in the high-security area of a prison. Meanwhile, there is little reaction from the Arab world when an innocent American businessman has his head sawed off in front of the cameras by people who say they represent the alternative to American-installed democracy. I hope we Americans never change. There should be an uproar about how these troops disgraced America. But we should also be clear about who the enemy is. It is not Donald Rumsfeld.

Appalled by Speak Out

I AM appalled at some of the Speak Out comments about the prison abuse. We started the war in Iraq because of atrocities that were going on over there, and we thought as a nation we could help innocent people over there have a better life. But if we are going over there and abusing prisoners, and some of you think this is right, what kind of people does that make us? Aren't we just as inhumane and cruel as their previous leader was? I understand this is war, but I also would like to think we as enlightened human beings were beyond cruelty and inhumane treatment of another human being no matter what the situation.

Watching for speeders

THE SCOTT County or Cape Girardeau County sheriff's departments need to watch the county road that runs between County Road 204 and Nash Road. No matter the time of day, drivers consistently run the stop signs and do not yield to oncoming traffic. The speed limit is not posted, and the drivers take advantage of it.

In praise of mud

I LIVE out of state, but I'm originally from Jackson. I just found out that the Jackson Fourth of July mud volleyball tournament was canceled this year. I can't believe it. The Jackson Fourth of July celebration -- mainly the mud volleyball tournament -- brought the whole community together. It's what I immediately think of when someone mentions a Fourth of July celebration. I annually drove up from out of state for it. I really think the turnout is going to be sad this year. The car show will not pull in the same crowd. A true disappointment.

Where is outrage?

THE U.S. Senate viewed the unreleased photos of the Iraq prisoners being abused and promptly ran to the media crying about how disgusting and terrible they were. Where is all this outrage when Americans are shown on Islamic TV and Web sites being beheaded or having their burnt bodies hung from bridges? I guess a picture of a naked Iraqi is more disgusting than a videotape showing an American being beheaded or our people's bodies being hung from bridges. I think the Iraqi prisoners should have gotten a whole lot more than they did.

Provoking violence

THE AMERICAN soldiers who abused the Iraqi prisoners are the present reason and future reason that American soldiers are being killed over there everyday. How can they do such things? And who would be stupid enough to videotape it and take pictures. They just set our country up for further violence!

Lack of understanding

IF DAVID Limbaugh really believes the only thing standing in the way of bringing democracy to Iraq is the terrorist threat, then he has a terrible lack of understanding or knowledge of the history of this beleaguered artificial construct of a country we call Iraq.

Mercenaries, not soldiers

JUST TO correct one of many erroneous speaks outs, the people dragged behind the truck in Iraq were mercenaries -- not U.S. soldiers.

Tit for tat

IF IRAQI leader Saddam Hussein was responsible for the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib when he was in power in Iraq, Bush-Cheney are responsible now.

Betting on fire department

I WONDER if the caller who called the fire department "ambulance chasers" has ever watched his or her home burn to the ground? I wonder if this same caller has ever been mugged, raped, battered or robbed? I bet the answer to both of these questions is no. But I would bet my last dollar that this same person would rely on both the fire and police departments if any of these things happened.

There's still funnel cakes

WHAT A terrible lineup for the SEMO fair. LeRoy Van Dyke, Sammy Kershaw, David Frizell, Jimmy Fortune, Rex Allen Jr., and 3 Dog Night? This line up is worse than the opening act at a riverboat casino. Something for everyone? Sammy Kershaw and 3 Dog Night are the only names familiar to those under the age of 65, and who really cares about either one. Good luck meeting your 100,000 people in attendance goal. Believe me, those who go to the fair will be there for the livestock and the funnel cakes, not the entertainment.

What Jesus said

TO ALL of those who feel that the Iraqi prisoners were not abused and we have the right to do what was done: Jesus said "You have heard it said an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but I say unto you, love one another even as I have loved you". Anyone can pray for a friend. It takes a disciple to pray for an enemy.

City propaganda

I JUST opened my city water bill and received that fine piece of propaganda the city saw fit to include with the bill. I couldn't help but literally laugh out loud and then become angered. The city spent the money that it tells us it doesn't have for thousands of pieces of literature. If the city can spend money on this garbage, they do not need a tax increase. I had already decided I was voting no. Now my mind is absolutely made up.

Schools' song and dance

I READ that the school systems are getting more tax money than they had been promised. But now the educators are still saying it's not enough. I for one am sick and tired of their song and dance. I suggest they cut some of the "fat" from the budgets, tighten their belts as we taxpayers do and start educating our children.

I am a current student at Southeast and I was at the Indian nickname forum on wed. At the forum a southeast alum got up and spoke on behalf of the Indian mascot. He told a emotional story of his experiences on campus when Southeast had a mascot. Until that night, I hadn't realized just what I was missing. I wish that I felt the same way as this alum does about Southeast. It is unfair that students today do not have the same experience that alums had. We need a new nickname so we can develop a mascot that will evoke those same emotions. If Southeast gets a new nickname, we won't be taking away any tradition that isn't already gone. Instead, we would be giving something back to students that has been missing for a long time.

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