Speak Out 3/25/09

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The do-nothings

I am disturbed that our country seems to have lost its way. We idolize media characters who have nothing to lose by wagging their tongues. We accept those who cheat unless caught. If they are caught, they get to keep their spoils. We think the way to progress is on the backs of our fellow workers. We are selfish, dishonest and eager to keep it up if it means more riches. I am disappointed in our federal legislators who enjoy total health care but won't advocate the same for us. I am disappointed they have protected-by-law retirements but won't advocate the same for us. The system isn't just broken. It is dysfunctional and getting worse. Don't blame President Obama. He arrived after the flood. But the same cast of characters is still around and just as unresponsive as ever. I am tired of coddling these do-nothing people.

Build parkway

NOW the Missouri Department of Transportation has its piece of the pork pie. It seems to me that $2.2 million to improve Route W out to the new LaSalle Avenue interchange would be better spent building the much needed and more practical Lewis and Clark Parkway.

Unproven strategies

PRESIDENT Obama's supporters should understand that change for the sake of change does not offer hope. We cannot stand by and wait when his policies are not based on sound or proven economic strategies. The path of excessive government spending he is on will only result in more wasteful spending of your tax money and increased national debt. You will experience reality when your lose your job and inflation sets in due to Obama's policies.

A better system

REGARDING David Limbaugh's "Calling on Dem capitalists": Limbaugh wrote that "People work harder when they're allowed to keep the fruits of their labor." I agree, but that hasn't been true for many Americans for a very long time. Teachers, firefighters, biologists, police officers, nurses and many other vital people in our society are paid much less than corporate management, yet they work just as hard or harder to make our society function. How does our economic system motivate them? In a free society, all citizens should have equal opportunity to the same social and political freedoms. That hasn't been true in the U.S. for many years either. When insurance corporations can refuse to sell insurance to individuals due to genetic conditions, those people unlucky enough to have bad genes don't have equal opportunity. Capitalism without any controls does not support democracy any better than pure socialism would. This is a new millennium. I think its time for human beings to develop a better economic system than capitalism or socialism.

Academic woes

I fully agree with Cape Girardeau School Board member Charles Bertrand's comments that district administrators blame their poor academic progress and poor dropout rate on everything and everyone rather than follow through with programs that are working. They start new initiatives each year and hire more social workers and work even more closely with the United Way using our contributions, yet we are never told in news articles or television reporting when any of these money-hungry initiatives have worked or raised academic scores or kept students in school. I wonder if they know. It is not single-parent households or people who are on free- and reduced-lunch programs that are the problem. The problem is in the classroom and with administrators who do not care enough to monitor what is going on in the classroom. My son has watched empty videos at school this year that have nothing to do with the subject he is supposed to be learning. I really do feel that we deserve better in our schools.

Window dressing

YOUR article on Central High School's low graduation rate was insightful. As a parent, I have concerns. Why is the high school's Program for Achieving Success being done only on the ninth-grade level? What is the corresponding program at Central Junior High School and Central Middle School? I would think students who are going to drop out would be at risk in the middle school. Do these administrators get together to plan a program to address these students? It also seems like a Band-Aid approach to do it on the ninth-grade level and then not require it for 10th-graders who are not on track for on-time graduation. I'm sure a bond issue for more classrooms at Central High School and a new football stadium and a new stage complex would make these dropouts want to stay in school even though they can't do the work because they missed learning the basics in reading and math. Throw more of our tax money into bricks and mortar and less into academics. It really looks like the Program for Achieving Success is our district's window dressing for this year.

Mixed message

THE government is increasing taxes on cigarettes ostensibly to encourage smokers to quit for the sake of their health. But the Missouri Legislature is temporarily repealing the law requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets as a matter of freedom of choice. You're free to kill yourself riding a motorcycle but not by smoking. Huh?

School bullying

MUCH bullying goes unnoticed by educators. A lot of it occurs on elementary school playgrounds. Video data show girls to be much better than boys at physical bullying. Their techniques are more sophisticated, subtle and, therefore, virtually undetectable. In-service workshops and ongoing education in this area are vital for teachers and administrators.

Working for myself

I'M a professional person, and I'm not going to work and pay taxes and have my retirement taken away from me to fund other people. I just won't.

Obama's limelight

THE biggest mistake I ever made was voting for President Obama. His socialist agenda is taking America down the wrong road. Being on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno degrades the office we Americans elected him to. I'm glad he's enjoying the limelight while the rest of us are suffering.

Misused credit

THE rest of the story about Missouri's historical preservation tax credit program (March 19 article by Rudi Keller) is that the tax credit is being misused -- surprise! -- to fund a Kansas City Chiefs sports complex in northwestern Missouri.

Green tax holiday

I applaud Jackson and Town Plaza in Cape Girardeau for participating in the green sales tax holiday. Times are bad for everyone, and everyone needs to help in some way. I believe Cape Girardeau should participate.

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