Speak Out A 11/24/01

Saturday, November 24, 2001

Watch the poetry

THE BEAUTIFUL poetry in Southeast Missourian columnist Sam Blackwell's columns inspired Dennis Wyman to turn what he described as "quite poetic" and submit a poem for publication. Sam, I hate to cramp your style but would ask that, if your poetry is going to affect others in a similar way, you immediately cease and desist from writing, or at least publishing, poetry.

School placebo

THE EDITORIAL regarding the Philadelphia schools was interesting. I do not completely disagree with turning over the schools to a private company. However, schoolteachers and administrators are an easy scapegoat for larger societal problems. Unfortunately, inner-city areas are plagued by the lack of adequate health care, extreme poverty, alarming violence and a sense of hopelessness. As a society, we have protected the wealthy while warehousing the poor in inner-city areas. Undoubtedly, changes are necessary in school administration. But it's foolish to think a private school system will eliminate all problems facing these inner-city children. At best, privatization is a placebo for larger problems.

Filling their minds

YES, THE children are reading Harry Potter, but what they are putting inside their minds will forever be there.

Ashcroft's lie

JOHN ASHCROFT stated in his confirmation hearing that he would not let his religion influence his decisions. He lied. The people of Utah through democratic process voted to allow doctor-assisted suicide. Ashcroft has used dictatorial powers in saying he will revoke the federal drug license of any doctor assisting a suicide. Ashcroft once said of Bill Clinton that a lie is a lie. This also applies to Ashcroft. He should be impeached.

Value of training

TO THE caller pointing out a Cape Central basketball championship in 1980: In case you haven't figured that up, it's over two decades since that happened. The disco era was barely over when that occurred. Since then, players have gotten bigger, stronger and more athletic in every sport. Look at Serena and Venus Williams. These are not tennis players from the 1980s. How? Weight training, proper nutrition and pride to excel. Cape's coaches, parents and athletes themselves should either push for a more rigorous and informed conditioning program or live with mediocre results. Winning a district championship is fine, but eventually our teams will encounter schools like Jefferson City, Hazelwood and others that will be more highly conditioned and stronger than Perryville.

Character ranking

SINCE DAVID Limbaugh and others have gotten us on this character kick, it might be a good time to rank 20th-century presidents according to their moral character. From worst to best, my research offers the following indisputable rankings: Nixon, Clinton, JFK, FDR, LBJ, Ike, Bush I, Harding, Reagan, Taft, Truman, Teddy Roosevelt, Wilson, Hoover, Ford, Coolidge, Carter.

It's not explosive

MY HUSBAND says nuclear waste does not blow up.

Time for an overhaul

LOOKS LIKE our university is at it again. How disgraceful that it will hire someone because she is a minority but doesn't meet other qualifications. But if you're a white male, the university won't hire you. That's just discrimination at its worst. I think the university needs a major overhaul from the River Campus to their hiring practices.

It's discrimination

ONCE AGAIN, a rose by any other name ... . No matter how the university rationalizes what they're doing and no matter what they call it, it's discrimination plain and simple.

Genuine pursuit?

IN RESPONSE to the article on SEMO's pursuit of diversity. If the pursuit is so genuine, why is it so difficult for some of the university's own minority master-level graduates to even obtain interviews for the vacancies?

A wonderful season

HOW ABOUT those Jackson Indians? We're so proud of the Jackson football coaching staff. You players are top-notch. You're talented and showed much heart, class and determination. You are outstanding. Thank you all for a fun season. We enjoyed every game.

Quotas are wrong

I READ on the front page of your newspaper that the university hired Tamara Zellars Buck and Cindie Jeter to have more minorities on staff. I know both of these women. I like them both. But if the university hired them just to fill a quota of minority people, that is wrong. The newspaper said they were not qualified by the university's own standards. The university should uphold its standards and hire the very best people, even if they're not minorities. Hire the best people and don't discriminate. If you hire just to fill a minority quota, that is discrimination, and that is illegal in the United States.

Put up those lights

SUNDAY AFTERNOON I saw a few people out putting up Christmas decorations. I had a great idea. Like President Bush said, let's really shine. Show the terrorists that September will not keep Christ out of our Christmas, joy of our loved ones out of hearts or happiness out of our lives. Let's light up. If you can't afford but a few lights, that's fine. If you can afford more, go for it. Maybe we can light up the sky from Cape to New York to Afghan-istan. Let's not let the events of that day and the terrorists stop us and take away our wonderful holidays. All the lights and decorations can't help but put some joy in our lives. Don't let them win. We're still here and plan on staying free. Let's light up and prove it.

Holiday blessing

THE FRONT page of the Missourian, Sam Blackwell and Dr. C. John Ritter provided a rich blessing Thanksgiving morning. Thank you, Dr. Ritter, for inspiring us to make the world a better place. And Sam, thank you for showing us week after week what incredible people we have right here in Cape Girardeau.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: