Speak Out A 04/11/02

Thursday, April 11, 2002

Pulling strings

AS A one-time resident of Sikeston, I resent your editorial comment that Sikestonians would be "foolish" not to participate more in their new form of local government. As a student of realpolitik, I have come to understand that what is important is to create the illusion of more widespread participatory democracy while making sure that the small group known as the establishment keeps calling the shots. Sikeston has done just that, and it is foolish on your part to seemingly say that their reform is fundamental and should lead to more participation by citizens in the governing process. Some day you guys are going to be sorry and get what you asked for. There's no way conservative, representative democracy can survive with other than a few folks pulling the strings.

For peace, unity

IT IS unfortunate that fundamentalism has come to mean religious intolerance and the use of violence to uphold an ideal. The effects of fundamentalism can be seen in suicide bombers, the murder of doctors who work in abortion clinics and the fighting between Protestants and Catholics. Fundamentalism is coming to Cape Girardeau in full force this week, and I hope citizens will not buy into the hate rhetoric. If they truly wish to worship, they will gather with those who stand up for peace and unity.

Not equal in blame

THE PERSON who made the Speak Out comment contending Israel and the Palestinian terrorists are equally reprehensible in their actions is either blinded by the tragedy of the situation or racist against Jews. The Palestinian terrorists are targeting innocent civilians. They do not dress themselves in uniforms, as demanded by the Geneva Convention. They use innocent and not-so-innocent Palestinians as human shields. They have initiated each new wave of crisis. The Israelis, after suffering from suicide bombers during the Palestinian Intifada for more than 18 months, have begun to strike back against the organizers of these civilian massacres. Israel did not begin this problem.

Teen-agers are target

I find it funny that the person who had his mailbox knocked down pointed a finger at teen-agers. I am not a teen-ager anymore (only by two years), but this sure would have annoyed me when I was. My parents didn't allow me to act like that, and I wouldn't have anyway.

Power of education

Of the taxpayer who is concerned that teachers are overcompensated, I ask this: To whom do you owe the education that has allowed you to make the money with which you pay taxes? Unfortunately, too many people seem to think of education as a burden rather than the only means to a truly free society. Maybe people who are able to work, succeed and even pay taxes should thank the teachers who facilitated their education.

MY SON goes to Alma Schrader Elementary School. On the three days a week that I work, he walks home and crosses the street. On the two days a week that I can pick him up, I park at the same place where he crosses the street. But he's not allowed to cross the street when I pick him up, according to a letter sent to us by the principal. I must get out, cross the street and go get him for his safety. I don't mind going to get him, but it's amazing to me that the same child who crosses the street by himself is not allowed to cross the street when I pick him up. The school needs some common sense.

Dr. Dan Steska's decision to recruit 16 smart citizens to take the MAP test is brilliant. After the citizens bomb the test, public pressure will mount to dumb down or deep six it. After that, we can finally get back to the business of educating our young people.

Am I the only one who thinks the intersection of Siemers Drive and William Street makes no sense? There is a flashing red light where you feel it's natural to yield, and 90 percent of the cars don't stop. I guess it's there so the police have something to do at the end of the month.

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