YOUR OPINION: Letters to the Editor

By NEMS Daily Journal

Abolish trusties system as a step on pardons
I send my heartfelt sympathy and prayers to all crime victims, especially to those affected by these killers released by Gov. Barbour.
These families must revisit the horror these killers brought to their loved ones, their own pain and suffering, and the perils their release brings to all.
A law that allows violent offenders, especially killers, to become trusties is unsound. This law allows freedom without a retrial, parole board appearance or a hearing of any kind is, in fact, an overturned conviction.
To correct this injustice we must repeal this unjust law. Gov. Barbour needs to justify his actions.
We need answers.
Martha Care

Unqualified students being passed leads to bad issues
City Council President Fred Pitts seems to have his head stuck in the sand. Surely, he does not believe that Tupelo will be able to recruit a new superintendent for the Tupelo Public School District without revealing to the applicants information about the serious problems that exist in the district.
After I retired as a Federal Hearing Officer, I taught at the Tupelo Middle School. I left the district in 2002, primarily because of disgust with the lack of support shown by the administration for teachers who insisted on proper behavior of students in the classroom and in the hallways.
Call me “old school” if you wish. My mother was widowed with six children when I was only 12 years old. If my teachers in the Tupelo Public School District at that time had allowed me to slide by and misbehave because “the poor kid doesn’t have a daddy,” I probably would not have amounted to a hill of beans. Instead, I was to become the only male to graduate from Tupelo High School with “Special Honors” in 1961.
I accomplished this while also working as a meat-cutter at Jimmy Todd’s grocery store on West Main. I subsequently received a B.S. degree in Secondary School Education with “Special Distinction” from Mississippi State and an M.A. in history from the University of Alabama.
As a teacher at Tupelo Middle School, I was unwilling to pretend that discipline problems did not exist and I could not support the so-called “Fast Track Program.” In my opinion, the program was a sham that continually dumped unqualified students into the 9th grade at THS. As a result, our beloved THS is now stigmatized as some sort of failure.
Pitts should spend at least one day at the Ombudsman School, now located in the old Church Street School. He would soon discover that these so-called “underachievers” also have serious and, sometimes dangerous, deficiencies in their classroom behavior.
Fortunately, Mr. Pitts was out-voted when he voted against allowing a Tupelo citizen, Jim Davis, to speak at the Tupelo City Council meeting. Mr. Pitts could benefit from a few lessons on civic responsibility and the importance of maintaining a government that actually represents the people.
Ken Patterson

Bailouts started with action in the Bush GOP
A recent letter in your paper from Stephen Shrock of Prairie roundly condemned welfare as socialism.
It never ceases to amaze me that people worry so much about poor people getting some of their tax money but they don’t blink an eyelash when our government gives rich folk big tax cuts and corporations big tax breaks. Republicans, and some Democrats, say the wealthy deserve tax cuts because they are the “job creators” and, if we just give them enough of our money, they will deign to give us all jobs and restore our wrecked economy.
These people already have tax cuts, very generous ones, that they received during the Bush administration, and those cuts are still in effect. So why haven’t they used all that money to hire anyone? Why was it necessary to bail these people out when they destroyed the economy? Republicans hate being reminded of this but Henry Paulsen, Bush’s Treasury Secretary, came up with the bailout idea originally and Bush pushed the first bailout through Congress in 2008 during the last months of his presidency. Yes, Obama also approved a bailout but it was a Republican idea.
Conservatives tell us that the poor pay no taxes. That is a lie. Every time you buy food, clothes, gas or pay bills and rent you pay taxes on them. If those taxes don’t count, conservatives, can we all stop paying them?
So, what is a fair share of taxes? Jesus said “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s.” Sounds logical to me. In Matthew 20: 16-26; Mark 10: 17-27 and Luke 18: 18-27 we are told of the rich man who asked Jesus what he must do to go to Heaven. Jesus asked if he had kept the Commandments of Moses and the man replied yes. Jesus said he lacked only one thing, he should sell everything he owned and give it to the poor and he would have treasure in Heaven. The man went away unhappy and Jesus remarked that it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter Heaven.
Richard Wilkinson

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