YOUR OPINION: Letters to the Editor

By NEMS Daily Journal

Fly ‘Old Glory’ even on a tree
A while back someone was criticized in the Journal for flying “Old Glory” from a tree – probably me or someone just like me. I have been flying a flag ever since I was discharged from the service after World War II.
I bought my first home in Tupelo on Woodlawn Street in 1945. I was listed in Tupelo as “GI No. 2” to buy a home under the GI Bill. I proudly flew our colors there. After moving to Foster Drive I again displayed our flag.
I presently live on Joyner Avenue where I fly Old Glory daily from a tree that is close to the street to that it can be viewed by the passersby. At night it can also be seen as it is illuminated by a streetlight.
Whoever criticizes anyone for flying our flag from a tree should be criticizing those homes and businesses that do not display one at all! So sad.
This all reminds me of the poem “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer that ends with the words “Only God can make a tree.”
God bless America. ‘Nuff said!
Fred M. Ingellis
Past National Commander of the American Legion
Member of American Legion Post 49

Direct support week enacted by Barbour
Gov. Haley Barbour proclaimed the week of Sept. 11 to be “Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week” in Mississippi. This group includes direct support workers, direct care workers, personal assistants, personal attendants, in-home support workers, and paraprofessionals.
It is possible that some readers of this newspaper have never had to rely on the selfless service of these dedicated workers. But for tens of thousands of Mississippi families, Direct Support Professionals provide care and services for loved ones with a wide range of disabilities requiring higher levels of professional assistance.
Imagine for a moment being responsible for the total care of an individual who, due to his disabilities, is partially or even completely unable to care for himself. Direct support professionals assist these individuals with their most personal needs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In addition, they assist other professionals in carrying out prescribed therapies and training to help individuals with disabilities achieve maximum levels of self sufficiency and independence.
Direct support professionals earn the trust of the families and individuals they serve through their dedication. And that’s why they have chosen that career. It isn’t for the money – in fact, Direct Support Professionals often earn much less than workers in other service-related fields. They do it because they care. And for that reason alone, they deserve our respect and gratitude.
Direct support professionals might be found at a nursing home, a state or private agency serving individuals with intellectual and related disabilities or mental illness, or in the home. Wherever they work, they stand in the gap to protect the health, well-being, and rights of individuals with disabilities and their families.
Please join the employees of the Department of Mental Health in recognizing the remarkable work – and remarkable dedication – of direct support professionals in Mississippi.
B.J. Davis
Director, Public Information

North Mississippi Regional Center Oxford
Parker lacked reason for her conclusions
I strongly disagree with Kathleen Parker’s column in the Aug. 28 Journal. She attacks Rick Perry’s campaign: “Perry already hit that station with his prayer rally and various dog whistles to the congregation. He is not sure how old the earth is, evolution is just a theory, and global warming is not man made.”
She attacks the faith community in two ways: 1. She compares us to Pavlov’s dog that salivated because of sound instead of the presence of food. 2. Her statement: “Perry knows he has to make clear that God is his wingman”. This is a distortion of faith. True believers see God as the supreme being, all powerful, who leads those who respond to him in making right decisions. Who knows how old the earth is even within a thousand years? Evolution is a theory. It does not have a missing link, but has a missing chain with occasional links at irregular intervals.
Her second paragraph reveals an ignorance of distinguishing between known facts and undocumented conclusions. “That we are yet debating evolutionary theory and earth’s origins – and that candidates now have to declare where they stand on established science – should be a signal that we are sliding toward governance by emotion rather than reason.”
The theory of evolution starts with no reasonable explanation of the beginning of life. The rule, “Out of nothing comes nothing” must be universally applied to both science and faith. When scientists can create life, or avoid destroying it, their position may become more credible. They can take seed from harvested crops, and provide an exact analysis of every measurable component within every seed they examine. They can reconstruct those seeds so that one could not distinguish between the analyzed and unanalyzed. But their seed will not germinate. They have destroyed that which they cannot identify, isolate or reproduce. The “fact” community needs to acknowledge their limitation of knowledge. By the same standard the “faith” community should not refuse to acknowledge the scientific advances that have increased our life span and made life easier. There is much that has been learned, but there is also much that is unknown. Presumption in science, or in faith, is evidence of ignorance.
Ken Pickens

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