YOUR OPINION: Letters to the editor

By NEMS Daily Journal

Character counts in the Legislature
I have seen with dismay the letters to the editor criticizing Senator Nancy Adams Collins stand on the MAEP bill for funding education. The writers seem to endorse the opinion that the answer to our education problems is to pour more and more of the state’s limited (and diminishing) resources into the same old educational pot. To stand firm against continuing to pay more and more to perpetrate a system that is failing our children is harshly condemned by the letter writers as just following the Republican line.
I have known Senator Collins for over 30 years, both as a friend and as my Sunday School teacher. She is a person of fine character who has given a great deal to our community. Her vote on education seems to reflect her recognition that paying more and more for the same tired approach isn’t enough. Let’s face it, our kids’ test scores continue to drop. Perhaps rethinking will help.
Nancy has taken a much needed element to Jackson: Character. Standing against dumping ever more of our state’s limited money into MAEP has taken character. Nancy Adams has character and character counts.
Rowland Geddie
Attorney at Law

Don’t count on pre-k and statewide funding
Thank you for your editorial expressing support for Excel By 5, a grassroots community-based process for communities to become certified “child friendly” by supporting parents and young children . We are particularly gratified with the rapid growth in the popularity of Excel By 5. Currently 29 Mississippi communities have either attained or are pursuing Excel By 5 certification. Excel By 5 is unique to Mississippi, and it’s something for us all to be proud of and get behind. Again, thank you.
Your article concludes by stating, “Excel is a fine program, but we affirm our support for statewide funding for pre-kindergarten education as the best long-term plan for Mississippi, whether school-based or in certified, licensed early childhood centers.”
We sincerely hope Tupelo doesn’t put all of its eggs in this basket, waiting for the state or federal government to devise and implement an early childhood plan. Excel By 5 provides communities with a way to accept local responsibility for supporting parents and young children and we at Excel By 5 are ready and willing to go to work in your area. You don’t have to wait; contact us today and begin building your own early childhood network in your community. This is the perfect opportunity for the “Tupelo Spirit” to reach out to our youngest citizens and their families.
Lynn D. Darling, Ph.D., Interim Director Early Childhood Institute Mississippi State University
Bob Clay, Executive Director, Excel By 5, Madison

Palestinian state now is not feasible for Israel
Saying that Palestinians deserve a state of their own is like saying that the Pennsylvania Dutch deserve a state of their own. Palestinians want to live in an “area” in which laws are made and enforced exclusively by Palestinian Muslims because their values are significantly different from those of Jews and Christians. When the “occupied territories” were conquered and annexed to Jordan in 1948 no one requested a Palestinian state. Jordan is a Palestinian state.
The U.S. has 50 states with 50 sets of laws. The Jewish philosopher Martin Buber had suggested for Israel a bi-national organization – two states instead of 50. What unites the “United” States is not just the need for mutual protection but a manifesto called the “Bill of Rights.” This is the sticking point – Israelis and Palestinians can’t agree on basic rights. Perhaps this supports the Palestinians having their own state where they can abuse or reward their minorities as they see fit. Many Moslem Palestinians object to the preamble of the American Bill of Rights, specifically the term “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Middle Eastern Muslims in general do not believe that non-Muslims have the right to exist. The Quran states that there are but two houses – the House of Islam and the House of War. One lives in the House of War until one admits that “there is no God but Allah and Mohammed is His prophet.” Jews have survived the “master race” to confront the “master religion.”
Palestinians in particular do not believe that Jews have the right to exist in the Middle East. The Israelis are considered to be a cancer on the body of “the Umah” (the Muslim national conscience) which must be excised before it spreads. The separation of church and state is anathema to Islam. Of course, the Israelis are worried about another Palestinian state becoming an immediate dictatorship with access to enhanced weaponry and sharing porous borders with Israel. Palestinian leaders are requesting recognition as a nation by the U.N. but refuse to accept Israel as a nation with the right to exist.
I want Palestinians to have life, liberty and to be able to pursue happiness; a Palestinian state at this time would ensure just the opposite.
Ron Baker
Jerusalem, Israel
(formerly of Tupelo)

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