YOUR OPINION: Letters to the Editor, March 4, 2012

By NEMS Daily Journal

Tupelo’s schools continue with amazing programs
As a native Tupeloan and a parent of two elementary school-age children, I am extremely proud of our school system. Growing up with strong educational values and vast resources that I was afforded in the Tupelo School District, it makes me grateful that my children will experience and learn in the same system that I learned in. This in turn allows me to be an active member of our community and staunch supporter of our school district.
I recently attended school functions at two of our local elementary schools, Lawhon and Carver. The second grade at Lawhon performed a play which consisted of all nine second grade classes singing and dancing to theme songs from television shows which were popular in my era and my parents’ era as well. The entire audience was captivated and barely a foot was still as all ages tapped and clapped to music from 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.
From a historical perspective, it was truly a surreal experience to be able to watch my daughter and all of her classmates perform on the very stage where Elvis Presley first got his start. While none of them may become a famous rock-and-roll star, they arrive at school each day in the shadow of that famous native son. The immeasurable opportunities to which they have access (technology, artistic enrichment and diversity), coupled with hard work, dreams and determination make anything possible.
I also attended the first Carver Carnival, a fundraiser for Project Hope. Again from a historical perspective, to be in the very Carver gymnasium where I played basketball as a 9th grader was nostalgic. Now watching my son play and have fun was moving. Carver, like Lawhon, has evolved into an amazing facility of learning, social growth and development with a strong focus on academic success. Both schools have teachers, administrators and staff that are dedicated to excellence.
As a product of this school district, I am very passionate about my support of it. I am appreciative of the path that the Tupelo Public School led me on. As a parent, I am even more thankful that both of my children get to follow that rich path of educational opportunities forged from those who came before them; they have the amazing opportunity to make a path which is uniquely their own.
Harry J. Rayburn, DMD

Democrats seen as best in all races for 2012
People who know me will tell you that I have voted for both Republicans and Democrats in the past. It’s because I try to vote for the person running who I think will do the most good for the country. Party is not as important as ideas, plans and past accomplishments. But this year I’ll be voting Democratic from President Obama on down.
The Republicans at every level seem to have lost their way and are no longer working in the best interest of the country as a whole.
That said, I have some questions about the things Alan Nunnelee said in his recent postcard mailing. Under the heading of issues that matter most he listed these.
“Stop Obama’s Destructive Agenda” – What is that destructive agenda? And does Nunnelee really think that a duly elected president of the United States actually has an agenda that is meant to be destructive to our country?
Some agendas do turn out that way, I admit, like President Bush’s two unnecessary wars.
“Repeal Obamacare” – There is much to like in the new first-ever national health care plan. What specifically doesn’t he like? And what would Nunnelee replace it with? The old system was broken. At least this is a step in the right direction.
“Meaningful Tax Reform” – We all want that, the question is what does he mean by meaningful? More tax cuts for the rich? More cuts in social services for those in need? Was he in favor of Cain’s 9-9-9 plan? What is meaningful?
“Cut Spending” – All of us are for that, but again it depends on what we cut. I’d cut the military where we have over 750 bases all around the world, and then spend that money creating work and jobs in our own country. Obama got and killed Osama Bin Laden with 20 men and three helicopters. War is different now; we don’t need a World War II type military anymore.
“Balance the Budget” – Use Google and you can find which presidents balanced the budget and which ones didn’t going back to George Washington. You can also see which ones (mostly Republicans) ran up the deficits that face us today.
Needless to say, I won’t be voting for Nunnelee.
Jim High

Handling of Quran burning by U.S. draws sharp fire
The recent incident over the inadvertent burning of some Qurans at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan is raising some ugly questions. Already four U.S. soldiers have been killed and seven injured in the protests. President Obama and his secretary of defense have been apologizing to every Muslim they can find, yet the protests and violence continue.
Afghan authorities are demanding the soldiers responsible be turned over to them for trial under Muslim law. Obama has promised these soldiers will be punished. How? They committed no violation of our law. Does the president plan to turn these men over to Afghan authorities or somehow incorporate Muslim law into our Uniform Code of Military Justice so they can be tried in a U.S. court?
What about the fact that just over two years ago cases of Bibles that belonged to a private religious group were intentionally ordered to be burned at this same base rather than being returned to the owners. Did you hear a single apology from a single U.S. official to offended Christians? Where was the outrage from Christians? Have we reached a point where the intentional destruction of Bibles is of no concern while the unintentional destruction of Qurans is an international incident? Something is terribly wrong with this situation.
I suggest that two demands be made to our elected representatives. One is that the soldiers involved in this incident receive the full protection of U.S. law under which the destruction of Qurans is not a crime. The other is that our leadership be required to give at least as much, if not more, respect for Bibles as they do Qurans.
I am deeply offended by the actions of my government over this issue and the only way to change it is for Christians to speak up and make their feelings known.
Raymond Settle
Blue Mountain

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