YOUR OPINION: Letters to the NEMS Daily Journal

By NEMS Daily Journal

Smoke-free Ole Miss not wish of majority
I am responding to Errol Casten’s July 28 article, “Ole Miss: Smoke-free campuses are common.” Know why they’re becoming common? By the now usual method: a few declaring that they have a mandate from the majority, which particularly in Ole Miss’ case just ain’t so.
Very few staff members were contacted for their opinions prior to either staff council vote. It’s hard to find a person who was. It’s even more difficult to find anyone who knew a vote on the matter was forthcoming. So, we learn the majority that participated in the first vote were smokers. Most of the smokers and non-smoking staff that I am in contact with feel that the first vote should have been it, regardless of what the outcome might have been.
Ole Miss’ administration uses the results of an ASB Facebook (unofficial) survey to claim that the majority of students want a smoke-free campus. Try to find a student that even knew about the survey. We’ve found one. Based upon this ASB unofficial survey a front page article on the university’s paper stated 78.5 percent of students want the campus smoke-free. There are over 14,000 students registered at the university. There were only 650 total respondents to the ASB’s survey, 88 percent of them are non-smokers. How do I know? The completed survey provided these statistics. Only 650 responses out of 14,000 and a huge majority are non-smokers!? Why hasn’t this group asked for another survey? Why, because the response from the survey and the final vote of the staff council, are exactly what the administration wants. They want all to believe they have a mandate, when there isn’t one.
My group containing smokers, non-smokers, staff, faculty and students have asked for a referendum. That was denied. We would like the designated smoking areas returned with the proper signs and enforcement. We work and go to school here, besides paying some of the taxes that support this institution. We should have a say in sharing all of our outdoor air.
Kathleen Henry

Prentiss peers, high court justices both criticized
Is the largest portion of us in Prentiss County spineless – no backbone? We have had men and women to die for our freedom for over 200 years, and yet it seems we stand up for nothing while the Congress and the Supreme Court take away another one of our privileges.
Even most preachers and we as citizens said nothing when one old lady atheist had prayer taken out of our schools and when the Ten Commandments were removed from the court house in Alabama. Shame on us. What are we coming to?
If every congressman and the Supreme Court were on the front lines in Afghanistan or where-so-ever else our soldiers serve, they would know what fighting for our freedom means.Chief Justice John Roberts should have gone against against Obamacare, but the other liberal judges criticized him so much that he went along with them.That’s an example of who we have making laws for our country. Obamacare constitutes a tax, and you know who will end up paying it. We better all be praying more than we are for God’s help for America. God is our only solution for our problems.
Harold Hopkins

Tupelo Public Works praised for landscaping
Compliments to our Public Works Department for the beautiful plantings and their excellent care of the shrubbery and flowers in medians and other green spaces along our city streets.
As you and your family and guests drive to the Elvis Presley Birthplace Park, notice the gorgeous crepe myrtles blooming on East Main Street and the huge pots of white flowers at the Veterans Boulevard intersection. This is just one area of many that are so pretty. The management and employees of Public Works offer an incentive for all of us to take pride in our personal property and to do our part in keeping Tupelo attractive for our own enjoyment as well as that of our visitors.
Donna Kaye Randle

Obama’s not effective in keeping promises
I read with interest the article by Richard Wilkinson on the opinion page July 22. I respect his opinions and will agree President Obama has done some good things while in office. But let me point out some other things our president has done or not done during his presidency.
With the help of Congress he has increased our national debt to such staggering amounts that it will take decades before we can even hope for a balanced budget. He has made no attempt to balance trade with China, who continually floods our market with cheap products made by subsidized labor.
President Obama has repeatedly stated there would be no tax increase for the middle class, but Obama care has done exactly that.
During his campaign he said one of the first things he would do is get comprehensive immigration reform passed. Three and one half years later he bandaged immigration by an executive order, and this was nothing more than a pre-election political move. Much of the stimulus money which Obama pushed through Congress was not spent in the U.S. He has upset at least two of our strongest allies, Great Britain and Israel. One of the first things President Obama did when he took office was to return the bust of Winston Churchill, which was presented to President Bush right after 9-ll, and this made the British people angry. Our president has done very little in support of Israel, and this is at a time when the U.S. can use all the allies we can get, especially in the Middle East.
I am an independent voter and as long as I can get to the polls I will always vote for who I think is the better candidate. I personally think another four years of the Obama administration will only bring about less state government and a larger federal government, opposite what our founding fathers intended.
I don’t care for the results of Obama’s first term, and I’m not totally supportive of Mitt Romney, but I will be voting for the lesser of two evils.
Earnest “Dee” Streit

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