News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
SUNDAY, APRIL 23, 2006


Web film inappropriate for classroom

I went to the Web site in your article and viewed "American Civics Volume II."

"Samantha" is right. Although I espouse the sentiments of Steve White (Bush and his cronies are exactly what the video says they are), it does not belong in an eighth-grade classroom. Mr. White showed poor judgment if he showed this film clip to teens. The language is, indeed, objectionable. I support our young people being exposed to political debate. They certainly need it since they are going to be the ones leading our state and country when I am older and gone. But let's use some discretion in how we present it to them.

William Allen


Teacher showed lack of discretion

What would have happened to any teacher eight years ago? Let's say another teacher of "science" had shown a video of William Jefferson Clinton that had no profanity but mocked his "leadership?" There is no doubt in my mind that he would not be teaching in Alabama today. However, the real issue for me is that the students should have never been subjected to the profanity. Education should take to the high road to excellence and not to the gutter of vulgarity.

Aaron Ray


Pound-in-park plan not well thought out

I have misgivings about moving the dog pound to Wilson Morgan Park. The proponents say that the pound can be located at Wilson Morgan with little noise and no smell. Somehow, I doubt that. If that turns out not to be the case, there will be very little we can do about it after the fact, so we need to be certain before we commit to the move. The walking trail passes right in front of the building, probably about 50 feet from the door, and the children's park is less than 100 yards away.

I have one other point I doubt anyone has considered: The emergency warning siren at Wilson Morgan is between 50 to 75 feet from the side of the building. I have been unfortunate enough to be walking the trail when the siren goes off, and I can only imagine what that noise will do to the sensitive ears of helpless animals caged so near. I have to cover my ears with my hands every time the siren rotates to point in my direction no matter where I am on the trail. The animals will not be able to do that much. I know the siren affects the animals at the pound's current location when it goes off now. If you are on the back side of the park, beside Central Parkway, you can hear the dogs barking loudly when the siren goes off.

James Thornton


Democrats stand for everything evil in America

I recently clarified my thinking about the Democrat agenda. Many people believe they stand for nothing, but now I say they do.

They are for high taxes since they are against keeping President Bush's tax cuts. They seem to be for open borders, even though criminals and terrorists cross our borders easily. Democrats refused to allow amendments to a bipartisan bill passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. They recently rejected a proposal that would allow criminal prosecution of illegal aliens. They are for high gas prices since they have consistently blocked efforts to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a step that would reduce our dependence on OPEC oil by 2 percent or more without damage to the environment.

They are for abortion although it can be argued that abortion is murder. They are for al-Qaida, since they openly oppose our war effort in ways that emboldens the enemy as shown recently when the classified electronic surveillance program of terrorists was leaked to the New York Times. They are for hating President Bush and seem to spend all their efforts on sabotaging him, as shown recently when Mr. Bush asked Robert Rubin to participate in a bipartisan commission to find ways to curb runway entitlements. Mr. Rubin refused and urged all Democrats not to help on reforming Social Security.

No wonder the idea exists that Democrats stand for nothing, because they really don't stand for things that are good for our country.

Edwin R. Hyatt


Thank a library worker today

Libraries are transmitters and preservers of our culture. Thus is it not surprising that libraries are visited almost 1.2 billion times each year. A recent national poll by Marist College Institute for Public Opinion found that 94 percent of Americans rate libraries very valuable and 63 percent would support increased taxes for public library services.

Our library is a benevolent pillar of our community. Not only does it provide educational and recreational materials free to everyone, but also provides opportunities for job searches, computer classes and various other research. Now, however, funding cuts are threatening service hours, book budgets, and staffing levels. As a result, library workers are doing more with less while trying to meet the diverse needs of our community.

Library workers are responsible for everything in our library, from selection and organization to maintenance. They form programs for children and adults, create displays for a variety of interests, as well as helping someone find that special book. Library workers wear many hats. They are catalogers, circulation clerks, reference librarians, aides, systems engineers, Web designers and children and youth librarians. But especially, they help us discover the past while preserving the present.

Libraries are places of opportunity, education and lifelong learning — a part of the American dream that would not exist if not for the people staffing our libraries.

If you missed the opportunity to celebrate the valuable contribution of our library and our library support staff on the second annual National Library Workers' Day, which was April 4, there is still time to do so.

Please take a moment to thank our library workers for the services they provide and to remind our public officials that our Decatur library provides vital services to our community every day.

Shirley Holliday

Vice president

Friends of Decatur Library


Alabama needs leaders who are committed

Trust begets trust; the Alabama lawmakers do not trust their constituents by allowing them to vote for a constitutional convention. The closing week of the legislative session shows that lawmakers in both political parties reflect the honest thinking of Republican gubernatorial candidate Roy Moore, who believes citizens are not smart enough to elect representatives to a constitutional convention. Moore later explained that special interests would control the election process at a convention. Who do we think controls state government now? This battle is lost for now, but the war is not over by any means.

A new constitution will decentralize power in Montgomery, freeing lawmakers who spent considerable time on bills that deal with a single community or county and the many bills that have no statewide implications. A new constitution will advance, improve and distribute more responsibilities to counties and cities, especially for home rule. It will delegate more authority to the counties where their decisions are better served locally.

The concept of delegating authority has a biblical endorsement for many Alabamians. I refer to an object lesson in which Jethro, the father-in-law to Moses, advised him of the heavy concentration of legal judgments to himself rather than sharing the load with capable leaders. Jethro represents the concerned citizen and Moses was the central command of government. Moses gladly listened to the counsel and adopted the plan as a wise arrangement and a great benefit. A similar course can happen in this state through committed leadership without partisanship.

Isaiah J. Ashe


Falkville students inspire pride

I read with interest and pride the article in the April 9 edition about the Falkville High School students ("Prom amongst the ruins") who helped the students of Bay High School, Miss., with their prom.

I was inspired by the story for two reasons. First, I have a grandson who just started kindergarten at Falkville Elementary and I hope the compassionate spirit of the Falkville High School students is taught to him and continues on to his generation.

Second, in the face of the negative news concerning many young people relating to drugs and crime, it is refreshing and inspiring to hear of young people like these at Falkville and others in the community who care enough to give of their time and talents to benefit others.

All of Morgan County should be proud of what was accomplished by these students and we should all learn the lesson of care and compassion for those who are suffering or left out due to issues beyond their control.

Go Blue Devils!

Jimmy W. Smith


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