No degree requirement
I watched Dr. Howard Dean, former Democratic presidential candidate (better known as “The Screamer”) in a recent TV interview say that Republican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin would not be qualified to be president because he left Marquette University before getting his degree. I took a cursory look at my Constitution and did not find such a requirement. If I were to put myself in Gov. Walker’s shoes I would respond to Dean by telling him, “Yes, Dr. Dean, I did not complete my degree but I am educated enough to know that I don’t want to be a liberal Democrat like you.”
-- Lou Stennes
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How you play the game
Thursday night I saw one the best displays of sportsmanship and heart I have ever seen on a basketball court. It wasn’t at Hawkins Arena or one of the several great high school contests, but at Ingleside Methodist’s Upward Basketball final tournament game. An undefeated group of fourth- and fifth-graders, by the luck of team assignments, had a near perfect mix of talent, but their opponents accepted the challenge head-on. They pressed hard, they sprinted when they could hardly catch their breath, but there were very few fouls and, even as the scoreboard grew lopsided, neither team slowed down or showed anything but full engagement in the joy of the game.
In the last two of six 6-minute periods, it became clear that the team in the lead was changing its game plan. I have to add that my son is on that team, and because he’s a year ahead in school, he’s a full year younger than anyone else and isn’t even shoulder high to the taller boys. He is determined on defense but has sometimes said he’s unimportant to his team because he is lost in a towering forest of opposing team members if he gets the ball. He is the only player who hadn’t made a basket all season. He was given the ball to take down court for the first time ever, but had to shoot from the top of the key when the defense picked him up, and he can’t throw it that far. They fed him at his low post several times but his shots rimmed out, and one literally balanced on the rim for two full seconds before falling the wrong way with a groan from the crowd.
With under a minute left, the big man was under the basket but saw my son in the corner and tried to pass him one last ball. A defender made a mighty leap and got a hand on the ball, turning to see if he could send it down the court as he landed but then “mishandled” the ball toward my son with an insistently whispered “Shoot,” which he did, and as the ball arced down and it became clear it would be good. There was a cheer from the entire crowd and not just for the shooter.
My son will always remember that shot. It marks the entire season and cements his love of the game. And it happened because another young man also loves the game and wanted to help someone younger experience the same excitement. He saw a chance to make a difference, and took it. Some die-hard competitors probably don’t think that was a good move, even for a struggling 9-year-old. But though I don’t even know the boy’s name, I will always think of him as a sportsman of the highest caliber. Driving home a quote from a sports writer famous at my alma mater named Grantland Rice:
“For when the one great scorer comes
To mark against your name,
he writes -- not that you won or lost --
but how you played the game.”
-- Fred Brown
For years, Bibb County’s disciplinary system has been ineffective in maintaining order in the schools and regulating the children. In order to improve the ongoing problems of misbehavior and discipline, some schools have implemented a new program known as Ripple Effects, which improves the student conduct and the environment within the schools.
Ripple Effects is designed to help reduce repeated referrals, lower the number of school suspensions and improve the school’s learning environment. Problems such as loud, disrespectful behavior has been minimized in the schools because the program addresses the specific problem of the student’s behavior.
According to Appling Middle school’s ISS (in school suspension) teacher, the number of repeated referrals has decreased every month. The students have been challenged and inspired to change their behavior and increase their learning skills. This is all in the hope of preventing permanent expulsions in the schools and bettering the community through good examples of behavior.
Now, Appling Middle is among other Bibb schools that received recognition for having the highest progress in overall performance assessments due to the improvement in student behavior. Furthermore, the program improved teacher-student and principal-student interactions. The interactions allowed the teachers to pay special attention to the students who were not doing so well academically. Schools, such as Burghard Elementary, have been able to get off of the “Alert List” as a result of the increased interactions between students and staff. Due to the success of this program it is apparent that widespread adoption would benefit Bibb County.
-- Andrew McBryde
Same gender marriage
All states in the U.S.A. are sovereign, subordinate only to the Constitution. Laws enacted by one state should not be construed as a mandate for other states to fall in line and enact similar laws. There is no compelling rationale to justify exception in this regard. Marriage in general has always been a right granted to its citizens by their respective state legislators; therefore, any form of marriage remains a state’s prerogative to grant or deny.
The U.S. Constitution clearly allows states to enact laws not prohibited by its authority. Popular opinion should not govern such states’ prerogatives in this regard; therefore, if any state decides against any issues not ratified by the Constitution, then such state is well within its rights to do so. Many states have acted affirmatively regarding “same gender marriage” in accordance with the will of “its people,” represented by its elected officials. That is well within their legislative authority to do so; conversely, states deciding against granting such rights are equally justified to do so.
Historically speaking, Congress has always been reluctant to modify/amend the Constitution -- that’s just not something they want to take up. Rather, they sit on the sideline passing the “buck” as is their custom, rather than address the relevant, pressing issues of the day and acting accordingly.
I am still trying to figure out the basis for the Supreme Court taking up issues not codified in the Constitution. Last time I recall, this body’s jobs is to interpret the laws, not create laws from the bench; such is the constitutional role of the Congress. Perhaps they will continue to exploit the 14th Amendment to justify their intervention. Who knows what their agenda is?
-- John Haugabrook
The lack of demonstrations from the 22 million unemployed and the 47 million impoverished tells me they know illegal Hispanics are here doing jobs that are beneath the dignity of able-bodied (unemployed and impoverished) Americans on welfare.
By jumping out in front of the new Republican Congress on immigration reform, President Obama hopes Hispanics see him as a savior, not as the slick manipulator that he is. Furthermore, the immigration head-fake and his ignoring, circumventing and manipulating immigration laws are designed to entice Hispanics into joining Planned Parenthood and its customers, environmentalists, ACLU minions, union bosses and their children, atheists, Hollywood elite, pot advocates, welfare parasites, ultra-rich, black loyalists and gays who are sycophants of the Pied Piper of the Democratic Party, Barack Obama.
Hispanics ran from a suppressive, scheming, self-serving, deceitful, corrupt and dictatorial government in Mexico. For the love of Gods don’t support the one here. Continue to stand on your own two feet; continue to work hard and continue to endure the scorn. Finally, don’t waver from your devotion to God, family and compassionate Americans with their Republican and Christian values. For when the dust settles your reward will be great as will America’s, if you’re not a Democratic sycophant, that is.
America: The aching backs, legs and shoulders; the callused hands, sweat-soaked clothing and appreciative attitude of the Hispanic workers is to be admired and appreciated. They humbly worship God and provide for their families by unashamedly and proudly doing jobs shunned by able-bodied, lazy welfare recipients. Obama’s overreaching, if not unlawful, immigration policies were not solicited by these Hispanics but by union organizers and political strategist. So direct your wrath wisely.
-- Travis L. Middleton