April 7, 2004
Education in forefront
With all the hoopla of a presidential campaign engulfing the nation, serious issues confronting us seem to get lost in finger-pointing nonsense. Many of these issues qualify as priority issues. Nevertheless, in the foreground of contemplation should stand the question of education.
The shuttlecock of political exchange on this subject would have one believe that each candidate intends to outdo the other in concern for the state of education in this country. However, in all the years of political promises, what has actually been done to bring education in America up to international standards? What has Mississippi done?
With global instability and corporate outsourcing increasing, knowledge will be the only salvation for future generations. Our children will be the flowers or thorns sewn into the fabric of history we are now weaving. These children will face a very different and more complicated world than perhaps we have known. Knowledge will make the difference between their gaining what they want in life or having to take what they can get.
Anyone who doesn't think this is a serious issue should watch Jay Leno on the Tonight Show when he has his "Jay Walking" segment. It's frightening.
Greed at work
Prices for gasoline and diesel fuel have reached astronomical levels. The only justification for these exorbitant prices is greed. There's no shortage; if there were a shortage you would see long lines at the gasoline pumps.
I feel the best way to combat this greed on the part of the petroleum industry is nationalization. Our government needs to take over the petroleum industry. After they take over they should close all services stations one day per week. This would amount to decreasing the flow of petroleum products through the pipe lines by approximately 14 percent.
Charles F. Clark Sr.
Report should be released
This is a transcript of my call-in to the Mississippi ETV program "Statewide Live" on April 1, with host John Johnson and guest Gov. Haley Barbour:
Jody Bryant: "Hello, John, and Gov. Barbour, I am Jody Bryant from Meridian, Mississippi, and I am calling to ask the governor to encourage the Military Department and Gen. Cross to turn over papers regarding the recent investigation into the Mississippi Air National Guard to the PEER Committee for his background check. He is refusing to do that as I understand, and I would think that you could have the power to order that done."
Gov. Barbour: "I know that Col. Bryant has instigated charges and investigations, which is certainly his right. I don't think it is appropriate for the state government to try to start parallel investigations while the Department of Defense has much more resources than we, has been carrying on an investigation now through the third iteration. They have issued reports where they found wrongdoing by some, none by General Cross by the way. … We're sitting here talking about the budget, John. I don't think when the Defense Department is putting their resources, their Inspector General, their investigators, to investigate the charges that Col. Bryant has made, I don't think it is useful for us to go and start another investigation."
Gov. Barbour ran on a platform of Mississippi can do better. In my humble opinion, he has failed to live up to that motto. The failure of he and Maj. Gen. Harold Cross to release public documents to PEER Committee investigators of a USAF Inspector General Investigation involving the Mississippi Air Guard and Maj. Gen. Cross indicate to me and others that Gov. Barbour and Maj. Gen. Cross have something to hide and will use their power, whether it is right or wrong, to promote their agenda. Maj. Gen. Cross has proved himself as a failed leader and now Gov. Barbour is on the same path.
Once again, Mississippi deserves better. We need honest men.
Joe H. Bryant Jr.