Grahare Fan Club

The members of the Grahare fan club would like to hang his picture in the halls of the White House. That is why we have lauched this blog to draft him for the presidency! We are posting his countless letters as a way to reach voters across the country. Soon Americans in every polling box will be enlightened to Marcus' pragmatic beliefs!

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31 March 2008

Religion, law make dangerous mix

March 31, 2008

I read the Advertiser editorial "Law, not religion, rules in court." I am one of those who has always believed religion does not mix in law and public education.

I was in education for several decades, thus I know that argument. I also realize many sincere individuals believe the public schools should be responsible for the religious rearing of all students, plus we should believe that all court proceedings should be Christian.

I am sincerely curious about WWJD. Did Jesus hold a prayer circle before he went in the temple of the money lenders? What does religion have to do with the prosecution of a person arrested while robbing my home or auto?

Should the probate office hold a prayer circle for driver or marriage licenses? (Well, maybe)

If I sue someone in small claims court, I really don't want a judge to pray over a decision. It isn't the principle, it's the money. Just imagine Judge Judy saying grace while calling a defendant an idiot. Perfect.

West Marcus

25 March 2008

Campus gun bans don't mean safety

Arguing gun control in the Advertiser is a bit like the continuing saga of religion, evolution and red light cameras. It is obvious , if not utterly stupid, to think that a total ban of guns on campus is, and has been, safer than a lunatic with a Uzi and no one to stop him.

I am willing to argue that there are friendly weapons on campus, if not before, then surely now. I personally have knowledge of licensed weapons being available in school situations.

I know that if an adult with a legal permit stops the slaughter of innocent, unarmed citizens in a campus setting, (particularly children), by killing the perpetrator, I will gladly be on the grand jury chosen to decide upon an indictment.

West Marcus

'Idiot's' deadly action sadly not uncommon

At 12:05 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2008, I lay in bed listening to fireworks laced with the sounds of semi-automatic gunfire. It came from two different directions. I knew it was not so far away, and could travel to my windows or even through a brick wall. I hoped it went straight up.

I awoke to the news that one round did not go straight up. I am so sad that a child is the undeserving victim of a random act of total stupidity and disregard for human life and safety.

I taught at the Gibbs Village Head Start Center in the community center when it opened in the late 1960s. We made home visits and I had no fear in the evenings as I walked the streets to check about ill or absent children.

I was the teacher. They liked me. There was mutual respect and apparent safe surroundings. I had started at Madison Park with Mrs. Etra Seay, and also felt no trepidation, as I visited there.
I am retired now, but must admit I do not understand why things have gone to the current status quo. I worked with some wonderful, dedicated individuals who tried, as did I, to promote respect and social pride. I wish I had been more effective and am sorry I was not more so.

I don't blame the city, the police or the neighbors. I blame one idiot. The only problem is there is another one waiting. I urge us all to not have let this child die in vain.

West Marcus

Avoiding Chinese products not easy

Walter Jackson has a good idea regarding the purchase of Chinese products. He said: "Do your best to pass on it. How hard can that be?"

Well, Mr. J, the answer is blowing in the wind. Before the Fourth of July, (an obviously holy, wholly, USA celebration), I went to a local hobby chain store.

Lots and lots of red, white and blue; nutcracker Uncle Sams; bunting, flags, paper plates and picnic stuff, all patriotic items to celebrate a very important historical fact, and an enduring philosophy. Can you say "Made in China"?

Recently I went to a chain department store trying to score a bull's eye of a purchase for a wedding shower gift. In the kitchen department, I did find one item from Taiwan. Care to guess what continent the rest came from?

West Marcus

Three-party system would be beneficial

S. Lee Ryals and several other avid Republican zealots are indicative of the people who would support the continued presence of American troops upon foreign soil.

These troops are dying for what many Americans now believe is a failed mission -- ill-conceived, ill-funded and ill-supported. Much of the same can be said about the economy, which has now gone $160 billion brighter red.

Many Americans consider themselves independent thinkers, just as intelligent and patriotic, if not more so, than the average party member of either political group.

We know we don't want a hundred-year war. We know we don't want open borders, plus we don't want amnesty. We know we want: a stable economy, our government to "butt out" of other countries' politics, strong control of aliens and we know we want any loss of young lives to be in defense of our nation, not for oil or despots.

If you believe America, as a political nation, has failed to be responsive to Americans, then you have an obligation to vote for the person most likely to strive to achieve homeland security, strong borders, economic balance, and a strong military to defend us and other freedom-loving countries.

It would be better if we had a strong three-party system, but we don't. Listen carefully, weigh the issues and think what the next eight years can bring. We know the last eight.

West Marcus

English Only

Mr. Sheldon Jeames is, in my less than humble opinion, inaccurate regarding two of his assumptions regarding "English-only" testing for the privilege of driving.

Many of us think it is any alien who should assimilate. Many of us take offense at having to "Press 1." Let somebody else "Press 2."

Mr. Jeames is also incorrect concerning "traffic light language." He might quote "Star Trek," but he apparently has never seen Jeff Bridges in "Starman": "Red means stop, green means go and yellow means go faster."

West Marcus

Benefits of pre-K questioned

November 1, 2007

It appears that no one else is concerned about the Advertiser's pro-editorial concerning pre-kindergarten schooling, funding and alleged benefits of state-instituted 4-year-old education.
One of the stated purposes was to teach children to sit and focus. This was "to get them ready for first grade." I personally have watched pre-K daycare, teaching K-level concepts, so they will "be ready" for kindergarten.

Now we can teach 3-year-olds pre-K so they will be ready for pre-K and then K. Thus logically we can begin forming 2-year-olds into organized groups so they can learn how to move to academic daycare to pre-K, then to K. Need I go further?

Regardless of terms or jargon, kindergarten had a "pass/fail" element when I retired in 2001. Is it possible a 3-year-old could fail staying in the lines, or fail scribbling, the beginning of writing and artistic expression?

Could it be "Child is unable to sit for 10 minutes"? "Child is unable to focus upon concepts of time and seasons."? "Child is unable to duplicate a square."?

"The Great Society," a term from decades long past, brought about the "womb to tomb" concept of an ideal social organization. Seems to me that to governmentally foster this upon 3- and 4-year-olds suggests that parents do not need to function as the first teachers, while increasingly early institutionalization of the young is the answer to society's problems.

West Marcus

Fostering religion not schools' role

William Pilati (in response to Dick Brewbaker) and I may be the only two former public school students in history who have grown up still believing it is not the responsibility of a public institution or government employee to foster religion upon a captive group, such as students in a classroom.

I cannot understand, to this day, the attitude of the teacher at Lanier in 1956 who had me suspended for three days, because I moved and whispered during the "Bible reading" session. It was to assist a student who had a minor problem, and was not at all disruptive. I did not return to her class.

I fully concur with Mr. Pilati's feelings because I knew no class I ever attended would have any mention of the Jewish faith, which corresponded to the religion of about half of my family and relatives. I suppose the deceased teacher, in her own attempt at admonishing my scrawny soul, believed humiliating me in front of my peers and kicking me out class would save my soul from eternal damnation.

I do not wish to speak ill of the dead, but I suppose she would twirl like a rotisserie if she could witness a contemporary service in the newer evolution of religious Christian services. I did learn a lesson in her class. May she rest in peace.

West Marcus

Gas prices do little for driving habits

Gas prices do little for driving habits

I currently drive daily to accomplish two hours of part-time work. All of the mileage is from Taylor Road down Vaughn Road and the East Boulevard to McGehee Road.

Since gasoline is now at $3.50 for premium, one would think driving habits would begin to change. No such luck. Tailgaters abound, turn signal usage is sparse, long lines at drive-throughs when a walk-in is faster, blocked intersections at critical turns, and of course red light roulette.

I am no longer amazed, at least weekly, to slowly pass a rear-end wreck only to look in my rearview mirror to see a cell phone user smoking a cigarette attempting to kiss my rear bumper.

Heaven forbid I should drive the speed limit. Just forget the 10 mph distance rule. (As an aside: don't think women do not know the use of the middle digit).

OK. I am through venting. Let me go and seize the day, my steering wheel and of course my insurance papers.

West Marcus