Letters to the editor
Posted: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 8:01 pm
To the Editor:
Great and educational editorial (in The Messenger Friday) by Glenda Caudle as usual. In this day of massive information, it is indeed necessary to do some checking to separate fact from opinion. Not all information is factual and most information (other than the most bare of facts) is tinged with the opinion of the presenter.
Sometimes, information just doesn’t pass the “smell test” and digging for facts puts information in a different light. Information in context and braced by facts would seem able to stand up to falsehoods, misinformation and just plain opinion.
This process of verification is true in all areas, not just the current health care situation. Perhaps James Madison said it best when saying, “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”
Simply attending classes and lectures does not make one a student — outside reading and assignments guide in fleshing out the “big picture.” People pursue their religion by reading and researching scripture, not only by sitting passively in pews and absorbing sermons.
So it is in the realm of current events and politics — pursuing factual information beyond “traditional” news outlets is one way to have the big picture.
Many folks are not motivated to dig deeper and go beyond what is handed out in 30-second sound bites. It is often dry and dull and we all have busy lives and leave the fact-checking to others. Ronald Reagan cautioned we should “trust but verify.” How true.
I have no doubt that most folks are deeply concerned about the direction our country is taking. Concern that transcends party affiliation and reaches down to that place inside where one says, “Say what?!? How can this be?”
Gather facts. Do the math. See if the information out there passes the smell test. If one goes off “half-fact-ed” he runs the risk of reacting on the emotions of opinion rather than acting with deliberation based in fact. Thomas Jefferson once said, “He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.” Again, how true.
We all benefit
To the Editor:
This week marks the 88th annual observance of American Education Week. Beginning in 1919, the National Education Association along with the American Legion sought to generate public support for education after documentation showed that 25 percent of those drafted to serve in World War I were illiterate. Today that list of sponsors also includes the U.S. Department of Education and the National PTA, as well as other prestigious educational organizations. The goal of this week continues to be to inform the public of the accomplishments and needs of public schools, and to secure the cooperation and support of the public in meeting those needs.
We continue to strive to provide our students with the tools they will need to maintain our nation’s precious values of freedom, civility and equality. Schools work to equip young Americans with both practical skills and broader intellectual abilities that will give them hope for and access to a productive future. Public schools are the foundations of neighborhoods and communities, bringing together adults and children, educators and volunteers, business leaders and elected officials in a common purpose.
Employees of our local school system work daily to see to the needs of our students. Whether it is the principals, teachers, librarians, guidance counselors, bus drivers, food service workers, custodians, clerical staff, tech people, health care workers or substitute teachers, each one serves our students with care and professionalism. Every parent, every citizen, and every business owner of Obion County is to be congratulated for their role in our students’ success.
Director of Schools David Huss, central office staff members and our elected Obion County School Board members work tirelessly to ensure that every student and every employee in the Obion County System reaches their highest potential.
As you help us celebrate this week, take just a minute to appreciate the educational opportunities our children have here in Obion County. Give yourself a pat on the back for the role you have played in that success and take just a minute to tell any one of those mentioned above thanks for what they have done.
As a teacher and a member of the Obion County Education Association, let me be the first to say “THANKS!” to all of you.
Published in The Messenger 11.18.09
Letters to the editor