(Originally appeared in the June 2000 issue of the Liberty High School Sentinel newspaper.)
During this year, as we’ve only produced three newspapers, I didn’t get my chance to write as many opinion columns as I had hoped—so here are the rest of my opinions:
I figure I might as well start with the easy stuff—the presidential election. Al Gore is the most dangerous thing that could happen to this country. He’s just another Bill Clinton [politically], and we’re lucky to have survived that bunch’s misguided policies as long as we have. If you’re going to vote in the upcoming election (and if you’re old enough, it’s my opinion that you should) and you want to see good things happen to our country, I’d recommend your vote go to George W. Bush. My actual opinion is that Alan Keyes is the best candidate in the race at the moment (he’s the only one who seems grounded in the real world), but chances are you’ve never heard of him and he won’t win the Republican nomination.
Now on to school issues. I find it funny the way that [Assistant Principal] Mr. Eggleston usually starts assemblies with threats. I remember the time we watched those anti-violence skits (which I actually enjoyed) and Mr. Eggleston began the proceedings by telling people that if they didn’t act mature they’d be removed. Aren’t the immature people the ones that need to watch the anti-violence skits the most?
Moving along, why does this school insist on continuing their closed-lunch policy? I think it would be a good gesture on the part of the administration to allow students—or at least seniors—to leave school and eat lunch wherever they wish. If would lessen the strain of cafeteria staff and make the students happier in their school setting. A common response to this is saying students would be late getting back from lunch. Well, hey, if they are then mark them tardy the same way they would be if they were late for any other reason. Big deal.
Back to big society issues; killing is wrong. Killing is wrong whether it be just plain old murder, capital punishment, or abortion. In my humble opinion, nobody has the right to take any life. I find it funny, in a way, that both major political parties are totally inconsistent about death. Democrats tend to be against capital punishment but for abortion; Republicans tend to be the other way around. Well I’m gonna alienate myself from both parties and say I’m against them both.
Now it’s time for good ol’ Elian Gonzalez. This is always a fun subject. The young boy has certainly been through a lot, and it was a mistake to let him stay with his great uncle in Miami. Elian should have been sent back to Cuba, the same way we’ve sent back every other Cuban refugee picked up by American ships, before a media spectacle could develop. But, since that damage is done, the best thing to do now it to just let the boy and his father go home. The Miami family needs to shut up, drop their legal proceedings, and just let Elian go home.
I hate phones. In my opinion, they are the most annoying form of communication our society has. Think about it; they almost always interrupt something else that’s going on. No other form of communication makes an annoying ringing sound that begs for attention and requires you to drop everything else that you’re doing. Imagine that you’re in a room, talking to a good friend, and at some point during the conversation another friend walks up and starts making an annoying snorting noise. Now imagine that the snorting person won’t stop until you stopped talking to the first friend and talked to them instead. That’s what phones do. They’re just plain obnoxious.
Other than phones, there’s nothing more annoying than when people in power ry to turn tragedies into political statements. I was watching MSNBC the afternoon of the recent Florida school shooting. (In my opinion, Fox News Channel is much better, but they were covering the stock market at the time.) During the half-hour or so before the police gave their press conference, the news network had several over-the-phone interviews with various people. One of them was with a Democratic Florida congressman—I cannot recall his name—who had already mounted the soapbox to call for more gun control. Besides the fact that gun control is a crock (I’ll get to that in a minute), couldn’t he have had a little respect for the dead teacher by saving his own political angling for his own political gain until a day or two later?
Gun control is a crock. Most guns used in crimes are illegal guns anyway, and making them more illegal will not stop their proliferation. The only way to end gun violence is (as stated in my other opinion piece [Anti-Violence Program Is Not the Answer . . . ]) to change the way we raise our kids.
Now let’s cover some senior stuff. Call me crazy, but my graduation is my graduation. It’s not my parents’ graduation, it’s not the administration’s graduation, it is my graduation. It’s all the seniors’ graduation. It would be nice if the administration treated it as such. The ceremony wouldn’t be ruined if I wore a dark shirt or wrote something on my hat. What better way to show what we’ve gotten out of our schooling than to allow us to express our individuality at our own graduation? Or do you really think that’s better expressed through mass-conformity?
Anyway, I’ve about run out of ideas so I’m going to go ahead and close now. I hope you’ve all enjoyed reading my columns in the paper this year as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them—and, if ever want to know my opinion on something (and it’s almost guaranteed that I have one) drop me an email, or check out my website. Goodbye, and good luck.