The Commons is a weblog for concerned citizens of southeast Iowa and their friends around the world. It was created to encourage grassroots networking and to share information and ideas which have either been suppressed or drowned out in the mainstream media.

"But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place;' some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection." (Henry V, Act V, Scene 4)

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Bill Kumbier Letter 9/30/04

Dear Editor,

Three weeks ago a student from my neighborhood elementary school knocked at my door. He asked me if I wanted to buy some gift wrap to support his school, though he knew nothing about the products displayed in his glossy brochure and nothing about why the money from his sales was needed. A few days later, another student rang my doorbell with a similar request, this time to buy cookie dough. I fell for some white chocolate macadamia nut dough, only to be approached two days later by yet another student hawking the same products. To many Americans, especially parents of school children, this routine is all too familiar. Why have we chosen to make our schools fend for themselves through such fundraisers or, even worse, lottery proceeds, rather than ensuring they are generously supported with our tax dollars? Recent data from the National Priorities Project shows that Missourians' share of the $150 billion in tax dollars spent so far on the Iraq war is $2.7 billion, and that Missourians can expect to pay about $896 million for each year we remain in Iraq. This money could have funded participation by 400,000 children in Head Start, funded over 400 new elementary schools, or paid thousands of teachers' salaries. It would have relieved countless students and their reluctant customers of having to buy candles and cheese logs nobody really needs.Missourians have a reputation for being very scrupulous about how their tax dollars are spent. Are they aware of how much President Bush's stubborn insistence on fighting an unnecessary war has cost us and our children's education?
William Kumbier


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