Speak Out 02/11/03

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Exemption repealI WANT to offer some insight about the Missouri sales-tax exemption repeal for the trucking industry. The Missouri Motor Carrier Association asked the governor's office for clarification on the matter. The sales-tax exemption repeal is targeted at private carriers who claim to be common carriers. It is not intended to repeal the exemption of for-hire common carriers.

Good snow removalTHANK YOU, MoDOT, for doing such a good job on keeping our state highways cleaned after the recent snowfalls. On behalf of all of the professional drivers, we appreciate you.

Open Pandora's BoxWE HAVE no choice. Secretary of State Powell has made a strong and compelling case for invading Iraq. It is time to open the Pandora's Box.

Holden's hardballHALLELUJAH for Gov. Bob Holden. He is adopting hardball, Reaganesque tactics by going over the heads of the GOP-controlled Missouri Legislature and appealing directly to the common sense of Missouri's residents with his plan for balancing the state budget. Missouri Republican pols are complaining about what they say is Holden's unwillingness to engage in bipartisan dialogue. Holden has been down that road before and gotten burned very badly for it. If legislators don't support the governor's proposal, vote it down. Though the governor's plan is sound, to some degree Missouri Republicans are getting paid back for their shabby treatment of Holden in the past and are learning that what goes around, comes around. After all these years, the Republicans are in control of the legislature. Do they not know how to handle it?

Refreshing columnI WANT to thank Sam Blackwell for his very thoughtful commentary. It was a refreshing read.

It's still pendingTHE INTERESTING thing about the pending war in Iraq is that it is still pending, which means it can still be canceled.

Getting both sidesI COMMEND Sam Blackwell for having the courage to voice his concerns about a war in Iraq to a very conservative audience. People should be celebrated for their differences, even when it is differences of opinion. One side of the story is never the whole story.

Wartime psychologyTWO BIG thumbs up to Sam Blackwell for his anti-war commentary. Finally, someone has the courage to stand up and be heard or read. Unless people understand how wartime psychology affects them, they cannot make an accurate justification for their stance. People need to push pause and ask themselves, "Why do I feel the way I do?"

Captain CourageousTHE EDITOR of the Joplin Globe, Ed Simpson, wrote that Missouri Gov. Bob Holden was wrongly playing hardball with the Missouri Legislature. Holden, often called gutless by his partisan critics, now deserves to be deemed Captain Courageous because he is calling the GOP-controlled state legislature's bluff by threatening to cut education spending. Perhaps Missouri Republican pooh-bahs have jumped the gun by laughingly referring to the governor as One-Term Bob. I'll keep Holden on.

Worthy of a PulitzerSAM BLACKWELL'S passionate piece on the distinct possibility of opening a Pandora's Box with an all-out attack on Iraq is worthy of a Pulitzer Prize.

Victim speaks outI WAS raped, sodomized and abused by an attacker who threatened to kill me. Women who are raped do not make up stories that they were raped and later on say it wasn't true. A thousand times a day I think about killing the person who raped and sodomized me. Anyone who has never been through this shouldn't be spouting off in Speak Out.

Cell phones and signalsI HAVE a good idea for somebody who wants to start a business in Cape Girardeau. It is apparent that only about one-half of the turn signals work. In the case of people who are talking on cell phones, there must be some reason that none of their turn signals work. It would seem to indicate that the phone does something that stops the turn signals from operating. Drastic repairs are needed.

Attendance creditSTUDENTS SHOULD earn credit when they master the skills that are covered in a course. Why are they being graded on attendance? According to Central High School's policy, you're getting credit on attendance. My son missed more than five days last year and remained on the A and B honor roll and advanced classes. Explain that one to me. School officials should stop insulting parents by saying if a child misses more than five days and is truly ill he's lost credit.

CERTAINLY THERE are a lot of good young people, more good than bad. Jackson has tried Teen Town. It didn't work very well. A lot of the boys would come to Teen Town and pick the girls up and go someplace. You can build community buildings and some teens will come. But as long as you don't allow beer, there will be bonfires, and the kids will go someplace else.

Fair punishmentLIVING IN a free country, our young people should be free to learn from their mistakes. We should not drag them through the muck day after day until they feel theirs is a lost generation. If schools can punish students for what they do off school time, then are you willing to let employers fire employees over drinking, spouse abuse, bouncing checks or speeding?

Not our responsibility

THE WORLD does not owe youngsters anything. They create their own surroundings. So they should entertain themselves.

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