Speak Out 02/19/03

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Not our fault

AS A gas station attendant, I would like to say that it is not the cashier's fault that the price of gasoline has gone up. We cannot change the prices to suit ourselves or others. People need to quit yelling at us, because it is out of our hands.

Shameful lapse

MANY SALUTATIONS to the Southeast Missourian editorial staff for the hard-hitting editorial on Missouri's abdication of its responsibility to properly enforce the sex-offenders registration law. How shameful.

Keep schools open

MY CHILDREN have missed more school than needed due to weather. Why in the world is Cape Girardeau School District allowing for more time off on predetermined holidays. It's time to cut back on holidays and make up for lost time. We have children who need education. Keep the schools open.

It's not automatic

IN RESPONSE to the comment that claims we are out of step: That is the same thing they were saying about those who opposed Hitler and the atrocities that went on there. Peace does not automatically happen just because you say "Let's all be friends." When you are dealing with a mad dog, the only proper way to respond is to put the dog down.

Locked-in position

WHEN FACED with a dilemma, small-minded folks get stuck on positions and forget their interests. This is what has happened to the White House. The interest of the world is in containing Saddam Hussein. Unfortunately, President Bush and his henchmen and henchwomen seem to have forgotten this and are locked into their position that the United States must attack Iraq.

The good old days

REMEMBER good old days when the economy was good, there was no threat to the Constitution, our allies trusted us, workable environmental protections were being passed, the biggest national debate was over what to do with the huge budget surplus and Bill Clinton was to blame for everything?

Loose lips sink ships

I WATCHED "60 Minutes" about how well our Army is prepared. Who's side is CBS on? What is wrong with CBS? Has the network gone off the deep end? Telling this, be it true or untrue, does not help our troops.

French self-interests

PROTESTERS IN the United States who denounce their own country and praise France should be careful. France's hands are not clean concerning Iraq. The French have benefited economically with oil contracts with Saddam Hussein by opposing the United States. And now they are trying to lower the power the United States has in Europe as the European Union prepares to expand the number of member countries. The problem is that these new countries, largely from central Europe, trust the United States more than France. That's why their leaders signed on in support of the United Nations needing to confront Iraq with military force. France is acting out of France's self-interest, not the world's.

It's a bill of goods

TWO LENGTHY guest columns debated the merits of whether the Missouri Legislature should provide ways that might give quicker access to the Internet, in part to students in school. A just completed study in the United Kingdom uncovered the long suspected truth that computers in schools have zero impact on improved student learning and achievement. Why are we obsessed with providing for it? Part of the answer is that kids and their parents think the Internet is cool and believe it is bound to improve students' academic success. The real reason computers saturate many schools can be answered by following the money. Indeed, we have been sold a quite expensive bill of goods.

Potential backfire

THE CAPE Girardeau City Council wants to raise the sales tax. If it is successful in increasing the tax rates, somebody is going to get the bright idea of opening a movie theater, theme restaurants or a new mall on the Jackson side of Center Junction. These new businesses could compete with lower taxes and better access from both Cape Girardeau and Jackson. Then the tax increase would backfire on Cape Girardeau.

Strange bedfellows

FRANCE AND Belgium have correctly pointed out that NATO is a mutual defense treaty, not a mutual offense treaty. It is more than a little disingenuous for the Bush administration to act out of sorts because our allies are not going along with the rush toward war, especially since Bush has blithely shredded international agreements and treaties on seemingly every opportunity. Bush's arrogant unilateralism has accomplished the unthinkable: uniting France, Germany, Russia and China in an attempt to stop what they perceive is the biggest threat to world order, the United States.

Be the solution

WHY DO folks continue to buy into the Democrats' plan of class warfare and believe that any tax cut is for the rich. A tax cut is a tax cut. Those who pay more should benefit the most. Instead of whining about the cuts, why not earn more so you will benefit the most? Don't be a part of the problem. Be the solution.

Time to listen

MILLIONS OF people around the world protested Saturday against war on Iraq. The United Nations gave a standing ovation to the French delegate who spoke of peace. Only two nations on the Security Council backed the war with Iraq. The people of the world want peace. President Bush needs to listen.

Budget realism

I NOTICED a Speak Out paean to the GOP taking control of the Missouri Legislature was qualified by the word "Perhaps" appearing before "they can rein in this spending." The commentator is likely a realist and probably realizes that, ultimately, state spending will not be cut regardless of who controls the legislature and that it is only a question as how much it will grow.

Changes are needed

IT IS high time that our elected officials start tightening their own belts. We are in a recession, and changes must take place. No more taxes.

Loud car stereos

IS THE fad of loud stereos ever going to fade out? Why isn't the Cape Girardeau Police Department doing more to stop motorists with loud, booming stereo systems from waking people up at night? I live on the east side of town where a lot of elderly people live. We are sick and tired of motorists coming by at all hours of the night shaking the house with stereo systems that should be outlawed.

Speak out for change

I AM a teacher in the Jackson School District. In Language/English we work out of our one textbook, and it is really hard for some students to catch on. I wish the students who are having trouble could take the books home. We don't just read novels. We learn to punctuate. That is an excuse about selecting the right textbook. We all know, but there's nothing we can do about it. The only way it will change is if enough parents and teachers speak out.

Plan for civil defense

I THINK Cape Girardeau officials should drop all their tax plans for right now. Instead of building an aquatic park, they should be investigating what we're going to need to spend for civil defense. We are going to war. We are on high alert. We should be considering the actions that the Department of Homeland Security has suggested. It's not a time for frivolous tax increases. It is time to think about our very own survival.

FOR YOU to attempt to remind us that we are still getting a bargain with current sky-high gasoline prices gives new meaning to the phrase "cold comfort."

Find other cuts

WHEN GOV. Bob Holden is millions of dollars short to fill his budget, he finds the most favorable program in the whole state and threatens cuts. Everybody loves schoolchildren and wants to fund our schools. So the governor says if he doesn't have enough money, he's going to cut back on schools. Why don't we cut back on programs people don't care about? We could cut back on recreation and food service in prisons. Or we could ell the conservation department not to keep buying private land. Maybe we could balance the budget that way instead of balancing the budget on the backs of our school children.

THE SAME people who are on President Bush's case would have an opposite view if a Democrat was in office. They flocked to praise President Clinton's attack in Bosnia. Like sheep, many have traded everything important for their party's platform.

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