Speak Out 03/11/03

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Professionals only

WHY WOULD you want to arm airline pilots, but professionally trained police officers are not allowed to carry firearms on the planes? Leave the guns to the professional law enforcement officers.

Follow the law

LOCAL BUSINESSES complain that it's not fair to penalize them more for selling alcohol to a minor than what the minor usually gets charged with. Get real. According to the Missourian, 20 percent of all alcohol in the country is consumed by minors. Somebody is selling them that stuff and making a nifty profit. I say not only should the business pay a stiff fine for selling alcohol to a minor, but so should the store clerk. You guys know what the law is. Follow it.

Faulty argument

WHERE HAVE U.S. Sens. Jim Talent and Christopher Bond been for the last few weeks? They are still arguing that an attack against Iraq is somehow related to the war on terrorism. But the rest of us know that every time the Bush administration tries that argument, the evidence is demolished by our own intelligence agencies. We can only conclude that these Republican senators subscribe to the principle that if you repeat a lie often enough, people will eventually believe it.

Socialism isn't evil

WHY MUST everyone assume that socialism and democracy are mutually exclusive? In terms of dollar amounts, the "most free" nation in the world is also the most socialist. And why do some think that people "choose" to work for minimum wage? If everyone had the option of making more money, why wouldn't they do it? The truth is, some people can't afford an education, are not able to perform some jobs and are not able to feed, clothe or shelter themselves or their families. No one "chooses" to be poor, hungry, sick or cold. Socialism is not only necessary, but it's not an evil either.

Just as law-abiding

REGARDING THE debate over the carrying of concealed weapons, I offer the following question. Shouldn't the law-abiding residents of Missouri have the same means of self-defense that is afforded to the law-abiding residents of 44 other states? I believe the residents of Missouri are just as worthy and responsible as our neighbors in Iowa, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Wake up, parents

WHEN I read the story about attitudes toward teenage drinking, I couldn't believe it. I am so angry. Are these kids idiots? Are their parents idiots? Sooner or later, teenage drinking leads to some kind of tragedy. We're lucky no one was killed by the bonfire. I lost my best friend to a teenage drunk driver. Parents, your attitude sickens me. Wake up. Don't let your kids drink like that. It's dangerous. Maybe you did it yourself growing up and don't see the harm. Maybe your kid won't ever be harmed by it. But someone's kid will. And someone's friend will. I know. Wake up before it's too late.

Parents are failing

THANK YOU, Mike Wells and the Southeast Missourian, for reporting on the cavalier attitude of many students and parents in this area about drinking. The bonfire fiasco was not just about someone stupidly throwing gasoline into a fire. That stupidity was clear, basically because so many people were burned so badly they'll have scars for life. But there is another stupidity that was revealed in your story, including the kid who drank 10 beers and didn't think anything of it. Too often kids in this area drink and drive. Too many kids in this area drink and have sex without thinking, leading to teenage pregnancy. The parents who don't care about their kids enough to keep them away from such stupid and illegal activity are failing in the most important job they have in this world.

HOTEL-TAX revenue improves the quality of life for a lot of people. The River Campus will also bring more students to this area. Right now, the performing arts programs at SEMO are not up to full potential. More students equal more dollars.

Messy shoppers

WHY DO people who shop at the mall think they can come into a store, unfold or unhang clothing and then just throw it down? The employees at those stores don't come into your business and throw your stuff on the ground. It's funny that those people who disrespect the employees get upset if the employees are not meeting their every need. To those people who think they can go into a store and act like it is their personal closet, I say, "Don't come back."

Constructive debate

DAVID LIMBAUGH can call Democratic criticism of President Bush contrived if he wants. However, with the economy sinking into a possible double-dip recession, the United States on the verge of attempting to export democracy while rebuilding a post-war Iraq and the mechanism of collective international security maybe on the verge of a meltdown, there seems to be plenty of room for constructive debate concerning the correctness of the course chosen by our chief executive, both at home and abroad.

Resolutions and votes

PEOPLE WHO want still another vote on the River Campus are probably the same ones who think that, when it comes to Iraq, there haven't been enough U.N. resolutions.

State responsibility

THANK YOU, Jim Drury. The college is a state institution, not a city institution.

Confusing terms

A RECENT caller equated national health care and a higher minimum wage with socialism. Seems to me that any public works -- highways, sewage systems, water, electric, police, fire fighters -- could be termed as socialist. Unfortunately, some folks have confused freedom and democracy with libertarianism and anarchism.

Here's an opportunity

CAPE GIRARDEAU residents, wake up and smell the coffee. This is the 21st century. Support your city on the water park. It is a very good revenue generator. Cape Girardeau in 1970 had a population of 30,000 people. Today there are just a little over 35,000 people. This is very slow growth and progress. Cape residents demand more from the city, but they don't want to pay for it. Wake up, Cape, and come alive and become part of progress and growth and stop living the past and look to the future. Cape has lost more opportunities than any city I have ever seen.

Automatic increases

WE DON'T need to vote for an increase in the sales tax rate. As more people move to Cape Girardeau and more people shop in Cape, the city automatically gets more sales tax money. As inflation makes city services cost more, inflation makes the products we buy cost more. The city sales tax automatically collects more money to cover inflation. The city never needs a higher sales tax rate. It just needs to provide the best services it can with the tax money we pay.

Young, fresh ideals

I JUST read the article about the Southern Illinois teen running for school board. A lot of people would think he is too young, but to me it sounds like he has had more life experience in his short 18 years than most of us have had in a lifetime. I think it is remarkable what he has done with his life, and I wish him the best of luck in whatever endeavors he chooses in life. Maybe that's what some of these school boards need: some young, fresh ideals. Good luck and best wishes.

Belittling free speech

IT HAS been exciting to see our rights to free speech exercised by those who favor the war and those who do not. It is saddening that it cannot be done with the respect and dignity befitting a people who value such a freedom. Name calling and other derogatory remarks certainly belittle the spirit of free speech.

Gambling logic

JUST BECAUSE someone enjoys gambling does not mean he is addicted. I enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. I suppose according to that logic that means I'm addicted. Give me a break.

I HEARD the song by Daryl Worley -- "Have You Forgotten? -- and was very moved and proud to be an American. My husband is a retired Air Force veteran and still could be called back. I know I would be very sad to see him go but would be very proud, because when he joined the service he went in knowing the commitment he was making and was ready to go if called. This song should be a wake-up call to all Americans. I never want to forget that horrible day of Sept. 11, 2001, and the innocent people who died and the families left behind. After that day our lives were changed forever. The terrorists' goal was to bring us down, but all they accomplished was to bring us closer together. We need to stand together and show our support to all of our troops and for our government and pray they make the right decisions.

Bumper to bumper

I SAW a five-car pile-up the other day. The reason was because motorists were driving too fast and too close to the bumpers of each car. I'm getting a sign made for my car and truck. It's going to say, "If you hit me, you followed me too close."

Downtown parking

IT'S TIME to forget about the downtown Cape Girardeau business district. Time has passed it by. If it gets any business to amount to anything, it won't have enough parking space to handle the crowd.

Bring this to an end

I AM a 97-year-old citizen of Cape Girardeau. I have been subscribing to the Missourian for about 70 years. I am disturbed by the continuing lawsuits against the River Campus. I would suggest that the city council settle this once and for all by putting this proposition on the ballot. I would thank the city very much if they would bring this to an end.

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