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Speak Out 7/6/05

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Take it, but not mine

I DISAGREE with state Rep. Belinda Harris. I think the taking of private property for private use in order to benefit the public overall (increase the tax base) is justifiable -- as long as the property isn't mine.

Correction needed

LET'S NOT jump on the Supreme Court for this ruling on the private-property case. The justices do not make law. They rule on it. They look at what the law says. Based on current law, taking private property is legal. It is very unfortunate the land can be taken, but it does not matter if the justices think it is right or not. They must use only the law for their decisions. Who do you think creates law? Elected officials, of course. Will our elected officials correct this law?

Recruiting rhetoric

HERE'S HOPING our young people have enough horse sense to weigh carefully the recruiting rhetoric coming out of the Pentagon lately. One of our generals recently stated that we must convince kids that Iraq is a real war against a real enemy who, says this general, really threatens our way of life. Such statements, amounting to an agitprop campaign designed to bolster flagging enlistments, cannot be taken at face value. Instead we should loudly ask how exactly does an Iraqi insurgent (who no doubt would call himself a patriot) threaten our way of life? And what exactly do you mean by "our way of life"?

Military thinker

RECENTLY, DAVID Limbaugh, in order to gloss over problems in Iraq, quoted Donald Rumsfeld extensively. Conspicuously missing were statements referring to stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, the end of major combat, and those cheering crowds waiting with open arms for our soldiers. Coming from a military family, I am reminded of remarks by the great Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf about Saddam Hussein that fit Mr. Limbaugh equally: "He is neither a strategist nor is he schooled in the operational arts, nor is he a tactician, nor is he a general, nor is he a soldier. Other than that he's a great military man." I must add, Mr. Limbaugh is every bit the writer as he is a military thinker.

In harm's way

SYNDICATED COLUMNIST Kathleen Parker, understating the obvious and thereby strengthening opposing views, writes that "war is imperfect, after all." What would a perfect war be like? Would it be one in which no one died? Everyone died? Does she or doesn't she want any person of any gender in harm's way? Does she or doesn't she demand special treatment of females? Males? Parker doesn't understand the nature of war. No wonder she appears to approve and disapprove of our Iraq policies. She needs to know that humans rearrange power and territory through warmaking and that the primary people in harm's way she so glibly tosses around are women and children.

More than you need

After telling me we're not big enough for a public transportation system, a Speak Out commentator told me to contact city hall and I could get all the information I needed. Believe me, if I contact city hall, those who are there will get much more than they need or bargained for.

Fireworks rule

Once again, it sounded like World War III in Cape Girardeau the days before the Fourth of July. It wouldn't be quite so bad if everyone obeyed the law on fireworks, but there are those who start two or three days ahead of the allowed time and two or three hours after the 10 p.m. cutoff time. Why must we have eight days of this? When I was growing up, we had one day to shoot fireworks. This was our parents' law. We were allowed to shoot them on the Fourth of July, and this made it a special day. The whole meaning of the holiday is destroyed by having over a week of fireworks.

Bad analogy

I FOUND Hamner Hill's harangue surprisingly disappointing. Appealing to the Founding Fathers as the repository of all truth may go over with the public, but is philosophically pitiful. And his implicit analogy between Stalin and Bush was abhorrent. Stalin wanted to use brute force to impose a worldwide totalitarian dictatorship. On the other hand, President Bush wants to use U.S. power to impose a 1,000-year period of democracy, freedom, peace and prosperity that will outperform the ancient Pax Romana.

Still some wrinkles

The malfunctioning of the lights on the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge serves as an apt metaphor for the ongoing failure of the Missouri Department of Transportation to satisfy Missourians, even when state government is controlled by usually mistake-free Republicans.

Neighborhood display

What is great about Cape Girardeau? My husband and I, along with our three small kids, just came down Lexington Avenue. To our surprise, a home in Northfield subdivision was having a commercial-grade fireworks display. It was incredible. I made my husband pull over for us to watch. Before we knew it, about 20 other cars were also pulled over. All of us were oohing and ahhing. It was great to see such a great display without having to beat the crowds, and our kids were amazed because we were so close. Thanks to the homeowners for giving us another great reason to love Cape. We enjoyed the show, and now we don't have to take everyone downtown on the Fourth of July.

Proud of brown

The person who heard the "brown child" comment shouldn't be offended. I remember the comment of a sweet innocent girl about a brown child she met. "Mommy, she's the same brown I am." There was no prejudice in that child's heart. She was delighted. She had been taught to be proud of being brown by her white parents.

Still honorable

The military is still getting a lot of recruits but isn't meeting new goals of recruitment that are higher than before. It is still a commendable thing to join the military, and these young men and women should be given the respect they deserve.

But no new taxes

THE NEW sidewalks really look nice. It's a shame we don't have some nice streets to go with them. I wish the city would take some money and fix the streets. And don't tax us for it. The city taxes us for everything else.

Thanks for celebration

A BIG thank you to everyone who had anything to do with organizing all of the special activities over the long Fourth of July weekend. There was something for everyone, and it was a great way to celebrate our nation's birthday. Thanks for all the fireworks and fun things to do.


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