Speak Out 9/21/05

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

No noble purpose

IT WAS interesting to see the pro-war protesters at the Sue Niederer anti-war event in support of the troops. She invited them in and challenged them to identify what noble purpose was being served by the Iraq War. They huffed and puffed and complained about gasoline prices, failing to realize that the war is about oil-company profits, not cheap gas for Americans. But they could not come up with one noble purpose.

Views of manhood

WHEN THE phrases "authentic manhood," "manhood issues" and "biblical perspective" all appear in the same story, I tend to wonder which Biblical models of "authentic manhood" will be the model used by the Men's Fraternity. Some of those models aren't that nice. My guess is that the Men's Fraternity model leaves little wiggle room for women and probably has no place for gays, free thinkers and social scientists or little room for the rainbow of roles of men from history and world culture. That is, unless they, like so many Bible-centrists, cherry pick ideas as their leaders see fit. Instead of promoting ideas about "manhood," these men would be better off, and so would the rest of us, if they promoted models of humanity-in-diversity. But since Biblical ideas of manhood will precede all others, I expect that these men will have a very narrow view of their roles in society.

Learning the facts

MANY THANKS to Sue Niederer for coming to Cape Girardeau to share her passionate story of losing her son in Iraq. She described personal conversations with her son and other details which made her address real and touching. For the first time in months, I felt energized and hopeful to be among so many people who have the same view of the Iraq War as I do. They too are grieving not only for the many lives lost but for the Americans who have been misled about the reasons for the war and anything that our country or the world might gain from it. The group was not political. It was a mix of Republicans, Democrats and Independents. All agreed on one thing, however: Bring our troops home. Bob Polack and Sue Niederer are inspirations for all of us to dig for the facts and find out what is really going on and who stands to gain from the terrible price our nation is paying.

Bring it back

THE HOG Rally was awesome. I hope our city officials will work hard to bring it back or start an annual event.

Helpful officer

THANK YOU, Officer Josh Smith, for going out of your way to help my sister out when her car broke down. She was coming up here after evacuating before Hurricane Katrina. After your kindness and hospitality, she's considering staying in Cape Girardeau.

Lack of hospitality

AFTER ATTENDING the Tracy Byrd concert Friday night, I am appalled by the review in Saturday's newspaper by Matt Sanders. I enjoyed the concert. I thought Tracy Byrd was great. He posed for pictures with a smile on his face. He addressed the audience like a real gentleman. He let his band members show their talent. And he sang to us some great songs. I only hope Mr. Byrd will know that review was not speaking for everyone in Cape Girardeau and will some day return. So much for our Southern hospitality.

Determining coverage

LAWSUITS ARE more than necessary in motivating insurance companies to pay for wind-damaged properties they might claim were flood-damaged and eligible for no coverage.

Bring troops home

THE COMMENTS made by Sue Niederer at the Osage Community Centre about the war were very eye-opening. The war in Iraq is turning into another Vietnam that cannot be won. Our troops should be brought home. They are there under false pretenses. It is no longer for the protection of the United States.

Sidewalk replacements

SOMEONE COMMENTED that the city is spending money on sidewalks for the rich. The city has been replacing sidewalks all over town for the past several years. A lot of the work has been in the very poorest sections of the city.

No beer, please

I AM in full agreement with the person who is against beer being distributed at Southeast Missouri State University athletic events. My family attended the family-night baseball game last year. Free food was advertised. My family could not get to the hot dogs because of the huge group gathered at the beer stand. The way I see it, half of the students at SEMO are underage, and some of the distribution was to minors. I don't think a university should promote drinking. Let family night be family night.

Blame the owners

I'M TIRED of people attacking pit bulls. It's not the dog. It's the owner. It's how the dog was raised. Was the dog taken to obedience class, was it loved and petted and played with? I find a lot of pit bull owners who get a dog because they want to appear big and bad, so they raise the dogs to be mean. Please attack the owners, not the dogs, which are like any other animal. They can be sweet and loving. Any dog can be vicious if that's how it's raised.

Above the norm

SPEAK OUT readers need to be reminded that our standard of living is an abnormality when compared to the rest of the world. Across the world, the normal state of living is in poverty, with dictators and other sorts of repressive government rule and no government safety net.

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