Speak Out 10/2/05

Sunday, October 2, 2005

Merging traffic

THIS IS in response to the issue of merging onto the interstate. I drive a big truck. Frequently when I come to an exit I try to get into the left lane, but here comes a car running 90 mph, so you can't get over. The person coming onto the interstate is supposed to yield to traffic, When they come out that ramp, motorists should mash on the gas pedal and go on down the road. But instead of speeding up, too many motorists slow down. Many times interstate traffic is too heavy for vehicles to get in the left lane at on-ramps.

Discrediting protests

THOUGH I support the war in Iraq, I think the Republican mouthpieces are making a mistake by thinking that all that is needed to discredit the growing anti-war protests is to demonize Cindy Sheehan.

Drive to succeed

I DON'T consider myself rich, but the taxes I pay subsidize the income of the so-called poor. There's a reason why the rich are rich and the poor are poor. Race, education, sex or religion have nothing to do with it. If you have the drive to succeed, you will succeed.

Accurate count

THE PRO-WAR protester at the Sue Niederer event who counted just 43 in the audience must have gone to the Bush-Rumsfeld school of lies and deceptions. I counted bodies in rows. There were over 130 present.

Unsafe bikes

TO THOSE of you riding around Jackson on those miniature motorcycles that are small enough for a 6-year-old: Stop racing down my street all afternoon. You are driving my dogs crazy. Are those bikes legal to drive on city streets? If they are, they shouldn't be. Take your bikes to the park or someplace off city streets for your protection and ours.

Foreign policy

U.S. SEN. Kit Bond is correct about the impact of the Iraq War on National Guard equipment, but the same is true for personnel. Where was the Louisiana National Guard and its equipment when New Orleans needed them? The Guard members were off fighting the Bush War of Global Domination when they should have been at home. Bond should see that the problem is not a shortage of equipment. The problem is the Bush foreign-policy adventure in Iraq.

Yearbook timing

WHY DO yearbooks arrive at the beginning of the following year? Why don't they come in at the end of the year like they used to? That way the books can get signed by those who won't be there the next year.

Show Me shows

I WOULD like to commend David Ross and the Show Me Center staff for bringing quality shows to the area: Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss, Sesame Street and more. I think they do a fine job.

Ethanol efficiency

MYTH: ETHANOL takes more energy to produce than it contributes. Fact: In June 2004, the U.S. Department of Agriculture updated its 2002 analysis of the issue and determined that the net energy balance of ethanol production is 1.67 to 1. For every 100 BTUs of energy used to make ethanol, 167 BTUs of ethanol are produced. In 2002, the USDA had concluded that the ratio was 1.35 to 1. The USDA findings have been confirmed by additional studies conducted by the University of Nebraska and Argonne National Laboratory. These figures take into account the energy required to plant, grow and harvest the corn as well as the energy required to manufacture and distribute the ethanol. The net energy balance of ethanol production continues to improve because ethanol production is becoming more efficient. For example, one bushel of corn now yields 2.8 gallons of ethanol, up from 2.5 gallons just a few years ago.

Postal positioning

PUTTING A post office branch on North Kingshighway in Cape Girardeau is a wise and overdue decision. The main post office is not centrally located. It's in the bad part of town, and parking is nonexistent. It should be relocated to the old Sears building.

Natural resources

WHOM DO you think is responsible for not allowing oil refineries to build in our country for years? Who hasn't let oil exploration proceed for the demand we need and keeps us reliant on the Middle East and elsewhere? It's the liberals, not the conservatives. It's the Democratic environmentalists. Everyone wants clean air and water while working with industrial companies. But we have some environmentalists who go too far. This country was built on its national resources.

Adjustable driving

FOR THE most part, I think big trucks do a pretty good job of moving over to the left when they see a car entering an interstate highway. But I was taught that when you are in the merge lane, you adjust your speed so that you slow down or go faster to be able to merge in with the traffic. If that's not possible, you wait until it's safe to do so.

Hunting witches

TOM DELAY is exactly right. This is nothing more than a witch hunt. The only thing that bothers him is that he's the witch they're hunting this time, instead of a Democrat.

More of the same

THE SEPT. 29 editorial "Moon question" asks Washington to explain why it is worth $100 billion of taxpayer money over 13 years to send someone back to the moon. The editorial is well thought out, worthwhile and simply stated. Give us more editorials like this.

Touching column

ONCE AGAIN, Sam Blackwell touched so many with his column on turning 55. Been there, done that. As Sam said, it is holy. I wish there were more Thursdays in a week so Sam could write more columns. Sam makes our journey through this life so worthwhile with his words of wisdom. Happy birthday, Sam, and may you celebrate at least 55 more.

Use cruise control

I WANT to know why drivers going 65 mph are being passed will speed up to 80 mph to keep from being passed and then slow back down? Most cars today have a wonderful gadget called "cruise control." Use it. I do, and I get better gas mileage.

Impact of high gas

IN THE last seven days I have spent $60 to buy gasoline for my car to travel to work and to my college classes. I live in a rural area. It is around 40 miles to my job one way. I know gas prices had to rise because of the hurricanes. Don't you wonder if the powers that be are aware that if the rest of America can't afford to do the simple things that keep this country running -- things like going to work, busing children to school, transporting goods to the stores -- then our economy is going to plummet? It does not matter how much oil costs per barrel. Once the refined product reaches a price that most of America cannot afford, we will have serious problems. Unemployment is already on the rise. If workers cannot afford gas to drive to work, the unemployment rates are going to rise even more. I am not sure how to fix this, but I am sure we have people in our government getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to know how. The government can put people on the moon. Surely it can figure out how to lower gas prices to a manageable level for the working class of America.

Evasive actions

THANK YOU to the two drivers who saved me from much pain. I'm talking about those that when my mind wasn't on driving watched out for me by not hitting me. I had a lapse, but thankfully you didn't. How thankful I am for your evasive actions. I'll remember that the next time someone cuts me off or pulls out in front of me.

Real peeves

TO THE person whose pet peeve is drivers using the turn lane to merge into traffic: Get peeved about man's inhumanity to man. Get peeved about adults abusing their children. Get peeved about children abusing their elderly parents.

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