Speak Out 6/13/06

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Back of the bus

IN A country where almost half of all opposite-sex marriages end in divorce, it is impossible to believe that same-sex marriages would undermine the sanctity of marriage. Divorce pretty much has that area covered. Same-sex marriage is going to happen in America. It's just a question of how much longer the gays and lesbians have to sit at the back of the bus.

Smelly plant

HAS ANYONE smelled an ethanol plant operating? We have one in South Bend, Ind., and it stinks. I hope yours doesn't.

Longer sentences

AT FIRST glance, I was impressed with Gov. Matt Blunt signing the new sex offender law. These additions to the registry and tracking system seem like they will be helpful. My concern is that many of these offenders will never see those longer jail terms or stricter registry laws, because convictions will be much harder to obtain when juries know these people are staring down a 30-year minimum sentence. The governor seems to only be concerned with taking sentencing power out of the hands of judges who he fears are soft on crime. What about the jurors who decide sex-case outcomes, who don't want to be responsible for ruining someone's life by finding them guilty, knowing they will receive a stronger sentence? It's a good idea in theory. But, just like anything else, when everyday people put it into practice, it gets all screwed up.

School video

I READ the article about summer-school students making a video about the Jackson Middle School. Viewing this video was intended to make the transition easier for this year's incoming students. What an awesome idea. However, this is not a new idea. Central Middle School in Cape Girardeau did this last summer for this past year's incoming fifth-graders and new sixth-graders.

Don't blame cashier

SOME AREA retailers have instituted an electronic check system. The point of this is so your confidential information is protected. As a cashier, I have complained to management about this system. It was not my decision to put in this system. Stop blaming me for corporate decisions. I'm just doing my job. I don't get paid enough to deal with customers' griping. There is a complaint box at the customer-service desk. Let me do my job in peace.

Praise for kids

IT'S AMAZING to read Speak Out comments about all the kids helping other people. Why can't it be like this every day in Speak Out instead of all the complaints? There are numerous things that Cape Girardeau and the rest of the world can do and need to do. But praise like this give kids a boost, and it's great that there are parents who raise their children with morals and values just like my parents raised me. Keep it up, kids.

Streets before beauty

CAPE GIRARDEAU'S beautification program is wasting our tax dollars. I like roses as much as the next person, but we have more important things to do. Fix the roads. Many of the city streets are bumpy and full of potholes. Individual citizens can be responsible for beautification. Let the city have that money to fix the streets.

City's sign

CAPE GIRARDEAU is crazy. We can't put a sign on our property, but the city can put out a huge banner in front of the new public works building notifying us that it is National Public Works Week.

First world war

ISLAM WAS recently described in Speak Out as a "culture of death." Would it be accurate to similarly describe the 16th- and 17th-century intra-Christian conflicts, culminating in the Thirty Years War, a conflict described by some historians as the first world war?

Wrong battle

EVEN THOUGH it does not make any sense, voters have no say in whether or not Cape Girardeau or Jackson opts out of the sales-tax holiday. The city councils make that decision. As it was pointed out in a recent Cape Girardeau City Council meeting, the city cannot afford to lose the projected $30,000 to $58,000 that city taxes would bring in. City sales tax is a little over 4 percent, which is not bad considering the taxes other people pay every day in larger metropolitan areas. Pick your battles, people.

Active duty

I CAN'T believe what I had just read. I served in the U.S. Navy 20 years. The comment said our active duty wasn't as good as the National Guard. Was the Guard there during the 20 years I sacrificed away from my home and family? Was the Guard there on the cruises I made for months on end, the countless training periods, the all-night duty shifts working on holidays, missing you son's first day of school and his first word? And all this without enough money to get by and learning how to juggle bills. Active-duty soldiers are the first in battle and the ones who train the reserve forces.

Short time, full price

I TOOK my grandchildren and a few neighborhood kids to the swimming pool at Capaha Park about 4:15 p.m. I was told the pool would be closing at 5 p.m. for lessons. I had no problem with that, because 45 minutes for young children is probably enough time to swim. Why is it that for 45 minutes I have to pay the same price as someone who spends the whole afternoon at the pool?

Get rid of geese

I THINK it's time to get rid of some geese over in Capaha Park. We can't feed the ducks anymore, because there are so many geese. And the geese make a big mess on the sidewalks.

School food choice

MAYBE THE school district should do a poll to make sure parents want a different diet for their children or even a choice. I have no problem with my child having pizza or mashed potatoes.

Church sign

AT THE corner of Abby Road and Lexington Avenue, I saw a Cape Girardeau police officer taking down signs for garage sales and a real estate sign. He did not disturb a sign for a church up the street. Does the new sign ordinance not pertain to religious organizations?

Try balloons

THIS IS for the people who have garage sales and aren't allowed to put the signs up anymore. Get a bunch of balloons and put them in front of your house. That will identify your sale. I don't believe there's a law against balloons.

Ameren's donations

WITH REFERENCE to the Jay Nixon campaign accepting money from Ameren: Perhaps someone can enlighten us as to why Ameren feels the need to contribute to political campaigns. It is interesting that a utility regulated by the state spends rate-payers' money on state campaigns. Could it be that the money given is for the benefit of the individuals at Ameren? I don't believe Ameren lobbies for lower rates, do you?

Thanks for help

I'D LIKE to thank the man who came to rescue me when I ran out of gas on I-55 and the state highway patrol trooper who took me home since I had groceries in the car and could not take the car.

Who's misinformed?

IN RESPONSE to the caller who said Miki Gudermuth was "misinformed" regarding embryonic stem-cell research: Do we assume that the vast majority of scientists and doctors who agree with her are also misinformed? I hear the words "misinformed" and "uninformed" used frequently by such commentators as Rush Limbaugh who gained most of his vast knowledge looking at the world out of the window of a limousine. Unless you have a more credible source to support your position than that, it is likely you are the one either misinformed or uninformed.

Immigration laws

WE ARE helping Iraq create a government of laws. Many believe we still have such a government here. But it is becoming the hollow remains of what our forefathers left to us. Immigration laws are a perfect example. They are made and then neither funded nor enforced.

Doing what's best

DO WE find it odd that in any poll the majority of Americans are against gay marriage, but our politicians will not pass an amendment against it? Do we find it disturbing that our politicians are not doing what we want? We all know that our politicians at all levels know what is best for us and the country, right? It makes you wonder what they think of our intelligence, doesn't it?

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