Speak Out 7/24/06

Monday, July 24, 2006

Bottom of barrel

IN HIS column "Time for a change on the 'Wall of Fame,'" I think TJ Greaney overstepped his job as a columnist. His personal feelings are just short of hate for Rush Limbaugh, whose thousands of listeners proves he has something to offer. Cape Girardeau is Rush's hometown. Comparing him to Redd Foxx and Jesse James is, as Greaney phrased it, "scraping the bottom of the barrel."

TJ's diatribe

TJ GREANEY'S gross mischaracterization of Rush Limbaugh and his place on the "Wall of Fame" mural is like rear ends: Everybody has one. Fortunately, Greaney's rear end doesn't speak for Cape Girardeau. Rush Limbaugh has been a proud product of this community since his birth at Southeast Missouri Hospital in 1951. He's a representative of our conservatism, our common sense and our strong family values. The fact that he expresses his upbringing and values so well is why he has reinvented talk radio and has become a dominant force for conservative thought in America. I will wager that Greaney doesn't listen to Rush's radio show, hasn't read Rush's best-selling books or heard Rush speak in person. Greaney's diatribe of insults and mischaracterizations are right out of the political left's playbook and talking points. Rush Limbaugh is indeed famous, and not only is he from Missouri, he is from this town. Whether you agree with him or not, Rush Limbaugh certainly qualifies to be on our "Missouri Wall of Fame."

Campaign limits

I FEEL that council members who voted for Cape Girardeau's new sign ordinance should support their vote by putting only one political sign in their own yard when it is time for re-election, not putting any other candidate signs in their yard and encouraging their respective parties to reduce the number of re-election signs they put out.

Around the law

DON'T YOU love human creativity?! On Saturday morning I saw a van parked on Perryville Road with a big sign taped on the back window pointing to a side road with an address for a yard sale. Create a stupid law, and we'll find a way to get around it.

Booster-seat help

JUST BECAUSE we did not have booster seats years ago does not mean we did not need them. Today cars go faster, and the roads are more dangerous. The cost for a booster seat is worth the life of my child. There is help available if a parent can not afford a booster seat. Safe Kids Coalition at Southeast Missouri Hospital is there to help you.

Walking in traffic

ATTENTION, WALKERS: When you walk on a street that does not have sidewalks, walk on the side facing oncoming traffic.

Old but still potent

TO CLAIM that 20-year-old chemical weapons are not a danger is to show true foolishness. The United States' aging chemical munitions stockpiles average 18 years of age (according to the Department of Defense). Iraq had WMD, and liberals are turning a blind eye to the truth.

Increasing values

IF CAPE Girardeau County commissioners are looking for support of the tax increase, they will only get it from the people who stand to increase their property values by having their roads paved. The rest of us want to know why we should care if you live on gravel. Did you not look at the road before you moved there? Unless we have excess money in our road fund, it should stay gravel.

Qualified applicants

LET ME see if I've got this right. Jackson School District is, according to all the hype and test scores, the district in Southeast Missouri to get a job in. We're told by administrators that people are clamoring to be a part of our outstanding school district. Yet we have been forced to hire the maximum of five retired teachers or administrators because nobody applied? I know two qualified, experienced principals who applied for the West Lane Elementary principal's job that did not even get interviews.

Money in reserves

I SEE where the Jackson Fire Department says it's waiting to see what happens with the county sales-tax increase before putting forward its own sales-tax increase. Folks, this is just the start of a mad rush for higher sales taxes in this area. You better understand what's most important and not just who's first to the table. The county has millions of dollars in reserves and could pave county roads now, but it won't. It wants more money than it needs.

Electric rates

THE PROPOSED Ameren rate increases are ridiculous. Ameren should prove to us that this massive increase has nothing to do with its failure to oversee the dam at Taum Sauk Reservoir. Just because it owes millions of dollars because of its negligence doesn't mean we should be gouged. Let Ameren shareholders take the brunt. All a big increase in rates would do is shut down Missouri business, close the state to new manufacturers coming in and make us pay hundreds of dollars more per year.

No critical shortage

GOOD-FAITH effort? Is that what we are really supposed to believe? When Jackson School District advertised for a principal on the school district's Web site and in an e-mail to the district's employees, it wasn't getting the job notice out to anyone other than the employees in the district. What is a prospective candidate supposed to do? Find the Web site for all schools in the state and check to see if there is a job? That just isn't feasible. There is no critical shortage of good candidates for principal in this area of the state.

Political motivation

WHEN THE Southeast Missourian reprints a St. Louis Post-Dispatch column arguing that AmerenUE deserves a rate increase, you can bet it has nothing to do with concern about the consequences for St. Louis residents if Ameren doesn't get a rate increase and everything to do with area politicians who are campaign recipients of the deep-pocketed electric and political power provider.

Roadside grass

THE CAPE Girardeau Special Road District is behind on its mowing again. I live in Cape Girardeau, but the road district handles the maintenance on my road. The grass across the street is over 5 feet tall. If I were to let my lawn grow this tall, I would get a ticket.

School hiring

WE CAN only blame the Jackson School Board for the practice of double-dipping. Anyone offered a sweet deal which could add $100,000-plus to his retirement would take it. The loss to taxpayers is we are paying for five educators who are at the top end of the pay scale, and we could hire up to seven qualified teachers who are paid a mid-range pay scale. We all know we have good teachers who could replace the retiring teacher if given a chance.

Jackson's perks

JACKSON CONTINUES to provide free family health care to its employees at a substantial cost to taxpayers. I find it unacceptable that it would continue this practice in light of the recent story about future electric-rate increases the city will be imposing. The article mentioned that revenue generated by utility rate increases will go to the fire department, police department and parks and recreation department. I find it unethical for a city government to burden taxpayers with such a generous employee-benefit package while the rest of us have to pay out of our own pockets. The real kicker is that the board of aldermen and mayor, who are all part-time employees, get the same benefit. Jackson needs to cut the perks and share the burden with the rest of us.

Placing blame

I NEVER thought I'd see the day that when David Limbaugh would put so much responsibility on the U.S. mass media for aiding and abetting terrorism that he has, in essence, joined the "blame America first" crowd.

Not enough effort

IF A child gets a F on some schoolwork, it is because the child did not put enough effort into the assignment, not because the teacher didn't try. If a child is not willing to learn, there is little a teacher can do to change his attitude.

Perfect hero

TJ GREANEY has it all wrong about Rush Limbaugh. Leave him on the floodwall mural. He's the perfect contemporary Republican hero, somewhat akin to George W. Bush. He pretends to come from a working-class background. He does two to three hours of real work a day -- from his mansion, no less -- while extolling the virtues of hard work over laziness. Best of all, he feels that laws do not apply to him. So please, for Cape Girardeau's sake, leave the Rush mural alone.

They earn them

TEACHERS DO not give grades. Students earn grades fair and square. Some students come into the classroom with the mindset of behaving like a sponge. They want to soak up as much as a teacher can present to them. Their parents are active in their education and follow the rules and regulations. Other students come into the classroom with a concrete wall of personal rejection that translates into "The educational system is against me. I don't have to do anything I don't want to do. You're not my parent." If more parents would back the educational system and implement regular chores and responsibilities from their children from early on, there would be less sass and disruptiveness in the classroom.

Those who serve

IT HAD to be said. TJ Greaney couldn't have been more precise in his article about carefully choosing who is put on the "Missouri Wall of Fame." It's a disgrace to add someone as vain and immoral as Rush Limbaugh. A wall of fame is reserved to those who serve the community, change lives or do something of great proportions. I have yet to see that out of Mr. Limbaugh.

Can't co-exist

OPEN BORDERS and generous social programs cannot co-exist.

Don't blame teachers

A STUDENT fails, and it's the teacher's fault? What about the student? Has he no responsibility to study or do his homework? What about the parents? Are they excused from checking up on their children to ensure that they are working to the best of their ability? Someone needs a reality check and to be reminded that each individual is responsible for his own actions and path of life. A parent who knows his child is failing should be checking to see what should be done. A child who doesn't understand or can't comprehend needs to be asking for help. A teacher has been hired to give access to information and expose children to knowledge. Only an idiot would hold a teacher responsible for the failures of parents and students.

Saving lives

WHEN I was young, my father took us to see a car involved in an accident. He explained where each member of the family was sitting, including the baby being held in his mother's arms in the front seat. He didn't tell us until later that on the remnants of glass left from the windshield was the residue of brains and blood. That was what not being in a car seat did for that baby. I want my grandchildren protected. I've seen the way too many people drive, which includes running red lights.

Border issues

THE ACLU is suing cities for their local immigration-employment and rental laws they say are unconstitutional. How long will it be before border enforcement is declared unconstitutional?

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