Speak Out 8/8/06

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Ripe old age

IT SEEMS people in Southeast Missouri are living longer than the national average. I have been noticing this in the ages in the obituaries lately. Today there were nine deaths. Most of these were in the late 80s when they died. A couple of them were older than that. The average age for the nine deaths today was 84.8 years. Maybe we are doing something right in Southeast Missouri.

Air of arrogance?

JACKSON SCHOOL District has enjoyed the reputation of being one of the best public school districts in Southeast Missouri, if not the best. The community has influenced the good attitude and environment of the district. Teachers and parents who see that students work, cooperate and tend to discipline deserve most of the credit. Could it be that an air of "How dare you question our board or administration?" has developed along the way? I appreciate the time and energy the board gives to the district, but let's not get too arrogant. Let's hope favoritism for retirees has not become policy. If our board does not believe it should be questioned, it should not ask for our support.

Money changers

REMEMBER THE plastic tax tokens we used to have in Missouri back when sales taxes were reasonable? Now it is possible the penny is going the same way. Perhaps our government could save money on nickels if it stopped paying for new ones to be designed and minted.

National disgrace

FIDEL CASTRO attributes the growing number of Cubans who live to be 100 to his country's social-welfare program. Even such a poor country as Mexico has a public health-care program. America loves to publicize 100-year-olds, but our nation does not seem to want many of us to live that long. How can what we consider to be the greatest country in the world not have any kind of national health care? As we get older, we are a drain on Social Security funds, which are needed for our politicians of both parties to raid, as they have been since 1968.

Mayhem at home

FROM BEST-SELLING violent books to equally appalling video games, I fail to see why we are spending so much money to fight religious extremism overseas when we have plenty right here in the United States.

Transit in county

IF IT is called the Cape Girardeau County Transit Authority, why doesn't it benefit the people who live out in the county? Why should Cape Girardeau residents be the ones to get the benefit? We pay taxes too.

What you're worth

PEOPLE WERE not meant to live on $5.15 an hour. Try to improve yourself so that you are more marketable to get a better job. If you are only worth $5.15 an hour, that's all you deserve. And that's the mandatory wage someone is forced to pay you. A true Republican would have had a better grasp on reality.

Freedom whiners

WHAT A bunch of complainers we have talking about their freedoms being taken away. You can still have a garage-sale sign at your house. How about smokers' freedom? No one says you can't smoke yourself to death in private. And seat belts to save you and your family's lives. It's taking your freedom too. Get real.

Walk to school

THERE WAS a time that only a few students rode a bus to school. The rest of us walked. Our parents or older siblings walked with us, and younger siblings, too.

Not good location

I DON'T think the Corps of Engineers should pay $700,000 to make boaters happy. Let them build the ramps somewhere else. Apparently this is a bad spot for a ramp. They should have been taking heat as it was being built. That's no longer a good spot for a boat ramp. Try some other place along the river.

Penny's worth

I AM replying to Mayor Jay Knudtson's remark that the penny no longer represents anything that has any worth. I belong to a missionary society sponsored by our church with members all over the United States. We have our mite boxes, which help support mission work. Having served as treasurer of our group, I have wrapped many pennies and have seen the results of what pennies can do. I do not approve of discontinuing the pennies.

Don't raise it

HOW CAN anybody think raising the minimum wage is a good thing? If gasoline and everything else are already going up, raising the minimum wage will only make it worse. When the minimum wage gets raised, so does the price for everything else -- except the pay for people who make more than minimum wage. They're expected to live on the same amount. If you can't live on $5.15 an hour, find a better job.

High turnover

THE CAPE Girardeau School Board would be wise to question the close to 20 percent turnover of staff this year at Central High School. Many believe there are specific reasons related to the leadership at CHS that has brought about the current state of affairs. The board and board office should take a close look and ask some hard questions.

Trash lesson

I WOULD like to thank the person who treated our street as a public waste can. I was able to teach my 12-year-old niece and 7-year-old nephew a valuable lesson in the area of civic responsibility. We worked hard picking up your trash, and my niece and nephew learned a good lesson in responsibility. They also prayed for you that night. I hope you reached your destination safely.

Sale perseverance

I WORK Monday through Friday and every other Saturday and go to church on Sunday, so Saturdays are for me. I usually go yard-saling to relax me and to find some treasures. Now it takes me so long to find them that I'm usually upset by the time I find them, and it really is not the release it used to be. But I'm not giving up, because if I do Cape Girardeau officials win, people stop coming and those who have yard sales suffer the effects.

Teaching experience

TO THE person arguing that experienced teachers are best for students: You're absolutely right. However, how do you think those teachers gained experience? Someone had to hire them when they had little experience. New teachers shouldn't be penalized for lack of experience. Teaching in the classroom is the only way to learn this profession.

Machine calls

WHILE EVERYONE rants and raves about the ban on signs, I think we should ban something else entirely: recorded calls that advertise a political candidate. It starts getting bad once you get more calls from machines in one day than you do from actual people. I'm sick of it.

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