Speak Out 8/24/06

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Need to trim trees

THE AMERENUE workers did a good job of getting the power back up as soon as they could, but I don't think there would have been nearly as many lines down if the company would have a more aggressive tree-trimming program. Citizens Electric has an excellent trimming program, and I hardly ever lose power from a tree being down. When it does happen, it is back up and running a lot quicker.

River lore

"ONE WHO knows the Mississippi will promptly aver -- not aloud, but to himself -- that ten thousand River Commissions, with the mines of the world at their back, cannot tame that lawless stream, cannot curb it or confine it, cannot say to it, Go here, or Go there, and make it obey; cannot save a shore which it has sentenced; cannot bar its path with an obstruction which it will not tear down, dance over, and laugh at. -- Mark Twain

Consumer subsidies

WHERE DO the farmers receiving subsidies think the subsidies come from? It is money paid by taxpayers, who are also consumers. Also, how much of the subsidized product is sent to other countries?

Federal aid

HOW IS it the U.S. government can send millions of dollars overseas to rebuild houses and schools, yet there are still Southern states here in the U.S. that could use the help?

Amendment is pro-life

SEVERAL MISLEADING comments were made recently regarding those supporting Amendment 2, the stem-cell initiative. Unless Gov. Matt Blunt, Nancy Reagan and former U.S. senator John Danforth have switched parties, this is not a Democratic Party initiative. Not-for-profit organizations, not big business, are pushing for the amendment. Many, if not most, of us fighting for this amendment are anything but big business. We are either directly affected by a terrible disease or work with those who are. We have no interest in cloning sheep or people but rather seek to end suffering for the millions who must endure daily pain and the prospect of a premature death. Vote pro-life. Vote yes on Amendment 2.

Tell us why

I FOUND Gary Rust's column "Different views" falling short on making its point. While he gives Jim Talent's opinion on various issues, he just points out simply that Claire McCaskill opposed him without saying why she opposed him. How is that comparing so-called "different views"? Don't be afraid of the opposite point of view. Right-wingers and your readers could learn something.

Dressed to code

THANKS TO the Southeast Missourian and to Circuit Judge Ben Lewis for the fun-read about requiring lawyers to dress appropriately in the courtrooms. What an enjoyable article it was. Now if someone could write a similar letter to parents of school children ... .

Farmland income

UNLESS FARM-subsidy rules have changed drastically over the past few years, what a relative did could still be happening. Over the years, he expanded his family farm, buying out neighboring farms as their owners gave up farming. He raised a few cattle and the hay and grain to feed them. His goal was to place the majority of the land, which eventually amounted to five farms, in the government subsidy programs. About all he was required to do with that conserved land was keep it mowed. His main income was from the government.

Farm subsidies

SOME FARMERS need subsidies and do not abuse the system. Some farmers abuse the system, just as some abuse the welfare system. Did I read a few years ago that, as tobacco use declined, the government would raise those subsidies?

Building for quakes

FOR EARTHQUAKE-resistant home-building requirements, see a local architect. As part of their professional training, earthquake design is something they are familiar with. Most residential contractors are not up to speed on earthquake-resistant construction techniques. Other contractors will only provide the minimum of earthquake support, since the requirements are not enforced by local code officials. Fine Homebuilding magazine often features earthquake-construction details. Any wood-frame home can be constructed in an affordable way, with minimal methods, to resist earthquake loading safely. Existing homes can easily be retrofitted for these same conditions. This should be a prominent concern for everyone in Southeast Missouri.

Overstepped bounds

WHILE I, perhaps foolishly, agreed with the original intent of the U.S. in going to war, I now realize that we have, as usual, overstepped our bounds. Why did we finally leave Korea and Vietnam? It certainly was not because we won. How many years do we sacrifice our young soldiers? How many billions do we spend before we decide that we are involved in a thankless, no-win situation?

Thanks to storm crews

I'D LIKE to thank the employees of AmerenUE and the city workers who got out Saturday night in the storm and worked to get our city back together. I was out in that storm. It wasn't one that would be pleasant to work in. The crews worked through the night in horrible weather with trees dropping all around them. I appreciate their hard work and dedication to our community. And I appreciate having electricity again and being able to drive through my neighborhood so shortly after the storm.

Free commentary

GARY RUST'S commentary about Jim Talent is less a column and more a propaganda piece. Does the Southeast Missourian charge the Talent campaign for ad space for Rust's writings, or do they get it for free? That's what I thought: free.

Religious terror

YOU DON'T see the United States or Israel purposely targeting civilians with suicide bombers. You also do not see Christians or Jews saying, "In the name of God I am going to kill you." Terrorists purposely target civilians to cause terror. Muslim terrorists blow themselves up, killing others because they think that it will get them to heaven.

Gasoline prices

IT'S KIND of funny that gasoline at a station on the interstate is 50 cents higher a gallon compared to a station in town. Somebody's got to be gouging. Are gas stations taking advantage of the interstate? Somebody needs to look into that.

Transit system works

I AM so sick of people complaining about the new transit system. If you give 24-hour notice, a taxi costs half the price of an immediate-response taxi. Taxis are the most expensive because they are the most convenient. The bus only costs $3. Many people who say the bus is too expensive smoke cigarettes. If they would quit smoking, they could afford transportation. I use the transit system and think it's wonderful. Thank you to all who have worked so hard to make it happen.

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