Speak Out 9/3/06

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Voice of experience

UNLIKE THE smoker who will keep smoking because he enjoys it, most older smokers continue because they are addicted both physically and psychologically. Having unsuccessfully attempted to quit smoking seven times (twice under a doctor's care, the longest for seven months during which I went through severe mental agitation), I believe in the stop-smoking statistics: less than 25 percent success rate after one year. A friend still craves his cigarettes after 20 years of not smoking. If we could all be more understanding, and if we could find a way to allow those of us who are so totally addicted to continue smoking while eliminating access to cigarettes to those who want to start, the problem would eventually be resolved. Anyone who starts smoking is, to put it bluntly, stupid.

Out of our face

QUOTE FROM Speak Out: "The reason the area is accepting of gays is that it isn't in your face." True. Most people never did condone the homosexual lifestyle. However, it was generally tolerated, even though these people were looked down upon, often with disgust. When homosexuality began to be forced upon us, we rebelled. We did not want our vulnerable and impressionable children being taught that it was OK to practice homosexuality. We did not want to see the advance of AIDS. Most of us do not want to read about or think about the gay lifestyle.

Reach out to help

I NEVER stole anything from anyone. I never wanted to steal. If I wanted something, I would buy it or even trade drugs for it. People ask if I ever regret dealing. I don't. I grew up in the fast life. I got into trouble, didn't snitch, did my time and got a degree. I look forward to rehabilitating others through a career in substance-abuse counseling or by reaching out to those who are in need. The only thing I regret is not having someone like me in my life to catch me before I fell. Push drug users into the river? You should help others get help before you frown on someone who has a disease he can't control.

Take it outside

I THINK it's about time those of us who have lung disease or other health problems were allowed to go in to a public building without risking our health, and it should not be left up to the owner of a business. Smoking is a public-health issue. If you can't sit in a restaurant for 30 minutes without a cigarette, then take your butts outside.

Join the few

I HAVE noticed there is a lot of talk in Cape Girardeau about stem-cell research, homosexuality and religious fanaticism. Those of us who were around in the 1960s and early 1970s should remember similar items being talked about at that time. It wasn't settled then, and it's not going to be settled now. It is always the few who decide how things should be. Stop complaining and become part of the few.

Pull out now

IF YOU consider that there has been an average of 160,000 troops in Iraq during the last 22 months, and a total of 2,112 deaths, that gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000 soldiers. The firearm death rate in Washington, D.C., is 80.6 per 100,000 for the same period. That means that you are about 25 percent more likely to be shot and killed in the U.S. capital, which has some of the strictest gun-control laws in the nation, than you are in Iraq. Conclusion: The United States should pull out of Washington immediately.

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