I ALMOST gagged when I read Ronald J. Leone's op-ed column about the tobacco tax. I agree with his premise that this is another outrageous tax that will be wasted on all kinds of government programs other than curbing tobacco use, but if the convenience-store industry wants to take the high moral ground on this issue, why doesn't its members quit selling tobacco products in their outlets? Could it be that they make too much money from tobacco sales?
RONNIE MILSAP was at the SEMO District Fair Thursday. He is one of the greatest entertainers the fair has ever had. He put on a good show. Everyone loved him. The Missourian put a picture of two mules on the front page. I don't understand that. I'm hoping you can do better than that.
I SAW something that was nice. I saw a woman taking a Sunday morning walk. She had two bags and was picking up trash as she walked. If everybody pitched in a little bit, it would be amazing what a difference it would make.
I AM 55 years old and can remember when I came home from Vietnam and veterans were speaking out against the Vietnam War policy. A woman yelled at the vets, "You should support the troops." One of the veterans I was with turned to the woman and said, "Lady, we are the troops." When the Iraq war and this administration's lack of planning goes horribly wrong and a Republican attack machine is determined to smear those who speak out, we should look at this conservative bubble we live in. A Republican congressman from New York, Randy Kuhl, returned from a visit to Iraq and said that everything is going so well that he almost forgot he was in a war zone. I can't tell you whether his hard-to-believe comment reflects a disconnection with reality or his refusal to level with the people he represents. But I can tell you that no one who knows what it really means to be in a war zone would talk like that.
I WANT someone in this fine town to tell me why it's so hard to understand that you need to put a leash on dogs.
THE RETIRED CIA analyst who is coming to the Osage Community Centre claims that the war in Iraq was for the "sole purpose of allowing Israel to control the Middle East," according to Wikipedia. I don't think I'll waste my time listening to his other concocted musings, as this statement lumps him in with all the other conspiracy-theory nuts out there.
THE PRICE of a barrel of oil is down about 8 percent. The price of a gallon of gasoline is suddenly down about 65 percent. There's an election in about seven weeks. President Bush and his Big Oil buddies think we're stupid. We're not. Vote smart.
REGARDING RAISING the minimum age to enter the military to 21: My father taught me responsibility and that there are consequences for my actions. When I joined the Marine Corps out of high school, I knew what it entailed. While in the military, I fought in Iraq and never questioned my decision to enlist. The discipline and core values the Marine Corps taught me have helped me every day of my life. Something is terribly wrong if you've had 19 years to mentor your son and are not comfortable with his making thought-out decisions.
BEFORE NEW Hopper Road was built, Old Hopper Road and Kage Road were always treated the same. If one was paved, the other was paved within the same time frame. Now Kage Road has been repaved end to end while Old Hopper Road has not been touched. In the past, Old Hopper Road was spot-patched with inferior cold-mix asphalt. Whom do I have to bribe to get a coat of hot-mix asphalt on Old Hopper Road?
I THINK Rush Limbaugh Sr. was a wonderful man, but I think having the most expensive and beautiful building in Cape Girardeau named after him is too controversial because of his grandsons, David Limbaugh and Rush Limbaugh III. To find out this has been in the works since 2004 is misleading and secretive. Why didn't any of our elected federal officials tell us sooner that they had introduced a bill in 2004? I think I know the answer. This way the people who are opposed do not have time to do anything about it. If the federal building needs a name, there are other people, such as former state senator Al Spradling, who are deserving and don't cause so much ill-will when you see the name. Is there anything at this point that can be done to stop the naming of the building for Limbaugh?
I THINK the snack food ban is unnecessary. Schools have great health classes that teach the students what's good nutrition and what's bad, and we are told that it's your choice if you want to change your mind about your nutrition. If it is a student's choice, why put ridiculous bans on snack foods? Don't punish the whole school by taking gum and the kids' play day food items. What will they get instead? Salad? It's good to be healthy, but it's the kids' and the parents' choice. There is a line, and the school is crossing it.
I ENLISTED when I was 19. It was the best thing I've ever done. You do a lot of growing up quickly. I was headed down a road of disaster with partying, drinking and drugs. The military straightened me up, and I served 20 years. I don't think there is anything wrong with the enlistment age.