Speak Out 11/16/06

Thursday, November 16, 2006

University competition

LET ME get this right. Southeast Missouri State University lives through a prolonged and controversial funding battle to build a performing arts center in Cape Girardeau. The smoke is finally clearing, and we can see the development of the River Campus. As an encore, the university will compete with local and private business as it becomes a developer of retail and residential property on land it received for free. Please tell me the university won't receive state funding and incentives to do this. SEMO needs to stay out of private development. To take it one step further, there's our mayor endorsing the project. Does no one get it? The university's mission is to educate, not to compete with private enterprise. Research and biotech are understandable. The River Campus is understandable. Selling houses and opening restaurants? That's absurd.

Asthma problems

SHOULD YOU be smelling burning leaves at 7:30 and 8 o'clock at night? Do people who burn leaves not realize that there are a lot of people who have asthma? Someone needs to do something. Please have respect.

No time for meetings

SOMEONE SAID he could predict the success of students by making a list of parents who come to parent-teacher conferences and those who don't. He's wrong. I have never been to a parent-teacher conference. I don't have time. I work two jobs to support my kids. I just got my twins' reports cards. One of them made four A's and four B's. The other one made seven A's and one B. I talk to my kids about the stuff they have going on at school even though I don't have time to leave work and go to the conferences.

Thanks for the help

THANKS TO the Cape Gir¿ardeau police officer who helped my daughter and son-in-law and my grandkids after their car went off the road at the Nash Road exit on I-55. The officer was wonderful help. Thanks again to the officer and all the people who helped.

Out-of-line call

ON ELECTION Day, my husband, a veteran and a Democrat, received a call saying "don't vote for the liberal Democrats because they don't care about the soldiers in Iraq." How sick, especially for a family who lost a nephew in Vietnam, had two brothers wounded in Korea and a cousin killed there, and two cousins killed on the beaches of Europe in World War II -- all Democrats.

Poor loser

COLUMNIST Michelle Malkin gives new meaning to "poor loser." Republicans had many years to address problems of education and health, and all they did was get us into a terrible mess. Now that the Democrats have won, she is already calling them failures and phonies, even before they have taken office.

Positive policies

THE FRONT page of the Southeast Missourian has another article that solidifies the idea that under the Bush Administration our economy is thriving. Area farmers are getting their money's worth and earning a decent living. His administration has done all kinds of things to promote alternative fuels, which is why corn prices are up. Under this Republican administration, farmers are coming back and thriving. Pork prices are up. Beef prices are up. Grain prices are up. Republicans have shown their policies help our economy.

Thanks to troops

IT WAS so exciting to see those soldiers return home. I'd like to say thank you, troops. Thank you for everything you've done over there to help keep us free. God bless each and every one of you as you reunite with your families. We love you.

Mow one more time

WOULD IT be possible for the highway department to mow the tall grass and weeds on Route W one more time this year? There are several areas of limited visibility for motorists. It would be greatly appreciated by all who drive this stretch of road.

A real hero

I JUST read the article about Jim Shank talking to the school kids at Scott City. I've known Jim for a long time. I can truly say that when you look in that picture, you see a hero. Anyone who knows Jim knows what I'm talking about.

Repeating history

HISTORY HAS a way of repeating itself. Many people are convinced that the research of today will produce a cure-all tomorrow. So said the elixir promoters of yesteryear. And where are they now?

Redistributing dollars

AN ARTICLE quotes the opinion that the minimum-wage increase is a good thing and will pump $21 million into the state's economy. Are we to assume the minimum-wage increase simply creates this money out of thin air? Isn't it true that if we put $21 million into the hands of minimum-wage workers, we have to take that amount out of the hands of someone else? The net affect on the state economy is zero. All we have accomplished is a government-mandated redistribution of wealth. If we are socialists, I suppose this is a good thing. If we are capitalists, what business is it of the government what an employer pays an employee?

Blue stains

THE QUESTION as to whether Missouri is a red or blue state can be answered by looking at the county-by-county vote. It can clearly be seen that Missouri is almost completely red with small blue stains on Kansas City and St. Louis.

Pay more, get more

THE OWNER of McDonald's says he will have to raise his prices because of the new minimum wage. He probably spends much of his revenue on training employees because he has a huge turnover. With higher wages he will be able to attract more responsible and willing workers. There is an old saying that employees only do enough work to keep from getting fired, and employers only pay enough to keep employees from quitting. An employee who is compensated for his work will be more productive.

Failure to respond

IT SEEMS to me that our city officials have dropped the ball. We have had a sign ordinance crammed down our throats. The interstate is flooding because city officials failed to require developers to put in storm-water retention basins. A residential area is being inundated with mudslides because our city officials allowed development without storm-water requirements being met. Last week we were told we will need to raise property taxes because sales-tax revenue is not sufficient. Now it is reported that many street lights have been out for more than 10 months. Our mayor says that he is steamed about the slowness of the repair. Now he knows how the businessman felt when he appeared before the Council last week and complained that he had applied for a sign permit in August with out any results to this date.

Gross dining

I WAS eating at a buffet recently. A man walked up to the food bar blowing his nose. He got his food without washing his hands. And a boy was getting salad using tongs, then used his hand to throw the salad back into the bowl on the food bar. The kid had a runny nose to boot. No wonder there are so many viruses going around. The public doesn't use common sense.

Old offenses

I DON'T understand why the woman with the license problem is being charged with 2006 offenses when she was arrested in 1971. Someone who murdered in 1982 and was found guilty recently only has to serve the time from the year the crime was committed. What is our government thinking?

Make suggestions

POLICE DEPARTMENTS everywhere have laziness and corruption. If a citizen is not happy with the police performance, he should organize neighbors to approach the department with some down-to-earth suggestions as to how the efficiency of the department can be improved.

Disingenuous tactics

THE SOUR-grapes comments have started regarding the passage of Amendment 2 for life-saving cures. "We have all been duped." "It was those evil city dwellers who passed it." "It's a liberal plot." Not since the Salem witch trials has so much hysteria been generated by false information, superstition and plain ignorance. "Women will be exploited." "Scads of humans will be cloned." "Black markets in human eggs will flourish." Fear, the most preferred tool of ignorance, was chosen by the opponents of Amendment 2 in order to stop it. Opponents would have us believe that a few baseball players knew more than the entire scientific community about the issue. Southeast Missourians should be ashamed that so many fell for these disingenuous tactics.

No DST savings

SEVERAL OF us were commenting recently that it takes us more than a month to get used to springing forward to daylight-saving time in the spring, but when we fall back in the fall, that extra hour seems to disappear by the next day. We don't know where the energy savings from DST are going, but we agree that it certainly isn't reducing any of our bills.

Cafe disruptions

I TOO have been frustrated with cafe owners who are not considerate of their patrons by allowing disruptive children. I was conducting a business meeting over coffee at a local cafe. Three young boys created enough noise that my associate and I had to leave. Their mother did nothing to stop them from hitting each other, yelling and running throughout the cafe. If cafe owners want business, they need to ask people like this to leave. If they don't, they'll have a day-care facility, not a cafe.

Affectionate cats

A LOT of people don't understand the things cats do for us, like catching rodents. There isn't a cleaner animal than a cat. They are almost always friendly. They don't make a lot of racket when a car or someone walks by like dogs do. They don't stink like dogs. But you know the greatest thing about a cat? They purr and show affection.

Unequal justice

MY BOYFRIEND is serving time for the next 15 weekends in jail for driving on a revoked license while trying to make a living. When we went to court, there were numerous DWIs and DUIs. They all got put on probation. Another man was in court for the same reason my boyfriend was, but he had more driving on revoked licenses than my boyfriend did and he only was sentenced for 10 days. This sends a message that it is OK to drink and drive and jeopardize everyone else's lives. My boyfriend is a wonderful man who does not deserve to sit in jail this long.

Saddam's exile

SOMEONE SAID Saddam Hussein should have been moved to an island to live out the rest of his days instead of going through a trial. I remember he was offered an opportunity to live in exile if he would step down as the ruler of Iraq. He chose to run, and we hunted him down. The American thing to do is to give him his day in court. He was convicted and now must face the consequences.

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