Speak Out 11/20/07

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ethanol is not solution

YOU NEED to get over ethanol. It's not the answer to our energy problems and never will be. It is, at best, a bloody Band-Aid. We need to develop more nuclear power, hydroelectric power, wind power and solar power. Technology is improving. In the meantime, we need to work on cleaner coal-fueled power plants and develop our own petroleum reserves until something better is ready. Seven years ago, Congress refused to allow development of 2 percent of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Industry leaders promised oil within seven years. We could be reaping the benefits right now. Congress blew it. Now Congress is trying to appease us by giving us the white elephant known as ethanol and funding it with our tax dollars. What a waste.

Making comparisons

TELEVANGELISTS are to religion what politicians are to statesmanship.

Sentencing sense

I DON'T understand how a 16-year-old boy got 30 years when a pastor's wife can kill her husband and get six years. You have child molesters and rapists who some serve very little time behind bars. Some only get probation. Our system is so messed up. I think there should be a set punishment for murder, attempted murder, rape and child molestation. Sometimes I wonder if the judges are not half out of their minds.

Ethanol information

ETHANOL PLANTS don't get 52 cents per gallon subsidy. That is a gasoline refiners subsidy. Ethanol is a green fuel. The reason we started adding it to gasoline in the first place was to reduce emissions, not to replace gasoline. Beyond that, test after test shows that it has far less impact on the environment than gasoline, even after including fertilizer use. Ethanol plants are not polluters. Their emissions are heavily regulated and are required to use emission-destroying machinery when they make their cattle-feed byproducts.

City hall parking

IT IS raining in Jackson. I am trying to pay my utility bill but can't find a place to park in front of city hall -- all the spaces are taken up with city service vehicles. This has got to stop. There is plenty of employee parking in the back of city hall. When court is in session, there is nowhere to park. The mayor can put a stop to this. Let's see if she will.

Awesome season

CONGRATS TO the Jackson Indians for an awesome season. You should be proud of yourselves. Don't let anyone tell you that you're not good. You made it as far as you did. Great job, guys. Go celebrate.

Right-of-way

SIMPLEST RULE of right-of-way: If your lane is blocked, be it by construction vehicles, trees, poorly parked cars or even emergency vehicles, you do not have the right-of-way in oncoming traffic's lane.

Broadway buildings

PEOPLE, CUT our mayor some slack. I know he says things about issues sometimes that come back to bite him. But he is right to some extent about the abandoned buildings along Broadway. The property owners need to be forced by the city to either repair the buildings and bring them up to city code or tear them down. Look at some of these buildings. They are crumbling. Some are dangerous.

Burlison's back

I HAVE seen Bill Burlison in the area for the last few months. I thought that he was just a retired politician who had moved back home with several retirement checks from government. Now you report that he wants to run for the Missouri House. Please ask Mr. Burlison to stay retired and move Missouri toward a better future.

Health-care solution

I SEE where employment for October grew to an additional 166,000 new jobs. All the doom and gloom talk we have been hearing from the media must be wrong or some body has inflated the numbers. The elected politicians cannot help that a lot of us got over our heads in debt. You can't blame them for that. The most important issue at hand is the continued high cost of health care and prescription drugs, which is out of control and must be addressed by all of us and a solution brought to the table.

Hillary's memory

SOME OF us found it ironically humorous that Hillary Clinton, when asked during this week's debates if she thought Ross Perot had been right in his opposition to the free-trade deal (which many seem to have forgotten was supported by President Clinton), her reply was, "All I can remember is a bunch of charts. That sort of is a vague memory." This provoked much laughter, but was it really that funny? If you bother to look it up, Hillary has a history of "not recalling" many things.

Lessons of the past

FOR EIGHT years, I attended a school where there were two to three grades in each room. My husband attended a one-room school for six years. Both of us believe our education, at the point when we went into high school, was far superior to what we see in children at that age today. Similarly, most of our childhood friends who attended larger, one-grade-per-room schools were drastically behind us in their education at any given time. For one thing, while the higher class in a room was being taught, the younger children were assimilating those lessons. We have failed in education over the decades by tossing out what worked in the past and now by not looking at what is working in the countries who have now surpassed us.

Biking reality

TWO BIKERS have made their cases, and I'm sure they are right. The only problem is that convincing everyone they are right will not bring them back to life when hit in the dark at the crest of a hill or mend bones when hit by a sleepy motorist.

Police image

WE HOLD our law enforcement officers to a higher standard, as we should. I would like to express my appreciation for the presence of the DARE officer greeting the students at Cape Girardeau Middle School each morning as they arrive. It's good for our children to see the positive roles the police provide rather then the neighborhood negatives when they enforce the laws. Our children mimic their adult role models. When pointing a figure, look in the mirror.

Amazing feat

THE RETURN of Methuselah-like Bill Burlison to elected political office in Missouri would be an amazing feat and might literally put the nail in the coffin for those now aged Republicans who hounded him out of office 40 years ago.

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