I'D LIKE to thank all the AmerenUE people for getting all the lines up. We really appreciate it. They did a good job.
TO AMEREN: Thank you a million times. We here on Sharon Drive in Cape Girardeau appreciate you guys being out there in the cold weather and the ice fixing our power lines. Thank you.
I AM here from Illinois with the Eastern Illinois University basketball team for the women. I heard that you had a horrible ice storm and I see the remains of it. The trees are beautiful, but I want to give kudos to the people who cleaned up parking lots and the streets. You did a great job. It's a wonderful feeling to come through here and see that your crews have been so busy and did such a good job.
MY HUSBAND and I would to thank all those who worked long hours in the cold, night and day, to make things better for the rest of us. Also, to everyone who showed any acts of kindness to others, helping where they could. Heroes are ordinary people who step up in bad situations. So we thank you and God bless.
THE YOUTHS in America are the most targeted segment of the population: MP3s, iPods, PCs, DVDs, Hollywood, Nashville, rock and pop, dance mix, hip hop and rap, designer fashions, cosmetics, automobiles, sports and food, liquor, electronics. Each has a limited budget, but all spend most of their money. Why isn't more research done to develop goods and services that the middle-aged to mature consumers would purchase and enjoy? By middle age, most people have their home and furnishings, maintenance equipment, vehicle and a savings account and investments. Maybe they would still purchase quality goods that would be investments? If it were common knowledge that a used Mercedes, Volvo, Jaguar or BMW was a fine, high-quality, high-performance luxury investment that appreciates in value, this age group would certainly make purchases. Likewise, collecting is becoming popular. Works of art, guns, motorcycles, antiques, automobiles, musical instruments are all escalating in value. In the last 40 years we've had fivefold increase in the inflation. In the next 40 years inflation will be even higher. Also, at middle age people may be more apt to have a larger salary.
THE SALVATION Army -- what a wonderful organization. With so much dependence placed on them along with the Red Cross and National Guard if necessary, I was surprised to hear that they don't have a backup generator to run their facility when the power goes out.
AS I passed the Osage Community Centre a few hours after the ice storm hit, I saw a parking lot of full of Ameren trucks along with other support teams. I was quite impressed. My immediate thought was "Oh, if FEMA could only see this." You did a heck of a job, Ameren.
THE SHOOTINGS like in DeKalb, Ill., and other places don't just happen. As parents, we have a responsibility. If your child is mentally unstable, you don't let them be around guns. You don't encourage them to go into law enforcement. If your child is unclean, you don't put him around fast-food service. It's hard in America when there's so much pressure to succeed. Maybe taxpayers should be a little nicer about supporting disabilities and kids who can't quite make it.