Speak Out 3/1/04

Monday, March 1, 2004

Unsafe foundation

THANKS, SOUTHEAST Missourian, for letting the public know about school finances. We read that the top administrators received a big salary increase. He and the school board don't seem to understand that when you chip away at the foundation of a building -- taking benefits and hours away from the support staff -- the top will come crumbling down.

Teaching fairness

LET'S FORCE the teaching of creation science, voodoo, astrology and every other superstition in our public schools. And let's force fundamentalist churches to start teaching evolution in their Sunday school classes, too. After all, fair is fair.

Terrorist disclaimer

U.S. SECRETARY of Education Rod Paige called it a terrorist organization. I have taught school for a long time. I want to make it very clear that I have never been a member of the terrorist organization to which Secretary Paige referred: the National Education Association.

Let's hear other side

DOES ANYBODY out there care that fathers are being abused in the courts? All I hear is the one-sided comments on deadbeat dads. When do we get to hear the other side of the situation? Does nobody care about these young men who are being taken advantage of because they can't protect themselves? These dads need to speak out, or others need to speak out for them.

Poles are just fine

THANK YOU, Don Schuette and Jackson, for those ugly utility poles on East Main Street. Since I've never seen an attractive one, these will do just fine. They look sturdy, durable and easily accessible. They will be just perfect once you add a street light or two. You saved a few trees and a million dollars. In these economically tight times, this was a wise decision. Good job.

Working troopers

THE MISSOURI State Highway Patrol troopers are on duty any time they are in their cars. They don't magically jump from one side of the city limits to the other, so it is understood they might be on city streets. Most sheriff's departments think working traffic is for troopers, so troopers work accidents on county roads and are assigned calls for speeders on county roads. If you see a trooper somewhere on a traffic stop, be glad. He or she is doing his or her job. It gives me a secure feeling when I see law enforcement in action anywhere.

Support public safety

LET'S SAY you are being assaulted going into your favorite store. A bystander calls 911. If you are in Cape Girardeau, you might be in trouble. The closest officer is still changing the flat on his car. The second closest is trying to get his car to start. There is no third closest because he moved to St. Louis for $40,000 a year. Now you need medical help. Too bad the closest fire station is No. 3 and the door just fell on the truck because the station is falling in. Support public safety. Police and firefighters support you when you need it most.

Cleanup is recycling

SPRING CLEANUP has always been an exciting time for residents and for those looking for a free bargain. Let's face it. Tons of recycling goes on at this time. Pack rats are looking for aluminum and brass from old appliances, pots, pans, lawn mowers and countless other items. All of this and other useful junk can be kept out of landfills and be recycled only if Cape Girardeau keeps the spring cleanup alive.

Compete for privilege

A ROUND of applause for all the people who filed for office in Cape Girardeau County. It's time to bust up the old-boy network and let these elected officials earn their money. It's our money after all, and these folks should be competing for the privilege of spending it wisely.

Congressional benefits

HAVE YOU noticed how Social Security always seems to be the first thing on the chopping block when money gets tight for the government? Our government people ignore their retirement systems as a target. When is the last time you heard about Congress or any of our leadership in Washington talk about reducing their benefits? They act as if they are above normal people. The rich become richer while the poor become poorer.

Keep support at home

I ALSO support the building of an ethanol plant in this area. If we're going to subsidize something with tax money, I'd feel better about it if it were located near here.

Political spin

REBECCA MCDOWELL Cook did a marvelous job of using indisputable statistics to refute Missouri Republican claims that they are supporters of public education. However, her efforts may not play politically. Being the hypocrites we are, Missourians like to feel good about themselves and believe they are supporting public education, even when they're not. Thus, cynical Missouri Republicans may continue to benefit from this mindset by hypocritically portraying themselves as public education backers while continuing to cut public education funding to the bone.

Ask China to pay

SO ALAN Greenspan wants to cut Social Security. I suggest we ask China for some money to help pay benefits, seeing that all the jobs from this country are going over there. If big corporations would quit shipping the work overseas, people in this country could work and pay in to the Social Security fund.

Ready for first-class

THANK GOD for all those who are running for the county commissioner seats. It is time to put an end to a part-time, third-class administration trying to run a full-time, first-class county government.

Touch some lives

GIVE YOUR teenagers the perfect gift. Buy them tickets to go see "The Passion." It will touch their lives better than anything you could ever do. I have never been so touched and felt so much pain in my soul as I did when I watched this wonderful film.

Touched forever

I JUST returned home from seeing "The Passion." It is a movie everyone should see. You read about how Jesus gave his life for us and how much he suffered, but to see how it could have happened touched my soul. I have never had such a strong pain that deep in my heart before. I want to go and watch it again and again, and I think everyone who sees the movie will be touched forever.

Strong message

WHEN PEOPLE go to see Mel Gibson's new movie. "The Passion of the Christ," I hope they will reflect upon the fact that the actor who played the role of Christ was literally struck by lightning during the shooting of the film. Get the message?

Step forward

IF PEOPLE in Scott City are being pulled over only for minor traffic violations, then that is, for that community, a huge step forward.

Powerful influence

AS SHERIFF John Jordan so eloquently implied, malevolent meth makers and powerful pharmaceutical companies will put a halt to any meaningful effort by the gutless Missouri Legislature to get a handle on this horrendous, illegal drug.

Just calm down

YES, THEY lowered the temperature in our school to save money. It's not too cold to learn. We are fine. If we get too cold, we put on our jackets. Most people are complaining just to complain. As a senior at Central High School, I am asking everyone to calm down and let the school worry about what is right for us.

Misguided lawmakers

HOORAHS FOR your rejecting intelligent design as a legislative mandate for our science curriculum. Boos for your elevating this nonsense to the status of a theory. Theories have been tested and are falsifiable. Intelligent design totally fails to meet this criterion. It is clearly, as you suggest, faith and should be kept for church or Sunday school indoctrination. Next, misguided legislators will be repealing the law of gravity or the laws of thermodynamics.

Changes are needed

I AM glad to see plenty of folks running for county commission. We need some changes.

Greatest scientist

IF YOU are training your children from infancy, then when they read about evolution they will know it is wrong. God is the greatest scientist there is. If you teach your children well about our Creator, then they can appreciate how much intelligence went into our planet's design. They can embrace science as a learning tool about God.

Band provides pep

IT WAS great to see the larger Show Band at the last Southeast Missouri State University home basketball game. The band sounded fantastic and was finally a size that befits a Division I school. I hope this can become permanent, and I hope the marching band can become larger as well next fall.

Money well-spent

THE $25,000 spent on the summertime municipal band concerts in Cape Girardeau are funds very well-spent. How can you put a price on the enjoyment and fellowship the concerts bring? You cannot. The summer concerts are part of what makes Cape a nice place to live. No matter what our individual economic situations may be, we come together and hear the same quality performance from our fellow residents. It's almost magical.

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