Speak Out 03/26/04

Friday, March 26, 2004

Families need a break

MY WIFE and I are seniors who consider ourselves middle class, certainly not wealthy. We don't need to join AARP, which is no more than a welfare organization for the elderly. We don't need senior citizens' discounts from the various stores and restaurants. The people who would benefit most from these discounts are young families. We know from experience the expense and sacrifice it takes to raise and educate children. If anyone needs a break, it's our children who are raising our grandchildren.

Changing directions

I LIVE about 40 miles north of Cape Girardeau and do a lot of shopping in Cape Girardeau. I enjoy going to Cape, but this quarter-cent sales tax the city wants for the fire department is all wrong. I'm only 50 miles from a bigger shopping center to the north. Maybe I'll have to change directions.

Control pit bulls

I'M CALLING about people who own pit bulls. Even if they live out of city limits, I believe pit bulls should be penned up because they're a danger to neighbors and other pets. I was almost attacked by my neighbor's dog, and I am terrified to go outside anymore. Something needs to be done about this.

More and faster

PLEASE DO not widen Broadway. When you have more roadway, you have more cars, and they drive faster. I live in Houston, and I should know about this.

Obesity solution

I'M SICK of this obesity epidemic. Don't try to tell met it's genetics or metabolism. We didn't have this problem 50 years ago. Obese people eat three times as much as I do, wait 10 minutes to get the closest parking place so they don't have to walk a few extra steps, buy big-screen TVs instead of bicycles and drive all of our health-care costs through the roof. Whatever problems people have that cause food addictions, they need to get help. They won't be complaining all the time about their knees and backs, and they'll feel better about themselves and live longer. Most of all, they'll set good examples for their kids.

No to tort reform

WHEN I lived in another state, I heard the lie about so-called tort reform to limit the amount of money for which patients can sue incompetent doctors. Proponents of tort reform said that restricting the size of malpractice judgments would contain increases in malpractice insurance and help hold down medical costs. It didn't happen. If this legislation is passed in Missouri, I think doctors and insurance companies should be required to rebate to the state any additional profit they do not pass along to their customers. Perhaps it could be used to establish a fund to help American medical clerks and diagnosticians, whose jobs have been outsourced to India by these same doctors.

Trash to Illinois

WHY IS it that many people from Cape Girardeau cross the bridge into Southern Illinois to dump their trash along our levees and back roads? I noticed a few tree limbs in the middle of the bridge. On the Illinois side of the bridge I noticed some tree limbs at the turn onto the levee. I drove down the levee about a mile or so, and there was several brush piles on the side of the levee and 10 trash bags full of yard waste. There are several people from our community who drive around the levees looking for people dumping trash. They report suspicious vehicles to the authorities. Those found dumping illegally will be forced to pick up what they have dumped and pay a fine. Cape has a trash pickup day each year. So why bring their trash to Illinois to throw out along our roads?

Get rid of incompetents

BETTER MEDICINE and lower medical costs don't come from protecting the incompetents who cause the vast majority of medical malpractice injuries. Purge our medical system of the few who cause the majority of the malpractice problems. Leave access to the courts in place. This is the only discipline in the medical system. The courts are all we have when we're maltreated by the wealthy.

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