Speak Out 7/1/08

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Historical context

THANKS FOR publishing the comment about the emphasis many black musicians placed on outer space in earlier times and currently in hip hop and rap music. A lot of the reason for it has to do with the historical shame of slavery when African Americans were ripped from their homeland and came to feel like aliens, strangers in a strange land. Since the main consumers of black rap music are white American teens, the comment provided a much needed historical context and lesson for the youths who listen to the likes of Dr. Dre, Kanye West, Lil' Wayne and others.

Fireworks danger

WHEN 7 p.m. rolls around here on the south side of Cape Girardeau, we start to look more like a war zone than we do the quiet neighborhood you will normally see here, Any other time of year you will find kids playing basketball, riding their bikes, laughing and playing. But for the last two nights you have seen them crying and running for cover, or the older ones holding tubes pointed up and down the street shooting one another with fireworks. I was shocked at the amount of this that happens. In talking to neighbors it seems no one but the kids want this to be going on. The police are making arrests, but it is not stopping the madness. In past years, I am told, a house has been set on fire each year. There's usually one small child who will get bad burns. And normally one car will go up in flames as well. So what needs to be done to get fireworks banned? What can we do to make our city safe for the kids who just want to ride their bikes or play some basketball?

Ice block races

ADMIRATION IS deserving for people like Jack Watt for devising such fun money-raisers as this. Unfortunately, some priorities might be a little skewed. A community stage will not diminish the hundreds of eyesores in the town: the trash, junked vehicles, buildings in need of repair or condemnation, streets in disrepair. Most residents may tend to subconsciously overlook such things as they drive through the town, but tourists won't. There are many things that could be taken care of just by enforcing city ordinances, which would improve the town's appearance without costing much except the paper, ink and postage to send out notices to property owners. Marble Hill has a great museum and the Cat Ranch, but the perception of the town to visitors basically appears to be a dirty, junky, depressing little town.

It's all your fault

THE HIGH price of gasoline is not the fault of a conspiracy of oil companies. It is not the fault of speculators. It is not the result of failing to drill here and there in the U.S. Frankly, it is your fault, reader, you greedy gasaholic. You had better start conserving more than ever, because the problem is permanent.

Wall of Fame addition

BECAUSE OF the likely worldwide audience for "America's Got Talent" and Neil Boyd's wowing of the audience and judges, he is probably now has more worldwide name recognition than many of the faces on Cape Girardeau's downtown Wall of Fame. His likeness should grace the wall forthwith.

Drilling and prices

WE KEEP hearing how gasoline prices aren't because of speculation but simply supply-and-demand economics. As soon as Saudi Arabia announces it will pump more oil, oil prices per barrel go up. U.S. Sen. Christopher Bond must be hoping we're all idiots to think opening up drilling will magically make prices lower. Even our own Energy Department says drilling wouldn't affect gas prices for many years down the road.

Timing the signals

WOULD SOMEONE please reset the stoplights at Bloomfield Road and Mount Auburn Road? I have sat there in the mornings sometimes six minutes waiting to turn left. It allows maybe four to five cars and then changes. Sometimes you can be the only one sitting there and another will pull up beside you and their light will turn and you will still sit. The same for the light at Pizza Inn turning left. Please allow more time for the lights to be green. We all have to be somewhere whether we turn left or go straight. Make the lights equal timing at the four ways.

Pump patrol

MIGHT I suggest that local gas stations consider hiring someone to stand at the pumps. That person could then immediately take cash from an individual who filled up. Those using credit or debit cards could still go in. It would make a driver think twice before driving off knowing that they would be caught faster.

Blowing up money

A LOT of people are whining about the economy. But I find it amazing that they still have enough money to buy fireworks and blow them up. If the economy is so bad, shouldn't that money be spent on food and clothing for the children?

Different marriage

I DON'T have a problem with gay couples marrying. I do have a problem with the marriage being referred to as the same as that between a man and a woman. It is not the same. Why do gay marriage advocates insist on demanding gay marriage is the same as a heterosexual marriage? It is not. What is so wrong with having both defined?

Overmedicated society

WHY IS everyone on some sort of medication these days? The doctors tell everyone they are either depressed or have mental problems. Many children are diagnosed with ADHD, but no one looks at the parenting or environment. We are an overmedicated society. No one seems to be able to work through their problems, and everyone resorts to medication to be happy and forget all the bad stuff. This is no way to live. Our ancestors did not live this way. I fear for our future.

No gambling boat

THE PERSON who said he and his friends go to a gambling boat three times a week is the reason we do not need such a place in Cape Girardeau. Our city is doing quiet well without a gambling boat,

It's a crusade

I AGREE with the caller who said in effect that David Limbaugh is no modern-day Hernando Cortez, a 16th century Spanish conquistador driven by the slogan, "God, gold and glory." I think Mr. Limbaugh has little interest in gold or glory. His sole motivation seems to be a crusade characterized strictly by the spread of Christianity. Whether or not he would favor using the forceful methods of the aforementioned Cortez is a subject concerning which reasonable people may disagree.

Do-it-yourself energy

I THINK we should drill for oil in this country wherever the experts think it might exist. We should build at least one nuclear plant in each state. It might take a while, but look at the good-paying jobs. And as we start producing energy, the money would stay in this country. This is the only way prices are going to come down.

Reduce speed limits

IT IS proven that vehicles get better gas mileage at speeds of around 55 to 60 miles per hour. Why haven't we reduced the speed limit to cut the use of gas? That would bring the price down, as there wouldn't be such a demand. Maybe the politicians are making too much money that they don't have to worry about how much gas cost.

Out of whack

CONGRESS IS totally out of whack in how it views things. Legislators want to bail out banks that made bad business decisions. And they want to place extra taxes on the oil companies for making a profit. We used to reward success. Now we penalize it and reward failure. In schools, the successful kids are ignored and the failing kids get all the extra attention, money and programs.

Summer homework

THE PARENT of a public school student griping in Speak Out about a summer-school assignment for her child shall forever serve as the perfect example of the lack of parental support many public schools so desperately need, along with the no doubt widespread and persistent belief that summertime is for anything other than the academic.

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