Speak Out 8/15/09
I am not heading to Jackson to shop as your misleading headline indicated everyone was doing. I am going to shop right here in Cape Girardeau. I appreciate the Cape Girardeau City Council for its decision to forgo the sales-tax holiday. Taxes are the price we pay for civilization. That is why Cape Girardeau is more civilized than surrounding communities whose locally elected leaders lacked the backbone to just say no to those agitating for a tax holiday.
MISSOURI Republican Party executive director Lloyd Smith was quoted in the Southeast Missourian as saying one could argue that the federal government should never have gotten into the Medicare business. Yes, you could, but I wouldn't. I appreciate Smith's intellectual honesty in not too subtly suggesting that Medicare was a bad idea even though it is generally considered one of the great triumphs in lifting millions of senior citizens out of poverty and is a program that would cause Missouri seniors to rise in revolution if abandoned. Beyond that, one wonders why Smith didn't follow his argument to its logical conclusion and also put the issue of abolishing Social Security on the table. I have known Smith for a long time, but it seems as if he has morphed from a common-sense Republican into a crazed libertarian.
I am a senior citizen. I campaigned and worked hard for Barack Obama. I am proud that I voted for him and think he is doing a wonderful job as our chief executive. In addition, I am in fairly good health. It is for these reasons that I am fairly confident I will be among the last group of senior citizens to be euthanized. Since there is no provision for euthanization in President Obama's health-care reform proposal, the preceding was a fairly sick joke.
THE supposed rescue of the two female journalists from North Korea is an embarrassment to our country. I can't believe we made it look like a hero's welcome when they were escorted back to this country by Bill Clinton. North Korea has a closed border and has a right to police its border as it sees fit. These two illegal border crossers were apprehended with good cause by the North Koreans. The journalists admitted to crossing the borders. Would we give back two Iranian citizens who crossed our border with Mexico? They were clearly in the wrong, and we would be better off politically if we would have let them stay there and serve out their sentences. Don't we believe in the rule of law? Just because we do a lame job of border patrol at our Mexican border doesn't mean North Korea should take a blind eye view of its border activities. I wish we did as good of a job policing our borders as North Korea does. At least they take their national sovereignty seriously.
HEALTH experts are predicting the swine flu may well sweep through Southeast Missouri schools sometime soon. Though it is not recommended that schools shut their doors, it is important that every school have a nurse. There are area schools without nurses, probably due to lack of sufficient funds. If that is the case, I call on the Missouri Legislature to provide funding so that each school that can't afford a nurse will get the necessary funding. Education is Missouri's No. 1 mandated constitutional duty. The health and well-being of students is a part of this responsibility. Short of this, perhaps retired nurses, part-time nurses or even full-time nurses might consider volunteering to help out with the situation.
JOE Sullivan was certainly correct in claiming that talk radio must bear some responsibility for the chaos and disruption at the congressional town hall meetings. I can understand the challenge Joe would face if he came right out and wrote that Rush Limbaugh has become a national disgrace who is encouraging anarchy at these meetings and trivializing the Holocaust by comparing President Obama to Hitler and his policies. Joe, I promise that if you write such a column, specifically targeting Rush Limbaugh, I will be behind you. Way behind.
"ON the other hand, anonymous posting is the most abused capability on the Internet today," asserted Patricia Keefe, an Internet blogger whose kooky posting was splattered all over the Perspectives page. I am surprised, even stunned that the Southeast Missourian would allow such an implicit criticism of Speak Out to be published. According to conservative Thomas Sowell, there are only two ways of telling the complete truth: anonymously and posthumously. Anonymous online posters are alive and well.