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Speak Out 12/27/09

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Federal shopping

CONGRESS gives a whole new meaning to "Buy America." The Nebraska purchase is only the latest.

School sales

I am disappointed with the Central Middle School policy punishing students who do not participate in a school fundraiser. Students who did not sell cookie dough were not allowed to participate in a school assembly. These students had to go to the library, sit quietly or read a book. Our children are at school to learn academics, not to be salespeople for the school. I took this opportunity to teach my child that there are good choices and bad choices. This was a bad choice by school administrators.

Throwing money

A story about the global warming conference in Copenhagen said it is up to the United States to save the treaty by pledging to give more money to underdeveloped countries. We have been giving foreign aid to countries for years. If that was going to solve global warming, the problem would already be solved. We need to be careful to keep the planet clean, but giving away more money will not make it cool.

Change in debt

ON the day President Obama was inaugurated, the national debt was $10.6 trillion. The latest posting by Treasury shows the national debt at $12.135 trillion. It looks like we did more than just hope for some change. I think there may be some dollar bills in there as well.

Rush told me

Thought the Polar ice caps melt away

'til there is no ice and snow.

There is no such thing as climate change.

Rush has told me so.

Millions of Americans go uninsured

as their medical bills grow,

but there is no health care crisis.

Rush has told me so.

Ten percent are jobless

while the rich folks hog the dough.

To point that out is just class envy.

Rush has told me so.

Some Americans have no home

and no place to go.

But there really are no homeless.

Rush has told me so.

*** Time's pick

CONGRATULATIONS to Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke for being chosen Time magazine's Person of the Year. Bernanke saved us from a Bush-induced economic meltdown that may have made the Great Depression look like good times.

Spending solution

MICHAEL Jensen wrote, "If anyone believes you can spend your way out of debt, then concerned we should be." Our nation is not trying to spend its way out of debt. We are trying to spend our way out of a recession, a very sound and necessary approach that is obviously working. The debt and deficit will be addressed but cannot be until the recession is over. The only ones who believe the nonsense that we can spend our way out of debt are the thoroughly discredited supply-siders.

Spending bill

U.S. Sen. Kit Bond has included $8.5 million of other people's money for local projects in the new federal spending bill. When we hear of other senators' earmarks in legislation such as this, we call it pork and are outraged. Wonder what Bond would call this?

Church cooperation

IN response to the story "Churches in Cape Girardeau, Perry counties prepare for holiday tour today and Friday": Thank you so much for your prominent coverage of this event. Many of those whose visited Apple Creek Presbyterian Church did so because they saw your story. Sister churches in the area also steered visitors our way, since we were not on the map distributed this year. One of the many benefits of this tour is the ecumenical flavor and the camaraderie of Christians, which strengthens the communities. Thank you for your support.

Diminishing returns

THE majority of Americans want clean air and clean water, but how do you tell the difference between air that is 90 percent cleaner than it was 30 years ago and air that is 95 percent cleaner? And if we were billed (taxed) individually for each percent of "cleaner" air, how much would you be willing to pay? I believe we have reached the point of diminishing returns on clean air and water on a national level. Work can be done locally and should be done.

Special treat

I watched as a man paid for the meals of two silver-haired women in a Chinese restaurant. I thought it was marvelous. I'm sure they have no idea who it was, but I saw you and know who you are. I think you're marvelous.

Bad manager

WHAT kind of restaurant manager would hold a waitress responsible for a customer who didn't pay?

Speeding problem

THE new Mount Auburn Road is a nice road, but is the city going to do anything about the way people are speeding that road? You've got a work zone where people don't obey the speed limit. Can't the police use radar or do anything to slow people down on Mount Auburn Road?

Deer disposal

THE speeding on Greensferry Road in Jackson has gotten so bad that it's impossible to pull out of your driveway or walk across the road to get your mail. One of these speeders hit the only deer I've seen in this area for months. The deer was hurt and crawled into my yard and died. I've called various agencies, and no one will help me get rid of the deer. I'm at a loss.

Concert coverage

I cannot believe the Southeast Missourian did not run an article on one of the biggest and best concerts Cape Girardeau has had at the Show Me Center. There was no mention of the Gaither Gospel Homecoming. There were from 6,000 to 7,000 people there. It was a great concert. I'm sorry that you didn't take time to cover it.

Providing shelter

LARRY Rice does the state a great service by providing shelter to the homeless. These people are citizens whom the system has failed. I've been homeless at the New Evangelistic Center in St. Louis. On a Sunday morning there I heard a man playing a blues saxophone. His playing was great. I'm sure Rice will have programs to allow these people to enter into society again. I think those opposed to the homeless shelter in the old federal building are selfish and hard-hearted.

Mowing ordinance

ABOUT the ordinance that would require property owners to mow grass and weeds on the city's right-of-ways that abut private property: It's a job of the city should continue doing.

County policing

CONGRATULATIONS to the Perry County sheriff, Gary Schaaf, and deputies who arrested three suspects for vandalizing 32 mailboxes around Thanksgiving. We could use this kind of excellence in police work in the neighboring county to the south.

Keep Franklin

ANOTHER school is going to bite the dust: Franklin Elementary School. Let's keep the school where our parents were educated. Save it like we saved the Lorimier School and Schultz School. Let the voters decide. Who pays the taxes?

TV control

SOMEONE thinks children are able to find out how to make meth by watching soap operas on television. I've watched soap operas for years and never seen anything like that. My advice: Change channels or turn the TV off. You have control of what your children watch.

Eat less meat

I was pleased to see that colon cancer rates have reduced dramatically due to better screening and less consumption of red meat. Some of my family members raise cattle and pigs, and I have been exposed not only to the incredibly emotions of these wonderful creatures have, but the sad treatment they endure as they head for slaughter and the chemical agents they're drenched with or injected with in order to improve profits. Others in my family are farmers, and during this season of gratefulness I'm thankful for the abundant non-animal food supply we have. Vegetarians have lower cancer rates and longer life expectancies. Also, production of meats contributes significantly to greenhouse gases. I would ask -- for your health, for the environment and for these kind creatures that we mistreat -- that you consider eating fewer animals in 2010.

Great concert

IF you missed the beautiful bell concert at Grace United Methodist Church, you certainly missed one of the most beautiful concerts of Christmas music I've ever heard. I had no idea what a handbell concert was going to be, but after reading the article in the paper I decided to go. Am I ever glad I did. The violinist was awesome, and the whole evening was fantastic. Thank you, Grace Church.

Fact Check
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Reagan's supply-side economic plan accomplished the following:

Inflation averaged 12.5 percent when Reagan entered office, was reduced to 4.4 percent when he left.

Interest rates fell six points.

An eight percent growth in private wealth.

Between 1978 and 1981 the top capital gains rate was cut from 35 percent to 20 percent and revenues soared by 90 percent in real terms between 1978 and 1985.After Congress lifted the rate to 28 percent in 1986, capital gains revenues declined by 20 percent by 1990.

The average annual growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) from 1981 to 1989 was 3.2 percent per year, compared with 2.8 percent from 1974 to 1981 and 2.1 percent from 1989 to 1995. The 3.2 percent growth rate for the Reagan years includes the recession of the early 1980s, which was a side effect of reversing Carter's high-inflation policies, and the seven expansion years, 1983-89. During the economic expansion alone, the economy grew by a robust annual rate of 3.8 percent. By the end of the Reagan years, the American economy was almost one-third larger than it was when they began.

When Reagan took office in 1981, the unemployment rate was 7.6 percent. In the recession of 1981-82, that rate peaked at 9.7 percent, but it fell continuously for the next seven years. When Reagan left office, the unemployment rate was 5.5 percent.

Real median family income grew by $4,000 during the Reagan period after experiencing no growth in the pre-Reagan years; it experienced a loss of almost $1,500 in the post-Reagan years.

This is textbook of recovering from a recession, not spending our way out of it.

-- Posted by Balmy on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 1:32 AM

Eat Less Meat-

Of course! Because we made it to the top of the food chain by eating leaves!

-- Posted by kellyma82 on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 1:44 AM

Balmy: Good stats and well presented. Back in those days people were better fiscal responsible and they were discipline. Of course we didn't have cell phones in every house hold, computors (All additional expense today, that we didn't have back then). Also, back in the eighties our population in america was around 240 million compared to 308 million today. Furthermore, we made stuff right here in the USA something we don't do today. Hopefully, the new decade will bring us back up on our feet as we leave this decade of hell. We had a strong america in the eighties and less whining by the people and people were proud to work. The eighties were some good times no doubt.

-- Posted by swampeastmissouri on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 7:29 AM

School sales...what do you expect from a government run school?

-- Posted by Hawker on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 11:35 AM

Deer disposal....oh, Mak'i...got some road kill for ya! ☻

TV control...couldn't have said it better myself.

Mowing ordinance...WOW, already worried about mowing. This is not a bad idear...some areas look horrible. On the other hand, who pays to fix the mowers that get broke, mowing cans, glass and other road debris? Huh, quite a pickle.

-- Posted by Turnip on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 11:47 AM

So glad our money paid for the sidewalks on Mt. Auburn Rd. I have never seen anyone walking along that hilly road BEFORE or AFTER the sidewalks were there. I think the city just wanted to get rich from the $300.00 tickets they wrote when the 20mph speed limit signs were strategically located on either the ground, behind a tree limb, or so close behind another sign that no one could see them.

-- Posted by CapeRN on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 12:35 PM

Deer disposal ...i guess nobody likes deer chili anymore

-- Posted by ..Rick on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 12:57 PM

Re: school sales

Hmmmph - suggest the caller is also likely in favor of not keeping score at tee-ball games, and opposed to differences in pricing for cash versus credit.

Gosh, differentiation based on performance or actions has just got to be discrimination. There ought to be a law! Remember - "all men are created equal", and thus should be treated, pampered, and otherwise rewarded equally - no matter how unequal their contributions. :-)~

Re: Time's pick

Suggest that a simple observation of better or worse for a single causal action is not a good measure of effect for a multi-variable, dynamic system.

If it were possible, a better measure would be how much better or worse, as compared to other plans of actions, such as simply doing nothing. This provides an improved degree of separation between what happened as a result of this action, versus what would have happened anyway due to other effects.

Re: Diminishing returns

Suggest one of the important realizations is that we are being billed and taxed individually - it's just not itemized nor equal. Who do you think is really paying for the catalytic converters and computer controls on cars, the tax credits for the various energy efficiency improvements, the flue gas scrubbers on industrial and utility boilers, the enhancements to municipal water treatment and waste treatment facilities, and the like?

Re: Bad manager

Suggest one solution would be to require payment before the food is delivered - like at most fast-food joints. Certainly not popular, but definitely more effective.

Re: mowing ordinance

Suggest whoever has legal title to the land should be the one responsible, and that a 'right-of-way' is not the same as ownership.

Re: Speeding problem

One solution would be to simply close that section of road where work is being done - ah, but then everyone suffers.

Another solution relates to the story of a former mayor reported to have chalked a couple of marks on the curb opposite his house, and then called in the plates of any vehicle that passed by those marks in less time than would be required if travelling the speed limit.

Sometimes that 'somebody' who needs to do something, needs to be you. --Ah, got a feeling this one is going to come back on me. ;-)

-- Posted by fxpwt on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 1:04 PM


What worries me is what they plan on doing to the area behind the new sidewalks. There is absolutely no reason for sidewalks along that side of the road, unless they decide to clear all those beautiful trees and put another useless bank or shopping plaza there...

-- Posted by kellyma82 on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 2:11 PM

School Sales: Is this true? Is there more to the story?

Change in Debt: Very clever!

Spending Solution: Problem is ... it's the taxpayers' money the government is spending, and at some point, their pockets may finally be empty.

Mowing Ordinance: Most of the towns/cities in which we've lived have such an ordinance: The right-of-ways are public property, but the residents are required to keep them mowed.

Doesn't seem fair, but ... it costs little in time/effort/money for the each resident to maintain them, while it would be very costly to taxpayers for a city to do so. Therefore ... such an ordinance might seem unfair, but the financial benefits to the entire community sort of balances that out maybe?

-- Posted by gurusmom on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 4:11 PM

Those that are opposing shelters for the homeless might very well be the next ones who need shelter..the way things are now, most of us are just a paycheck away from being in that situation.

-- Posted by sosassy on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 5:57 PM

Re. Eat Less Meat.

Great idea. You are to be commended for encouraging people to do the right thing! Keep up the good work!

The less meat ate the lower the demand and the more for me!

-- Posted by Old John on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 6:45 PM

RE: School Sells

As a local teacher we must send a message to the student and parents that non-selling students will not be tolerated.

-- Posted by ziggy41 on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 8:31 PM


are teachers required to sell as well ?

or is it "do as i say and not as i do" type of thing being taught in schools now?

-- Posted by ..Rick on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 8:53 PM


Good point! I'm pretty sure that question backed that teacher into a corner. Too bad we couldn't see her face when she read it.

-- Posted by kellyma82 on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 9:23 PM

Rick, from my fundraising experience the teachers/administrators don't sell squat. Nor do we 'punish' students who do not participate. They reap the same benefits the rest of the students receive from our efforts. I find this practice appalling.

-- Posted by Turnip on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 9:44 PM

I work very hard and long hours on fundraiser's and it is rude and discourteous for a student not to be involved.

-- Posted by ziggy41 on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 9:47 PM

ziggy41, some families can't always participate in EVERY fundraiser. Often times I feel the families are bombarded with 'fundraisers'. You have no idea what they may or may not give to other organizations and it's rude and presumptious of you to assume anything else. Surely you understand that.

-- Posted by Turnip on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 9:56 PM


please remind me again what fundraisers have to do with reading , writing , and arithmatic ?

-- Posted by ..Rick on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 10:07 PM

What does Baseball, basketball, football have to do with reading, writing, arithmatic? Schools have sports and they have fundraisers. They will always be around so step up and join the winning team. Fundraisers are like homework if you don't do the work then you won't recieve the grade.

-- Posted by ziggy41 on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 10:22 PM


that's just wrong

-- Posted by ..Rick on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 10:28 PM

And as long as I have the school board on my side, that's the way it's going to be.

-- Posted by ziggy41 on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 10:30 PM

when educaters are salespeople , i can see why drop outs continue to be a problem...i wouldn't put up with this kind of BS either...

-- Posted by ..Rick on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 10:37 PM

That won't never happen...

-- Posted by ziggy41 on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 10:41 PM

That won't never happen...

-- Posted by ziggy41 on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 10:41 PM

Man, if you are a teacher, no wonder the kids can't communicate properly.

"That will never happen."

"That won't ever happen."

-- Posted by D'oh on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 11:20 PM

Cool stunts, Wheels! You do realize some will be disappointed, they like the crash -n- burns. ;o)~

-- Posted by Turnip on Sun, Dec 27, 2009, at 11:25 PM

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