Speak Out 2/14/10

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Disabled drivers

WHAT about drivers who are on disability due to the fact that they cannot drive to work but are allowed to keep their licenses and drive everywhere else? I know of factory workers who have been on disability for almost two years who drive everywhere but are drawing full disability because their doctor has said they can't drive. The state hasn't pulled their licenses.

District issues

As staff members of the Cape Girardeau School District, we have lived through renovations and construction and still see our buildings not completed amid results of shoddy work, HVAC systems that still don't work and work orders not honored for safety issues. At the same time, we have trouble with "deferred maintenance." Are funds available? We think so. We see classroom teachers with fewer than five students while others have packed classrooms, even in core subject areas. It's great that the district finally did something about the extra-pay stipends, as we had favored teachers and coaches making thousands of dollars of extra money. These position were never offered to the rank-and-file staff. Please use that same reasoning to make sure our buildings are run efficiently. It is difficult to support a bond issue when the main problem we see is not if the district needs it, but how lacking is the management of the district.

Just the facts

SOMEBODY recently claimed the current administration predicted there is a 100 percent chance there will be a terrorist strike against the U.S. in the very near future. I'm an avid follower of the news, but I missed this story. I've searched news archives and found nothing to indicate such a difficult-to-believe remark is true. If people choose to spread ideas like this as factual information, please back it up with a source. Otherwise, look out, because the sky is falling.

Scrooge opposition

A lot of Speak Out callers are coming up with some pretty high-minded reasons to rationalize their ridiculous Scrooge-like opposition to a nontax raising public school bond issue.

Gas pedals

DURING a recent trip to a car dealer, I was told that all late-model vehicles use their computers to translate gas-pedal movement to throttle response. Don't believe that your vehicle is immune from the type of computer glitch found on Toyota models. I believe that gas pedals were upgraded to digital throttle controls to meet the fuel-efficiency requirements, but for the sake of safety I'd like my old-style gas pedal back.

Dangerous idea

I thought columnist George Will was a smart man. His endorsement of Paul Ryan for vice president in 2012 stunned me. Ryan is an advocate of privatizing Medicare. Can you imagine what would have happened if we would have implemented such an idea before this recession. Most of us seniors would have had our medical savings account wiped out.

Sensible reforms

EVEN though unemployment stood at 25 percent, FDR was able to adopt enough sensible reforms (jobs bills, banking regulations, Social Security) to stave off the wild-eyed populist threat from the Huey Longs on the left to the Father Couglins on the right. With a much lower unemployment rate, President Obama should be able to do the same with sensible banking and financial reform, although he will need the help of Congress.

Need the space

I find it humorous that someone would vote against a bond issue until the Cape Girardeau School District creates smaller class sizes. How can we have smaller classes until there is more classroom space which would be provided by the bond issue? I can think of buildings that have no space to put extra classes. Closets are being used for purposes they were not intended. If you want to support the teachers and students of the community, vote for the bond issue.

'Pretty good'

"PRESIDENT Bush did a pretty good job after 9/11," said a recent comment. I agree only if we stretch the meaning of "pretty good" to include his wrong-headed decision to invade Iraq, his establishment of a police state in the U.S. and his responsibility for a near cataclysmic, worldwide economic meltdown.

Mailboxes replaced

I live on Mount Auburn Road. During the big snow we had a couple of weeks ago, the snowplow took out about 12 mailboxes. I would like to thank the city of Cape Girardeau for quickly replacing these mailboxes within two days. Thank you.

Too much speeding

I would like to mention the speeding on Mount Auburn Road. The speed limit is 35 mph, yet I see people driving well more than 40 mph. Please be aware that speeding causes accidents, especially when people who are going the speed limit must cater to those who are speeding.

The real power

Sarah Palin's double standard on the "r" word -- a derogatory connotation for the mentally disabled -- is a testament to Rush Limbaugh's overwhelming influence. If you doubted who is the most powerful conservative in America, this latest episode should put things into perspective. Like him or not, Limbaugh wields unparalleled power.

Dangerous roads

It amazes me that some of the schools are in session after the snow of Feb. 8. While the city roads are in good condition, the county roads are not. I would not allow my junior high school student to attend school. I had trouble going to work in my four-wheel drive. But I'm supposed to let my children get on a bus or drive themselves to school? What happens when a student or a busload of students get hurt because of the bad conditions?

Our survival

President Obama has thrown down the gauntlet by stating facts and asking for a bipartisan effort to solve America's problems. He is not always right, but he is right this time. We have a recession, a huge national debt and a system of health care so expensive that it will bring down our economy all by itself in a few years. At this point, I do not want to know if my elected representatives are Democrat or Republican. I don't want to hear who is a capitalist or a socialist. I don't want to be lectured about the evils of liberalism or conservatism. I only want to know what each elected official will do to help solve my country's devastating problems. And any representative or senator who has the courage to put that cushy job of his or hers at risk to join in the solution is a hero to me. This should not be a nation of career politicians. Let's stop the sound bytes, blame games and partisanship and let our president lead as we work together. It's a matter of national survival.

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