Speak Out 5/4/05

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Stiff fine for litter

THE MOST effective way to stop littering is with a $100 fine. That's a reasonable amount. I don't think anybody likes to hand out $100 bills. I think it's nonsense to turn people in. There's always the chance that someone's trying to get back at someone.

Conservative pose

THANK YOU for publishing Gene Lyons' piece exposing extreme conservative Ann Coulter as a fraudlent female fascist posing as a conservative. However, I still think she's good-looking.

Remember the malaise?

NEVER IN my wildest dreams did I expect from the ordinarily optimistic President Bush a Carteresque malaise speech.

Smells like pancakes

ALL THE comments about dandelions remind me of the games we played as kids on Greensferry Road. We would rub the dandelions on our hands because it smelled like our mothers pancakes. As long as you don't blow the seeds around, dandelions aren't hurting anybody. It's the Johnson grass you should be worrying about.

Loose lips ...

TO THOSE who proposed the 50-cent tax increase on petrol, remember Ross Perot when he ran for president. He said he could balance the budget with a 12-cent tax increase. He got 30 million votes and lost. But we got the tax increase anyway. So be careful what you suggest. The Republicans are listening.

Tear them down

IF INNER-CITY housing and businesses are deplorable, why should anyone invest in them? They should be condemned and torn down. Have you been inside some of these buildings? No smart do-it-yourselfer would touch them with a 10-foot pole. They are a money pit. If we tore these buildings down and rebuilt, think of the jobs this would bring into our area and the beautiful improvements to make Cape Girardeau the "City of Roses" once again.

Stay the course

IN RESPONSE to the thoughtful piece from Jim Powell of the Cato Institute, I think the Bush administration has come to realize that nation-building in Iraq (we're talking about a representative democracy) may not be viable. However, I continue to believe that at this time in history the U.S. has just such an opportunity and must seize the moment. In addition, if we cut and run any time soon, Iraq will erupt into all-out civil war and all of our efforts (even though we ridded Iraq of Saddam Hussein) will have been rendered in vain, even counterproductive. Stay the course.

Deadly pools

THOUGH counterintuitive, if you both own a gun and have a swimming pool in your back yard, the swimming pool is 100 times more likely to take the life of a child than the gun.

Costly progress

THE SCHOOL district has received a grant for Internet access allowing parents to check on their children's school attendance and grades. Parents who were interested in their children always used to know those things from teacher's notes, report cards and conferences. What we keep calling progress always seems costly, doesn't it?

Political system

THE AVERAGE American is neither totally liberal nor totally conservative. Unfortunately, the partisan politicians usually are. Liberals are too passionate and caring. That's why so many of the programs have become overly costly. They get a good idea then have to keep expanding it over the years until it becomes a monster. Conservatives become the bullies of the budget and tend to over-correct the excesses. Until we can somehow find more middle-of-the-road people to vote into office, we are going to have these problems. But our party politicians must maintain the values (or lack of) of their parties to keep the party happy with them and supporting them so they can keep their political jobs. What a messed-up system we have.

Too much government

AS A smoker, I agree that restaurants need separate rooms with separate air-filtering systems. However, I firmly believe that businesses that are not accepting tax funding to run their businesses should not be forced by law to ban smoking or to build costly accommodations for the handicapped. These things should be their choice alone. We have too much government involvement in our lives in ways we would not like if we thought about it.

Crime without DNA

I WAS not surprised to hear a defense attorney singing the praises of juries needing DNA evidence to convict. Jurors who watch "CSI" and think DNA is necessary to prove guilt in every case are the very same people who are letting criminals, especially sexual predators, back into the community. Sexual abuse rarely leaves DNA evidence or physical injury. Prosecutors can make excellent cases with plenty of evidence, and jurors will still let perpetrators go.

Relay was cut short

IF YOU are going to talk the talk, then please walk the walk. The main objective of the Cancer Relay for Life is to show support to the cancer victims during an all-night walk. The rain was over. Yes, it was cold and a little uncomfortable, but going through cancer treatment is no picnic. As a cancer survivor I was really disappointed when we were told that the committee had voted to call an end to the relay around 11 p.m. What happened? At the beginning of the relay while it was raining we were told that they were behind us all the way. I didn't hear a survivor complain. I was prepared to stay and walk and remember the ones who were still fighting cancer and those who have lost the fight. I know it's hard work, but so is survival. I will be there to walk all night next year, God willing. I appreciate all the hard work that goes into this, but I was disappointed this year.

Isn't that odd?

ABOUT 20 years ago, I worked for a non-smoking woman who commented how odd it was that ever since the government started waging the war on smoking to justify higher taxation, people who never had much problem with smoke were coming out of the woodwork complaining of allergies. She wondered how they tolerated the smoke from their barbecue grills, the smoke in the taverns they frequented, the exhaust from the city buses, the airplanes overhead and burning leaves and brush. It's still odd, isn't it?

Walking and litter

IT IS a sad situation when drivers don't think it is necessary to stop for local walkers. Recently I have waited for a long time at a crosswalk waiting for traffic to break, because no driver would pause for me to cross. Maybe it is the lack of walkers on the streets of Cape Girardeau that has rendered drivers bewildered by the sight of the lowly pedestrian. While on my walks I have noticed that there are no public trash receptacles. I picked up a can on the street only to find that I had to carry it all the way to Main Street before I found a trash can. The issue of trash cans along Broadway needs to be helped.

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