Speak Out 5/29/05

Sunday, May 29, 2005

We're not perfect

ALTHOUGH FIRST lady Laura Bush is an admirable person, she, like so many Americans, has a great failing. It is so presumptuous for us to tell other countries what they should be doing. We do not have a perfect country by any means. Until we do, we should probably stop trying to demand that other countries emulate us. We cannot seem to afford health care for our own people, but most developed countries and even some quite poor countries manage it.

Education issues

THE ISSUE of cheating on standardized tests should go far beyond what is going on right now. It is no different than school systems teaching to the test rather than teaching from a standard textbook in the classroom. This is where legislators and educators are at an impasse. Legislators have no business dictating what schools teach, pay for teachers or retirement for teachers. Educators should decide the requirements and methods of educating our children. Many legislators have never set foot in a classroom since they graduated, yet they are sitting in judgment of our education system. There should be statewide coordination of requirements in all subjects. That way children could move from one district to another without having to lose credits. No one listens to teachers anymore. Cheating is wrong in anyone's book and should, of course, be punished.

Special technique

I AM responding to the person complaining about County Road 318 and the fact that it has not been resurfaced. How about County Road 382? It has never been paved and is a dangerous dust bowl. The reason these roads are not kept up is because those who live on them have no political clout. Nothing will be done unless those of us who live on these roads can grease some palms.

True conservatism

THE CONFUSING thing about San Francisco Chronicle's Keith Thompson's writing that he is leaving the left in part because of its opposition to the war in Iraq is that to support said war should be the domain of those on the progressive, traditional, idealistic left, and to oppose it the province of those historically on the right. That is why opposition to the war by the likes of right-wing conservatives Pat Buchanan and Robert Novak expresses the true stance of conservatism as it has been ordinarily understood.

Statesmanlike act

BECAUSE OF his statesmanlike act in helping to save the Senate and the country in preserving minority rights via the filibuster, I am now firmly in the camp of Sen. John McCain for president in 2008.

One way northbound

IT SEEMS more logical to make Water Street one way northbound. Motorists coming from William Street could continue north on Water to view the murals and go to the river instead of going all the way to Spanish Street and Broadway to reach Water.

Good Pork

I'm all for downtown projects

To showcase our town's past.

No one should say he objects

As long as the federal funds last.

Helmets for cyclists

I AM writing this as a bicyclist, a parent and a concerned citizen. If there is not, there should be a law in Cape Girardeau County that children should be required to wear a helmet when riding bikes on public property. If there is such a law, it should be enforced. Just one accident can change your child's life forever, and a helmet can save a lot of grief.

Out of touch

GEORGE BUSH, who is opposed to federal funding of stem-cell research, said that pro -life people do not want their tax money spent this way. I was against the unnecessary war in Iraq. However, against my wishes, my tax money was and is still being spent that way. It just shows how out of touch with reality this president is.

County Road 318

TO THE caller complaining about living on County Road 318 and not seeing the road be paved during the 15 years he has lived on the road. We are talking about families who have been tied to their farms and land for a long time. Imagine how many county administrations they have gone through and still have not seen a paved road. The road is already referred to as "Cape County International Speedway" because of the speeding. It is a real hazard. A note for all short-time residents: Please stop using our road as your short cut between Cape Girardeau and Jackson. There are speed limits on all county roads. If you drive the limit, there is no need to pave the roads. Incidentally, it was not because of the disagreement between Jackson and the county that the road was not paved. It was due to weather and the end of road funds for the year.

Car-buying freedom

TO THE person who wants background checks to see if people can afford the car they are driving. He's saying he wants our government's permission to buy a certain car of a certain value. That sounds like communism. This is not what America is about. If you want to buy a car and have the money, buy the car. This is called freedom.

Plenty to do

SOMETHING FOR youths to do? Jackson has a pool. Cape Girardeau has two swimming pools, one with a slide and one that's used year-round. Jackson has a skateboard area. Cape has a nice skateboard park. Jackson also has a bicycle park for young kids. So does Cape. Jackson has three parks, Cape has more than 10 parks. Cape also has go-carts, mini-golf, movies, a new nature center and numerous other things that Jackson doesn't. There's plenty to do in Cape for our youths. However, it's up to them to use them.

Don't forget Reserve

I HAVE been reading a lot articles about the 1140th Engineer Battalion. It's nice that people are honoring them. But don't forget the Army Reserve. Soldiers from the 348th Engineer Company from Cape Girardeau were the first from the area to get mobilized and have returned. Some are still mobilized. They have mobilized close to 100 soldiers in the last three years. There are soldiers from Cape Girardeau, Chaffee, Oran and Jackson and all over the tri-state area. The Army Reserve does things differently than the National Guard. The Reserve mobilizes individual soldier to fill in active-duty units or other Army Reserve units.

Don't kill the bears

THE MAN in Marquand should have called the conservation department the night the bear tried to enter his shed. The conservation department has means to relocate animals. Black bears are not aggressive unless they are provoked. This is a case that should be before a jury. Killing a bear in Missouri is a Class A misdemeanor.

Gang territory

THE WORD "gang" conjures up bad connotations: Gang of Four in Mao's China, Mafia gangs, Crips, Bloods and many others. These are not thought of by most as having done a lot of good and in most instances are rightfully believed to have inflicted a lot of harm, pain and suffering. However, not all gangs are bad. For instance, the gang of 14 saved the Senate.

Stay in the city

IF YOU don't like barking dogs, don't move to the country. We already have enough people who don't belong out here.

Bad planning

I FIND it deeply disturbing, but unfortunately not surprising, that the Missouri Department of Transportation painted stripes on U.S. 61 in Ste. Genevieve one week and resurfaced the same highway the next week. It's too bad we can't vote these knuckleheads out of office.

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