Speak Out 6/1/05

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Good neighbor

I WOULD like to say everyone should have a neighbor as nice as Bob Osborn. I'm glad he's ours.

Keep the money

I JUST heard on Thursday night's news that President Bush is giving $50 million to the Palestinian government. We need to keep that money in the United States and put it back into Social Security.

Cell-phone biker

I WAS driving on Route W and saw something I couldn't believe. Here was a guy coming my way on a bike with a helmet talking on a cell phone. I don't think it's right to talk on a cell phone in a car, let alone on a bike. Someone is going to get hurt. They need to be careful.

Need sidewalk

WE WOULD like to see sidewalks put in from Perry Avenue near St. Mary's Cemetery out to Cape Rock Drive.

Safety at night

ONE OF my worst nightmares would be to hit somebody with my car. I notice in the summer a lot of people riding bicycles and walking in the street wearing dark clothing. These bikers and walkers should wear white, You've got to make sure you dress properly so people can see you at night.

Use ACT, not MAP

I'M A high school teacher, and I can tell you from our perspective the MAP test is a joke. Teachers are held accountable by our scores, but the kids are not held accountable, so there's no incentive for them to do well. What matter to students are ACT or SAT scores and their grade-point averages. That's what matters getting into college and getting scholarships. We spend a large portion of school time preparing students for MAP tests. There is some movement to require the ACT tests instead of the MAP tests. That would be a much better situation. I hope parents will contact the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and push this through. We are short-changing our students, but we don't have any choice.

Closer scrutiny

REGARDLESS OF the wretched Speak Out attempt to rationalize the plagiarism of Southeast Missouri State University professor Alan Journet, I call for an archival scrutiny of all of the professor's letters to the editor. This would be an arduous task but is one that certainly should be done by a select committee of university personnel. The hard-to-believe indifference of the university, an attitude that communicates a "no big deal" stance, might mean that the investigation will have to be undertaken by another body.

Carefully checked

THE SOUTHEAST Missourian should not be blamed for doing a bang up job of investigative journalism. In his deservedly popular "Fact or fiction?" column, Jon Rust exhibited the finest in journalistic research by checking with the principals in the matter before publishing the piece proving the plagiarism of local letter to the editor writer and Southeast Missouri State University professor Alan Journet.

You will get caught

IS IT just me or has there been an outbreak of bank robberies in the Cape Girardeau and Jackson area over the past several weeks? A note to all wannabe bank robbers: You will get caught. A small percentage of people seem to think they are the lucky ones and can walk away without a trace. Even if this was possible, the amount of money is trivial. For those who are still thinking they are the cunning types, please think before you act.

Install cameras

AN EMPLOYEE should not be fired for someone stealing gas. It would make more sense for a company to install outside cameras than to fire a good employee.

Less litter?

Is it just my imagination, or am I seeing less litter these days? I look for it now, and it seems like there is less. Good.

Keeping his word

FOR ONCE I find myself in complete agreement with some liberal Speak Out comments. A couple of writers have used this forum to chastise Missouri voters, saying we are getting what we voted for in Gov. Matt Blunt. Exactly. He is keeping his promise to cut the budget, the very reason I voted for him, in spite of the incessant whining of the left.

Our responsibility

A RECENT Speak Out comment congratulated the police for quickly apprehending the Bank of Missouri robbery suspect. I agree. The police should be commended. The author of the comment goes on to address the criminal courts and says it's time for the court system to do its job. It is ultimately up to the general public to enforce criminal laws, not the courts. Juries decide guilt or innocence, not judges and lawyers. If a jury won't hold someone accountable for his crime, don't blame the criminal-justice system. Blame your community. Blame the jurors.

Consider the message

I THINK it is telling that so many readers are concerned about Dr. Alan Journet's mistake instead of looking at the contents of what he was trying to say. One of these days, every single person in Cape Girardeau is going to realize that he was always right about global warming and other environmental issues.

Bleak job outlook

GETTING A higher degree is far less likely to get you a good job now than in the past. Research shows a slow decline in the quality of jobs obtained by college grads in recent years. College tuition is too high for many. Even the best computer and engineering jobs are moving to India because of trade arrangements. Welcome to the new Republican social order. You should definitely not count on your children living like you do, unless you're very wealthy.

More trash cans

HATS OFF to Mary Kay Poljan of Cape Girardeau for her idea on trash cans in the downtown area and to the Southeast Missourian for generating public interest in the liter problem. Trouble is, most of the litter isn't generated by the folks who read the newspaper. I know. I lived downtown for nearly 20 years and watched walkers toss their litter wherever they pleased. You can have anti-litter campaigns until the cows come home, but you'll always have litter downtown because there are no trash cans on Broadway except in front of the federal building. Jackson has trash cans, and it's a cleaner town.

No follow-through

DO YOU want to know why it is that the Republicans didn't go ahead with the nuclear option? It is because the Republicans don't know how to be a majority party. They are more interested in good public relations and what the media is or isn't going to say about them than they are in sticking to their guns and following through on tough issues that need to be addressed.

Waiting, and waiting

THE RATIONALIZATION in using human embryos is the scary part of stem-cell research. The argument is that these cells are not humans, so why not use them? If the cells were allowed to multiply for seven or 14 days, there would be more cells to work with and test. Then if we let it develop just another two days there would be spinal-cord cells we could harvest to save people like Christopher Reeve. Possibly with five more days there would be heart cells. Or maybe, if we could just eke out 14 more days, we would be able to harvest retina, pancreas and skin cells. If we were to stretch five more days, we could harvest bone cells, taste buds and middle-ear cells. The only minor problems are that this tissue mass would now be two-thirds through its first trimester and would bleed to death when we harvest these parts. Its heart now has valves and beats about 150 beats a minute. But it can't die, because it has only existed 56 days, and it's not really alive, is it?

Extra caution

LESS THAN a week after the deadly William Street-Kingshighway accident, I witnessed a van speeding through a red light on William and West End Boulevard. Although the accident may have not been caused by trying to beat the red light, are these things so easily forgotten? I now use more caution not only in going when my light turns green, but in watching cars approach once they have a red light. I doubt anyone traveling or sitting and waiting thought they would be involved or witness something so tragic.

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