Speak out 12/11

Monday, December 17, 2001

It was just fiction

TO THE person who called in "All that filth": Obviously you have not read "The Hobbit" or "The Lord of the Rings." You talk of things you know nothing about. It is fiction. What does personal hygiene have to do with the story? Nothing. This is a tale about hobbits, not hooligans. If J.R.R. Tolkien had told about every time they had to go to the bathroom, brush their teeth or comb their hair, the story would be ruined. These hobbits were fleeing for their lives from something far worse than they knew. They bathed when they could. How can you say a story is bad and will subvert our youth into smelly, dirty people when it's just a story? What does gingivitis and foot fungus have to do with this story? Nothing. This book was filled with beautiful poetry, lifelike descriptions and a mysticism that has been lost in many fantasies. A literal world was created. If you read a book looking for something bad, you can always find it.

The other 10 percent

GEE, I'M glad I'm one of the 90 percent who think President Bush is doing the right things. The caller who said he wasn't is an ignoramus who thinks he's smarter than 90 percent of the people. Get real.

Stealing from grave

TO THE person who is taking the nice things I've been leaving on my father's grave at the Chaffee cemetery at the top of the hill, would you please either return the things you've taken or let me know who you are so I can buy you presents so that you'll leave my father's things alone? Leaving presents on his grave is the only nice thing I can do for him anymore.

Remember the veterans

THIS COUNTRY is gung-ho now about its servicemen fighting in Afghanistan, but once the war's over they'll forget about the veterans and how they've served their country. The generation today has no idea what sacrifice means. As a member of that generation, I know for a fact that this is a pampered, privileged generation that is only concerned about themselves and the money in their wallets. We're an ungrateful nation. Veterans should get nursing home care and everything else for free. They should get a monthly income paid from those who have not served their country. Many of our veterans are stuck in nursing homes feeling lonely and forgotten.

History lesson

YES, FRANKLIN Roosevelt, one of this nation's greatest presidents, knew war was about to be waged against this country. For that reason, he thought (as most) that Germany was the No. 1 enemy, and he wanted to prepare and stop them. If you know your history, Roosevelt could not get Congress to move in that direction because the idea of President Wilson's isolationism was still the thinking of the day. Remember when Democrats were considered to be warmongers? You don't hear too much about that these days.

Greenberg's advice

AT LEAST conservative Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist Paul Greenberg had the courage to tell the hysterical John Ashcroft to "calm down." That's better than nothing. And, to Greenberg's credit, he also invoked author Ring Lardner's simple "shut up" as an apt message to which Ashcroft should pay attention. Still, if Ashcroft's inflammatory if-you're-not-with-me-you're-a-traitor message had been uttered by Janet Reno, one would guess that the usually unflappable Greenberg would have collapsed into a state of catatonia.

Appropriate action

CONCERNING THE criticism of Morley Swingle: If someone shoots his brother, should the survivor be let off because of the suffering of his family? Of course not. Although this is very tragic for the family, if this is a crime for which any other person would be prosecuted, then the unfortunate driver of the vehicle should be prosecuted as well.

Courageous letter

WES WRIGHT'S wonderful letter to the editor taking the Cape Girardeau County prosecuting attorney to the proverbial woodshed for running wild with prosecutorial zeal was the most courageous, well-written and truthful letter to the editor to appear on the Opinion page of the Southeast Missourian in the last six years.

Support for stadium

READERS SHOULD not get all stirred up about letters to the editor imploring the public to support a new stadium for the St. Louis Cardinals. The letters fall into the category of unpaid political advertisements from select stadium proponents. Having said that, the gist of the letters is right on target and should propel the public to support the construction of a new stadium from which all Missourians, baseball fans or not, will benefit.

Firefighting facts

THIS CONCERNS me that someone who calls himself a citizen can have such a negative attitude concerning people who are there to save your life . You must have no respect for those who put their lives on the line every day. Yes, indeed , the firemen do go to the Osage Centre, but what exactly do they do there? They try to enhance their physical ability with vigorous exercises to ensure they will be better equipped to save your life. Another point I would like to argue is the whole ordeal about the fire next to the fire station. Yes, the person was in fact knocking on the windows of the station. But if you've ever been to the station, you would know that the bunk room is on the opposite side of the station from the kitchen where they were knocking on the windows. I probably wouldn't be able to hear it either. Come on. Let's be smart. Get the facts straight before you accuse the innocent.

Ready to respond

THE FIREFIGHTERS of Cape Girardeau are doing a fine job. They don't need to stay at home and remain on call. How would you like it if you had an emergency but had to wait for the firefighters to drive to the fire station, get on the engine, wait for everyone to get there, then go to the call? You'd better hope your house isn't burning down if that were the case. Firefighters are paid to be ready and willing to go the second that alarm sounds, and I thank God for that because in an emergency seconds count. Besides, I'm sure that staying at the station for 24 hours away from their families and being ready to give their lives if they had to isn't a walk in the park. Perhaps you should learn more about what a firefighter does and is willing to do.

Most appropriate

I AGREE with 95 percent of Paul Greenberg's column about John Ashcroft's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Admittedly, Ashcroft's statement was not very diplomatic. However, it was certainly most appropriate. When one is dealing with the likes of Senators Leahy, Kennedy, Biden and Schumer, you sometimes need to hit them with a baseball bat to get their attention. These men are still conducting Ashcroft's confirmation hearing, and nothing he says or does will please them. And their remarks in the media were mostly uncalled for. After all, we are at war with terrorists, not conducting a love-in.

Misunderstood, misquoted

RECENT COMMENTS reflect misunderstanding of Dr. Michael Devaney's recent column. In particular, a recent Speak Out comment misquoted Devaney by saying the "economic collapse" rather than the "economic expansion" of the 1990s had a lot to do with the collapse of communism. Needless to say, this statement as printed in Speak Out does not even make sense. Dr. Devaney deserves better. Devaney has been published in academic journals worldwide. He is a frequently sought out contributor to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Many of us have benefited from his teaching, research and contacts in the international community, and we actively follow his work.

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