Speak Out 11/28/02

Thursday, November 28, 2002

LET'S SUPPOSE for a minute the undemonstrated claims of the Bush White House that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction such as nuclear devices are true. Let us suppose further that the United States undertakes an unprovoked military invasion to destroy these weapons. What do we think Saddam Hussein is likely to do? If this war happens, it probably will not be a neat little series of air raids from afar. This could easily escalate into the ultimate global thermo-nuclear disaster -- and all because George W. Bush wants to hold on to power and drop a few crumbs in the direction of his campaign contributors among the energy corporations. We must say no.

Revenue builder

I FOUND it quite interesting that after this little debate on construction zones was brought up, a revenue builder was being run at the zone on I-55 near the airport. One State Highway Patrol trooper and one Cape Girardeau police officer were within a mile of each other, well before the barrels but after the 50-mph sign. This kind of activity reminds me of the movie "Super Troopers," which I suggest everyone needs to see in order to understand the essence of police work in this area.

Son isn't a pawn

I WOULD like to express my gratitude to the protesters for opening up a dialog, because this is an extremely important issue. My son may be headed to the Middle East next month to fight this war. While I support him 100 percent, I cannot help but feel anger toward my government as it may sacrifice his life for oil. My son joined the Army to defend his country, not to be used as a pawn between two countries who cannot settle their differences.

Noisy vehicles

WHEN ARE the local police departments going to start writing tickets for the cars and trucks that have excessively loud mufflers. Surely there are laws against this noise pollution. Most of these violators are putting the loud pipes on newer vehicles. Whatever happened to courtesy for other people? Not everyone enjoys hearing these noisy vehicles.

Alternative policies

BRAVO TO the callers who have had it with the war against oil countries. If we would focus on alternative energy, we would be so much better off. I pray for the day that someone stands up and says: "I support education. I support making peace with all these countries that hate us because they base their opinion of us on what our president has to say. I want to come together with other nations to rebuild our screwed-up environment and focus tax money on health care and alternative energy." I can't wait to vote for that person. Too bad I don't have enough money to make a difference in our political system.

Occasional toke

I AM enraged that we continue to waste taxpayer money to fight a war on marijuana when 47 percent of people have used it, and most people agree that it causes few ill effects on society. If the concern is the crime generated through the sale of the drug, keep distribution illegal, but allow people who choose to smoke the option to grow their own. I have used marijuana casually for six years and have found the effects are less harmful than those of alcohol. My friends and I are responsible users with good jobs and college educations. All of us are peace-loving people who choose to smoke recreationally. Our primary concern is that nonviolent criminals are costing taxpayers millions of dollars a year to keep in jail. Harassment by the police for marijuana is unnecessary and unfounded. My friends and I choose not to smoke cigarettes or drink, but we feel we should be allowed to enjoy the mellowing effects of the occasional toke.

Doing what's right

WAR IS never popular. My father fought in World War II. My cousins fought in Korea. I went to Vietnam. All of us would rather have lived in peace, but we served when our country called. The world is full of evil. We choose to be either good or evil. I believe the United States is good. It's our duty to police the world and destroy those who want to destroy America. Our forefathers sacrificed life and limb to keep our nation great for all of us, even those who protest war. I suggest we all stand up together in the face of evil and fight, or we will die. Let's do what's right.

Put Heidi in charge

I READ Heidi Hall is a Democrat. How has she survived being employed by people who are all Republicans? I've always been impressed with her work. She probably has the only sense of humor in the building. Perhaps she should decide whose articles are printed on the Opinion page.

Perfect example

SHELLEY GOSS' letter is a good reminder to thank our clergy for proclaiming the Gospel according to Jesus rather than echoing the war cry according to mortals. I applaud the courage and the faith of our local religious leaders who speak the truth, even when those governing us may not want to hear it. In this, as in all things, Christ is our example.

Extra postage

TODAY I took a Christmas card and envelope to the post office and asked why it said extra postage required. The woman told me that it wasn't the right size. If the envelopes are too small, you pay an extra 12 cents postage even if they don't weigh more than regular letters. I just thought everybody should know that maybe they'd want to take some of their Christmas cards to the post office and let them tell you if the cards are going to require 12 cents more postage. A lot of churches have systems so members don't even mail Christmas cards to each other. They have a card exchange in the lobby where you can put your cards and not have to go through the post office. We pay the post office plenty the way it is. Now postal officials have figured out ways to add on to what they're charging.

Majority support

IF I was as disgusted and angry at America and its policies and its place in the world as some are, I would move to a place suited to my dreams and views. Some wonder if there is a place where there is no threat of terrorism or war, where everything is free, where someone else does the work and protects you. These people would be griping when they got to their paradise, wanting to change. We'll always have these few who think America is always the villain. Thank God we have a majority who loves the country.

Parent is involved

IN RESPONSE to parental involvement of the students at Jefferson Elementary School, I am a parent of a 6-year-old in the first grade. My daughter makes straight A's. I live on the south side of town, and she doesn't know anything about drugs because I keep her away from that problem. I have two college degrees and spend a lot of time with my children.

Children playing

WHERE ARE our speed bumps and "Children playing" signs on Linden, South Ellis, Pacific and Benton streets? I know children shouldn't be playing in the streets but people should be aware that there are children getting on and off of buses. Motorists need to slow down.

IN REGARDS to the calls about teachers and parents doing their jobs with their children: We can all call and place blame on each other until the end of time, but it's not going to help. We should be complaining to the state. If we could still spank our children in homes and schools the way it used to be, the problems would be taken care of. While I was at work, the school called to say my child was being stubborn. In my day, they didn't call my parents with this problem. You got your hind-end whipped at school and when you got home. Now the schools think it's not their place to deal with this. They say spanking leaves children wanting to hit others. I've never hit other people. People say we should be wise and listen to the older generation. I agree. They're smarter than we are. They didn't have these problems. They didn't play the blame game like we are all doing today.

Let the bullies walk

I'M CALLING referring to several comments on bullies in the school system. When I was in school and riding the bus, the school bus driver would simply put bullies off the bus. They learned a real good lesson fast.

It's an addiction

THE COMMENT "Kicking the habit" should have been called "Kicking the addiction." Why do we still call smoking a habit when we know the addiction to nicotine is as severe as heroine addiction? There may be habits associated with it, but smoking is a drug addiction to nicotine. Please call it what it is.

Thought process

I FINALLY experienced the roundabout at Silver Springs and Gordonville roads. Who's idea was this? Circles are effective in high-traffic metropolitan areas, but what in the world were they thinking here?

BE SURE to shop around before refinancing your home. My experience in finding a lender is that many mortgage companies are charging junk fees. Don't just look at interest rates and payments. Look at closing costs. Compare with at least three other lenders. Figure out how many years you need to stay in your home to break even with the closing costs. The lender I chose was not the one with the lowest interest rate.

Involve the parents

IT IS the responsibility of bus drivers to transport children safely from street corners to their school. How can they drive and monitor kids being mean and bullying one another? How about parents volunteering to ride on the buses that are having problems? Let's get the parents involved before someone gets hurt.

College memories

I'M SO old that when I was a college student at SEMO, students actually graduated in four years. In the 1970s, I had to walk between classes and carry my books on my arm. We didn't have backpacks and shuttle buses. We didn't have girls and boys living on the same floor, just a visiting schedule with strict rules. My, how things have changed.

Flowers, not trash

NOT ONLY are the roads in Missouri in desperate need of repair, but they are the trashiest highways I've ever traveled. Wouldn't it be nice if there were beautiful wildflowers growing along our roads rather than trash from fast food?

Courage to oppose war

THANKS TO Vietnam Marine veteran Frank Ackles for having the courage to speak out against the proposed war in Iraq. I wish that more veterans would see that patriotism demands we explore the reasons for this proposed military action and refuse just to accept the media indoctrination we are fed.

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