Here's what our readers have to say in our weekly Sound-off on the Opinion page:
Do require experience
In the paper's classifieds recently it says an area grocery store needs a meat cutter, experience preferred but not required. How can you be a meat cutter without experience of some kind including a health card? Surely a person just can't walk in off the street and say I want to be a meat cutter.
Let Memorial pay
Memorial Hospital wants Shiloh to waive the sewer cap-on fee for its new facility. Wonder what Memorial paid for the fancy new entrance and the over-the-top waterfall at its Belleville facility?
No to straight tickets
I am one of those voters from Southern Illinois who is typical; I do not vote straight party line, nor do I think most people do. I like to listen to all the facts on both sides. Then I make a choice.
Reporter's bias shows
It's a pity that the writer for McClatchy Newspapers showed his bias for big government when he wrote his article on Aug. 30 on the Republican National Convention. He failed miserably to make his point but doesn't even know it.
Uprooted for what?
I see in my O'Fallon Progress that government wants to take homes of Wesley Drive and Dartmouth. Well, I hope those people see that years ago the homes on Venetta and Porter Road were taken for an overpass and their lives were uprooted but all these years later there is still nothing done to the road and overpass but their lives were uprooted.
See problems up close
I hate to say that Belleville has gone to the dogs, but look at the property around the city, people can't even sell their homes for $24,000. Then the other day I happened to be going down East D Street, which is a brick street. The weeds in the bricks are above my ankles. Maybe Mayor Mark Eckert should walk the streets of Belleville to see what kind of mess there really is.
Give Kern the boot
When are people going to get enough of St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern? He keeps pounding away at that stupid MidAmerica Airport idea and never gets the hint that it's just not going to work. Plain and simple. And here he goes again with more taxpayer money to help fund an airline that has already walked out once and left the airport hanging. How much more money are we, the taxpayers, going to allow Kern to flush away down the toilet before we give him the boot?
I just want people to know that the $69.90 air fare for Allegiant Air is misleading. I booked four tickets the other day. The tickets were the right price but by the time they added the baggage fees and all the other fees, the four tickets cost me more than $1,000. Don't think you missed a bargain. The only advantage is that it is so convenient.
Time's up for Obama
Remember four years ago when former President Bill Clinton came on TV and told the American people: Just give us four years, if we can't turn things around get rid of the whole bunch. Say no more.
Break cycle of abuse
I am calling regarding the sentencing of Starr Lohman to witnessing her child being beaten by her boyfriend at their apartment in Cahokia. The child died on Christmas Eve 2005. I would guess that for a mother to accept that behavior, she witnessed that in her own life. Women need to stop the cycle of abuse.
IDs for everything
I read Kevin Gagen's rant in the Friday letters section and he claims that it's unfair for people to have to show a photo ID when voting. However, these same people have to show a photo ID at the doctor's office, hospital and airport. We had to show a photo ID to get into our subdivision in Fairview Heights when the city was having a parade. So tell me, why it is wrong to have to show a photo ID to vote?
Vote fraud isn't myth
Letter writer Kevin Gagen says that vote fraud is a boiler-plate Republican myth. Apparently he forgets about the thousands of ACORN registrants who didn't exist in the 2008 election. He forgets about the Democratic machine in St. Clair County. In East St. Louis people were found guilty of vote fraud. According to him it's nonexistent. Well, most Democrats close their eyes.
Hall of Fame? No way
News-Democrat letter writer Fred Busch writes, "The Cardinals possess a roster of players who are destined to become Hall of Famers." Is he kidding me? Matt Holliday just got his 1,500th hit. Carlos Beltran has 300 home runs; Lance Berkman 360. Pitcher Chris Carpenter has 144 wins. Do these sound like Hall of Fame stats? Now if there were a DUI or steroid Hall of Fame, we would have several candidates.
Let the bikers pay
Every time I go north on Illinois 159 in Swansea, I see this sign across the road "St. Clair County Bike Link." News-Democrat, can you tell the taxpayers what it cost to build this section of the bike trail? They are planning to extend the bike trail west. How much will that cost? These bike riders use these bike trails free. We automobile owners have to pay to drive on roads. I think that to ride on these bike trails, the bike owners should have to buy a license plate like motorists do. Gov. Pat Quinn is looking for new revenue so here is his chance. Buying a license plate to ride the trails they would be contributing to the upkeep and to new construction.
New housing hurdle
So now Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert and his cronies are going to try to come up with a bunch of rules and restrictions for landlords to somehow keep bad people form renting property. Problem is, some workers in the Housing Department apparently could care less about the housing problems and they have the blessing of Eckert. Good choice, mayor. Who does Eckert have in mind for the next cushy job with the city?
Great no more
Our greatest generation beget children of the suburbs. Many of those children never touched a root vegetable, walked to an outhouse, etc. Those children decided, what else is there to do? Let's sing, dance, smoke marijuana, pop a few pills and then have children. And what did that do to their DNA? Some of those children are now in Congress, unable to get along, unable to reach across the aisle and make nice for the good of this great country. And now we are to support the Republican Party's candidate when the party can't even divest itself of a Missouri Senate candidate who thinks a rape victim can prevent a pregnancy with just her mind and body.
Keep the letters local
Quite frankly, I am growing tired of reading national news in the Letters to the Editor section. I am sick of hearing about Catholics griping about the Belleville Diocese bishop. With the election drawing near, this space should be devoted entirely to blasting our local leaders.
Start pool planning
Well the summer with its 104-degrees temp is over and the children of East St. Louis, Washington Park, Alorton and Centreville didn't have a public swimming pool to enjoy. East St. Louis Park Board, don't wait until the summer of 2013 to ask for help opening the swimming pool if you are falling short on funds. Ask the community -- the black churches and local businesses -- for help. Save the children.
Restore this country
Letter writer Joe Reichert compares Mitt Romney's experience at Bain Capital with a predator in the woods. It's obvious Reichert doesn't truly get it. Instead he should compare Romney to a man who takes an old car and tries to restore it to its lustrous days. If the car is too far gone, though, part it out. Get what you can out of the carcass. When you look at Romney's record at Bain Capital, many more times than not they were able to restore the car to as good as new. Reichert needs to open his eyes and look at the condition of our country. We don't need a predator, I agree. What we need is someone who can see this old jalopy for what it is. I think it's worth restoring and Romney is the guy.
A missed news story
Robert Stein's letter was right on concerning the lack of news coverage for the shooting competition in Sparta. If guns were outlawed, only outlaws would have guns.
Meet the Romneys
I was never so happy as when Mitt Romney's wife gave the most beautiful speech. I'll be so happy for her to be my first lady and have Romney to be president. Honest people to help us.
Answers to bullying
Bullying in schools can be resolved very easily by simply identifying and confronting the bullies publicly. Once a student has been identified as a bully, the administration should call the parents in and tell them that the student will be expelled if it continues.
Falling to violence
What are they going to do with all the beating, killing and raping? The state might as well call in the National Guard. What is going on in this country? People are going to start carrying guns whether they are legal or not. They are going to shoot and ask questions later.
Science isn't clear
A recent Sound-off contributor said, "The scientific community has concluded that there's a significant link between being homosexual and one's genetic makeup." Are they referring to the American Psychiatric Association's 1973 decision to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders? I recently discovered that this was accomplished through pressure from the gay rights lobby. Only one quarter of the eligible psychiatrists responded. They voted 60/40 in favor of removing homosexuality from the mental disorders list. The next year it was removed, despite grave concerns of some of the members. There is hardly a consensus among the scientific community that homosexuality is normal. A lengthier explanation can be read at ewtn.com/library/prolenc/encyc116 . htm in the section entitled The American Psychiatric Association coup.
History supports Bush
Those who love to jump on the mantra that President George Bush left us in the ditch really need to look back at history and understand what happened. President Bill Clinton saw some prosperous times. Military and welfare cuts were in place so there was less spending. But as Clinton was leaving office the dot.com bubble was bursting. Nine months into Bush's term we had an attack like we had never seen before which could have destroyed our economy. But with Bush tax cuts in place, people continued to go about their lives. We want to say the bank bailouts averted a depression and give the credit to Obama. Bush's tax cuts saved us from a recession and depression much earlier in the decade and he gets no credit for this because of the divisive politics of both sides. The fact is that President Obama has done nothing to unify us and has done everything to divide us. We need someone to unify us. Whether Mitt Romney is that guy, I don't know.
The costs of inaction
How sad that Illinois lawmakers have failed to make the hard choices to address the state's deficit. Refusing to act is itself a decision. And now we see the consequences of that inaction: A credit rating downgrade that will cost the taxpayers even more.