If our nation truly expects to stop the tragedies like the ones in Newtown, Conn., a theater in Colorado and numerous other places, we have to change the culture of coddling the criminal. Our police need to be given the authority to "shoot to kill" any person who commits a crime using a gun or knife. Why overcrowd our prisons with thugs who cost the taxpayer $38,000 plus per year to house and feed?
No excuse for Stone
Regarding the investigation of St. Clair County Coroner Rick Stone, who claimed he didn't know he couldn't serve subpoenas as a private side business: I guess his idea of starting a business was to charge for his work but not check on any laws or regulations for that business. Since when does ignorance of a law allow you to break that law?
Wait for new session
So Gov. Pat Quinn still wants the state's $95 billion pension crisis fixed before the new lawmakers are sworn in on Jan. 9. What is the hurry now? The state of Illinois was obligated to put money into that pension fund for many, many years which it did not do. This has turned into a very complex problem that cannot be solved by any honest politicians in a mere few weeks. We don't want legislators who have spent this money and who are leaving office making any more decisions for us. Let the new legislators work on this problem.
Who would rent here?
Here is a new example of an apartment listing in Belleville: Apartment for rent; maximum occupancy 3; must notify city immediately or be fined for any occupancy change within the apartment. With all the crime and now the occupancy thing, it's beyond me why anyone would even consider renting in this very selective city of Belleville or even live here.
A reason for leaving?
I smell a rat. I want to know if U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello didn't run again because he knows that the base closing thing is coming around again and Scott can't be saved and he knows it because of his in with the Democratic administration in Washington.
I read in the BND what a great politician Jerry Costello was. Has everyone forgotten how he said he would vote against Obamacare but voted for it when it came time to vote? Thanks, Jerry. He didn't listen to us little people. He knew what was best for us.
Can't justify means
Angela Michael's crusade to stop abortions is admirable but her methods are nothing short of disgusting. To take advantage of the horrible shooting in Connecticut and equate it to her cause is irresponsible. To use other people's tragedy for her own means is despicable.
A trap by Quinn?
It was comical to read the article about the late St. Clair County Sheriff Mearl Justus luring the criminals in with the thought that they had won free tennis shoes so he could capture them. Our governor is luring the illegals in to give them a driver's license. Are Gov.Pat Quinn and our legislators trying to capture the illegals?
Park like commoners
It's the new year and time for resolutions. Here's one for the wing commander at Scott Air Force Base: Resolve to help reduce government waste and eliminate those dedicated wing commander reserved parking spots in front of the commissary in Base Exchange. Let the commanders park their marked cars wherever they want and allow the commoners to get some use of those spots and aid in their shopping pleasure.
Unfair to retirees
A teacher's point of view. Why would some Illinois lawmakers punish retired teachers by taking away our cost-of-living adjustment? I taught for 34 years and was forced to pay a large percentage of my paycheck into the Illinois Teacher Retirement system for my pension. Illinois did not allow teachers to pay into Social Security; therefore, many of us do not have Medicare. I have been retired seven years and pay almost $10,000 a year for medical insurance for my wife and myself and our insurance goes up significantly every year. We depend on the COLA to pay for our insurance increases. For any Illinois state lawmaker who votes to take away our COLA, we will not forget you when it comes time to vote again.
Smoking ban worth it
While some Illinois bars' bottom line may have had some hit by the smoking ban, we all continue to pay increasing health insurance costs because of those who smoke. I have no problem having to share the burden of life's normal illnesses and accidental misfortunes, but I resent having to pay for the intentional harm that smoking causes, along with alcohol and drug abuse and the obesity crisis. It should be obvious to anyone with half a brain cell that these are the causes of sky-high health care costs. So don't blame Obamacare or any other system when the problem lies with ourselves.
Drop those letters
For the new year, I would love it if the Belleville News-Democrat would do away with the alphabet on the sections. I don't care what order the sections are in, just don't put a letter on them if they're not going to be in that order. It is correct only one or two times a week. It just drives me crazy and I can't be the only one who feels this way.
Free career advice
If the new year has you looking for a new career, you can't go wrong with these suggestions. Become a doctor. No matter how many times you are wrong in your diagnoses, you still get paid for every visit. Become a lawyer as you will have a constant stream of revenue even if your client goes to jail or loses a fortune. Teachers also have a pretty good gig as students can become village idiots but teachers can just blame the parents, collect their check and take a three=month vacation every year. But the best career of all is that of a politician. They do absolutely nothing, have a lobbyist write all of their legislation and he will even pay them extra for the privilege.
What did sewers cost?
How much did Crystal Lake pay Swansea to get sewers? I had a septic tank and had to pay extra to get sewers.
Who was the arsonist who burned the Classic Curl building in downtown Belleville? We already know who made the hole. Belleville, how about a little investigation?
Check the tax bills
Is Lindenwood University in Belleville paying real estate taxes on the school and is it paying taxes on all the properties, including the former motel behind Fischer's restaurant, it has acquired?
Required to work
The unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed people have been renewed. We know that there are jobs in the Dakotas, in Alaska and other places besides the metro-east or St. Louis. If you knew you could make a comfortable living elsewhere, would you move? It appears not but you should. The federal government should establish a job bank listing of all the available jobs in the country and match that with the skills of the unemployed. Then, like the Army, you could be deployed to a place where there are jobs. The idea that you not only find a job that you want but that it has to be brought to you is ridiculous.
No to more gun laws
When the passage of the Illinois right to carry law was first talked about, my first thought was, it's about time. That thought hardly left my mind and another one came to me: Why do we need more gun laws? We already have the only one we need. It's called the Second Amendment. Anything contrary to that is an attempt to erode our Constitution and invade our private lives and pocketbooks.
Where blame belongs
In my opinion there are two people responsible for the Denny's versus police with guns debacle. The first one is the Gladys Cravitz who complained and the second one is the manager who didn't get the facts first.
I want to comment about the fiasco at the Denny's restaurant. A couple things really bother me. One is, what was the customer's motivation to complain to the manager about a woman with a gun? Surely anybody can recognize a police officer even if she's not dressed in a uniform. And, two, the manager should be replaced. I just don't believe people can make such stupid decisions.
Offended by cartoon
The recent cartoon by Lee Judge, "Sounds like a job Adam Lanza would have applied for," has to be in the poorest taste I've ever seen. That was terrible and you should be ashamed to have run such a thing in your paper. To make a joke about such a horrible tragedy is beyond reproach.
No time to read
Three minutes after U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, of Illinois, received the fiscal cliff bill, 154 pages long, he voted yes on all the pork that's in it.
Out of proportion
Congratulations to the Belleville Police. The boycott of Denny's after the plainclothes police officer was asked to either leave or put her gun in the car made national news -- weird news. This is just another situation that could have been handled quietly and administratively. They made a well-meaning manager who was trying to protect the public and enforce what he believed was company policy a laughingstock. It probably got him fired for no reason. This is the same Belleville Police Department that gunned the teen-ager on West Main Street rather than to try to stop him with a stun gun or some other way. I don't feel safer, I feel scared.
Wrong use of TIF
Great, Belleville wants to spend TIF money to put a new grocery store on the corner of North Belt West and North 17th Street, exactly where we don't need another grocery store. From North Illinois Street to Frank Scott Parkway, we already have Aldi's, Shop 'N' Save, Save-a-Lot, and Schnuck's. What we really need is the repair of the infrastructure inside the city. When ia the city going to repair the streets like McClintock and South Eighth streets? This is disgusting that Belleville can come up with money for businesses to compete with businesses that already exist but you can't repair your own infrastructure.
Put on a warm coat
I question whether we're raising a generation of wimps. A TV news crawler stated that three different schools in the St. Louis County area were cancelling school due to the cold weather. It was 24 degrees. Is there something wrong with this?
Private workers hurt
Belleville News- Democrat reporters Beth Hundsdorfer and George Pawlaczyk got all these awards and accolades for exposing some state corruption at Menard Prison on workers' comp. I don't know what they think they accomplished, but state workers will continue to do whatever they want. Meanwhile, their story has destroyed the entire workers' comp situation for every legitimate private sector person in the state. Right now, an employer can go 12 weeks without ever paying any benefits to a person who is injured on the job. In 12 weeks, your home can be foreclosed on, your utilities can be shut off, your entire life can be put in jeopardy. In the end the only people who are suffering are the people in private sector jobs who have nothing to do with the state of Illinois.