Sound-off 5/6

May 5, 2013 

I usually agree with Our View, but I do not think you thoroughly considered the Internet tax question. First, Internet-only retailers in sales tax states do collect sales taxes. If they have a regional distribution center within that state, they have employees and they receive many benefits such as fire, police and education. Internet retailers usually provide a variety of products not available through local stores and they are especially beneficial to customers who lack mobility. Do we really want to handicap those groups further? As to the economy, a tax increase on any group is a tax increase on everyone. Do you really think that BND readers don't pay enough taxes already?

Blame rests with pols

A recent BND Our View hinted that the pension crisis was caused in part by the union staying silent when the politicians weren't putting in the agreed share of contributions. Let's try to make this plain and simple to the common person. The staggering amount of money that the pension is lacking is almost exactly the same amount that the state illegally failed to put in. That blame is 100 percent politician and 0 percent union.

Beyond abortion

I agree with letter writer Angela Michael that no one has ever benefitted from having an abortion, but Illinois does not prosecute cases in which the pregnant girls are under the age of 16 and the child's father is 20 to 30 years of age. There needs to be more done about that.

Won't be terrorized

To all the supporters of domestic terrorism who want to bring down the president and the United States: We refuse to be terrorized and silenced by the Republican Tea Party and the Christian extremists. You will never replace the Constitution with the Bible. If you hate Americans who disagree with your religious or political ideologies, perhaps you should move to Texas, secede from the union, have your own private oil-fueled economy, and elect Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly as your supreme leader. Have at it.

Roundabout trouble

The O'Fallon roundabouts are way too small. I suggest that before the city builds anymore that city planners go to Indianapolis or some of the cities back East where they have usable roundabouts. The whole purpose of a roundabout, according to the city, is to prevent traffic from having to stop. Well, that's not what happens. Just use the ones on State Street or Simmons at rush hour and they are backed up. They are too small by at least a factor of three. At a minimum, roundabouts should be as large as the one in downtown Belleville or preferably twice that size.

Blame to go around

Who is responsible for the hole in downtown Belleville? Everyone involved in it is responsible and we need a very smart person to take charge and end this disgusting problem. I'm sick of seeing the hole. Fix it.

Mixed-up priorities

We may not be in a Wall Street recession but we are definitely in a Main Street recession. When President Obama ran for office he said the economy and jobs would be his No. 1 priority but now all he talks about are gay marriage, immigration and social issues. He has no clue about economic issues. We are broke, bankrupt and, if we go forward with the immigration changes as he wants, we'll have millions more people living off the system. Unless we change our course, America's days are numbered.

Do something to help

In reference to the article about the overcrowding of the St. Clair County Jail: If John Maki, executive director with the John Howard Association, is so concerned about the well-being of the prisoners, why doesn't he start doing some fundraising so we can build a bigger jail? That would serve the people of this community far more than complaining about the unacceptable conditions for the prisoners. Nobody asked those prisoners to break the law, which caused them to be incarcerated.

Awkward placement

On April 28 the BND printed memorials next to an ad for Lindenwood University's play, "Little Shop of Horrors." Couldn't you place families' memorials, which they pay for, in a place with a little more respect?

On the gravy train

A Sound-off response recently demonstrated just how outraged the citizenry is over the health and pension benefits afforded the St. Clair County political welfare crowd. As a lifelong resident of the county, I have come to expect nothing less from the Democratic patronage machine. The list was quite revealing and I was surprised at the number of Republicans who stand in line with their hands out right along with their Democratic brethren. Many Republicans are quick to criticize the Kern-Sprague Express as it steamrolls the taxpayers for personal gain. Yet those same Republicans have proven themselves more than willing to join the same gravy train.

Slow, turtles crossing

This is a public service reminder: It is turtle mating season and they are crossing the roads. Please don't run over them.

When seconds count

Why doesn't Swansea have ambulance service based in the village limits? The service that was there pulled out because the building tit was in was falling apart but that building has been repaired. Swansea residents who need ambulance service will have to wait for response from Belleville or Fairview Heights, which adds to the time it takes to get to the hospital.

Questionable counts

I just read the Belleville city newsletter that listed some of the new businesses. The trouble is they're in the same buildings that other businesses used to be in, so nothing has been added to the city. I don't consider a new business to be one that replaces an old one.

No relatives allowed

Last year Collinsville City Manager Scott Williams hired his son as summer help for the street department. The city employee handbook very clearly states that no relative of the city manager can be employed by the city. Good luck to the job candidates who are not related to city officials and who follow the rules.

Typical of business

I don't know why everybody is so upset about Peabody and Patriot Coal. Monsanto did the same thing with Solutia years ago and nobody seemed to care. My relative retired from Monsanto and thereafter Monsanto transferred the retiree liabilities to Solutia and then filed for bankruptcy. Then all the retirement and health care benefits were reduced by a federal judge. The lawsuits didn't get paid because Solutia didn't have any money. Peabody has learned from them and people are upset. Maybe the United Mine Workers have a stronger union or more guts than the chemical workers did at Monsanto.

Early shift for robber

I was shocked to see that there was a robbery at Smokey Bones at 8 a.m. I think burglars might be getting up early like a regular businessman now. It's getting very scary that the criminals have no time zone. It used to be late at night and now it's all day long.

Loopholes remain

I spent a few hours perusing the new immigration bill and once again, the politicians say one thing and do another. Many loopholes allow illegal immigrants to qualify for all of our benefit programs once they declare legal status. We recently found out that the terrorist charged for the bombing at the Boston Marathon had received more than $100,000 in aid and he was not a citizen. Now politicians are going to bring these people in, give them legal status, not call them citizens yet, and give them freebies. Why, so I can work harder to pay more in taxes?

Cartoon's over the top

Does BND editorial cartoonist Glenn McCoy really believe that President Obama would ignore an embassy's call for help so he could phone a basketball player to congratulate him for being gay? That is ridiculous and it's so obvious that McCoy despises Obama. You have a newspaper monopoly but you need to think about what you put in the paper.

Admit to the problem

I have a deal for letter writer Frankie Seaberry. I will agree that racism is still alive and well in the United States if she will agree that the black community's biggest problem is the breakdown of the family. As soon as Seaberry gets involved with trying to solve that problem, I'll do everything I can to help. But until they recognize they have a problem, I don't see anything getting better for them and the rest of us all have to pay.

The path of choice

I have to agree with letter writer Frankie Seaberry when she says black people will do what they need to do to survive. With our current administration and politicians the way they are, they create programs that reward people for bad behavior and not really trying. Seaberry wants the playing field to be level. Well, it is anything but level. What people need is help and guidance, not handouts. Seaberry is exactly right, people will take the path of least resistance and we need to make that path one toward productivity, not one toward dependence.

Name won't stick

To use the name Veterans Bridge is wrong and yes, I'm a Vietnam vet and proud of it. Remember, we had a Veterans Bridge before but it was renamed the MLK Bridge, the free bridge was renamed the MacArthur Bridge so whatever they name it, they"ll rename it in a couple years.

No need for speed

Off all the important legislation that needs to be proposed in Illinois, our leaders in their infinite wisdom want to increase interstate speed limits to 70 mph. Do any of them ever travel on our interstates? Surely from recess to recess they must drive sometimes. Currently, 65 percent to 75 percent of traffic including semis now cruise at 75 mph, others more like 80 plus. So what do you all think they will do when if you increase the speed limit?

One set of gun rules

Why is it that Illinois is the only state unable to allow some type of concealed carry; lawmakers cannot even do it after the federal courts have required it. Now Gov. Pat Quinn says let the cities decide. There is an idea -- thousands of cities with different requirements in each one. Quinn and his cronies are all brilliant.

Let Chicago secede

Every state has some form of concealed carry except for Illinois. It's our constitutional right to bear arms and protect ourselves. However, the Illinois legislature says "no," and now the attorney general is asking for more time to appeal the federal ruling requiring concealed carry. Why? Maybe Chicago should petition to form its own state. Keep Gov. Pat Quinn and all his cronies in the new state, and let people with brains fix the new Illinois.

End the hole lawsuit

I don't understand why the Belleville hole case is dragging on so long. The judge already ruled that the city had the right to tear down the building after a fire. So why let the lawsuit filed by the building's owner proceed?

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