Sound-off 11/11

November 11, 2013 

I have a suggestion for the Meredith Home building. Forgive me, I have to describe this in simple terms so the folks in the St. Clair County Courthouse understand -- because my plan does not waste taxpayer money and that is all they understand. So, I agree the building should be torn down and the city should build a dual-purpose park and needle exchange site. I know you're thinking that they will be too busy with the staff and judges from the courthouse, and sad to say, that is just the way it is. Maybe we can ask them to take sick time when they are exchanging their needles. Oh, and back to the park: We can name it Coke Park.

Paid enough already

Regarding former congressman Jerry Costello being hired as a consultant to keep Scott Air Force Base open. With all the money he and his family have made off the taxpayers, he's got a lot of guts to take a nickel for that. His wife is making almost as much money at Southwestern Illinois College as the president. This guy ought to be run out of town.

What about pensions?

I could hardly believe what I was reading in the paper recently concerning the debate over gay marriage. Now I know that's an important issue and needs to be resolved. But for close to 10 years now this state has been going to hell because of the crooked politicians and the pension mess. Now the big debate is whether two guys can get married. First, we needed to solve the big problem. If the state goes down the tubes, who cares if gays can get married?

Sick for retirees

After all these years, Illinois state retirees can no longer keep their regular health insurance. Our coverage will be less. The worst part is that as of Nov. 1 the state still hasn't sent us the enrollment papers, which have a deadline of Dec. 13. The state is offering three plans and Memorial Hospital only takes one of them, which is a HMO, meaning at our ripe old ages we may have to change our primary care physician. Does this have anything to do with Obamacare?

Happy now?

I wonder if the person complaining about the St. Louis Cardinals being front-page news was happy on Nov. 2 when the front-page news was of a convicted murderer who burned a woman to death, got 60 years in prison and had a big smile on his face.

Portrait of arrogance

What a way to start a Saturday morning, seeing murderer Daquan Barnes' smiling face. Sentenced to 60 years in prison and still smiling. It shows me arrogance, ignorance, a young thug with no remorse whatsoever for the life he took. I apologize to the family of murder victim Yoko Cullen for the idiots at the BND who allowed this photo to go to print.

No remorse, no deal

Daquan Barnes received 60 years for burning a woman to death and was smiling on the front page on Nov. 2. This man burned a woman alive; he should have either gotten the death penalty or life in prison without parole. I think the judge was very wrong in approving the plea deal because Barnes shows no remorse for what he did to this poor woman.

Pick another picture

It is really sad that the BND thought we wanted to see the face of a grinning idiot who killed Yoko Cullen on the front page. Then we had to see it again on page 2. Couldn't you find a picture of a nice fall tree or even a cute dog? I feel sorry for the friends and family of the victim who had to see it.

When will he get out?

I was confused by the article about the guy getting 60 years for burning a woman to death, which is not enough anyway. The article said he's 21 and he's getting 60 years without being eligible for parole, which would make him 81 when he's able to get out. But on the second page, at the top, above of the picture of him smiling, it says he is not eligible for parole but he will be 78 when he's released from prison. If he's 21 now and getting 60 years, he couldn't be 78 when he gets out.

Too light a sentence

Although I do not know the family of Yoko Cullen, I was horrified to see the picture of Daquan Barnes on the front page smiling as he's getting 60 years in prison for killing that poor, dear old woman. My heart truly goes out to Cullen's family and I hope those three who did that to her rot in hell. They could have just robbed her and left her, but they chose to do something so horrific. I think being in prison is not good enough. They should all get the death penalty.

The needy abandoned

The cutbacks in the SNAP or food stamp program are both a tragedy and a national embarrassment. We worry about what the rest of the world thinks of us? What must they think that the richest country in the world cannot find the funds to help those who are unemployed, sick or just poor.

Redo food stamps

In the news lately are many stories related to the reduction of benefits in the food stamp program. While the intentions of the food stamp program are commendable, the execution of the program is another story. The hallmark of the food stamp program is fraud and waste. How often have we heard of people selling their stamps at reduced rates to buy alcohol and cigarettes? I have seen someone buy exotic food, which I would never buy, and paying with food stamps. I could support a food stamp program if the stamps were not of monetary value so they couldn't be traded and could be redeemed for only milk, bread, vegetables, hamburger or chicken.

Bible can mislead

This in regarding people who use the Bible to define marriage. I think that's a very poor choice because the Bible also defines how to own slaves and how to sell your daughter to gain money. I don't think the Bible does define marriage. Frankly I think it's outdated and it's false. So trying to use it to justify life today is wrong.

Limits to technology

I have a stupid question. Maybe I should be asking the Answer Man. They are giving these electronic gadgets to the kids at school, iBook or iPad, whatever they are called. Don't they have to have computer service to their homes to be able to use it? What if these kids' parents can't afford to be hooked up to a computer line? Then how do they use them at home?

Just answer, mayor

I'm calling in regard to a Sound-off that criticized a number of Freedom of Information requests sought in Belleville. This, by the way, is the effect of the one-party rule that we've had for far too long. If the BND does any investigating at all it should be to learn why Mayor Mark Eckert constantly hides being the FOI Act at the expense of the taxpayers who are seeking knowledge of his actions or lack thereof. By the way, Lillian Schneider didn't ask to become the "alderwoman at large."

Better off with BND

On Nov. 4, in the Sound-off, a person was all upset about the BND not being the same as it used to be. The caller said the Opinions page had become mostly a forum for hatred and blamed it on political cartoonist Glenn McCoy. I'd like to tell the caller something. If it wasn't for the BND, the citizens would have never known anything about that horrible theft from poor people who lost their homes at a tax sale in Madison County. If it wasn't for the BND you'd have all kinds of things that would have gone unnoticed and unreported to the citizens of the county. We have a bunch of lying politicians in the St. Clair County and Madison County courthouses who need to be exposed and I thank God for the BND because they do it.

Driven to distraction

You wonder why we have accidents and frustrated drivers. I'm driving down Illinois 161 on my way to work in East St. Louis and somebody in the left, passing lane is doing 45 mph. The driver has her cell phone up to her right ear; in her left hand she is holding mascara, trying to put it on while talking on the phone and driving, blocking traffic. Our police are not patrolling the roads and doing anything about stuff like this. They are worried about somebody texting on the phone.

Finally, a funny toon

In all the years I've been reading the BND I actually broke into a small smile at one of Glenn McCoy's political cartoons. It was the one with the two children looking into their Halloween bags and saying, "I got a rain check," because trick-or-treating was canceled in Highland. I am so sick of his lashing out at President Obama. Furthermore the Flying McCoys is just as stupid. I have never found one of them to be funny.

Prophet of our time

For the people who don't like editorial cartoonist Glenn McCoy and think he's hateful to the president: If we survive these two terms of the worst and most corrupt administration in U.S. history, we will look back and say that McCoy was a prophet who told the truth and opened the eyes of those who were too stupid to see. McCoy is the reason I subscribe to the BND. If Glenn goes away, so does my subscription.

Hard to read

I agree with your reason for showing the smiling killer. It shows that he's a horrible human being and should be put to death. Also I agree with the Sound-off caller who said the Opinions page has become a forum of hatred. A lot of that rests on editorial cartoonist Glenn McCoy's shoulders. It's getting hard to read the Opinions page these days.

When morality blurs

If you don't know right from wrong, you might write an editorial calling homosexual conduct "gay" and calling their union "marriage." You might think killing unborn babies is fine because a Supreme Court justice pronounced it legal. You might think right and wrong are decided by human opinion, by changing cultural norms or by conducting a poll. You may not understand transcendent truths and if you don't understand transcendent truths, you are in a very dangerous place.

Hoffman commended

I'm calling to applaud the vote by state Rep. Jay Hoffman on the marriage equality bill. I think it was a brave principle vote and the right thing to do. I hope Hoffman will keep up the good work. And shame on the other Democrats in the area who voted no.

Fix the sewer line

For six to eight years at least, there has been a sewer break in front of the Cahokia High School. It's about time the village properly fixed that because that sewer leak not only is posing a health issue, but it's causing traffic problems because of the people trying to pull into the convenience store on the corner of Jerome and Range lanes. What is it going to take, Mayor Gary Cornwell? How about fixing it?

A waste of taxes

We taxpayers are going to give $100,000 to the Katherine Dunham Museum. Aren't they replacing stuff that was stolen? Whoever stole the old stuff can go back and help themselves again. And we stupid taxpayers will give them another $100,000.

Answer with brevity

The Answer Man used to be my favorite column. I read it first every day. Now his answers are so long and so involved, it's more than I need to know. Now I just read the question and the first paragraph of the answer, then I go onto something else. I wish he could make his answers shorter and I would go back to reading them.

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