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Speak Out for Dec. 1, 2013

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2014 city budget thwas approved recently leaves Chicago with United States' highest state local tax cigarettes

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2014 city budget that was approved recently leaves Chicago with the United States' highest state and local tax on cigarettes at $7.17 per pack. | AP file photo

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Updated: January 2, 2014 6:28AM



Chicago has the highest taxes on cigarettes. Let’s put a gold star next to that. When others hear about how high we are being taxed, no one will want to come here, even to just visit.

WCSF-FM (88.7) is a student-run radio station at the University of St. Francis, and for 20 years they have played Christmas music starting Thanksgiving Day. They are now playing commercial-free Christmas music 24/7 until Jan. 2. They have thousands of songs in their playlist, which I think is much more than other broadcast stations. It can be also picked up on computers or Internet radio at wcsf.streamon.fm. I hope to hear more about this wonderful station celebrating 20 years of Christmas music, so more can enjoy it.

I’ve noticed some young men growing up now really lack technical ability. Sure, they can tweet and play video games but what happens when they have a problem within the home? I guess Mom or Dad will take care of the younger generation. They’re not prepared for anything. It’s really a shame.

Pete from Oak Lawn

I’m glad some Speak Out commenters know and comment about how poorly President Obama has run the United States.

Suzy from Monee

Was the TV special “Lady Gaga & The Muppets’ Holiday Spectacular” for kids? I think there was sexually suggestive talk and songs. Call me a moderate, but the sexualization of kids is disgusting and wrong. I’m insulted by the garbage that passes as kids entertainment. While there are plenty of intelligent and entertaining programs for kids, they seem to be on cable. I’ve noticed that many shows promoted as family are quite sexual. The people in power know that the masses don’t question authority. What better way to dull their brains than to fill the minds with pointless tripe?

Your beautiful and much-loved female black Labrador retriever was standing in the middle of Will Cook Road in 11-degree weather with traffic at 50 mph. She jumped into my car as soon as I pulled over at 139th Street. She could have been hit by a car or picked up as pit bull food for dogfighting sadists. Please put an identification tag on your beloved pets. That’s the least you can do for these beautiful creatures. I’m glad you got her back.

Jean from Orland Park

A lot of left wing, liberal Democrats are going to find this hard to believe. There are millions of people who don’t want a government handout. We just want to know what the rules are so we can play by the rules rather than changing them all the time to apparently suit your friends. My family and most of the people I grew up with in Small Town, America, don’t want government handouts. We never took it, we never wanted it and we don’t want it now. But a lot of big-city Democrats seem to find that hard to believe.

When Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose’s and Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler’s contracts are up, they shouldn’t be renewed. These guys are nothing but accident-prone. These teams are paying them all kinds of money yet these guys can’t even finish a season. It’s ridiculous. It’s time to get rid of them.

Some retirees were forced to pay back pension overpayments with interest. The overpayments were mistakes not made by the retirees and without their knowledge, yet there are others who are double dipping with complete knowledge and understanding of their double dipping and nothing is happening to them.

I’ll tell you what angers me: when you call somewhere and you are on hold for eight minutes and the recording keeps telling me to please hold because my phone call is important to them. If my phone call was so important to whoever it is I’m calling, then they would actually have a human being answer the phone and I would not be on hold forever. Just quit the lousy messages and just say you don’t care if I hold on or hang up.

My prayers are with the families of trucker Andrew Bokelman and Illinois State Trooper James Sauter. My prayers also go out with my dad, a local driver, every morning. I think most of these accidents are caused by corporate. They don’t want to let drivers come in after eight or 10 hours. They keep them rolling to make more money. If you say no, they find someone else. My dad works days, afternoons and evening to survive, making $18 per hour and no overtime till you work 40 hours first. This is the American dream. Money talks, the rest walks.

At Christmas, Jesus Christ is all that matters. His sacrificial love unites us to all that really matters, the peace of God. Jesus came to assure us that challenges to our health, our lives and the lives of those we love and even death are not devastating. Yes, at Christmastime we remember our loved ones who passed away. We miss them deeply. But we also know that through the gift of Christmas, through Jesus Christ, our loved ones remain alive in Christ. So this Christmas we celebrate the one who gave himself to us. Jesus is true love and mercy.

Robert F. from South Chicago Heights

When asked, “Isn’t it true that there is no federal requirement for navigators to undergo a criminal background check?” U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius answered, “That is true.” Anybody helping to navigate Obamacare could be looking at your private information, even a convicted felon. That’s terrible.

Joe from Oak Forest

Fire stations, police stations and hospitals are nonprofits. Retail stores are for-profit. It’s all about the almighty buck.

Karen from Crestwood



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