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Letters to the Editor: April 10, 2014

Cash mob at SAM’s

To the Editor:

It has been so touching to see the outpouring of support in our community for Mike Moore and his family, while he struggles against an aggressive case of fungal pneumonia. From his friends and family who have been volunteering their time in his new business, SAM’s Corner, to all those who have become regulars there to lend their support, and to the owner of The Agave Kitchen who has graciously volunteered to take over and run Mike and Sarah’s business as long as it takes for Mike to regain his health.

This all should remind us of how special community can be and how lucky we are to be a part of the New Richmond community.

The New Richmond Teachers Union is sponsoring a community “Cash Mob” at SAM’s Corner Bar & Grill this Friday, April 11, to help support the Moore family. Just bring your business and show your support. Please stop by sometime Friday after work. Grab a drink, an appetizer, dinner or all three. And bring friends.

Scott Herron, New Richmond Teachers Union, New Richmond


Substantiate figures

To the Editor:

In his letter last week, Jim Schroeder wrote that “Eighty percent of Americans now oppose Obamacare.” I would appreciate it if Mr. Schroeder would substantiate this figure.

In my search to find Schroeder’s 80 percent figure, I used the website This site compiles a wide variety of respected polls on various issues and shows the findings over the course of the poll history.

A Quinnipiac University poll in March that asked the question: “Do you support or oppose the health care law passed by Barack Obama and Congress in 2010?” The poll found that 41 percent support the law, 55 percent oppose it and 5 percent are unsure or gave no answer. In September 2013, 45 percent supported the law and 47 percent opposed it.

In March, the Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking poll, asked the question: “As you may know, a health reform bill was signed into law in 2010. Given what you know about the health reform law, do you have a generally favorable or generally unfavorable opinion of it?” That poll found 38 percent in favor and 46 percent opposed. The same poll in May 2010 poll found 41 percent was in favor and 44 percent opposed.

That Schroeder is confused is not surprising. In March, CNBC polled two separate groups on “ObamaCare” and the Affordable Care Act. Of the group asked about “ObamaCare” 46 percent opposed it. Only 37 percent of those asked about the Affordable Care Act opposed it. For or against it, these numbers are far below the 80 percent figure Schroeder trumpets. The same poll found that 30 percent of respondents didn’t know what the Affordable Care Act was. Only 12 percent didn’t know what “ObamaCare” was.

I would appreciate it if Mr. Schroeder would provide me with the name of the poll he found 80 percent of people opposed to Affordable Care. If he can’t, perhaps The News should screen out letters containing obvious falsehoods or refuse to print letters by people guilty of printing falsehoods. But then again, railing against “affordable care” wouldn’t carry much political momentum for too long for TEA Partiers like Mr. Schroeder.

James P. Nelson, Town of Richmond


Imagine no right or wrong

To the Editor:

The Beatles wrote a song once that said, ‘Imagine there’s no heaven, and imagine there’s no hell.’ But what if there was no right or wrong? What if we didn’t need honesty, or principles or ethics because they just get in the way of things?

I was listening to a radio commentator who was asking his guest about all the lies we as a nation have been told. Benghazi, ObamaCare, keep your doctor, the IRS punishing conservative groups and on and on. And the guest, who is a reporter from Washington, pointed out that from one political side everything they do is acceptable to them. But from the opposite side everything that has been told to us is a lie and someone has to be held accountable. The problem is, neither side is willing to investigate any deeper for fear of the truth coming out.

Nancy Pelosi was recently interviewed and asked why ObamaCare doesn’t work and she said she didn’t know because it wasn’t her responsibility. Yet she’s the very person who said we have to pass the bill to know what’s in it. Apparently knowing what was in the bill wasn’t her responsibility either.

Have you ever travelled down an interstate highway and run into the construction zone where 10 miles of highway is closed off so 20 feet of pavement can be replaced? And when you got there you saw 15 men standing around watching one woman dig a hole. It wasn’t always like that, but if you ever lived in Pennsylvania you would know that they have the best two-lane Interstates in the world. And they also have the highest number of orange barrels to prove it.

The United States has the highest number of laws in the world, and yet there are no laws that require truth and honesty or principles from our legislators. The very people who sit in judgment of us as we look back at them believe everything they do is acceptable or why else would they be elected?

Then there’s New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who closed down a freeway ramp, which supposedly caused the death of someone. He says he didn’t know anything about it, still others claim he did. Yet, closing down freeway ramps is considered to be the norm by employees of the government. In New York City, certain parts of the city weren’t plowed out after this last snow storm because certain precincts didn’t vote for the current mayor. There was no investigation.

For me it comes down to the triviality of daily life in government and even corporate America. We can’t let corporate off the hook because they created mortgage backed securities, which no one was responsible for when they went bad.

You see, it’s like new math, do something wrong long enough and it becomes the norm. And is it not also true that in algebra, two negatives make a positive?

Robert Pike, Town of Stanton


European green collapse

To the Editor:

This letter began with the last sentence of an article on the re privatization of the oil industry in Mexico. It read “The Mexican government wants to modernize its oil industry so as not to miss the re-industrialization of the United States.”

What re-industrialization? For the last 50 years American politicians, through over-regulation and over-taxation, have driven industry from this country. First to Japan, then China and now Malaysia. So much of our former industry is now located in China that the unchecked pollution from their smoke stacks reaches our West Coast. Obama and his supporters are doing everything they possibly can to shut down our fossil fuel energy and substitute it with unreliable, heavily subsidized and extremely expensive “renewable “ energy. One commentator likened wind generators to producing energy with Middle Ages technology.

In the last decade technology and private innovation has reduced the cost of natural gas in America by 60 percent and increased oil production to the point where we will be, not only energy independent, but an oil exporter with reserves that could last 200 years. Electricity here costs 50 percent of what it does in Europe. Industry is moving back into the U.S. as a result. That, despite the fact that the Obama administration has thrown every impediment it can muster into restricting energy production in this country. Private enterprise has found ways to do what the politicians only pay lip service to. Once again private enterprise and the capitalists have accomplished what the socialists consistently fail to do. And they reduced the cost to the consumer in doing it.

I like the sound of re-industrialization. It’s the sound of good paying jobs for the middle class and a promising future for our children. With good jobs workers can then afford homes again and have the means to raise their families. Unlike Obama’s green jobs that required $250,000 per job in tax subsidies and generated less than $30,000 income to those who held them before they disappeared. Real jobs that increase this nation’s wealth and provide a standard of living that has been the envy of every other nation (with the possible exception of Switzerland) on this planet.

Instead of shipping our coal to China or shutting coal production down completely as Obama is trying to do where it is utilized without the smoke stack cleaning technology we already have here, we could be producing energy to run new factories who would be relocating here. New factories that would employ American workers. Not only that, but the stack cleaning equipment would provide jobs for the people who install it and maintain it thus reducing the level of pollution below what is floating here from China. Obama’s EPA isn’t reducing pollution by shutting down production here. They are only relocating it beyond our borders and impoverishing this nation as a result. With the natural gas that we are already producing we are attracting industry to come here. How much greater would the attraction be if the tax and regulatory burden here was reduced at least to the standard of those nations we are competing against?

One of these days that area along the Mexican border where we imported our industry may come looking for compensation from the American people to clean up the mess they made when our industry fled there. And Russia and China.

Jim Schroeder, Town of Somerset


Thank you Supreme Court

To the Editor:

Last week I was worried about the U.S. Supreme Court deciding to take away one of the fundamental rights that I have left as a citizen of this great country, but thank the good Lord, my right to contribute to whatever party or candidate I support has been upheld. In fact, this right has been enhanced. Now I have the same rights as the Koch Brothers or Sheldon Adelson. Yes sir, now I can give as much money as I want. I won’t have to give anonymously to PACs anymore, I’ve come into the light, no more dark money for this cowboy. Thank you, Supreme Court for protecting my right of free speech, my right to lie (as long as I’m stating my personal opinions). My right to influence elections. Now that I can contribute as much as I want, I better get busy buying influence. Of course I won’t have as much impact as the Kochs and Adelsons. TV ads are pretty expensive, but I do what I can. I want to thank the Supreme Court again for leveling the playing field for people like me.

George Richard, New Richmond


Take a bow, Duffy

To the Editor:

I recently attended a couple of U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy’s town hall meetings. At both of those meetings somebody complained about food stamps, people spend the money at casinos, people spend the money on drugs, we should have drug testing for food stamps, etc. Duffy made no attempt to correct this misinformation. He surely knows that Florida passed a drug test law for food stamp recipients. The law was declared unconstitutional and dropped. Florida also found out that drug dependency among the food stamp recipients was about the same as the general public. I recently saw a report that $1.2 trillion was spent in corporate welfare. Why not the holy outrage calling for drug testing of corporations?

Duffy also said he was in favor of immigration reform but first he had to see the border secure. He certainly knows that East Germany had a wall with machine guns approximately every hundred yards and it still leaked. Is he proposing we take tax money and build a wall with machine guns every 50 yards or is he just going to take the money from food stamps and school lunches to build a wall? It is obvious that the wall is not to keep Mexicans out but for cowardly politicians to hide behind to avoid voting on immigration reform.

It is time for some sensible journalistic reporting. Eight hours a day of breaking news that some junk was spotted on the ocean that may have been from an airplane. Three weeks of this is not responsible reporting. GM is being crucified in Congress for a faulty switch that may have killed 13 people in 10 years. This is possible but not likely. Turning the key off will shut down your engine, shut down your power assisted brakes, and shut down your power assisted steering; but it should not cause a crash. You will have to step harder on the brakes and the car will steer harder but it should not cause a crash unless you are following too close to the car ahead of you. A few years ago GM pickups were crucified for having the gas tank in the center of the truck which could cause a fire if the vehicle was struck by another car on the side. The news media fails to mention that the safety record of the GM pickup was very good in deaths per thousand accidents. It had about half as many deaths per thousand accidents as a Toyota pickup. Recently the Ford Crown Victoria was crucified for having the gas tank in the back. Police cars are often hit in the back and can cause fires. They did not mention why police chose Crown Victoria cars. It is because they have a very good safety record and are dependable operating cars.

The liability lawyers will bring GM to do the right thing, but now they are being investigated by a bunch that probably couldn’t change the tire on their own car. A group that voted for two wars that killed thousands, a group that voted 51 times to prevent people from getting healthcare, a group that cut lunch money for kids, cut the number of teachers and raised their own wages but refused to raise the minimum wage for the poor. I think when the House and the Senate come into their chambers the Marine band should play “Bring in the Clowns.” Take a bow Duffy, this song is for you.

Francis C. Peterson, Spooner


Let’s show how we care

To the Editor:

The measure of a society is how it cares for the old and its animals.

Coco’s Heart Dog Rescue exemplifies compassion in saving dogs scheduled to be killed and fosters them until their forever homeowner adopts them at Angel’s Pet World in Hudson.

Last Saturday, the group placed 17 dogs at Hudson for a total of 1,500 so far.

Local artists of all ages are needed to contribute their art to be sold on an ongoing basis at Angel’s Pet World to benefit this awesome organization.

Artists can contact Wendy Westendorf at 715-425-8258, 715-821-0354 or at

Wendy Westendorf, Town of River Falls