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Letters to the Editor: May 8, 2014

Defense not important

To the Editor:

Two weeks ago, a spokesman for the U.S. Army announced that forced separation to meet Secretary of Defense Hagel’s budget wouldn’t happen. Troy Rolan said in an interview there were many ways to reduce the force to pre-World War II levels without forcing anyone out. The services would rely on natural separations, guys just wanting out, like me who had enough, and retirements, not to mention a drop in recruitment. So where the heck is Wally, our local high school dropout going to get a job?

But this forced separation was made clear by Lt. Col. Justin Platt that separation boards will consider letting go some 2,000 officers ranging in rank from captains to majors. I always thought there were way too many lieutenants, but these guys think higher ups are more abundant. Besides, lieutenants are just privates in the officer corps anyway. I remember this one guy, boy was he; well that’s another story, right Wally?

Then there is the Navy, and what are they up to? Well Vice Admiral William French has announced that the Navy will lay off 745 civilian contractors to reach its suspected budget requirements. This would affect workers in some 20 states, and there goes Obama’s minimum wage increases. Funny, I just saw a picture of the vice admiral, and he reminds me of one of the characters from “Two and a Half Men.”

We call them civilian contractors now, in my day they just kept the place clean. My friend in the Air Force said every duty station he was at he never made up his bunk or cleaned his room because the locals had jobs doing it. I myself enjoyed the same privilege. We had papa san come in every day and move the mud from one side of our fox hole to the other. Man that was living.

In July, the annual furlough days will take place and last for 11 days; a government spokesman said the government can’t step up assignments to contractors or replace idle workers with military personnel. Apparently, working for the government is like working in education. In July everyone’s had enough and needs a break. Mr. F.E. Vollrath, the assistant Defense secretary, has made it clear that everyone has to have their work done before going out to play. My, what a concept, will the unions stand for it?

Obviously the Democrats won’t. U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) in a floor speech said that this kind of thing hurts the children of defense workers. The kids have to stay home with their parents and that can’t be tolerated. The furloughs will affect 700,000 workers nationwide.

From the Republican House two dozen legislators argued that the cost to lay everyone off or keep them working should come out of already bloated budgets.

This of course is all old news. It just gets recirculated at the appropriate time of the year. Just before the arguments start anew. And the world goes round and round.

Robert Pike, Town of Stanton


History denied to children

To the Editor:

I recently finished reading a history book about a religious man who lived some many years ago. The author attempted to keep the book as factual as possible and interesting enough for all to read regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof.

I don’t read a lot of books but I found this one to be rather interesting. After reading the book, I realized that during the many years I attended public school, I was taught very little about this man.

As far as I know, this man never wrote a book, he never wrote a song and he never painted a picture. Since his death, more books have been written about his life, more songs have been sung in his honor and more works of art have been created in his name than anyone else in the entire history of the world. His teachings have influenced billions of people and his words are still alive today.

This man died a horrible death and was executed mostly out of fear for he committed no crime. The Roman and Jewish leaders feared him then, much the same way as many of our political and civic leaders still fear him today, some 2,000 years later.

His name was Jesus. Jesus was a real person. Not only was he the most famous person to have ever lived but he was the most righteous person to have ever lived. Our public schools cannot teach our children about Jesus because the government we elected says they can’t. No matter how famous he was. No matter what his accomplishments were. No matter how many he influenced. How sad is that?

Many children today have no idea Jesus existed. Some think he is a fictional character. They know nothing of Heaven or Hell, of prayer or of miracles, of life or of death. We have failed them miserably in the reality of what life is about and how to cope with life’s hardships.

The separation of church and state was addressed by our founding fathers to prevent the state from interfering in the church, not from the church influencing the state. But here we are. Our nation has taken a wrong turn; a dark turn. Our three branches of government have been manipulated, coerced and ridiculed into a state of incompetence and corruption. They barely represent us anymore.

Once the greatest country on Earth, we are rapidly becoming a nation of fools. The survival of America is dependent upon how we vote. We must choose wisely or prepare for the consequences! I see a lot of people doing neither.

Thomas Wulf, New Richmond


Don’t believe every lie

To the Editor:

This letter is in response to a letter last week from Mr. George Richard of New Richmond. Mr. Richard’s piece was littered with sarcasm, which only made me laugh harder after I first saw the title. He started out like many upset liberals do, blaming all of our problems on Republicans. Hard to believe, right? Anyway, his rant went somewhere along the lines of how “voodoo economics” over the past three decades has destroyed the middle class. Of course Mr. Richard, being the unbiased person that he is, completely forgot to mention the benefits of such a system. According to The Laffer Center (a source, Mr. Richard), they said: “In the roughly 30 years from the 1980s through the first decade of the new century, supply-side ideas contributed to the longest boom in United States history and an incredible transformation of the world economy.” According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (real facts, Mr. Richard), “1982-1999 was one continuous mega-economic expansion. In fact, as it stretched into 2007, this 25-year boom saw a tripling in the net wealth of U.S. households and businesses from $20 trillion in 1981 to $60 trillion by 2007. When adjusted for inflation, more wealth was created in this 25-year boom than in the previous 200 years.” Personally, I’d thank Mr. Paul Ryan for proposing a plan to get us back on the path to prosperity.

Socialized medicine was next on Mr. Richard’s agenda. How great Canada’s system is! Only one problem: the U.S. is roughly nine times more populous than Canada (that’s math, Mr. Richard), which means we’ll need far more doctors than we currently have. The United States has a shortage of doctors right now, and expecting that to get better with “universal, socialized medicine” is a myth. Socialized medicine creates longer waiting times, which leads to higher costs and mediocre care for all.

Finally, Mr. George Richard resists necessary reforms to keep Social Security soluble. While, he loathes a cut of benefits, the Social Security Administration (another source, Mr. Richard) predicts all fund reserves to disappear by 2033. I find it selfish, Mr. Richard, to not want a cut in benefits for yourself but then have some people not even get a benefit. Simply put, if you want Social Security to be available for future generations, you have to be willing to make the hard choices to make that happen. Again, you don’t need “voodoo economics” for that.

Michael Sauer, Town of Hammond


Study turbine health issues

To the Editor:

One would think some of Wisconsin’s nearly $1 billion budget surplus could be used to study the issues and protect the health of people who are forced to live too close to industrial wind turbines. Signed affidavits and written statements testify many people are suffering adverse health effects after wind farms started operating in their neighborhoods. When out of the area they get better but the symptoms reoccur when they return. A real unbiased health study could identify the cause of their illnesses.

A 2012 sound study, including harmful low frequency pulses, was commissioned by the PSC and resulted in a statement by the acousticians agreeing more study is urgently needed. The Brown County Board of Health is aware of the health issues and has recommended the state take action. Three families driven out of their homes in the Shirley Wind Farm should be alarming enough, but disregarding and discounting reports of people suffering statewide near wind turbines is calamitous. This problem was created by government policy and approval. Bureaucrats have the authority and responsibility to find resolution. Some officials aware of the problems are trying to help, but more need to educate themselves and get involved in the protection of Wisconsin residents.

It’s hard to believe I live in a state that does nothing to help people forced to leave their home and offers no help to families that cannot move away from the misery that has invaded their lives and homes. Thank God we were able to move out of our home and away from the agony almost three years ago. We just paid property taxes on a home we can’t live in, taxes that are supposed to be used to operate Wisconsin and foster liberty and justice for all.

Dave Enz, Denmark, Wis.


Ukrainians hit by income inequality

To the Editor:

If you look closer at the Ukrainian mess it’s easy to see why a large segment of that nation’s population is siding with the Russians, and why we should stay the heck out of the whole affair.

After the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe, capitalists, corporations, oligarchs (including some from the West and U.S.), along with some local and Eastern European (mostly Russian) criminal elements, started buying up and even stealing everything they could.

In less than two decades these combined forces left the Ukrainian people, though now free from Communist oppression, with very little reason to applaud their newfound freedom to be poorer and more expertly exploited than they were under Communist rule. They yearn for the “good old days” when the government provided at least some security, some housing and sustenance.

This is what happens when the gap in income inequality becomes too large, and it’s happening right here in the good old USA. Some us of know that this trend is unsustainable, others, especially the super rich (Romney and the Kochs come to mind) think of this as wealth envy. The thing is, this kind of scenario never has a good ending for anyone, even conservative economists understand that. Herb Stein, chief economist for Nixon once said “If something can’t go on forever, it will stop.”

So let’s get the show on the road, raise the minimum wage, which will stimulate the economy, level the playing field. It’s a win-win for everyone even the super rich.

George Richard, New Richmond