Letters to the Editor


It's the job


Many, many years ago when I was in grade school, our school only had bus capacity to take half the students home on the first trip. So, the students that remained at school had to mop the floors and rearrange the desks while we waited for the school bus to return. It was our job.

Later on in life when I worked at Armour Meat Packing I worked alongside a Jewish guy that escaped from a concentration camp in Germany in WW2. We both did our job slicing up the hogs. Religion and politics didn't matter, It was our job.

There are a lot of jobs we do in life we don't agree with but, it's the job. I had an employee mention they were uncomfortable selling sexy air fresheners, the ones that hang in customer's cars, at our store. I explained I understand and I appreciate your time with the company, but it's the job.

The standing for the anthem, as far as your personal feelings, political feelings, religious feelings are, it doesn't matter, if that's what the boss wants, "It's the job." Do the job or leave the job, don't embarrass yourself by being a hypocrite.

Tony Huppert

Spring Valley

How long will it take to connect the dots?


With deadly hurricanes slamming Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, tragic earthquakes in Mexico, and hundreds of western wildfires now lowering air quality in our own region, it's hard to know what more can be said to convince skeptics that the earth really is in violent revolt against human abuse of the environment.

Hurricane Maria has already left Puerto Rico without electricity, maybe for months. Meanwhile a failing dam threatens to compound the disaster for tens of thousand downstream. How much damage can a society absorb or afford?

It may seem as though we in the Heartland occupy a sweet spot away from the multiplying natural disasters surrounding us. Of course one "once-in-a-thousand-years" storm, becoming more and more frequent these days, could change that fast. And it may not be long before we, with our Midwestern love of uncrowdedness and relative weather safety, become host to thousands of climate refugees from the southern and coastal states.

Psychologists have noticed that deep anxieties are seeping into those of us safely inland who have been viewing the continual media coverage of these catastrophic events. Even far-removed onlookers can experience a kind of PTSD as if they themselves were victims of the destruction. On a subconscious level we know that, the relative stability of our particular region notwithstanding, our fates really are entangled in this new age of disaster.

There's no exact cause-and-effect relationship between the new hurricanes and climate change, but it's an established fact that warmer ocean temperatures contribute to the formation of these monster storms. How many lives lost and homes and neighborhoods destroyed will it take for us to connect the dots? And aren't those in power who willfully and irresponsibly ignore the increasing climate chaos guilty of criminal negligence, or worse?

Thomas R. Smith

River Falls