Lights on, nobody home | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Lights on, nobody home

Posted: March 20, 2012 - 3:55pm

It appears white conservative males are the most hypocritical or least enlightened when it comes to use of science and technology (Daily Climate, Jan 2012). This demographic unit is much more inclined than others to see the science that gives them cell phones and the Internet as somehow different from climate science. Even though it is just as obvious to most of us as Googling or texting, these folks keep failing to acknowledge the serious problem of man caused global warming we are all suffering with.

They keep looking for the magic block in the climate change pyramid that when removed, the whole science collapses. That’s now how science works. If it was, there would no doubt be people looking for the block that made cell phones and computers disappear. These guys probably still don’t believe in evolution. Yet they drive everyday on fuel found using evolution. Geologists who study microscopic fossils in rock layers use their evolution through time to locate oil traps. If someone finds the block that makes that science collapse, all the cars will stop running.

It’s time to stop listening to oil sponsored conservatives and start solving this problem with solutions that help all of us. One solution we can all do today is eat healthy. It turns out that if all Americans eat no meat or cheese one day a week for a year it would be the same for the climate if we took 7.6 million cars off the road (EWG.org/meateatersguide). That lowers heart risks, keeps $billions at home and out of terrorists hands, and helps people lose weight. If just eating right can do more for the planet than the cars we drive, think what we could do if we all nurtured our planet and stopped just consuming it.

Neal Lesmeister

Baxter

A recent editorial by the Dispatch’s editor supports the proposed “right-to-work” law because “...it’s the idea of being forced to join, versus choosing to join a union that sits crossways with me.” I think one should look further into the consequences of the proposal rather than just rallying behind the sound bites. A union negotiates a wage and benefit package with a company. A new worker decides not to join the union. Now will that worker also not join the negotiated wage and benefit package? I assume that the worker will not go to the company and say, “I don’t accept the negotiated wage package and will work for a lower wage.” The company will certainly not pay this worker a higher wage thereby increasing labor costs. So, the worker accepts the fruits of another’s labor without paying for that labor. This, I believe, fits the definition of freeloader. So, the proposed law should be called the “right-to-freeload.” I detest freeloading. Freeloaders make a mockery of personal responsibility. I also cannot understand how people, who tout personal responsibility, can support laws that encourage freeloading.

Soon, other workers see the advantage of freeloading and opt out of the union. The union eventually collapses. (This is the primary goal of the proposed law.) The company can now set wages without encumbrance. Since labor costs are usually the largest cost of doing business, keeping labor costs below the rate of inflation helps the company remain competitive. The worker, whose action precipitated the demise of the union, experiences wage and benefit packages that do not match inflation and is faced with a declining standard of living. In the end, the worker realizes that the right-to-freeload law was not in the economic interests of workers. The worker supported a law that benefited the company instead.

Robert Eliason

Lake Shore

A response to Melissa Horton commentary.

I have a very simple solution for this type of problem, if you don’t repay your student loans; the degree is void, doesn’t exist and can’t be used for employment. You will still have the knowledge that you gained but, since you are breaking the contract that you signed, you should forfeit the benefits. It’s hard to credit that you are practicing law, yet seem to feel that you were taken advantage of by a system and should get relief. Yes you were young, but you didn’t care, you were sucked in by the greed of an easy life this degree was going to provide you with and didn’t bother to read or think it though. Now you want someone (us the taxpayers) to take care of the problem so that you can have the life you dreamed of, no thought of the money that the bank would lose. What a selfish and childish way to look at life. You were an adult, albeit a young one, and you are still paying for your foolishness, now you want us to pay for it. If you had committed a crime and had to serve time in prison, would you plead I didn’t know how this would turn out, so let me out of here.

I have only a high school diploma and after the Navy I started two different successful businesses from scratch, no loans, no banks, just my own drive and the money that I made working various jobs. You’d never make it in private business. There you must depend on yourself, and your character and most of all, you are responsible for all of your own decisions, something that despite your degrees you have yet to learn.

Steve Lanz

Nisswa

Close the locks? Good article and comments. Asian Carp have spawned in lakes in Europe without rivers. We have native predators for juvenile Asian Carp.

We can’t control where they go, but we can control how many predators they run into. Hard to survive a spawn in a crowd (of predators) that is!

Tom Matych

Twin Lake, Mich.

I want to publicly thank Editor Roy Miller for his stewardship of responsible journalism in the Brainerd lakes Area for the 18 years that we have subscribed to this newspaper. Until his recent departure I was assured of a variety of opinions from newspapers across Minnesota and from diverse columnists. One could think moderately, liberally, or conservatively, and be challenged or comforted by the views found on this op-ed page.

In this age of social and digital media, with advertising revenue chasing on-line residents, print journalism struggles to keep alive. My generation of readers still enjoys the written language free of careless mistakes, removed by alert and skilled editors.

As officers of the Brainerd Dispatch strive to understand and develop a future “audience,” it is my hope that former standards of reporting and interpreting the news will once again prevail.

Gordon Prickett

Aitkin

I was very encouraged after listening to former Senator Carrie Ruud on the radio. Senator Ruud is running for the District 10 Senate seat and has as a high priority to creation and expansion of private manufacturing and industry for new jobs in our area . With the high unemployment in Crow Wing County it is important to have a senator who understands that creation of jobs in the private sector is what we need.  Carrie Ruud will be an exceptional senator for our District 10.

Nathlie Hess

Pequot Lakes