President-elect George W. Bush has just announced a 31-member Agricultural Transition Advisory Team that will be responsible for setting up the structure and function of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Nearly all are agribusiness officials or former agribusiness-funded political officials. Not a single advocate for the interests of consumers, hungry people, small farmers, the environment, or 10 billion animals who are tortured and killed for food each year.
That much for Dubya's post-election reconciliation rhetoric. It's back to government of corporate interests, by corporate interests, and for corporate interests.
Rebecca (Hartsock) Ceminsky from Brainerd had a kidney transplant on Jan. 2, 2001. She is 28 years old. Husband Dean works at St. Joseph's Medical Center. Rebecca works as CNA (special needs kids). Her brother, Elvin Hartsock, 31-year-old from Missouri is the donor. He is married with two children.
Donations can be sent to:
Wells Fargo/Norwest Bank
221 4th Street
Ironton, Minn., 56455
Ironton, and the
Family of Rebecca and Elvin
Letter policy questioned
Recently, I noticed an interesting letter mourning that Brainerd does not celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Normally I would respond to the content of a letter, but this time I noticed something intriguing.
I have been reading The Dispatch for 10 years. For 10 years prior, I read publications like the Star Tribune, the Twin Cities Christian, Human Events and the Village Voice. I wrote many letters to the editor, and although I am thoroughly conservative and arguably acerbic and polemical, my letters were always published.
In the past 10 years, I have written a number of letters to this editor. In that space of time I have had letters returned to me because they slightly exceeded the 300-word limit, and I have had letters left unpublished without explanation. When I investigated I was told the letters were never received, although I always hand deliver them; that I had just had a letter published; or that statements I made were undocumented and therefore not worthy to be printed. (I wonder if this requirement is imposed on the other op-ed pieces written in The Dispatch...? Incidentally I provided the required documentation, and subsequently received publication, even though weeks later than the date the letter was submitted.)
Which brings me to the aforementioned intriguing letter. Although there is a text box right next to it that clearly states the 300-word limit for Open Forum letters, this particular letter is over 400 words long!
Was this letter published because the perspective of the writer suits the editor? Perhaps it was written so brilliantly it fairly screamed for publication. Is the letter writer someone so influential the rules were set aside? Or will this be chalked up, as usual, to some poor copy person's incompetence?
Ronda J. Wintheiser
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