Gov. Ventura's proposed state budget adjustments do in fact "spread out the pain," with every sector of state government impacted by his proposal. And while the Governor has stated that his plan is a "fiscally responsible long-term solution," it does not appear to embrace the common good. With funding cuts to programs like Adult Basic Education, Child Care Services, Dental Services for certain MinnesotaCare recipients, Chemical Dependency Treatment and Breast and Cervical Cancer Medical Assistance, the Governor's proposal eliminates programs that serve some of our most vulnerable citizens.
The task of addressing our state's financial situation is daunting. It calls for a reasoned, balanced and cooperative effort on the part of the Governor, legislature and local leaders. It also calls for compassion. It is unfair to increase the burden of those citizens least able to weather these difficult economic times.
A hallmark of Minnesota's much-heralded quality of life has been our consistent commitment to those in need. While the current situation calls for sacrifice, we must balance our response and protect the poor and vulnerable. While difficult decisions lie ahead, our leaders must remain cognizant of the pressing issues facing low-income families, laid-off workers and other vulnerable populations.
An important measure of any democratic society is how it cares for its most needy. I sincerely hope that our leaders will work together to creatively address our current financial situation with compassion for our most vulnerable citizens and genuine concern for the common good.
Minnesota Catholic Conference
Superb program at Lincoln
The Lincoln Elementary School faculty and students invited the V.F.W. Post 1647 and Auxiliary Color Guards to post colors and attend the program "Lincoln Saluted America" held to a full house at Tornstrom auditorium.
It was our pleasure to attend. The program was superb. It made our hearts swell with pride and brought tears to our eyes. We were so proud to see every hand over heart during the passing of the flag, the Pledge of Allegiance and singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
To the administrators, staff, teachers and helpers, we thank you for inviting us. You did a tremendous job. We thoroughly enjoyed the narrators and every song.
To the students, we thank you, thank you, thank you. As you move on to middle school, junior and senior high, you will find some people think it is not "hip" to place your hand over your heart. Remember this night and how you felt to show everyone you are "Proud to be an American."
You will have temptations that are wrong. Again, remember this night. Remember how great it feels to stand on stage in front of a full house and hear the applause, because you did a great job, because you were well disciplined and because it was fun. You may not always have that many people applauding, but there is always someone who will be proud to pat you on the back for a job well done.
We wish each of you success and happiness in your future.
V.F.W. Post and Auxiliary No. 1647
I would like to thank the writer of "Bible history" (Open Forum, 1/15/02) for helping me make a point. She has saved me time and effort. She is correct in painting a rather grim picture of Josephus as an historian. Two historians of the time who are highly regarded are Philo and Justus of Tiberias. Neither, however, mention a Jesus of Nazareth. This despite the fact that they both lived when Jesus was supposed to have lived and in the same area. Some 50 works of Philo survive to this day.
The early Christians took over 300 years to concoct the canonized version of the New Testament. The discrepancies, redactions, contradictions and interpolations arising from the readings of this jumble of words would take many letters such as this to begin to address credibility issues. It is not worth it as far as I am concerned. Believe what you want. When you say you have absolute truth from the Bible, know that you are insulting the people who have absolute truth from reading the Koran, the Talmud and other sacred works. You could have a battle royale over who's absolute truth is absolutely the best. Then you could go on TV with the stars of professional wrestling and have your arms raised in glory. Frankly, there are no winners in such a foolhardy argument.
Actions really speak louder than words.
Remember in 1993 and '94, when President Clinton and the Democrats inherited the, Reagan-Bush, $300-billion-a-year budget deficit, tax shortfall. And how the Republicans did everything they possibly could, to amend the Constitution, banning any possible Clinton deficit spending. They wanted to guard against the Democrats' fiscal irresponsibility.
Then surely you also remember, how in the eight years the Clinton administration changed that annual deficit, to a surplus of $160 billion annually and growing. Of course the first thing Bush, (Reagan II), managed was to give that surplus to the rich and well-to-do. If you wish to dispute that fact, consider how much of that $160 billion you received. Of course to follow their thinking, you must believe that a market economy is built by awarding incentives to the rich.
You continue to hear how the terrorist-ruined business and the resulting tax receipts. Some of you can even remember how the Republicans claimed that the Democrats took us into World War II in order to improve the economy.
And now, surely, you may wonder how a uniform student test program will improve education in aging buildings, with fewer teachers, larger classes, etc..
And surely the, Bush-Ashcroft, administration must be happy with the new minister of justice in Afghanistan. You heard him say, he would cut the hands of any thief that was caught. Standard Far Right Religious morality.
Dennis G. Gordon
Neither simple nor safe
"Women's rights" advocates would have us believe that the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion 29 years ago on Jan. 22 was a simple and safe solution to unwanted pregnancies. The truth is, abortion is anything but simple and safe.
Here are the facts being kept hidden from women: Abortion is widely practiced as a method of birth control. (In 2000, 42 percent of Minnesota women having abortions had previously had one or more abortions.) Abortion is painful and hazardous. Common complications include cervical lacerations, hemorrhage, infection, and uterine, bladder or bowel perforations. Permanent infertility, increased risk of breast cancer and death are possible.
In spite of the dangers to women, Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers persist in advocating an absolute right to abortion, for any reason, throughout all nine months of pregnancy. Polls show that the majority of Minnesotans oppose such an extreme position on the issue. Mainstream Minnesotans, please tell legislators that women need to be told the truth about abortion and urge them to pass a Woman's Right to Know law.
Crow Wing County Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life will again sponsor a March for Life in Brainerd Jan. 22. We will meet at 6th and Oak streets at 11:30 a.m. and march to the Courthouse where we will gather inside for ecumenical prayer and a short program. Hundreds of thousands of Americans will march that day to demonstrate solidarity in the pro-life movement. Come join us in Brainerd and send a clear message to state lawmakers and Gov. Ventura that the majority of Minnesotans believe in a founding principle of the United States -- the "right to life."
Judy Miller, chair
Crow Wing County MCCL
Wants consumer taxes only
I respectfully disagree with the writer from Walker who thinks local taxes are unfair. He states that local sales taxes are an effort to have travelers pay for local things. Everyone in our state is paying for local things when you obtain state aid, and everyone in the United States is paying for local things when you obtain federal aid.
Income taxes are unfair because if you do well and get a raise your taxes go up. This is a penalty for being honest or succeeding. Only those who cannot hide their income pay this tax.
Land or property taxes are unfair because the more you invest in property or the more work you do on your own place the more our government thinks you owe them each year -- forever. If you made the same amount of money and instead of investing it you partied you would pay no taxes and, in due time, you would be rewarded by our government supporting you.
I believe that all forms of taxes, as we now know them, should be abolished and be paid only as consumer taxes. This way there are no hidden taxes and everyone, regardless of who they are or how they make their money, will pay their taxes at the time of purchase. In this way the public is more in control of the amount of taxes paid and in which district and on which projects you want it spent. Think about it, and thank you.
See you Saturday
As an avid reader of the Open Forum letters, my reactions to them range from disinterest to humor and disbelief. The latter being applicable to the most recent entry from an unsuccessful school board candidate. I am resisting the urge to write with emotion, and instead will state some facts (hey, what a concept!).
I am a teacher at FJHS and decided to gather some information pertaining to the 49 full-time teachers on staff:
-- Nine teachers earn the $50,000+ salary referred to by the writer (those teachers have 230 years combined experience).
-- Our contract was settled with a 3 percent salary increase for 2001-2002. A teacher earning $50,000 will now earn $1,500 more annually.
-- Thirty-seven of the 49 teachers work additional jobs during
"summers-off" to supplement their incomes.
-- St. Cloud State offers a degree program that will allow you too, to become a teacher. Go for it.
-- Student loans are available to cover the costs ($20,000+), that's what I had to do.
See you Saturday.
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