Are there any people living in Brainerd that have a difficult time making ends meet?
Do you ever find it would be nice to treat yourself or your wife and kids to lunch or dinner out at a local restaurant but you can't afford to?
I went to the council retreat at the Ramada Inn on 1-25-05 where I observed several city employees (department heads) along with most of the elected officials ordering off the menu and enjoying a nice meal at taxpayer's expense.
I don't blame any city employee for eating at taxpayer's expense, but I do blame the council members who year after year think it's appropriate for taxpayers to not only pay for these city employees wages along with what the elected officials earn, but the taxpayers should also pay for these elected officials' and these employees' dinner?
The lowest paid employee at this meeting earns $42,200 per year and you can tack on an additional $14,900 per year for benefits and let's not fail to mention the highest paid employees who earn over $90,000 per year plus benefits.
The room at the Ramada isn't free either, the taxpayers paid for this also and for the life of me I can't figure out why they have to meet outside of city hall for this meeting/retreat. Maybe it's so they can get a free meal and of course the meeting won't be televised as I'm sure there might be frank discussion that they wouldn't want any citizens to hear on their TV.
Don't forget, you voted for these people and any one of them had the ability to make a motion to not have this frivolity paid for by the taxpayers, but none did.
Perks are perks.
Thanks Olson and Koep for not eating at taxpayer's expense.
Jeff V. Czeczok
C-I teachers put students first
I would like to commend the C-I teachers. They postponed their strike date so they can be available to and support their students through the terrible tragedy of losing a friend and fellow student. This is just another example of them putting their students' needs ahead of their own.
Kennedy, Dayton don't respect Bush
Senators Kennedy and Dayton have at least two things in common: Both are rich, and they both disrespect President Bush. In my opinion, their attitude toward the president has impaired their judgment.
Recently, both advocated pulling our troops out of Iraq immediately after the Jan. 30 election. Any thinking American (or Iraqi) knows that is not a workable strategy, and is only proposed to try to embarrass the president. The mission is not completed -- did the senators show clouded judgment on this issue?
Both senators have spent the last few weeks defaming the character of the Secretary of State nominee, Condoleezza Rice. She's highly qualified and loyal to the president. Don't liberals value loyalty? Doesn't criticizing the first black woman Secretary of State indicate clouded judgment on this issue?
In addition, the closing of Mr. Dayton's office right before the election due to supposed security concerns, then reopening right after the election, was not a policy decision. It was only meant to try to embarrass the president (and failed). Was there clouded judgment again on this issue?
Finally, Mr. Dayton was absent when Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi addressed our Congress. I guess it was supposed to be some kind of policy protest. To me, it looked like plain old disrespect for a man of great courage (Allawi). Again, clouded judgment by Senator Dayton?
I had the greatest respect for John Kennedy as president. He showed great courage in all his public and military service (read "PT Patrol" by E. I Farley). Is Ted Kennedy in the same gene pool (read "The Senator" by R. E. Burke)?
In my opinion, the disrespect Senators Kennedy and Dayton have for President Bush has consumed both men. Voters need to find suitable replacements in the 2006 mid-term election.
Inauguration got way out of hand
The tsunami relief effort has certainly been supported by people around the world. I know of many who have sent money to the Red Cross who really couldn't afford it but felt they had to. It's great isn't it?
I was going through Newsweek magazine Jan. 24, and was amazed and stunned to read that George Bush's first inaugural in 2001 cost a whopping $43 million dollars. Then, for his second inauguration in 2005, the cost was $40 million. George Bush senior's inauguration in 1989 cost $46 million dollars!
I realized that many big corporations who have profited from Bush's policies paid for a lot of the costs.
Wouldn't it have been nice to use this money on tsunami relief and help for the third world countries where their people are starving and dying for lack of medicines?
Why do we let our public officials spend money so they can act like kings and queens? I think it is way out of hand.
Come on you Republicans, write to your president and tell him what you think.
Considering moral values
This week I heard something I'd never heard before, public service announcements in Minnesota about air pollution bad enough to issue an Orange Alert all the way to Duluth. Cleaning up and protecting our air and water for our posterity, is a moral issue with me. President Bush claims to value the life of unborn children but then supported lowering the standards for pollution control.... so that even more mercury will end up in mother's milk.
Honoring our fathers and mothers is a moral value, which I interpret to mean we have an obligation to make certain our elders are given quality care and medical attention when they need it, and even if they don't have money to pay.
The care we give our children is a moral value. Instead of tax dollars being spent on programs to strengthen families, and on schools and community programs and equal accessibility to higher education, and health and dental care, your money is paying for the military, the war this administration started, and to producing and detonating weapons of death and destruction.
Young men and women are coming home from Iraq maimed, traumatized and dead. I look at their faces and hear their names and ages being read on the evening news...one after the other.... ages 19, 22, 26, 29. Many enlisted because of the sign-up money, and the promise of money for college when their duty was done, their families say. Those that are still there, I guarantee aren't fighting for anything but to stay alive and make it home.
The only way to avoid a moral dilemma with this administration's policies, is not to think. The Emperor has no moral clothes.
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