When we voted the last time I thought that the instructions were very plain. Shade in the oval for your preferred candidate and if you make a mistake turn in your ruined ballot and a new one would be issued. If you did not follow the instructions your ballot would be rejected. This seemed to be too complicated for some voters so they made up their own rules and their votes were thrown out.
Now when the counting of the properly marked votes was complete it seemed that Coleman was the victor. Franken thought that if some of the improperly marked ballots were counted that he would win. So they counted part of the rejected votes and sure enough he was in the lead. Well, Coleman said if they counted all of the improper ballots mayhap he would win and now they are having a fight over how many improper ballots they can count.
I have a solution. If the state will send each registered voter a package with two slips of paper therein, one slip, blue, with the words Franken/Democrat and the other slip, red, with the words Coleman/ Republican. Instruct the voter to put the ballot of your chosen candidate in an included Return to sender envelope with the following instructions - If you do not return envelope you have not voted and if you return more than one ballot your vote will be discarded.
When these votes arrive at their destination all the counters have to do is put the blue ballots in one pile and the red ones in another and count the votes in each pile. It should work. Thank you.
Budget balancing suggestions
Elected officials are asking citizens for input on how to balance our state budget. Nearly a month ago, I invited our area representatives and senators to respond on these pages to my first suggestion: Rescind the pay raise, per diem and housing increases they voted themselves the past two years. Unless I missed it, no comments.
Here's my second idea on how to reduce state spending: Cut the number of state senators and representative in half. Based on the 2000 census, Minnesota is the 21st most populated state, so we rank just above the middle on population. We have the fifth highest number of state legislators. We rank No. 1 with the most state senators at 67 and twelfth overall in number of state representatives with 134. Add to that the countless number of aides and assistants and we have a huge government excess. Citizens and businesses are highly over-taxed in order to shoulder this unreasonable government burden. We need a drastic re-organization and reduction of House and Senate districts.
Again, I invite Representatives Ward, Doty and Howes, and Senators Olson and Koering to respond to this suggestion on these pages. Do they agree that our elected officials need to look at their own house first? That's what the citizens of Minnesota have to do to balance our family budgets.
Fired up about technology
It was a pleasure to read in Friday's Dispatch about two great technical education initiatives in local school districts. The log home project at Pierz High School and the NASA engineering Web conference with Brainerd students are great examples of what our teachers are doing to fire up kids about engineering and technology. Congratulations to teachers Paul Gruber of Pierz and Joe Pohlkamp of Brainerd for offering these opportunities to their students. And be careful when you enter Forestview Middle School these days - you might find seventh graders shooting off rockets in the front yard while they talk about things like trajectory and velocity.
My father, Don Wig, was heavily involved during the 1980s in changing middle school shop class toward a more technology-based model, and I know he would be very pleased to see what this generation of teachers are doing with our kids. Initiatives like these and others like the Project Lead the Way pre-engineering curriculum and Bridges Career Academies in manufacturing and engineering are critical if we are to prepare our students - and our nation - to be technology leaders. Thank you to all of the teachers, school boards and business and industry partners who help make these efforts possible.
It's our government
Seventy-seven years ago we elected a president who said; We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.
Forty-nine years ago we elected a president who said Ask not what your government can do for you, but what you can do for it.
Twenty-nine years ago we elected as president one who said The government is not the answer to our problems, it is the problem. And now, except for the eight years of, the Clinton presidency, we have been destroying our government. Government which was formed, to do for the people those things the individuals can not do for themselves.
This near total destruction, of our citizen government, was effected by extensively cutting its income, while eliminating any real regulations to safeguard against unfair advantages of greed and power.
Today, we have a president who says; There is not a black America, or a white America, but one America. He further states that the government is not owned by one group or another, but it is our government. Though this new president has near 80 percent support in his efforts to rebuild prosperity and neighborliness both in our country and the world, we have the solid opposition holding fast to those Reagan positions that for twenty of the last twenty-eight years have destroyed the liberal heritage the citizens of America worked to build from 1933 through 1968.
Is there someone out there, who can reach, a chord of human-moral responsibility, inside or beyond the blind self-protecting Reagan worship of conservative remnants of the Republican party?
Dennis G. Gordon
What about the babies?
Recently there has been a story in the news about puppies being abandoned on a lake to die.
Why don't we hear daily news stories about the 3,200 babies being slaughtered each day in the United States by abortion?
What's more important - eight dogs or 3,200 human babies?
Religion and government
A writer from Merrifield seems to think government and religion should be separated. Did you know:
Fifty-two of the fifty-five founding fathers who worked on the Constitution were Christians. They founded the nation upon the Judaic-Christian ethic (in other words Biblical tenets were the basis of all our founding documents, laws, moral codes and institutions).
George Washington: It is impossible to rightly govern without God and the Bible.
John Adams: Religion and virtue are the only foundations of free government.
James Madison: A nation that will not be ruled by the Ten Commandments shall be ruled by tyrants.
Benjamin Franklin had warned that forgetting God and imaging that we no longer needed His concurring aid would result in internal disputes, the decay of the nations prestige and reputation and a diminished national success. Washington had warned that if religious principles were excluded, the nation's morality and political prosperity would suffer. America is now learning experientially what both Washington and Franklin knew to be true - we are suffering in the very areas they predicted.
It seems to me what we are lacking in government is honesty, integrity, morality - and religion.
The answer is in the Bible
The writer of a recent Open Forum stressed the economic advantage of an abortion for a woman who can't afford to raise a child or another child. This argument makes no sense when so many couples are trying to adopt babies.
The key question on abortion was asked by Pastor Rick Warren at the Saddleback Civic Forum. The question was At what point does a baby get human rights, in your view? Our current president could not answer the question. He said the answer was above his pay grade. That's a simple question if you're President Bush, and I believe President Obama knows the answer is in his own Bible!
We're proud of the team
If you weren't in the Brainerd High School gymnasium recently you missed something special! We had the pleasure of watching one of the best high school basketball games I can remember.
Congratulations, girls! All the years of hard work, early morning practices, summer camps and traveling on your weekends have gotten you where you are today. Win or lose we are proud of each of you - all wonderful kids!
Also, a big thank you to all the young men who dressed in Warrior colors, cheering the girls on all night. You even had the opposing fans singing along! It meant so much to the team and to us parents as well. What a big change to see the normally empty bleachers filled with fans. Girls, I hope you return the favor! What a great way to spend a Friday night. Go Warriors!
Troy and Gail Hradsky
Gun owners are singled out
I read with amusement and frustration the action of the county board in wanting to raise the handgun permit fees. They seem only intent upon more income for the county. They currently charge an exorbitant fee of $60 to process this permit. If the county has 1,000 permit holders this would create an income of $60,000 , this would be equal to one full-time employee and this in no way accounts for the cost which is far less. The county should be looking at reducing the cost to permit holders; even a driver's license costs far less and is far more dangerous.
In addition to the permit cost the holder must also pay a fee to receive the training. This fee runs from $45 to $200. Rachel Nystrom should get her facts straight. Her statement in the Dispatch indicated this training was part of the permit fee. I challenge the Dispatch to publish the actual cost to the county to process the permit. Gun owners are tired of being singled out to provide income to the county.
Hard times are coming
The person who wrote about the casino, yes we need one bad. We should be able to have one built.
Look at the jobs it would create - save homes, put food on the table, much more. Take care of parks, trails, lakes, roads.
Come on, governor. Get something moving.
This is going to be hard times - I know - I lived during the Depression. It was a terrible time.
Glad to see Bush go
I voted for George W. Bush. Twice. And I'm really sorry about that.
An enthusiastic supporter in 2000, I did a little campaigning and contributed a modest sum of money to the cause. By 2004 it had become evident to me that the invasion of Iraq was unjustified, that the more urgent arena in Afghanistan was being neglected, that the No Child Left Behind Act was based on unrealistic expectations, that our president lacked even an ounce of fiscal responsibility and that that man was really in over his head.
When he ran for re-election my support for him was several degrees cooler than lukewarm. In fact the only reason I had left for giving him my vote was the Supreme Court thing. (There's a lesson here for you Democrats. If you would come down on the side of what we call morality or Judeo-Christian values, your platform would be more appealing.) He even tried to botch his first Supreme Court pick (Harriet who?), but from my conservative Christian point of view, that's one of the few things finally he got right.
I was happy on Jan. 20, not because of who was moving into the White House, but because of who was moving out.
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