I am very disappointed in the antics that are going on in our Legislature in the aftermath of the veto override. While I am disappointed, I am not surprised. My disappointment is in the retaliation that is taken upon a legislator that does not vote his or her party line. This type of behavior is something you might expect out of pre-teen children but not our elected officials. Who are you, Marty Seifert and other Republican leaders, to decide to punish our elected representatives by taking away leadership or committee positions? They are there to represent those of us who live in their districts. They are sent to represent us. If they determine a certain vote is in the best interest of the district and the best interest of the state as a whole then again I ask; who are you to condemn them for that vote? And doesn't it seem a little silly to be taking away the nice office space or telling our representative who was perfectly capable of chairing a committee prior to the vote that suddenly he/she is being stripped of that position?
This is exactly the type of behavior that voters as a whole are so very, very tired of witnessing. We are ready for healthy compromise, civil discussion, and voting with the hearts and heads that we sent to St Paul. This is why we have become so disillusioned with the "process" of St Paul. So, to the party leaders (of both parties) "please wake up, and yes, grow up". And to the Legislators that had the courage to vote for what they felt was the right thing to do even though it crossed the party position, in either direction, "congratulations."
Outrage about out-sourcing
Like many others, our typical Brainerd resident is outraged by the recent U.S. Air Force award of most of a huge air tanker contract to the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co. Our angry American goes to bed, wearing Cambodian pajamas and slipping between sheets made in Bangladesh. He resolves to do something in the morning.
He rises and dons clothing made in Malaysia and India. News of the Air Force award is showing on the Korean flat panel TV. While watching, our Brainerd man is eating some Guatemalan cantaloupe and drinking Columbian coffee. He notes with satisfaction that Congress is scheduling hearings to protest the contract. He then goes quickly to his Chinese-made computer to send a letter of protest to the Brainerd Dispatch Open Forum.
The he walks out on Chinese-made shoes and climbs into his Toyota. As he drives off using gasoline made from imported oil refined in a Venezuelan owned Citgo refinery, he turns on the Taiwanese car radio to hear more about the contract. All the while he is muttering, "How could this happen? Why isn't our government buying American?"
Rolf E. Westgard
A sorry choice of candidates
A couple of interesting votes in the U.S. Senate recently. One was "To provide for a deficit-neutral reserve fund for transferring funding for Berkeley, Calif., earmarks to the Marine Corps." Sen. Coleman voted for it while Klobuchar voted against it.
The other was "To establish an earmark moratorium for fiscal year 2009." As expected, Klobuchar voted against it. Sen. Coleman, facing stiff competition from Al "Tax Delinquent" Franken, also voted against it. Norm must figure he stills needs to slather a little more pork on gullible Minnesotans in order to hang on to his cushy chair.
These two items were both defeated and are relatively small potatoes, but they give a pretty good picture of the sorry state of our elected officials. This sorry state, when combined with all the mud-slinging in the liberal extreme fighting cage and the all too flexible John McCain in the allegedly conservative ring, makes voting for an independent, any independent except Ralph, look like a pretty good move.
Stephen A. Busch
Twisting the truth about fluoride
The March 6 Open Forum asked "Is it ethically responsible to medicate our drinking water?" Why would someone ask such a question?
The voters in Brainerd lake country deserve to know that the history of the anti-fluoride movement in Brainerd goes back 34 years. Their divisive tactics and fear-mongering are frightening.
The book "Health Robbers" is now available at the public library in Brainerd,
Pequot and Crosslake. On the cover, Ann Landers is quoted: "How can the public be protected against phonies, quacks, and money-grubbers who prey on the insecure, the frightened and the sick? The answer is education. And that is what this book is all about." All you need to read is the two-page Foreward by Ann Landers. The book lays out the history of a movement that has twisted the truth about the health-giving properties of fluoride in order to scare people for their own political gain. Get educated.
Dr. Bob Uppgaard, D.D.S.
Looking at the world's population
I am generally encouraged when people question what they hear or read, especially when they seek verifiable data. Here I might note that when I write about over-population and global warming, I talk of humanity on earth.
I feel a need to note, that one recent writer started with the proposition that a fertility rate of 2.1 children per woman would maintain population equilibrium. This is close to accurate, but a little high. It was from that point on that verifiable data was thrown to the wind.
For the last 38 years, the Census Bureau shows the U.S. population at 203.3 million for 1970, 226.5 million for 1980, 248.7 million for 1990, 281.4 for 2000, and 303,644,318 for March 16, 2008, an increase of 100 million.
The world population was estimated at 6,080,000,000 in 2000, and as of March 16, 2008, at 6,657,072,620. This seems to be holding on the 7 billion that I estimated for the year 2012.
As to Social Security solvency, proper citizen participation through tax and public works, with the resulting increased, real private industry, will maintain its present solvency for the foreseeable future.
To verify the information shown above you may access www.worldalamac.com and www.census.gov/popclock and check with the desk at your local library for reference to The World Almanac.
Dennis G. Gordon
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