It's quite enlightening to spend a Saturday afternoon with the dedicated protesters at the intersection of 371 and 210 in Baxter. The group is composed of peaceful and respectful people. Some are veterans who have seen the horror of war, and the damage it inflicts. They have watched the struggle of their comrades who have survived the war physically undamaged but emotionally unable to return to jobs or families. Others find it hypocritical that we teach principles of democracy but force our will upon weaker countries by armed intervention. Some, through their belief in the non-violent revelation of Jesus, believe that any action intended to harm others is religiously and morally wrong. None support Saddam, and all agree that he has been an oppressive dictator who has abused power and mistreated his people. But is a violent attack our only solution? These demonstrators would say no, that the world has evolved enough to produce a more lasting change through democratic, non-violent means.
What is their reward for expressing their belief that a stronger, and more lasting peace would be achieved through other methods? They are spat at, called the most vile and hateful names, and have had eggs thrown at them as well as a full can of soda.
I can guarantee that all these demonstrators love this country just as did our founding fathers, who once protested British rule. The protesters support the troops and want them to return unharmed physically and emotionally. And if ever those who scream obscenities at them are unfairly treated, these same protesters will be the first to stand up for them. So, when you see your neighbors on the corner, remember they might be standing there to support you someday, and you'll be thankful they have the courage to speak out.
Thank you to the Brainerd area residents who gave up their beautiful Saturday morning last week to visit with DFL legislators at our Town Hall Forum in Baxter. We appreciate the positive reception we received to our newly released House DFL budget plan. The plan to lower taxes for the majority of Minnesotans will restore fairness to our system, assigning a temporary surcharge to only the wealthiest Minnesotans who have benefited greatly from recent tax cuts. With concern for the most vulnerable residents in their community, many people at the forum supported our plan to prevent cuts to health and senior programs and to protect property taxes from double-digit increases. We hope you will continue to tell legislators how the proposed cuts would affect your communities and lives. To contact your legislator: go to the Minnesota
Legislative Web site at www.leg.state.mn.us or call 1-800-657-3550.
Rep. Matt Entenza
and Rep. Debra Hilstrom
New home for Paul
Maybe the city should work out a deal with Mr MacFarland and take possession of Paul and Babe. Then deal with the state about putting them in the new rest and information area to be built south of town on the new bypass. Think of the publicity value for the lakes area when travelers see Paul greeting them to the area much as he and Babe have done for the past many years at the Bunyan center. Make a nice picnic area for travelers to eat with Paul and take a few pictures of our beautiful area.
Recently, Rep. Tony Sertich of Chisholm wrote a letter to
this paper criticizing me for voting in favor of an increased Price of Government resolution.
Rep. Sertich apparently thinks he caught me in some kind of lie. But all along I have been truthful in telling folks that in spite of many proposed spending reductions, our total state spending will actually go up. However, instead of having that spending rise at an alarming rate of more than14 percent, I voted to restrain our spending increases to a more sensible level -- one that is more in line with inflation.
The House plan balances state spending needs with the needs of working men and women across Minnesota. Our budget protects nursing homes and education from drastic funding cuts, and it also provides more funding for local governments and senior programs than the governor's original proposal.
I don't know why a legislator from Chisholm feels the need to tell residents in our community what to think. It's nothing more than pure politicking, and in this case, it's not even true. I wish, in times of deficit, both parties could focus on solutions, not partisan bickering.
Rep. Dale Walz
If there truly are any Pillager residents who believe "transient" workers are going to come in and corrupt the safety of your school district, then I really feel for them. Their blindness to a campaign run by a union, whose members only cared about their raises not so long ago, has then blocked your ability to see just how much your school board truly does care about your kids.
Believe this, not one member of any school board is going to knowingly hire a pervert or any other threat to any child, no matter how much money they could save. And for a union to apply such stupid scare tactics really is pathetic. Even more so, just plain sad. All the money the union spent on 1/2 page ads, lawn signs, etc. could have been put into something that may have been beneficial to the children, as a true gesture of showing their appreciation for their jobs. But no, a campaign of half-truths was developed instead. But I suppose when some spoiled, overpaid individuals are losing their once protected jobs -- no holds can be barred.
If this union really cared about the children, then some sacrifices would have been made months ago as to ensure the financial integrity of the school district. I applaud this school board for trying to insure a financial future for their school, as I live in a district that's financially strapped, and have seen some wonderful teachers let go due to poor vision and planning. These next few days this union will probably continue this "scare the weak and uninformed" campaign as to make themselves look like heroes to anyone who will listen. But I hope and pray that proper planning, along with common sense will prevail over fear and union intimidation.
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