One Democratic presidential candidate who criticized sub-prime mortgage lenders can himself be charged with hypocrisy for accepting large campaign donations from the ten largest sub prime lenders. On Fox News, March 27, Obama's contribution list was detailed with the down-to-the dollar amounts he's accepted (over a million dollars).
A man of principle would return that money.
It's time to stop Vox Pop
During a recent trip I had the privilege of visiting Belgium and the Netherlands. While there I visited two striking museums: The People's Museum in Bastogne, Belgium, and the National Liberation's Museum in Overloon, Netherlands. The German military occupied these countries during World War II from 1940-45. Sections of the museums were devoted to the suffering endured by the Belgians and Dutch during these occupation years. There are examples of resistance and courage, but there are also stories of collaboration, malice, corruption and betrayal. Anonymous letters are found in the Bastogne museum, addressed to the occupying Gestapo "tattling" on neighbors for perceived violations - hoarding rationed food and fuel, illicit vegetable gardening, manufacture, animal husbandry, and black market sales. The rationing was so severe that families could not provide the basics. Sometimes the letters were purely malicious and falsified - written out of jealousy or for a perceived slight. The Gestapo investigated and the targets of the letters were unmercifully disciplined or "disappeared." If the letters were signed, the turncoats may have gotten a share of the spoils. But even the Gestapo had its limits and the turncoats themselves were often abused. At the end of the war allied military authorities, Belgian and Dutch Resistance, "dealt" with identified turncoats. Hard feelings are still experienced today, splintering the older generation of these cultures.
I found these letters to be hauntingly and disturbingly similar to our very own Vox Pop letters. Isn't it time we learned from historical precedent and stopped this eyesore?
Jon van der Hagen, M.D.
Thank your lucky stars
Wow! We in the Brainerd lakes area are so lucky. We have such outstanding choices in the arts. In the past few weeks I was able to attend opera instruction at the Hallett Community Center for Unlimited Learning, culminating in seeing La Boheme beamed live from the New York Metropolitan Opera at a St. Cloud Theatre.
During the photography exhibit at the Alliance Crossing Arts Center I absolutely couldn't resist buying one of Joey Halvorson's marvelous original photographs.
Then on Sunday The Legacy Chorale of Greater Minnesota performed an intensely inspiring spring concert at the Heritage Assembly of God Church. I keep thinking this chorale can't get any better but they continue to prove me wrong.
In the literary field, Bill Holm, a Minnesota author, was at the Brainerd Public Library fundraiser sharing his skill at the piano intermixed with readings from his latest book, "The Windows of Brimness," essays on Iceland.
Yes, we are so fortunate to have all of these opportunities within a few miles from our homes.
I'll tell you, folks - photography, opera, chorale, authors - it doesn't get any better than this.
Support July Fourth fund
Thank you to Nancy Cross of Brainerd Community Action for withdrawing her request of selling beer on school grounds during the Fourth of July celebration. In addition, thank you to the Brainerd School Board for accepting the public's outcry on this issue.
Even though the financial situation hasn't changed for the July Fourth celebration, Nancy took a big risk by withdrawing her request. By responding to the community's reaction, the controversy can be put behind and we can move forward with a fun, family event.
Even though we were against selling beer at the 4th of July event, we and the community can be a part of the solution. Financial contributions would be welcomed by Brainerd Community Action.
Pat Bluth of MADD Crow Wing County Board and Sgt. Curt Mowers of Crow Wing County Passenger Safety Coalition
Abortion changes a woman
A recent letter weighing the relative merits of giving birth versus having an abortion compels me to write.
First, there are several studies that found a much higher than 30 percent increase in risk for breast cancer for women who've had an abortion, particularly when different sub-categories of women were analyzed. For example, a 1993 Howard University study showed that African American women over age 50 were 4.7 times more likely to get breast cancer if they had had an abortion compared to women who hadn't had an abortion. In another 1994 study by Dr. Janet Daling (a pro-choice cancer researcher), all twelve subjects in her study with a family history of breast cancer and who had had an abortion before turning 18 were diagnosed with breast cancer before age 45.
Second, a mother's concern for a living child separated from her through a closed adoption is quite different from the grief of a mother who has chosen to end the life of her child through abortion. The first case holds a glimmer of hope for the mother being reunited with the child, the second case is a black hole of despair with no hope for being reunited. Furthermore, it should be noted that there is no reason a woman placing a child for adoption today cannot choose an open adoption and which would allow her to play a role in her child's life. These arrangements are becoming more and more common and can be beneficial to both the birth mother and the child placed for adoption.
Third, I don't need the Merck Manual to tell me about the psychological sequelae of abortion. I've witnessed the consequences of abortion with several friends and acquaintances. Abortion changes a woman forever; and not for the better.
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