Socialism, as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, reads a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. The United States of America, for more than 200 years, has based the majority of its economy upon private ownership by citizens.
How then can some criticize our current president for bringing socialism to this country? The economic ideals that found our great nation could not change without great upheaval of our current society and bureaucracy. I am saddened by recent letters labeling Barack Obama as a socialist for openly communicating with both Fidel and Raul Castro. Perhaps these writers never considered the fact that the United States could eventually become an influencing factor upon these leaders?
For almost 60 years, we have ignored or pressured Cuba in various forms, including having an active military base established upon its Western coast. Never during this time have we honestly considered treating the Cuban people as part of the Western hemisphere, let alone as an island clamoring for trade abroad.
If we are to inspire constructive sentiments in the Cuban population, what would be a better option: Continually ignoring a nation with needs from its Western counterparts or trading to a partner willing to embrace our government's economic practices? To me, there is only one responsible choice.
Joshua J. Hermerding
Ignorance is learned, not taught
I have worked in the school system for many years and really take exception to the statement that teachers don't work that hard. I have worked alongside some of the finest teachers around and they work hard. No, I am not a licensed teacher. I am a paraprofessional. Teaching isn't about opening a book to get answers. Walk a day in their shoes. Their job description isn't only to teach. Kids come to school with many more problems today. A teacher is sometimes the first face they see that day; the para is sometimes the first hug they receive that day; some are hungry; some are tired; some are scared; some are just plain sad.
Through all of the things that are thrown at teachers in the run of a day they manage to teach our kids and give them a place of consistency and compassion. I do my job because I want to make a difference in the lives of children. You should think about opening a book of your own - the dictionary. The definition of greed does not apply to the teachers I have had the privilege to work with. Hopefully you have limited the teaching of your nieces and nephews to reading, writing and math. You are definitely not ready to teach anything more. You are correct; schools will not hire you - your degree in ignorance is no good! America's youth needs positive role models and you are highly underqualified. To the teachers out there, I applaud you. You are making a difference in the lives of children and I appreciate your hard work!
School financing revisited
School financing for District No. 181 is definitely heating up with more sneaky tricks, like they tried on the 2007 referendum.
This OPEB (Other Post-Employment Benefits Bill) is a hoax on the residents of this district. The school board even admits that this tax will bring in more money than they need for their 154 retirees. District 12A Rep. John Ward was one of the school supporters that snuck this bill in with another tax bill voted on in May 2008 that few legislators knew was in it.
Do you people know how much this tax will cost you for 13 years? It's listed as $23 million but it will be double that, if you figure in the rise in prices that businesses will pass on to the consumers.
All commercial properties will pay $156 increase per $250,000 valuation. Homeowners will pay $74 on $200,000 as will seasonal property owners. Agricultural Homesteaded Property $71 per $200,000.
Do you know any farms or lake homes valued less than $500,000? This school fiasco comes at a time when people are desperate, out of work, lost their home and living day to day on food banks. Your school board doesn't care! They are your money managers! What happened to the $2 million they found? What happened to their promised accountability? Taxation without a referendum! A civil rights issue? Come to the school board meeting May 11. Let's pack the room.
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