The Veterans of Foreign Wars have been promoting "Buddy Poppies" since 1922. The V.F.W. Auxiliary being chartered in 1931 began joining their Post members in this promotion. The Poppy has been the symbolic flower of Memorial Day since then. V.F.W. "Buddy Poppies" are assembled by disabled veterans in hospitals throughout the United States.
Our local V.F.W. Post and Auxiliary members will be promoting the "Buddy Poppy" in Brainerd, Baxter area on Friday, May 18 and Saturday, May 19. Funds derived from this promotion are used exclusively for aid to veterans and their dependents in our community.
A good way to personally show gratitude for the sacrifices of our disabled veterans is to donate and wear a "Buddy Poppy" in their memory on Memorial Day.
They gave then. -- Will you give now?
V.F.W. 1647 Auxiliary Poppy chairpersons
The stadium bill
On May 7, Republican leaders in the Minnesota House of Representatives resurrected a Twins stadium proposal that only a week before appeared dead. They did it through a parliamentary maneuver in which members of the House were asked to allow the bill to be pulled from the Local Government & Metropolitan Affairs Committee -- where it had been tabled -- and moved to the Tax Committee.
Although I have a number of concerns and questions about the proposal, I believe that this issue be discussed fully and in public.
Over the past several months, I've received a number of calls and e-mails on the Twins' stadium effort. Many of the constituents who called or wrote about this subject don't want the state to lose the Twins. I'll continue to listen to various proposals that will help the team remain competitive here in Minnesota.
We also need to be cautious about any stadium bill and be certain that any proposal protects the interests of Minnesota taxpayers. Please contact me immediately with your thoughts on the Twins stadium issue.
State Rep. Mary Ellen Otremba
District 11B, Long Prairie
High school issue
We have a 16-year-old that is a sophomore. He has some physical and learning disabilities. We have interacted with school staff and teachers just fine until now. We have occasionally requested progress reports. These have been, "He's doing OK." Or "He is a little behind."
Now, all of a sudden it's "Well, this student isn't going to receive credit because of too many absences." Why weren't we notified? "We have many students to keep track of." And the district is getting funding for each and every one. The student loses credit, does the funding go back? "The student has to take responsibility for his or her actions." So, my 17-year-old throws a rock and breaks your car windshield. Who is responsible? Who is the one that is going to get sued for the damage?
Now all of a sudden, "You are responsible for your child till they are 18!" And we'll gladly shoulder that responsibility. But it's awfully tough for a parent to address a problem when we aren't aware of it until it's too late.
We most certainly are not writing this to defend our son's actions. He was negligent in his assigned duties necessary to his schooling, for that he'll spend his summer in summer school.
The school was every bit as negligent in their duties and endangered the well-being of our son by not informing us of his behavior and now we'll suffer the consequence for their failings, a 20 mile round trip daily to see that our son gets to the summer classes.
We have made up our mind that next year it will be an every other day attendance check and weekly progress report. Is this within our parental rights.. And responsibilities?
Douglas (Sr.) and Mary Ream
Honor our mothers
On May 13, our nation celebrated the significant role that mothers play in our lives. Unfortunately, there is a cruel irony in our society. There is a group that is considered by many Americans to be nothing more than vehicles for profit.
They are torn from their mothers and laid out on stainless steel trays. If they are of proper size and weight, their body parts are sold to the highest bidder for exorbitant prices. They are used for research in sterile labs, denied food, water, shelter, sunshine and mother's love. They are denied life. They are humans.
Ironically, the same society that treasures Mother's Day also calls children "choices." By law, I am not allowed to drink alcohol for another year, but I am allowed to destroy the life inside of me. I must wait several days and have my records searched before I can buy a gun, but I can choose to end the life of my own child simply by walking into a clinic. Who can make the judgment whether the being inside of me is human or not? If I choose to have sex, I also choose the natural consequence: pregnancy. Only 1 percent of abortions are the result of rape or incest, so the other 99 percent were indeed choices.
I am a vegetarian, so while I am certainly against the eating of veal, I find it disturbing that farm animals have more protections than human children. Chronic diseases caused by meat may kill 1.5 million Americans annually. However, the estimated number of pregnancies terminated yearly is a similar number, and those victims did not have a choice regarding their demise.
Clearly, one way to honor mothers on Sunday is to reconsider your position on our society's defilement of motherhood.
Laurel M. Hall
Rising fuel prices
Rapidly increasing fuel prices have historically triggered recessions. If the latest heating and driving cost increases haven't convinced you that we need more drilling and refineries, perhaps you believe the radical environmentalists dreading drilling in sensitive areas such as northern Alaska. Of course by not drilling in America we simply transfer our demand from domestic suppliers to foreign countries. Increasingly we're sending technological and financial resources to a corrupt cartel known as OPEC, mostly run by dictators with horrible human rights activities.
After propping up the Shah of Iran until the Iranians could bear it no longer, the new Islamic dictatorship hated America largely for supporting the Shah. So we installed a dictator, Saddam Hussein, knowing that his country Iraq (ancient Babylon) and Iran (ancient Persia) have fought for thousands of years. Unfortunately, Saddam also attacked another dictatorship, Kuwait. We just never learn about supporting dictators over democracy, yet we still buy oil from all of them, depending on and defending their regimes largely because ecostremists stop domestic drilling.
Stemming from our dependence on foreign oil we favor another dictatorship over democracy in the Sudan. The largely Islamic and well armed northern Sudanese Arabs are in a civil war with the largely Christian and black southern Sudanese. Northern Arabs make frequent forays into unarmed villages where they take the women and children into slavery. There are so many slaves that they cost as little as $50 and can affordably be killed when they refuse religious conversion or no longer please their masters. It takes a village to raise slaves, so we enforce gun control on the blacks and give money and power to their oppressors.
The Sudan was once pristine too, so the next time someone complains about destroying pristine environments, please remember the slaves of Sudan.
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