My father is a retired Marine, one of the "Chosen Few;" Purple Heart recipient of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir, Korean War. My father was an organizer for Barry Goldwater's presidential campaign, when a majority of citizens were Democrats. This was an unpopular political stand but we learned not to take the debate personally. After all, it was one of the ideals that my father fought for, freedom, not repression of a political opinion. The flag my father flies is made and assembled in America, so is the shirt on his back and the shoes on his feet. Who of you, who cry traitor or categorize individuals can say the same? My father still fights for this country, by supporting the American work force; purchasing USA made products with the small pension of a ditch-digger-pipefitter. He is the caretaker of my mother with Alzheimer's and my handicapped sister. My father will not shop at Wal-Mart, the industry leader in imported goods! I was so blessed to have been raised in a home where a hard-earned dollar was spent on quality goods that last, items were repaired rather than tossed in a landfill. While my head is conservative, my heart turned Democratic along time ago while caring for my sister who cannot speak for herself. So, opinion writers, I remind you before you put your foot in your mouth again, with your shoes made in Saipan, do not categorize people. The citizens of Crow Wing County should be allowed as much say as developers in local land use! If you would have told me years ago that I would be taking a public stand against the world's largest, most profitable corporation, I would not have believed it. But then again, I am my father's daughter.
Coalition for Responsible Development
A peaceful solution
Brainerd Community Action is a private, non-profit group. Therefore, the "City of Brainerd" did not forbid the Brainerd Area Coalition for Peace from participating. BCA has to apply for a parade permit as a private group. The cities, while they donate, can't really tell this group to allow or forbid certain floats.
Nancy Cross loves Brainerd and the Fourth of July celebration. She does everything possible to have a great, safe parade. While she didn't intend to restrict free speech, perhaps that was the result. But her board of directors shared the police chief and city attorney's concerns. While I might have made a different decision, it was made for safety, not to stifle free speech. Parade organizers have been concerned about kids getting hurt running for candy. If someone threw something, as several later threatened to do, a child could have been hurt. BCA exists on donations. Money spent for lawyers or penalties means we have poor or non-existent fireworks next year or the group will have to ask for more tax or business dollars.
The peace group wanted to be heard and certainly were, so they would have a hard time legally proving "damages." There shouldn't be a lawsuit, which would only profit lawyers and cost the community. Community action should develop, with sound legal advice, more definitive guidelines for approving floats. The Brainerd Area Coalition for Peace obviously thinks the U.S. should have "overlooked" and "forgiven" Saddam Hussein's human rights violations. They should extend this same spirit to the "cautious" decision of Community Action. Before the parade, Nancy Cross offered to get together with Larry Fisk to see if there was some way to make this all work for next year.
Let's try to find a "peaceful" solution that exercises appropriate caution while maximizing free speech rights.
Randy L. Miller
A few years ago, a then-Hennepin County Commissioner announced on T.V. that, "abortions would be done at Hennepin County Medical Center."
Trying to make these heinous crimes more palatable, he stated that, "performing abortions at Hennepin County Medical Center would make money."
What a cruel, cruel, heartless thing to promote the murder of unborn babies, in their mothers' wombs, by saying that, "abortions would make money."
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