In 1981 Presidents Nancy and Ronnie Reagan proposed deregulation of the nursing home industry. After pressure was exerted by the National Citizens Coalition for Nursing Home Reform, the public, and Congress, the Reagan administration backed down. It is one of the very few times Democrats in that era showed any backbone.
One third of all nursing homes in this country are owned by corporate chains. Given the current climate of greed and disregard for ethics secondary to deregulation, you can just imagine what type of "care" our elders would receive had the homes been deregulated.
One of the main planks in the Republican Party platform has always been deregulation -- on the premise that regulation is bad for business. Conservatives whine ad nauseam about paying taxes. If the Enrons and World Coms and Ken Lays of this country are pardoned from paying their share of taxes, just who will pay for the huge increase in military hardware, the bloated bureaucracy of the proposed Department of Homeland Security, and the tax breaks for the already over-privileged? Pass the bill to the next generation just as the Reagans and Bushes always do.
Many Republicans want Social Security privatized. Maybe we should privatize homeland security? Ditto for the U.S. Military. You know, have them run more like corporations.
Now hyper-religious conservatives who pray for salvation can concomitantly petition for a world where you never die or pay taxes. Childish? Maybe they will go to "The Big Bush Party Tent in the Sky" illuminated by a thousand points of light. Is it regulated by "He who regulates all things"?
It was disheartening to see the article in the Sunday, July 28 Dispatch, "Milfoil -- the best thing to ever happen to Minnesota bass fishing." I can imagine nothing worse than watching milfoil be introduced and take hold in a favorite, presently-uncontaminated bass lake.
Milfoil is established in many lakes, ruining those lakes for everyone but, evidently, some bass fishermen. I have no problem with an article that instructs fishermen how to fish those lakes. But the authors owed it to the public, to emphasize that responsible fishermen should take every precaution to avoid "accidentally" spreading milfoil. Sunday's article seemed to impliedly encourage fishermen to not worry about spreading milfoil.
The boat of a typical "tournament bass fisherman" probably enters dozens of lakes per year, many of which, no doubt, contain milfoil. How many fishermen, after each excursion, honor the DNR's request to remove plant material from their boats, anchors, trailers and lures? When you read The Dispatch's article, you can't help but conclude that some won't. As the article states: "The Minnesota DNR is doing all it can to foil the spread of Eurasion milfoil. But tournament angler Paul Neumann has another view of the thick green stuff." The inference is that Neumann and others in his camp would just as soon see the weed spread into all bass lakes.
I would think that, in the long run, the spread of milfoil to other lakes would ultimately be detrimental even to those who use lakes solely for bass fishing. I hope that the leaders of the bass fishing community will become more vocal in encouraging fishermen to be responsible and unselfish, and to prevent the spread of milfoil.
Erik J. Askegaard
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