Humor in Minnesota has probably changed since Al Franken was a resident 35 years ago. A recent letter writer compared it to "fifth grade humor." A better comparison of his style of humor used at the Democratic bean feeds might be what we saw in the movie "Fargo" a few years ago. It makes Midwesterners look stupid. Maybe the east and west coast financiers for his campaign think that an unsophisticated approach matches-up well with ignorant Minnesota voters.
Both major parties have candidates - Coleman and Ciresi - who can better represent our state, are longtime residents, and want this Senate seat to go to the most qualified candidate, not for sale to a comedian who will probably be the highest bidder for the job.
Dealing with religious bullies
Five years ago some of us "kooks" (one who felt Iraq would turn into a quagmire) suggested that President Bush was stirring up a religious "hornet's nest."
Religious bullies (radical fundamentalists) were provided a world stage to act out their "wacko" beliefs (Muslim men shouldn't look at women on earth but they can attain sex with 72 "vestal virgins" when they die for the "Jihad") when President Bush pre-emptively invaded the wrong country before inspections could be finished.
This next statement is important. When I, as a teacher, saw two bullies (Sunnis and Shiites, if you will) with their girlfriends (wives) standing by, beating the living daylights out of each other as they waited to board the buses, I hesitated to intervene. I felt that teaching band lessons (building our schools and roads) was my priority.
I would never, ever suggest that my band student (our soldiers) stand between the two bullies as they tried to "knock each other's blocks off."
The moral of the story: Sunnis and Shiites, with their hooded and submissive wives standing by, can kill each other all day but I don't want our sons and daughters standing in between. Period!
If Islamic moderates can't stop their "wacko" radicals from attacking us again they must know, as Russia did, that Baghdad, Riyadh and/or Tehran may have to be rebuilt.
Bring our troops home now! "Taps" (I was a 188th Army Band trumpet player) is a hard prayer to play.
Let us pray that our president has not pre-emptively promoted "Armaggedon"!
Bruce G. Femling
Where are those high-paying jobs?
Last February, Sen. Ellen Anderson, DFL-St Paul, and some senator with two last names from Duluth wrote a glowing letter to the Dispatch about how Sen. Mary Olson's vote for the Renewable Energy Standard would help us "become energy independent and create a new industry in Minnesota" resulting in "many new high-paying jobs and billions of dollars of investment in our state and ensure that Minnesotans will be able to enjoy cleaner air and waterand that Minnesota will become a leader in the fight against global warming."
As a result of this exciting news I wrote a letter to the Dispatch with copies to both Mary Olson and Ellen Anderson asking for more details. I never heard from Anderson or the Duluth lady but I was advised by Ms. Olson that she was hosting a Renewable Energy Forum at Bemidji State University and that I could learn more by attending. Last Friday I went to the Bemidji forum to hear the good news. Unfortunately the entire morning was devoted to various Democratic politicians blowing their personal horns with absolutely nothing said about new jobs or billions of dollars in new investments. Rep. Jim Oberstar delivered the same speech, praising Jimmy Carter and condemning Ronald Reagan, he had given in Pine River several months ago.
The afternoon was given over to presentations by various renewable energy related businesses, none of whom mentioned anything about hiring people for high-paying jobs or about investing anything near a billion dollars.
Sadly, this meeting was everything I expected and less. By copy of this letter, I am asking Sen. Olson if she has any intention of providing some concrete information on these new high-paying jobs and investments.
Stephen A. Busch
Kids will run the country some day
This is in reference to the Open Forum about laying off all the teachers. As a student who attended the Brainerd School District from Head Start until I graduated in 2006 before joining the military, I have to say that some of the statements upset me.
All the teachers I have had in my 14 years of attending the Brainerd schools have been nothing but great role models and wonderful people. These are people that were willing to go through years of schooling to help kids learn for the better. They put in extra time and effort to help out children at work. They deserve all the benefits they get because even when they leave work they are still working. Grading papers, coaching, school events, etc. They always have to set a good influence on the kids, at work or outside work. These teachers deserve the salary they get paid because they worked hard to get their job and work hard doing their job.
It isn't just about the teachers though, it's about the kids who attend these schools. The extra classes in school that help the kids get through their day. The extra-curricular activities that help the kids stay active and busy instead of going home to an empty home and watch television until their parents get off work. I think we need to stop complaining about the very little amount you pay for taxes and realize what those few amount of dollars are doing for the kids of the Brainerd School District and realize what good it's doing for the children that will be running this country in the future.
So lay off the teachers? I don't think that's such a smart idea, if it wasn't for teachers you have the job your at right now.
(Formerly of Brainerd)
Long-range planning needed
A zero-based budget, recommended by County Commissioner Thiede, means cuts to county services and infrastructure because inflation is not taken into account. The Aug. 15, 2007, Brainerd Dispatch article, "No budge on budget by Thiede" written by Renee Richardson, clearly spelled out the problems created for our county by this misleading budget gimmick. Crow Wing County department heads say a county board proposal for no increase in expenditures for 2008 will mean cutting jobs and services. Following a zero-based budget, they determined the county would need to cut about $841,067 in personnel costs. The county administrator said a 5.4 percent increase sustains what is in place now; however, the 2008 tax base is expected to grow by 15 percent due to inflation. A zero-based budget cut will be a $370,069 cut from the sheriff's budget, at a time when security is so important. The auditor's office suggested the 5.4 percent increase is needed to correct the $500,000 deficit for the highway department's road and bridge fund for 2007. The Highway 210 bridge over the Mississippi in Brainerd has an approximately 30 percent structural deficiency rating. If we let our infrastructure crumble, the cost will be much greater. We need long-range planning, not penny wise and pound foolish budget tactics meant to starve needed county services. The board must look at all the facts and make a wise decision based on common-sense economics. There is still time for public input.
Robert O. Uppgaard
Playing the ticket game
In reference to playing the ticket game.
I don't know where the writer is getting information in regard to advancement through the police ranks but he is way off base.
Point 1: Large pay increases per supervisory positions?The pay increase per rank does not amount to that much and if you compare it with the amount of responsibility per rank such as Sergeant, lieutenant, captain, the difference seems a lot less. There are probably a number of good supervisory candidates that do not accept the positions or drop out during the trial time because they decide they don't want the responsibilty that goes with positions.
Point 2: Making it to a supervisory position is not based on how many tickets you write. It is based on comprehensive tests that cover, decision-making skills and leadership qualities. You do not go through a supervisor to take the tests. They are offered at periodic times and the test scores stand for a set number of years and then are offered again at which time you can retest in order to better your test results.
Point 3: Political pull has no part in the decision-making process as far as rank is concerned.
Virgil W. Boelter
Retired Police Officer
Mankato Police Department
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