During this election I find many letters written by Republicans with lies, distortions, and mean spiritedness. I particularly resent seeing on television people laughing and making fun of the fake purple hearts they are wearing. It is disgusting the way they question Kerry's right to the medals he won by showing extreme bravery and it puts into question whether anyone winning a metal really deserves it.
Now we read a letter from Fifty Lakes which shows the writer's hatred for Kerry while distorting what actually happened. Career officers love war as a way for faster promotions and a guarantee of being able to serve until retirement. I can understand why they hated Kerry who tried his best to end the war to save soldiers' lives.
Kerry's full testimony can be found on www.c-span.org/2004vote/jkerrytestimony.
Those who want to know the truth should read U. S. News & World Report, September 6, 2004.
Congress recognized that we had lost the Vietnam war and the hearing where Kerry testified was trying to find a way to end it. Nixon wanted to stay in Vietnam so he was not "the first President to lose a war,"
Kerry's most important testimony was when he told the committee "...if the United States were to set a date for withdrawal the (American) prisoners of war would be returned." and "... that all of our troops, the moment we set a date, will be given safe conduct out of Vietnam."
O'Neil was selected by Nixon to try and discredit Kerry so we would continue to stay in Vietnam. It is now ironic that Kerry who did much to end the war in Vietnam gets blamed by some for making it longer while Nixon who wanted to keep the war going gets credit for ending it.
Make Brainerd work for you
Meet Ed Shaw, independent candidate for Ward 1 on Saturday, Noon-2 p.m. at 722 S. Sixth St. (corner of Quince and Sixth) and discuss issues that are important to you. Fund-raiser "build-your-own-taco" lunch. Become part of our campaign to make Brainerd work for you!
Bush is solidly pro-life
Response to Thursday Sept. 9 Open Forum letter: "Is Bush really pro-life?"
The writer's comparison of President Bush's "solid pro-life" position to that of the numerous deaths resulting from the war on terrorism got me thinking about a subject I've thought about more than a few times: "How could President Bush, as commander- in-chief, truly be pro-lLife when he ordered his soldiers into action resulting in numerous innocent people being killed?"
One has to question, "How/why are these innocent lives being lost?" "Is President Bush a mad man who is endorsing these killings?" If our soldiers had gone into Iraq under the Presidents orders to kill innocent people as the brute force our military is made out to be, I'd fully agree with the writer, "how ironic." But this is not the case.
As we pass the third anniversary of a day our country will never forget, Americans will always remember that "On September 11, 2001, four U.S. planes hijacked by terrorists crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania killing nearly 3,000 people in a matter of hours." (www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/memorial). It was under the orders of mad men that these innocent lives were lost.
As a mother of a soldier, 9/11 and what that day means to my family will always be with me. I also realize the sacrifice of how tens of thousands of American soldiers' lives are on hold while keeping the 'protected and free people' of this country safe. It also doesn't take me too much to comprehend that our soldiers have since been the ones to take the bullet intended for the people right here in our country. Perhaps our president is truly solid pro-life.
Kristine M. Ott
Will we have to root for the Packers?
Football season is back, and still we have heard nothing about providing our guys with a new stadium. Yes, this is old news, but it's time to throw some kindling on the fire and get things moving. Red McCombs wants to sell the Vikings, so the only way we can guarantee them staying in Minnesota is to give them a stadium.
The new Forbes magazine ranks the monetary value of all 32 NFL teams. The Vikings are ranked second to last ($604 million), only above the Arizona Cardinals. The main reason: we don't own our own stadium. The out-of-state revenue that the Vikings bring in is tremendous. According to Vikings.com, it is somewhere around $85 million a year. That's a lot of dollars coming into the Minnesota economy. Also, in 1999 alone, the Vikings players and staff paid the state of Minnesota $11 million in taxes. Can we afford to take that loss?
Beyond the money aspect, we have to look at the cultural influence. Minnesota's cultural roots run deep, and the Vikings have been around for more than 40 years, making them a part of our history. If they get up and leave, that will leave a serious void in the hearts of many purple-bleeding fans.
Lastly, if the Vikes abandon us, are we going to have to start rooting for the Packers? Obviously, that's not an option.
Our elected King George
King George keeps talking about how good the economy is and how good we all have it.
Yet the country has gone from record surpluses to record deficits since he took over---specifically from a $236-billion surplus to a $480-billion deficit (Sources: NYT, 9/28/00: CBPP/CED/Concord Coalition, 9/29/03:CBO). Still, according to Dubya, it is definitely a good economy. Unfortunately this is only true for the wealthy. Here are some facts to consider: As cited by Edward N. Wolff, in 1976 some 10 percent of the U.S. population owned 50 percent of all the wealth. Since "W" was made President by the U.S. Supreme Court, the richest 10 percent of the population in 2001 owned 70 percent of the wealth. Has some of that Enron and Halliburton money trickled down to you yet?
The tax cuts that the compassionate conservative Republicans in Minnesota and across the country have instigated (according to the Citizens for Tax Justice -- 2003) have helped the upper income brackets the most. For instance, whom has the Taxpayers League in Minnesota helped the most? Not the common people -- just look at whom they represent and who their contributors are -- then you know who owns the Legislature and governor in Minnesota. It is about values -- but whose? In fact, from Citizens for Tax Justice (2003), the top 1 percent group averaged a $72,684 Bush tax cut. I guess, that group's American values are better than the values the rest of us hold dear.
Clearly the common folks will see only one recourse to this economic imbalance and Bush's divine-right regime.
M. Fritz Bertelt
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