This discussion about the referendum for the schools sounds like something from the dark ages. Thirty-some years ago a special education law was passed assuring an education to challenged children. Now we see those children, who were educated according to their ability, working and leading productive lives. Had we not done that these same people would be on welfare instead of contributing to society. Even though special education won't be affected, I still wonder what will it look like in 30 years if we don't fund this referendum? Bored and frustrated people who are not connected to society. No after-school activities? Large classrooms where no one can concentrate? It doesn't take very much imagination to figure out what this community will look like in 30 years if we take away the things that make for a quality education.
Using the 'racist' smear'
The Aug. 29 Dispatch article about a Crow Wing County board meeting reported that Carol Rose and Don Wedll, of the Crow Wing County Human Rights Commission, complained that the county fair board rents a booth to "a Mille Lacs area group" which Rose characterized as "anti-American Indian."
While charges of racism are commonly used to discredit anyone who legitimately discusses issues having a tribal connection, it is ironic that a human rights commission would engage in such anti-free speech activity.
The group Rose and Wedll would ban from the fair is the Mille Lacs Equal Rights Foundation (MERF). Yes, we have concerns about federal Indian policy, which encourages race-based inequality. And we believe Minnesota citizens should know more about the effort to revive the former Mille Lacs Indian Reservation. An Indian reservation is legal Indian country and implications for governments and all citizens are huge.
MERF is interested in the case of Jerry Mueller who was arrested by Red Lake tribal officials for straying into "tribal waters" of Upper Red Lake. We pay attention to fee-to-trust transfers and treaty fishing and hunting policies which advance unequal legal rights and require massive expenditure of taxpayer dollars.
We're interested in law and public safety, not in attacking someone's race or culture. Yet, those who dislike our politics employ the "racist" smear. Last year it was the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council and now, in keeping with that anti-free speech spirit, the Human Rights Commission, of all people, would ban us from the fair.
Chippewa tribal governments deny reservation Indians freedoms of press, speech, assembly, and organization -- rights abuses local human rights advocates choose to overlook. The Human Rights Commission should not be allowed to extend such rights denials to the wider community. Nor should it be a tool for tribal government political agendas.
Mille Lacs Equal Rights Foundation (MERF)
Brainerd utility bills questioned
Beginning with the utility bills for September it now appears that an additional charge of $4.50 is to be added to the previous charge of $4.50 for a total of $9 will be hidden into the electric rate charges. Other utility companies such as Center Point Energy list this charge as a basic charge at the beginning of each statement. Why doesn't the Brainerd Public Utility be open with all of their charges?
The city tax must not be adding enough to the finances for the wastewater treatment plant as thought when the tax was passed. Additionally we are being charged $3 per month for storm sewers. Maybe if the city of Brainerd would not use the Brainerd Public Utilities as a piggy bank we wouldn't need all these additional charges.
The taxpayers are already paying for council members' health insurance for a part-time job. This is on top of insurance for school board, county commissioners, also not full-time positions.
All lies are not the same
In answer to the Backus writer I would like to remind him that President George Washington lied, President Richard Nixon lied, House Speaker Gingrich lied, along with Reps. Barr and Livingston! All are Republicans! George Bush is the leader of the Republican pack! The problem is George W.'s lies are costing thousands of precious lives of military personnel, and billions of taxpayer dollars!
President Bill Clinton's lie did neither!
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