I was not surprised when I heard that the county commissioners were discussing cleaning up someone's property and charging them for it. However, one man's treasure is another man's trash.
The rednecks were here first and they should have passed ordinances requiring everyone to have a major appliance in the front yard as a yard ornament and a front fence that has hubcaps nailed to it. If anyone fails to comply, the county would send out a crew to erect the fence and deliver the appliance for a nominal fee of several hundred dollars. The county could use labor from the jail and pay the prisoners enough to pay their board and room and, of course, charge a fee for supplying them. We could lower property taxes that way and dispose of a lot of appliances from the land fill. From the description of the properties in question, the owners have stored between $10,000 and $30,000 in not too easily moved material considering the present value of scrap iron. This is safer than art and probably safer than money in the bank which is in danger of evaporating from inflation and the failing dollar or being stolen through identity theft. In today's market, even China prefers the Euro over the American dollar but they still want American scrap! While it is well known that I am a member of the Crow Wing County DFL I don't pretend to speak for them or any one else except for the occasional redneck and usually they disagree with me.
JESSE NIX is secretary of the Crow Wing County DFL.
A modest proposal
Friday's Open Forum contributor ("Don't let candidates fool you") so inspired me that I decided to write, using similar logic, my own "modest proposal."
The issue is not whether murder is wrong. The issue is whether laws against murder lessen the number of killings or stop all killings. If laws could prevent murder, then the U.S. shouldn't have any homicides. But we do. If having no laws will cause more murders, then the small, anarchist nation of Filipencia should be teeming with slaughter; but my statistics (from a mysteriously secret source) attribute the lowest homicide total in the world to Filipencia.
It's obvious - people are going to kill each other whether the government makes laws against it or not, so we should stop punishing murder.
We need to take a hint from Europe (because everyone living in the greatest nation on Earth - the United States of America - should always look to less-civilized, less-prosperous, less-free nations for advice, even if the other nation's government hasn't endured half as long as ours): Legalize murder; then no one will commit it.
If you want to lower the murder rate, focus instead on teaching kids that murder is bad (I call it aggressive death-ed), or better yet, provide them with body armor and plastic swords, thus promoting "safe slaughter".
Don't let candidates fool you - It's more important to provide welfare for a child who is already born than to protect the child from being killed pre-birth. Vote for practical politicians, ones who will lower murder rates by legalizing murder.
Lies ooze like sludge
Every week we see the same right wing writers lambasting the liberals, distorting the truth and assassinating the character of anyone who disagrees with them. All you need to do is look at who wrote the letter and you have a pretty good idea of who they will be attacking and attack they do.
The majority of the Republican campaign is rife with attack ads and lies. I guess we should have expected nothing better from the party that has gotten us into this mess. It has gone way beyond dirty politics and is now filthy politics. From McCain and Palin down to the local candidates, the lies ooze like the filthy sludge that they are. It is apparent that with so little positive to offer, they are forced to attack their opponents with distortions and half truths, or as in some cases, out and out lies. Which of them wants to talk about the corruption in their ranks, the lies about the war, the mishandling of the war, which even McCain admits and the cesspool of the financial situation we are now in thanks to their deregulation of their buddies in big business.
In Friday night's debate, McCain distorted Obama's statements so often I think he's starting to believe his own lies and mistruths. Honesty seems missing from his resume. Experience is not everything if the experiences have been wrong decisions and stubbornness. A maverick, maybe, but not always right. Good judgement is based on knowledge and intelligence and experience does not guarantee either. This is obvious in some of McCain's positions over the years. Add to that the idea that Palin could end up president and my fear level shoots to the moon. I for one am not buying their pack of lies and deceptions.
Successful companies owe us?
In response to the writer last Thursday who said that if oil companies were made to pay their fair share of taxes, that everyone in our country would have health care: Your tax rate is probably 15-25 percent, while oil companies are taxed at about 49 percent. Yes, they also receive some tax breaks, but so do you with personal deductions on your income tax. Let's say your household brings in $100,000. Your tax bill before deductions would be $15,000 at 15 percent. Exxon made $20 billion in the first quarter - that made their total tax bill over $9 billion, which will be more like $36 billion for the entire year. That is just one oil company - paying billions of dollars in taxes every year. How are they not paying their fair share?
Then you said that these oil companies, if they paid their fair share, should pay for everyone citizen's health care. Let's say everyone in your neighborhood makes a lot less than you. Using your line of thinking, that would mean that you - as the richest household in your neighborhood - should be required to pay for the healthcare of all your neighbors. Does that sound fair to you? Of course, most of our welfare programs already work that way - taking from those of us who pay our fair share and giving it to people who would rather sit on their rump and collect handouts that are meant for those who actually need it. You want one avenue toward fiscal responsibility? Don't complain about the successful companies who are paying more taxes than every citizen in the U.S. combined, because without them I guarantee we all would be paying a whole lot more. Instead, start weaning capable people off the teat of the taxpayers.
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