As a member of the Baxter Police Department, I would like to publicly thank the members of the Baxter City Council for your willingness to make the hard decision of who would become the next Baxter police chief. Knowing your decision would be criticized and belittled by anonymous whiners, you plowed through the process determined to appoint the individual to whom you felt you could entrust the safety and protection of the citizens of Baxter. It was understood your choice would bring anger and disappointment to some because five of the six finalists were well known throughout our area as respected law enforcement officers. Any choice you made for this position would be praised by the supporters of the new chief, and criticized by the supporters of the other finalists. Already some have criticized your choice by stating in the Vox section of this newspaper that they were "baffled" by your choice. I do not share the anonymous critics' opinion because I do not believe you would jeopardize the safety of the citizens of Baxter by appointing an unqualified chief. As the secretary for the Baxter Police Department, I have worked on a daily basis with chief Exsted for over two years. It is my opinion that Chief Exsted is a man of exemplary character, who leads by example and who will serve the citizens of Baxter with great honesty and integrity. I know being a council member is a difficult and fairly thankless job. Again, thank you for making the hard decision.
The problem of perpetual deficits
In response to the 11/16 open forum. I'm not going to debate the particulars of the Marshall Plan with you, except to say that Worol was a war fought in much different circumstances than the Iraq war. Your argument that the current deficit is a drop in the bucket doesn't hold water and you provided no data to back it up. I'm guessing your dad doesn't have a degree in economics; you'll have to work harder to convince me.
Every year the government runs a deficit the national debt grows, every year the government runs a surplus the debt shrinks. The debt in 1940, was $42 billion. In 1946 it was $269 billion. By 1949 it was down to $252 billion and that's as low as it has been since. So, we've never actually recovered from the debt accumulated in World War II, your dad was right!
In 1980 the debt was under $1 trillion. In 1992 it was over $4 trillion. In 2000 it was $5.6 trillion but we finally had a few years where we ran surpluses and the debt shrank. Now the national debt is close to $7.5 trillion and with deficits projected for the next 10 years, the CBO estimates the debt will reach 9.9 trillion by the end of 2008 and $13.3 trillion by 2014. Of course you understand that when we borrow money we must pay interest. We will pay $322 trillion in interest this year. The CBO estimates those payments will grow to 504 trillion in 2008 and 691 trillion by 2014. Add it all up, and over the next 10 years, U.S. taxpayers will pay $5.4 trillion in interest because we've borrowed so much. There's a lot more I want to say on this issue, but I'll have to end today's message by saying I don't like the size of that bucket.
Woman still looking for dogs
To the people who still have my dogs:
The holiday season is upon us and I worry constantly about the whereabouts and well-being of Bosco and Nikki.
They are Texas and Arizona dogs and I don't know if they are coping with the cold. They are house pets and have no resources to adapt to outside facilities.
Please, if you, who have them, have any semblance of the Christmas spirit, call me, Suzanne, at 829-1724. Thank you.
Time for financial restructuring
I want to share some thoughts on war and oil, money and religion, because I believe they are connected. I think we're led to believe in certain ways useful to those wishing to remain in control. Consider -- America was established on a basis of religious freedom, yet many would deny this right to Islamic-based faiths -- why? It's not a conflict of ideology (actually similar in many ways) that stirs this angst; could it be the financial structure of Islamic belief we're not supposed to recognize? It's not oil or liberation, because American liberation is directly linked to U.S. currency. Why would we care if Islami principles or American Dollars establish...international strength? Oh, the Islamic faith very specifically bans the indebtedness we live under today in America. If you doubt we do so, how many of us live without mortgages, without debt,without 'owing our soul' to the financial powers that be? Our current federal debt will be falling on the next generations, and that is the biggest scandal of America today. If we look at the federal deficit, most of us owe more on it than we own, which means our land, homes, time and children's future have become indebted to others. We can't pay it off within the system we live and work in, because it's growing (must expand somewhere else to survive then?) Possibly this is the basic motive for conflict -- if we established a financial loaning system based on Islamic (and long-ago Christian) guidelines, the financial controllers would lose power and profit. Islamic faith, then, is a major threat to the money-holders. I submit we do need morality, not in our private lives, but in our financial structuring. What if we woke up?
East Gull Lake
Hike taxes on cigarettes
Smoking has become Minnesota's number one health issue. Per the Minnesota Department of Health, smoking takes the lives of 5600 Minnesotan's each year. A $1 per pack tax increase on cigarettes would prevent about 63,000 youth from smoking, save over 20,000 youth from dying from a tobacco-related disease and help nearly 40,000 Minnesota adults quit smoking. Even the tobacco industry admits that high cigarette prices are more effective than other strategies for making people quit.
To make smoking rates go down, the Minnesota Legislature needs to make the price per pack go up.
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