Letters to the Editor for Feb. 8, 2013

Leadership broke word

To the Editor:

On Jan. 1, the Republican leadership broke its promise about not raising taxes on the rich.

It reminds me of the speech that Yaron Brook gave at the Tea Party Patriots Summit in Arizona Feb. 25, 2011 when he talked about the Republicans having a hard time with the budget. www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7fiagHwNJY:  He said, “They don’t have a principle.”

Yet the Founding Fathers had a principle. I find it interesting that for all the attention that the Founding Fathers are getting right now, people are still missing the one principle that they stood for and without that one principle there never would have been a United States of America.

It is this single idea that all the rest of their ideas rested upon and it is how they came up with their unique system of government.

Does any Republican leader even know what that one principle is, let alone stick to it? Yet the Founders were willing to risk their lives and everything they had for it — the principle of individual rights.

Individual rights are spelled out very clearly in the Declaration of Independence: Our rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (our happiness, not anyone else’s).

They went on to say that the government was created among men to protect those rights. And that is all the government should be doing. That’s it.

It is very depressing to see these Republicans just bow down to the wicked, to our enslavers and give them everything they want. The men of today have absolutely nothing in common with the men of 1776.

Yaron Brook pointed this out about the Founding Fathers: “They didn’t say, ‘We just want a little bit less taxes, please, King George.’ They didn’t say, ‘Give us some liberty, please, King George.’ They changed the world because they asked a fundamental question.

“And the question they asked is, ‘Who does your life – does my life – belong to?’ That’s a question that people had never asked, because it was always obvious: your life belongs to the state, to the king, to some emperor, to somebody else – and it’s your job to do his bidding.

“The Founders of this country said ‘No: sovereignty belongs with the individual. My life is mine. Your life is yours. And nobody can take that away – not a king; but not even a majority!”

Until politicians come forth that understand this principle and have the courage to act on this principle there will be no change.

We can just count on more compromises as they bend over to satisfy those who want to control our lives. And our time is running out.

Charlotte Cushman



Not home on Christmas

To the Editor:

I could not imagine having my mom or dad not home with me for Christmas.

I am lucky! I don’t have that problem, but other kids my age or even younger have parents working for the holidays.

There are many businesses that do not need to be available to customers that are open on Christmas Day. I think we need to make some changes. It is causing families to be apart.

I called a few restaurants and most of them were going to be closed for Christmas.

There was a big difference in the way people talked about if they were going to be home for Christmas or not.

At one McDonald’s, I talked to an employee and she said that they have to be open Christmas. There was nothing she could do about it. I could tell by her voice she felt helpless.

One thing I noticed is that everyone I spoke with said that they thought the restaurant should be closed so that employees get to spend time with family.

But we as customers sometimes help the idea to stay open without meaning to. When we go to restaurants for Christmas dinner we support that fact. Now I am not saying we have to close all things on Christmas.

Why not be open until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve but closed the next day on Christmas? Another idea is that the employees could get holiday pay for working, but it would still be their choice to work.

Still some places have to be open: hospitals, some gas stations, police stations and fire stations.

I think the people working at those places that have to be open should get a Christmas bonus.

As I conclude I think that restaurants and other unnecessary places should be closed or at least give the employees a choice to work at Christmas.

If we do this, people could have more time with their families. Thank you very much for hearing me.


Kaitlin L. McLeod



Inhumane breeding

To the Editor:

I am writing about inhumane dog and cat breeding in the state of Minnesota, and the fact that Minnesota has no state laws to regulate dog and cat breeders. Minnesota needs legislation to license, inspect and regulate commercial dog and cat breeders.

This issue matters to me as a pet parent and volunteer at the Animal Humane Society.

Minnesota has no state laws to regulate dog and cat breeders and, as a result, animals are harmed, consumers are sold unhealthy pets and communities, including law enforcement, the courts, humane societies and rescue groups, must “clean up” the problem without financial support from the breeding industry.

Inhumane practices include keeping the animals in too small cages for a lifetime until they are no longer able to breed and then put down; cages are not cleaned of waste matter; animals are malnourished, sick and not given veterinary care; and they are not socialized resulting in behavior problems.

Minnesota is one of the top breeder states in America, especially now that neighboring states have breeder laws on the books to address this problem. Therefore, breeders no longer able to practice in other states come here, creating a bigger issue.

Breeders can sell through the Internet, which is not regulated, and often are able to conceal the deplorable conditions that the animals live in, thus leading to innocent consumers buying a sick pet.

Present laws are complaint-based, meaning that unless someone witnesses abuse or neglect, nothing is done. This law would prevent that cruelty.

The USDA does not regulate breeders that do not sell to stores, causing most breeders not to be held accountable for their actions.

Small scale, reputable breeders are unfairly disadvantaged, in that they can’t sell their pets at the same cost as large scale breeders, even though they follow the law.

Finally, no sales tax is gathered, causing Minnesota to lose out on a cash flow that could help us in these financially strapped times.

I gathered much of this information from animalfolksmn.org.


Amy Hetland



Progressive viewpoint

To the Editor:

I appreciate Ms. Sandra Kuder’s challenge (Dec. 28, One person’s point of view) to the liberal/progressive community on many topics.

This is my second response. I hope she (or others) will feel free to respond.

“Why do you insist on diversity but cry foul when someone who is different is appointed to your pet project? Do you hear me, Bryan Lindquist foes?”

The goal of the committee on bullying is to improve the school experience for gay students. Mr. Lindquist is known only for his opposition to gays and his acceptance of bogus and misleading science.

There is legitimate concern that Mr. Lindquist has religious motives that would conflict with the purpose of the committee. If he really does want to improve the safety and welfare of gay students, his perspective and contacts would be most helpful.

“Why is a Congressional filibuster a bad thing when your party is in the majority, but a good thing when it’s not? Do you realize it was designed to make sure the minority has a voice on an issue?”

The filibuster was intended to extend debate and give senators more time to consider their vote in the face of intense opposition and public scrutiny. The filibuster is now used to prevent a bill from even being debated.

Filibusters are often filed so that other members don’t know who is responsible (hidden filibuster). Senators concerned about minority rights do not hide. They seek publicity to marshal public opinion against the unjust bill.

Filibuster reform would force the filibustering senator onto the open floor so the public can judge the merits of the action.

This is not “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.” Republicans filibustered 390 times over the last six years, a dismal record that is likely to stand well into eternity.

This is raw obstructionism, an attempt to protect the privileges and profits of the 1 percent by gaming our democratic process.


Rod Kuehn


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