Letters to the editor for June 21, 2013

Oppose any tax increase

To the Editor:

If we raise taxes and send our government more money, will that be enough? Will they use that money to pay down our debt or use it to explode our $17 trillion debt even more?

Historically, I would argue that giving the government more money only gives them an excuse to spend more.

Gov. Dayton and President Obama cannot be trusted with more revenue from taxes.

For this reason, I oppose any proposal to raise taxes of any kind.

Because there are so many budget proposals on the table, I want to focus on one that will directly impact every Minnesotan.

Taxing American energy producers may sound like a good idea to some, but the real-world ramifications on average Americans are hard-felt. All of our products are directly or indirectly linked to the cost of petroleum.

For this reason, targeting taxes at domestic energy producers is counter-productive and often a blatantly political move.

The middle-class and lower-income individuals will be lopsidedly hurt. While these taxes are promoted as fair to the average Joe, they are anything but fair.

Jeanie Altman

Thoughtless over trash

To the Editor:

What would your back yard look like if you were responsible for managing all of your trash and throwaways? Would your buying habits change if you had to personally deal with every plastic bag, carton and can? How big a pile would occupy your living and playing space?

I grew up on the farm that my grandparents homesteaded in central Wisconsin in the late 1890’s.

Our family had lived there all that time, and we had been responsible for all of our disposables.

Behind the barn, there was a very small pile of tin cans. Incredibly, that was all that accumulated in nearly a 100 years!

A closer inspection revealed my mother’s fondness for salmon and tuna, about the only can labels there.

The rest of the trash was all recycled back to nature! Peelings and egg shells went back to the chickens. Bones and edibles went to the dog. Most of our meat, vegetables and fruit were home canned, so we reused all the jars and covers except the rubber rings under the metal covers.

We stored all the potatoes, squash, onions, rutabagas and so forth in the cellar and in the spring, we carried out what had spoiled and used it for fertilizer and seed on next year’s gardens.

A similar operation was going on in the barn. Dad hauled manure onto the fields for fertilizer. Horse manure was spread on the asparagus and rhubarb.

Straw was spread on the strawberries in the fall to insulate them, and carefully removed to cover the dirt between the rows to hold the moisture and make it easier to crawl along to pick them in the summer.

Dad cut wood for the furnace in the winter, and hauled it to the wood pile by the house, with a team of horses and a sleigh. In the spring, we split and cut it, ready for the next winter.

The picture of another time and place that I am painting is one of self-containment and independence.

We have become anything but nowadays, and the convenience of throwing our trash and recyclables in a bin has lead us to be quite thoughtless of the piles of refuse we are cluttering our world with, out of our sight.

Next time you shop and make choices, think about the “pile” you are creating and the footprint you are leaving in our precious world. Paper or plastic, canned or fresh, it all adds up!

While we can’t go back to those days, we can make a difference.

Rosemary O. Esler
Spring Lake Park

Indirect taxation

To the Editor:

Indirect taxation is the biggest scheme perpetrated on the American public.

From a political scoring perspective, politicians can easily score cheap points by saying they support tax increases on large corporations.

However, these statements are irresponsible, and the people making these comments know better.

Common sense teaches us that imposing higher taxes will result in higher costs that will ultimately get passed on to consumers – otherwise known as indirect taxation.

Like most people in Minnesota, I drive a lot. My gas bill consumes a good portion of my paycheck.
This is why I’m shocked when I heard President Obama’s proposal to raise taxes on American energy companies.

This proposal is political stagecraft at its worst. Higher taxes will mean everyone in Minnesota will pay higher prices on all goods and services.

Why is Mr. Obama so eager for everyone to pay more at the pump? I have yet to meet anyone that’s eager to pay more for gas.

I hope my elected officials in Washington will stand up for ordinary folks here and oppose these tax increases.

Jack Rogers
Ham Lake

Sen. Petersen betrays party

To the Editor:

After betraying his party by casting his vote in favor of same-sex “marriage,” Republican Senator Branden Petersen offered these parting words of advice to his children: “Be bold, be courageous and you will never regret it a day in your life.”

Senator Petersen, being bold and courageous is not a virtue if you are doing so for the wrong thing.
Two women or two men can never really be “married.”

This is a counterfeit relationship that mimics and mocks God-designed marriage. Making it legal does not make it right.

God sets the standard for marriage — not man. Truth is transcendent and does not change no matter how we try to twist and re-define it.

Let’s teach our children to be bold and courageous for the truth. If not, we will all regret it.

Barb Anderson

Letter one of most fearful

To the Editor:

The Union has printed many strange letters over the years. Surely Jeff Baumann’s latest (May 17, “Bombings in Boston”) must rate as one of the most fearful.

First a few corrections on his list of supposedly Muslim-inspired killings.

The Serbian atrocities were perpetrated by Christians against Muslims.

A Christian was also responsible for the Norwegian massacre from 2011. He was freaked about multiculturalism.

The greatest atrocities by far in Iraq were carried out by us.

We attacked a nation without provocation, in direct violation of international law that bans preemptive war.

We destroyed their culture, loosed civil war upon them, slaughtered hundreds of thousands and left women in worse condition than when we started.

The born-again, pro-life Christian, George Bush, started the war with phony, manufactured justifications.

Christians started the torture and defend it to this day.

Christians who want to hasten the Second Coming remain the primary supporters of the war.

The atrocities continue under another Christian, Barack Obama.

Mr. Baumann needs to be more careful about his lists of atrocities.

More to the point:

Ultra orthodox Jews must be restrained by police to prevent them from attacking other Jews at the Western Wall.

Settlers steal Palestinian land (with strong financial support from Christian fundamentalists) and justify their theft by saying that “God gave them the land.”

Christian fundamentalists have been involved in clinic bombings, assassinations and routine intimidation at clinics.

On a local level, they’re chafing to get their hands around the necks of anybody they disapprove of.
Jihadists kill people who insult their prophet. Too often, innocent bystanders are as good a target as the “blasphemers.”

What do these have in common? All are done by those who are unable to find the humanity in themselves and in their holy books.

These people find pleasure and sustenance in passages that justify assaulting those with different lives and values.

All of the holy books have murderous passages. However, the books also contain pleas for tolerance and goodwill.

Adherents make a choice. Some recognize the log in their own eye and search for commonalities and understanding.

Others object to the speck in their neighbor’s eye and become judgmental, fearful and even murderous.

The problem is the people, not the religion.

Mr. Baumann’s comment “Until one day, the … fully activated Muslims will … slaughter us with impunity…” is hysterical nonsense.

Rod Kuehn

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