Letters to the Editor for Aug. 23, 2013

Property rights issue

To the Editor:

So I hear that the health inspector has been making the rounds at outfitters and marinas in the Ely, Tower area.

Some places were told that they need to install new countertops. Never mind that these are hard times. Pay no attention to the fact that this will pose a hardship on these businesses. If they end up closing down because they can’t afford it, no big deal. Who cares? They are a business so they are loaded with money, right?

Some places were told that dogs were not allowed inside their buildings. Do you think that if customers don’t like the fact that dogs are inside that they could bring their business elsewhere?

Whatever happened to property rights? Whatever happened to freedom of association?

How on earth did our ancestors ever make it clear across the country in wagon trains without government inspectors? Without people to tell them how to do it? How did the cave man ever survive without counter tops? What? He did? You mean, man is still alive?

Want to know what gives the government the right to tell people how to run their businesses? I have the answer. It has no such right.

The only purpose of the government is to protect our individual rights through the police, courts and military. Its purpose is not to be our caretaker. I don’t think government nannies were what Patrick Henry had in mind when he said, “Give me liberty or give me death.”

Funny. We are still being told that we are a free country. This is freedom?

Americans need to understand what freedom means. They need to read the document upon which the United States was founded, the Declaration of Independence, read some history, and they would discover that this was the first country that set men free from other men so they could pursue their own happiness.

Once that is understood, we can change our government to that which it was originally intended and have freedom, actual freedom.

“The Revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations. This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.” –John Adams, 1818.

Charlotte Cushman

Deadly year on the roads

To the Editor:

Minnesota is suffering a deadly year on our roads. Traffic deaths this week topped the 200-death mark for the year and we are on pace for around 450 deaths for 2013, which would be 55 more than 2012.

It may be easy to glance over these numbers and see them as figures and data. But we all know there’s much more behind them than that.

These numbers stand for Sherwin Johnson, 73, who was killed on his motorcycle July 29.

These numbers include Krista Suronen, 42, killed on July 27.

And these numbers represent Naw Wah, 48, and La Yin, 48, who also died in a crash on July 27.

Our hearts go out to these victims and their families. These are just a few of the 18 people we lost on the road in the past two weeks. Sadly, there are another 200-plus names that we could add to the list of 2013 traffic crash victims.

We can’t forget the lives lost. As drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians, it’s up to each of us to remember these victims as the reasons to practice safe behaviors to prevent future tragedies.

It’s a scary thought, but a crash could happen to any of us. You may not have heard about any of these crashes in the past week.

There’s a good chance these violent episodes didn’t occur in your community and you may not have had any connection to the victims or those involved.

But we are all connected when we are on the road. All it takes is a simple mistake to turn a routine drive into a fatal or life-changing collision.

Driving is a privilege. It’s an activity that carries a great amount of responsibility, as well as focus and attention. When we are behind the wheel, our primary goal must be to get to our destination safely.

Driving is not a time to conduct other business. It’s not an opportunity to daydream. It’s not a race.

Far too many lives are lost on Minnesota roads each year. It’s up to each of us to stop these tragedies.

We can prevent crashes and we can reverse this trend to reduce the deaths.

Please, buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention, drive sober — and drive cooperatively, not competitively.

Mona Dohman
Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner

Stunned by book choice

To the Editor:

I recently learned that Anoka Hennepin School District has a volunteer summer reading program for high school students called “Rock the Book Summer Read.”

It features a single book recommended by the school district. Great! I’m certainly in favor of promoting reading. But when I discovered what was in this summer’s promoted book “Eleanor and Park” I was stunned.

In just the first three pages, the book contains eight “f words” and three “s words,” plus two additional vulgar words. The entire book contains over 220 of the most profane words you can imagine.

And then there is the age inappropriate and highly controversial subject matter throughout. The book’s content is such that if it were attempted to be read over the air, the FCC wouldn’t allow it.

In 1975 the FCC levied a fine for the airing of George Carlin’s “seven words you can’t say on television.”

This book contains five of those seven words -repeatedly. And this semi-porno book would get an “R” rating by the Motion Picture Association of America for its profanity alone.

Yet, somehow this book was made available to our impressionable 14- to 17-year-olds.

On second thought, scratch “made available” it was promoted to them. There are also apparently over 70 copies of this book in the five ISD 11 high school libraries.

When I enroll my kids in school I trust school officials to provide the necessary screens for their well-being.

What happened here? How did this happen? Anoka-Hennepin SD has some answering to do to the parents of our kids who participated in this ill-fated summer reading program.

To learn more about this, and what you can do, go to http://www.parentsactionleague.org/book-alerts/and click the “Review of Rainbow Rowell Book Eleanor and Park”

Thank you,
Kirk Burback
Coon Rapids

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