Sunday, February 18, 2018

Opinion

Voice of the People 02/04/18

A revolution

While watching current events unfold and thinking historically, I must conclude the #MeToo movement is a social revolution.

It remains to be seen how long this story will play out, but true revolution takes years, and the results are typically mixed at best. By nature, revolution creates fanaticism and is unlikely to happen without it. Fanatics are necessary because it is human nature to resist change, and it is painful to admit uncomfortable truths.

Not every French noble who went to the guillotine was guilty and not every man accused of sexual harassment is either; that is an uncomfortable truth. It is also obvious that most men accused are guilty, the examples are endless and many well-known — NPR’s documentation of the allegations against Garrison Keillor being a recent and famous example.

Revolutions also create counterrevolutionaries. Women, led by Phyllis Schlafly, were instrumental in stopping the Equal Rights Amendment in 15 states and kept it from being added to the Constitution. Historically speaking, the men and women opposed to this revolution will probably die with men still in control, so they can take heart and keep reading Mallard Fillmore in the funny pages. An occasional instance of a man wrongly accused will give them the righteous indignation they will use to fight positive social change.

Personally, I hope they change and we all live to see the ERA become the law of the land; Wisconsin ratified the ERA in 1972. We have a long history of needing to be pushed toward social change and this one is long overdue, so keep pushing #MeToo.

MYRON BUCHHOLZ

Eau Claire

Election nears

One problem these days is getting people to run in elections for public service.

I was surprised when I saw there were 11 people running for the 15 seats on the Chippewa County Board this year. My reaction was, this is great.

It’s good there are so many people willing to put in the time and effort to serve, but then I realized four of the men planning to run were the same men who had been on the board previously or had run and failed to get elected or re-elected in the last election.

What a coincidence, I thought, that all four, and in particular the three previous incumbents, decided to try again to get elected at the same time. It looks as though there has been a behind-the-scenes effort of the former board members to get back on the board.

Also, one wonders if there is a concerted effort to oust the current board members, who won each of their respective races convincingly. If that is the case, it would be good to know who’s behind this and why they are so determined to return the membership of the board to what it was prior to the last election, in which the majority of voters of Chippewa County made it clear these three (Paul Michels, Henry Shakal and Mike Leisz) needed to be replaced.

As far as I can tell, the new board members elected two years ago to their first terms have been doing a good job. To get the most benefit of their experience and expertise, we need to re-elect them.

CURT ROHLAND

Chippewa Falls

Choices are influential

I read an article with the headline, “Three richest in U.S. own as much wealth as half of us.” Kind of puts them in a poor light. How could they be so selfless?

It went on to say Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett are worth $250 billion, which is more than the combined net worth of the poorest 160 million Americans.

How about more facts? If the $250 billion was divided among the 160 million poorest Americans, the poor would each get $1,562.50. Sadly, after getting the $1,562.50, the poor are still poor, and Gates and Bezos, Americans who changed the entire world, would be broke.

As you can see, the theory of wealth distribution is simply poppycock. Just think of all the Americans and citizens of the world who have benefited from Bezos and Gates. Don’t run them down for being rich ... build them up for benefiting both rich and poor.

An old adage says the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. This is somewhat true, but there is likely a story behind each. I am sure some of the rich got rich solely on the backs of the poor, which is terrible. But I am also sure some of the poor got there based on choices they made ... dropping out of school, drugs, taking the easy path versus the harder path, etc. Doesn’t a good parent tell their kids there are consequences when you make bad choices?

And unfortunately some of the poor did nothing wrong, but simply got dealt some tough cards. Those are the Americans that should get help.

Michelle Parsons wrote, “Don’t compare yourself to others ... that’s a battle you’ll never win!” The “entitlement mentality” is poppycock. As my son says, “you have to work hard to be lucky.” Good luck to all.

JON HEHLI

Altoona

Equal treatment sought

First of all, let me say that I appreciate the efforts of Eau Claire’s snow removal employees who do a commendable job of keeping the city up and running during snowstorms like we experienced Jan. 22. I am sure they deal with a variety of challenging issues.

That being said, for the past 15 years, I have fought the yearly battle of trying to get the snowplow drivers to remedy the situation of leaving an inordinate amount of snow at the end of my driveway. Alas, to no avail. I was told that the snow is to be evenly distributed around the cul-de-sac. I wonder why my neighbors can measure the snow at the bottom of their driveways in inches, and I measure mine in feet.

I am not asking that my driveway be left unscathed, however, being that my driveway is at the end of the cul-de-sac, the entire contents of the street gets deposited squarely at the end of my driveway. If this is an even dispersal, I am confused as to the definition of even.

My next-door neighbor and I have pictures to prove our point. Also, it seems to me that sending a road grader down my small residential street is overkill. Perhaps a vehicle that is more manageable in a confined cul-de-sac space would be more appropriate and provide the even dispersal that is supposed to happen.

I believe the maneuverability of a smaller vehicle would alleviate a lot of the problem. I have spoken to the street department many, many times over the years and get no resolve. I plan to speak to my city councilman as well.

As I stated before, I am not looking for preferential treatment, just equitable treatment. More often than not, I am buried alive on the north side.

SUE HENNEMAN

Eau Claire

Many taxpayers left out

In regard to Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to give everyone with children 18 years and younger $100 for each one: You say we have a tax surplus but only a select group gets a tax rebate.

What about all the taxpayers on Social Security for their only means of support? The working people living paycheck to paycheck? The people who can’t afford health insurance? What about our crumbling roads? These people all pay taxes and don’t get diddly.

Walker’s favorite saying is “from hammocks to trampolines.” I’ll bet all the taxpayers who don’t get anything are jumping up and down with joy, while the recipients who get $100 for each child are relaxing in their hammocks.

Remember who proposed this in the next election.

BRIAN JOHNSON

Eau Claire


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