Sunday, September 23, 2018


Voice of the People 09/02/18

News source critical

The news I read in the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram has been researched and is factual; they will even print a retraction if they report in err.

I also enjoy reading the commentary in “Voice of the People”; many times the contributors produce very insightful views. Of course, the commentary is sometimes political conspiracy theories; a repetition of Facebook, Twitter, Fox news; hate, love or justice according to religion; or the attitude of I “have mine, the heck with the poor,” etc.

Sometimes the commentary is merely humorous cockamamie drivel; I even add my own now and then. Although I have learned to ignore the hate and spite contributors, I enjoy reading local opinions, but for news we need factual accounting.

In my opinion, Fox is not news. In a study of informed people, Fox listeners scored last behind NPR listeners and those who watched no news at all. Fox is clearly commentary on the news designed to advance an extreme right-wing agenda that benefits big business and the ultra-rich.

Read the paper, get your news from a reliable source.


Eau Claire

Patience a virtue

On Sept. 11, 2001, I was working for a TV network affiliate when a woman called on the phone and shouted, “Are you people crazy?” I said, “Excuse me?” She said, “Look at the other stations!” Then she hung up.

I presume she was disappointed that our local anchors were covering the horrific events while the other stations had national coverage from their networks. Presuming that I’m right, if she had stayed on the phone, I would’ve explained that our network’s satellite transmitter was on top of one of the Twin Towers that had collapsed.

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “When angry, count 10 before you speak; if very angry, 100.” Perhaps this advice should be used, as well, before evading the other person’s response to our ire.


Eau Claire

GOP unrecognizable

Recently, a letter was submitted claiming that Democrats have “lost their way.” However, I believe that Democrats have embraced a set of core values not the least bit associated with Bolshevism and that it is the Republicans who seem to have changed.

The party of balanced budgets has passed tax cuts that will result in a trillion-dollar deficit next year. The party of free trade is now supporting tariffs that are hurting farmers and corporations like Harley-Davidson. The party of “law and order” has recently seen associates of the president and, at least, two congressmen charged with crimes or found guilty of crimes or plead guilty to crimes. The party of “traditional family values” is now associated with separating immigrant children from their parents. Is it that the Republican Party is the party of “traditional white family values”?

In Wisconsin, the party of small government passes laws that overturn proposals passed by local school boards, county boards and city councils. Finally, the party of Lincoln that wrote the Emancipation Proclamation and had Dwight Eisenhower, who sent troops to Arkansas to desegregate schools, is now the party of choice for white nationalists.

My point is that perhaps Republicans need to look into the mirror before passing judgment on Democrats.


Eau Claire

The truth about Trump

For those of you calling President Trump a traitor and going down the Russian collusion path, here is a counter point.

President Obama’s administration was in power in 2016 when the Russian meddling took place. Trump was a candidate.

Obama downplayed the meddling by not wanting it to taint or cast doubt on Hillary Clinton’s assured victory. When Trump won, Russian meddling was brought to the forefront to discredit him and cast doubt on his win.

In June, an Obama cyber official testified to Congress that in late 2016, the Obama administration told him to stand down on a proposal he was developing to counter Russian interference. It was the Hillary campaign and the DNC that paid for the phony Russian dossier, talk about collusion. It was under Obama that Russia invaded the Ukraine in Eastern Europe.

The Clintons and their foundation collected millions of dollars from Russians. Weird? It was Obama’s failure to enforce his red line in Syria that allowed Russia to reinsert itself as a military and political power in the Middle East.

Obama circumvented Congress and sent billions in cash to Iran, the top terror sponsor. John Kerry even admitted that some of it would find its way to terrorists.

Trump has increased sanctions on Russia. His administration killed several hundred Russian fighters in Syria. He bombed a Syrian weapons site against the harsh warning of Vladimir Putin. He sent $200 million in military aid to the Ukraine to help fight the Russians. And he signed off on the largest defense budget ever proposed by Congress, $716 billion.

Trump is working with Saudi Arabia to fill the oil shortage that will come from increased sanctions on Iran after pulling out of the disastrous agreement Obama made with the people who constantly shout “Death to America.”


Eau Claire

Answer to labor shortage

Anytime I bring up the labor shortage, older individuals’ answer to the problem is, “Nobody wants to work and everybody knows it.”

As the conversation goes on, the discussion switches to the small families today versus when they were growing up. I ask if they think that might have something to do with the labor shortage. The answer is nope ... the young people just don’t want to work.

If for the sake of a conversation, the statement “Young people just don’t want to work” is true, could it be because old people have made so many laws that won’t let them work? Laws that allow agriculture youth to work at any age, but nonagriculture youth labor laws that won’t allow anyone under 16 years old to mow a lawn, run a microwave or oven, make coffee, start before 7 a.m. or work after 7 p.m. ... should I go on?

The idea that a student will automatically be able to jump into the workforce without any experience when they graduate with their degree is asinine. Research confirms if parents smoke, chances are the children will smoke. If parents wear their seatbelts, the children will. If parents teach their youth how to work, the youth will have a desire to earn their own money and won’t be living in their parents’ house living off their parents forever.

Old people-designed labor laws have contributed to the labor shortage and the ongoing roundtable discussion why the youth aren’t working is just as misleading.

Agriculture youth and nonagriculture youth should be given the same opportunities for success in life.


Spring Valley

New power plan lacking

I am deeply disappointed with the Trump administration’s proposal to replace the Clean Power Plan.

The administration is abandoning life-saving protections that would reduce carbon and harmful pollution from power plants and consider the people it pledged to serve. The so-called Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule would give power plants a license to pollute, putting those who are most vulnerable, including children, older adults and people with respiratory diseases, in harm’s way.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s own analysis says this proposal would result in up to 1,400 more premature deaths, all of which would have been prevented under the Clean Power Plan.

ACE also fails to meaningfully reduce the pollution that causes climate change. We’ve recently seen the direct impacts of extreme weather with the catastrophic flooding that occurred in parts of the state.

The longer the administration delays action to clean up our air and address climate change, the more Wisconsin families will suffer. I call upon the EPA to put health first and implement the Clean Power Plan, not this dangerous replacement.



Studying abroad positive

Now more than ever it is becoming increasingly important to be a globally aware and competent citizen.

For more than 70 years, AFS-USA has been bringing the world to local communities across the U.S. through high school international exchange programs. New students are arriving in preparation for this fall’s academic year, and we are offering opportunities for families in Eau Claire to be an AFS host family.

According to a recent Harris Poll commissioned by AFS, 81 percent of American adults believe hosting an exchange student makes people better global citizens. By becoming a host family, you can bring the world to your own family and community, inspiring others to become global citizens, increasing intercultural understanding, while building a bond with students from another part of the world.

Visit for more information or contact me, an AFS volunteer, at or 715-828-6559.


Eau Claire

Deal’s flaws come to light

A recent article in the National Review makes for a very interesting read.

As you may know, the National Review is an ultra-conservative, pro-Republican magazine founded by William F. Buckley. In that article, the author says, and I quote, “But the Foxconn deal is a condemnable example of corporate welfare in its most egregious form.”

The article points out that this atrocious deal stands to cost the taxpayers of Wisconsin approximately $3 billion in the form of tax credits. It says that, if indeed this deal creates the 13,000 jobs that Gov. Scott Walker has been claiming, it means that taxpayers will be paying $219,000 to Foxconn for each and every one of those jobs, and Wisconsin will not recoup this money until 2043. This will be in addition to tens of millions of dollars that taxpayers will have to shell out for infrastructure improvements for the Foxconn plant.

How can anyone construe this to be a good deal for the taxpayers of Wisconsin? Maybe Walker was too busy with photo ops and meetings with Maria Butina, the Russian spy who was recently indicted and who was involved in a $1 million contribution to Walker’s PAC.

Maybe the Russian distraction caused him to take his eye off the ball. I seriously doubt that. He knew exactly what he was doing in both instances.

When are Wisconsin taxpayers going to wake up and realize Walker is in this for himself and no one else? How badly does he have to misbehave before we say “no more” and send him packing? We have the power to rectify this situation. Don’t blow it.


Chippewa Falls

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