Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Commentary

Voice of the People 08/12/18

  • Tooner-420

Victim rights crucial 

Victims have a right to know of crimes committed against them from law enforcement.

The Eau Claire Police Department was found guilty of not notifying victims of their rights under state law by the Wisconsin Crime Victim Rights Board. The CVRB then sent a packet out to all sheriffs and police departments in the state of Wisconsin reminding them of their duty to inform victims of their rights under state law.

After multiple requests for an incident report from the ECPD and as many denials, we filed a complaint with the Eau Claire Police Department and Fire Commission who told us to respect the actions of the ECPD and denied our complaint.

We came to find out over two years later that there were multiple crimes committed against us that were in the incident report. We needed that report in order to exact justice, which we were denied because of the ECPD, not to mention having to hire an attorney we never would have needed had we known our victim rights.

I am writing this letter to make people aware that not all of our law enforcement officers operate within the legal boundaries of their duties. Our family was told this was a very big decision for all victims, and they were proud we did not give up after how we were repeatedly treated, which continues to this day. We feel it is our duty as citizens/​victims to let those individuals know we will contest their actions of denying us our rights under the law.

GLEN BOWE

Eau Claire

Legislation supported

At our core, Americans are a giving people. We look out for our neighbors and as anyone that has seen the recent outpouring of crowdsourced fundraising can tell you, we even look out for strangers.

Unfortunately, though, some of the most vulnerable among us can be targeted because of the help others are willing to give them. Currently, there is a national push by some health insurance companies to prohibit charities from helping pay premiums for those who are sick. This “third-party payment ban” results in some that are very sick and have little means to make an income losing their insurance and being forced onto government programs.

Luckily, there is a bipartisan bill known as the Access to Marketplace Insurance Act that would fix this problem by simply saying insurance companies cannot discriminate against customers just because they get premium help from nonprofit charities and churches. The bill has massive bipartisan support, with over 100 Republican and over 60 Democratic cosponsors — including Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner, Sean Duffy, Mark Pocan, Glenn Grothman and Mike Gallagher right here in Wisconsin.

Insurance companies should not be able to exclude patients just because a fellow American is willing to help them. I’m glad to see bipartisan support for this important bill and I hope our elected officials will move quickly to pass it into law.

CHARLOTTE RASMUSSEN

Stanley

Addressing immigration

I am a 68-year-old childless male and I’m angry.

I’ve had to sit through years of presidents I did not like. Previous presidents have done damage to my country, my values, my pocketbook, health and now my planet Earth.

The problem some do not understand is that illegal entrants may have minor children who are U.S. citizens as the result of native birth. Illegal entrants are suspected criminals while U.S. citizens born in our country are not necessarily suspected criminals. They should be separated.

The secular left wants to open our country to the world, yet they are unprepared to pay for the cost of their magnanimity. Please put up a suggestion to answer your own criticism; why expect everyone else to solve your moral problems? You are wrong: Native Americans invaded America, just as my ancestors did prior to 1883 when citizenry was defined by a six-month residency, no ID, no papers, no language requirement.

WILLI CHENEY

Eau Claire

Summit leaves questions

As Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections proceeds, alarming revelations emerge almost daily.

Hacking our voting systems is ominous, certainly, though there’s no compelling evidence that direct tampering changed the outcome of the presidential election.

More insidious is the now well-documented psychological warfare Russia has waged against a divided America, using digital and social media to enflame an already polarized electorate and deepen the divisions in American society. Russian trolls and propagandists have targeted voters on both the right and the left with inflammatory messages aimed at intensifying partisan rancor, vilifying and demonizing political opponents and diminishing constructive civic discourse across political lines.

Where we once viewed contending political parties as “loyal opposition,” we now seem to have crossed a line into the destructive territory of political opponent as “enemy.”

There is an old saying, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” By that logic, Vladimir Putin, the declared enemy of Hillary Clinton, can be accepted as a friend of Donald Trump and the GOP. We are on dangerous ground when an American president sides with a hostile foreign power against his own country’s opposition party. Even more dangerous when that party won’t check him.

Every patriotic American should be concerned with the attack on our mutual life by sophisticated foreign manipulators. Party affiliation should not limit our alarm at being kept in the dark regarding agreements made in private in Helsinki by two known pathological liars.

Many suspect that Putin is blackmailing Trump with kompramat — compromising information — standard operating procedure in Russian politics and business.

Has Trump secretly blessed Putin’s aggression toward the Ukraine?

Endorsed Russia’s backing of the murderous Assad regime in Syria?

If so, how will we ever find out? Such an unrecorded “summit” must not be allowed to occur again.

THOMAS SMITH

River Falls

Contributions cheered

Congratulations to the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, area media and the YMCA for the special coverage of the new John & Fay Menard Tennis Center. Many of us have benefited from the $15 million-plus that John donated in 2008 to Luther Midelfort.

It’s mind-boggling to think of the enormous economic impact of salary and benefits of over 45,000 nationwide employees and their families. To comprehend the products and purchases at those 316 nationwide Menards stores by millions of customers is staggering.

The parents, John Jr. and Rosemary Menard, now faithfully departed, deserve special recognition. Each of their eight children has been super successful.

John Sr. was a math professor at UW-Eau Claire, Rosemary, a highly respected teacher at St. James Catholic Elementary School. They are reputed to have operated one of the largest dairy farms and the first milking parlors in Wisconsin.

John Menard Jr., you would not make a good politician. You shy away from public appearances and are just too humble. But your shrewd, brilliant genius and passion deserve to be emulated.

John, you would’ve been a good biker, but you worked too hard. Perhaps you’ll take that motorcycling trip to Alaska? When are you going to semi-retire? Which bike ya gonna take — the Victory, Indian or Slingshot?

Maybe you’ll get a group and see where all that lumber came from that your customers have used over the years. I remember well unloading your boxcars of lumber for you — coming from the great Pacific Northwest in 1971 and 1972. Sometimes we felt like you were overpaying us at $75 a box car.

Thank you to the whole Menard extended family and loved ones. You surely make us proud. After all, we — your friends and customers — can also help take credit for your ongoing achievements.

DAVE ZIEN

Eau Claire

Combating Alzheimer’s

Every 65 seconds someone in America develops Alzheimer’s disease.

In the Chippewa Valley, there is an estimated 4,000 people living with Alzheimer’s disease or another of the 70 different types of dementia. This means that nearly one-fifth of the Chippewa Valley is helping to care for someone living with memory loss.

Often when one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia the person and those who know and love them don’t know what to do or where to turn. We are blessed in the Chippewa Valley to have a local Alzheimer’s Association chapter, wonderful Aging and Disability Resource Centers and numerous supportive medical organizations to help one navigate the disease. However, more funding and raising of awareness needs to be done.

It’s time to create a community where everyone’s memories last a lifetime and a world without Alzheimer’s.

PAULA GIBSON

Eau Claire

‘Swamp’ can be positive

A swamp by any other name might be called a bureaucracy.

Among the many things our president has corrupted is the good name of the lowly, lovely, eco-friendly swamp. Not satisfied to have denigrated Muslims and Mexicans, women and minorities of every hue and stripe, he has alienated all our foreign allies and partners in trade, culture, tourism, sport, science and defense. He insists on standing aloft on a pedestal of his making, relegating all others — legislators, military experts, the intelligence community, our diplomats, the media, unions, any who oppose him — to his dismissively labeled “swamp.”

A swamp is a mysterious and wondrously shifting conglomerate of living things, plant and animal, whose apparent purpose is the filtering and cleansing from impurities that which flows into and through it — nature’s bureaucracy, so to speak, quietly doing its work. I thank God that, in foresight, he gave us swamps where frogs sing at night, ducks and geese find rest in their migrations, flowers bloom and cattail grows, and underneath its dark surface a hundred, a thousand, a million(?) sentient creatures work for our benefit.

Mr. Trump imagines a swamp as negative, destructive, only because the swamps he has encountered lay in the way of some casino or tower or golf course he wished to build. And so any governmental entity that he imagines is impeding his will, or threatening him, he calls a swamp.

Swamps are nature’s filters, just as bureaucracies are a nation’s filter and elections are democracy’s filter. In that light Trump’s reputed “swamp” is, in reality, the protector of our nation and free elections are the protectors of our “swamp” which, in the end, if allowed to do its work, will filter out the real corruption of our time — Trump’s corrosive ego.

JAMES RAPP

Altoona

Referendum questioned

The front page article, “High time” (Leader-Telegram, July 11), indicates that Eau Claire County officials are considering placing “an advisory referendum” concerning legalizing marijuana for adult use on the November ballot.

Question: Have the County Board members and Supervisor Gerald Wilkie reviewed (or will they review) literature pertaining to legalizing marijuana for adult use?

If adults, with accompanying children, use cannabis, the children are likely to be exposed frequently to the drug. This scenario happens now but will be more prevalent with legalization of the drug. Of interest might be an article in the “Continuum” (University of Utah). The article, “Genes and addiction,” discusses the under developed brain of the teenager. “The earlier a person starts experimenting with drugs, the more likely she will develop an addiction compared to the person who waits. For example, those who start drinking by age 13 have a 43 percent chance of becoming alcoholics. ... at 21 have only a 10 percent chance ...” A concerning statement in the article claims that teenage chronic users will endure lower IQs for the remainder of their lives. “Drugs ‘hijack’ the system (brain circuitry) by flooding the brain’s reward circuits with more dopamine than natural rewards can generate, creating a strong drive to take more drugs,” the article states.

Marijuana smoke has more carcinogens than normal cigarettes. Children accompanying adults smoking marijuana will experience adverse effects of the drug and carcinogens.

One child saved is worth more than all the tax money in the world. To learn more, go to tinyurl.com/​y8cv2a57.

JOHN DROST

Eau Claire

Bailout too expensive

Dear Senators and Congressmen:

This is in regard to the $12 billion in grants to U.S. farmers. As I see it this $12 billion is the direct result of a trade war initiated by our current president. This makes zero sense to me.

If my old school math is correct and we take the $12 billion and divided it by half the population of the U.S. (360 million people dived by two equals 180 million) we would have hopefully the tax-paying portion of the U.S. population. Taking this 180 million and dividing it into the proposed $12 billion I come up with $66-plus each of us will spend to support this unneeded grant. What next? A grant to New York hotel and resort owners who are having problems finding employees to work in their businesses. Why not? They are probably as deserving as any other business in the USA.

It is time to put a stop to all of this. I cannot afford it. After the recent federal tax cuts (I have yet to see any significant gain from it) I cannot afford anymore bailouts. I ask each of you to do your best to bring some rational common Wisconsin sense to the government. We cannot continue to function at this level of dysfunction for many more years.

JOEL SIGEL

Chippewa Falls

Solutions to dog issue

Recently, there was a letter questioning why the city of Eau Claire does not allow dogs in city parks.

The answer is very simple. I went to the dictionary to find the correct word to use in my answer ... ingrate, inconsiderate, degenerate, thoughtless and entitled all seemed to work but, as you know, in this day and age one cannot label people. So I stuck with the most politically correct word. Read on.

The main reason the city does not allow dogs is likely due to some inconsiderate people not cleaning up the poop their dog leaves for other people to navigate around. The decision to ban all dogs to prevent the few from misbehaving is poppycock. This type of “decision-making” is typical of folks who look for the easiest option. Good managers do not make rules that impact folks doing the right thing but rather, they make and enforce rules that stop the bad behavior.

I suggest the city allow dogs but penalize those (see words above) dog owners who do not clean up after their pet. Options for the penalty could include requiring the (see words above) to clean up the entire park of poop, pay a $100,000 fine, give up their oldest born child, deport the owner to Russia or San Francisco or have the (see words above) carry a sign at the farmers market on Saturday morning stating, “I am an ingrate that does not pick up my dog’s poop.”

I think my plan would be welcomed by responsible dog owners and would help curb PIP (poop in parks). I have a beautiful golden retriever and we never leave home without our poop bags. While it is disgusting carrying around those lovely smelling nuggets, it certainly is better than leaving our beloved pets at home.

JON HEHLI

Altoona

Walker moves praised

Tuition raises? I wouldn’t know anything about them. Thanks to Gov. Scott Walker, I haven’t had my tuition raised while at UW-Eau Claire for all three years that I’ve been here.

Instead of worrying about an increased financial strain — that my part-time job during the school year couldn’t handle — I can focus on my studies. Consequently, I think Walker is making the old brain drain into a brain gain here in Wisconsin. All of my friends, myself included, are looking forward to starting our new jobs right here in the state next spring. On Wisconsin and go Walker.

DREW REINICK

Eau Claire

Organization’s history lauded

A politician recently boasted in a TV ad that she helped “defund Planned Parenthood.”

Along with searching for the exact meaning of that phrase, I encourage you to learn about the origins of Planned Parenthood, the history of contraception and the reality of women’s lives before some very courageous people raised enough hell to help free them to live lives liberated from biological bondage.

Our mother gave birth to 11 healthy babies from 13 pregnancies. I’m told that she liked being pregnant, but in the mid-1960s, my parents approached priests in their parish to ask about the pill that had been developed in the decade prior. The answer was, “No, it is not permitted.”

They eventually found a priest in a nearby town who basically told them, “You’ve done your part. Use the pill.”

We, our parents and in some cases our grandparents had the advantage of this science. How dare we take action to make such resources harder for our young people to get rather than easier? How is the management of one’s sexual and reproductive life not a legitimate, essential and completely personal part of our health care in the year 2018?

Further, please take to the voting booth this fall to make your voice heard, loud and clear.

DAN AND MARY FISHER

Eau Claire

‘Fierce’ divisions plague America

The summer season, which normally seems all too short, feels as though it’s dragging its feet this year, so anxious am I to reach November’s Election Day.

How improper that I should be pushing my summer guest out the door but I can hardly entertain it while my mind is so fixated on bringing desperately-needed change to Washington. At the same time, I’m aware of a politically heated climate overhead that promises to extend into the fall, fueled by the intemperate divisiveness between the two factions vying for America’s future.

Major conflict has erupted between us in recent years, as fierce, I believe, as before the War Between the States, except that now anti-slavery sentiment is prevalent on both sides, each contending that enslavement would result were the other side to win.

I expect and regret that, come November, we shall arrive at our polling stations wary of some of our neighbors as being the enemy in our midst and depart, with high anxiety and resentment of them, to await the pivotal outcome of our balloting.

MICHAEL DORAN

Ladysmith

Paper backup on votes advised

With all the elections — from city to state and national — America should have a paper trail.

That paper trail of your vote is not just an electrical line that is being hacked by Russia but proof in that machine that you voted in two forms, online and on paper for cross referencing.

MARK WARNS

Eau Claire


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