A call to, and for, arms

There is a clear call to arms in America.

It is as clear as any we have seen. It is as clear as the call to the patriots that founded this country, to those who fought in the Civil War to save this country or those who fought in WW-II to save it from tyranny.

The sacrifice being asked is so much less than was asked of those who fought on Bunker Hill, at Gettysburg or on the beaches of Omaha. It is not asking that you give up your years, your limbs or your life. The shot requested is not from your rifle but in your arm.

Do not wave your flag or talk of patriotism if this is too great of a sacrifice for you. This is so much less of a loss of personal freedom than being asked or told to serve in our military. Neither stubbornness nor ignorance is an excuse for this selfishness or cowardice.

The Grim Reaper is now after our children. Wear a mask, give your neighbor space, roll up your sleeve and get the shot. It is time to “Make America Safe Again.”

Ed Hicks

Eau Claire

GOP motives dubious

Do you understand why Republican governors are so intent on making mask and vaccine mandates impossible (thus killing people)?

They claim — Gov. Ron DeSantis most loudly — they are doing so in the name of “freedom” (a word to rile up the Donald Trump base) and parental choice. “Choice” is interesting since these same governors would deny choice to pregnant women.

But what are the real motives? The edicts forbidding common-sense public health steps are the start of a carefully designed plot to steal money from those who follow blindly the gospel according to Fox News and other media that cater to the same audience.

First, find an issue, any issue, that is so extreme and dangerous that it is sure to generate a lot of media attention, not just praise from the right but especially frustration from the “dangerous and dishonest Democrats and mainstream media.”

Second, send out repeated emails and other solicitations urging true believers to send money, lots of money, so the media and Democrats (or “socialists” or “communists” — whatever incites more) can be brought to heel.

Third, when attention starts to wane, call a press briefing to lambaste the media and Democrats of trying to destroy freedom, rights and our democracy. Then ask for more money.

It’s just a scam, folks. Look at Trump. His post-presidential theme is the “stolen” election; he has profited off suckers by over a $100 million. What has he used it for? To help with the causes he promised? Nope, not a penny. The only expenditures are for his own legal defense fund.

To those who continue to donate, it’s your money, but please think about how badly you are being scammed and cheated. For what and by whom?

John Urice

Eau Claire

A Taliban resemblance

The actions of Republicans in Congress and those controlling state legislatures clearly demonstrate how consumed the GOP is with power and control. Consider:

• Republicans’ refusal to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection incited by Donald Trump, despite all of us witnessing television accounts of the criminal trespass of the U.S. Capitol in a blatant attempt to overthrow the democratic process.

• The GOP’s legislative actions in Texas outlawing all abortions beginning with the onset of a heartbeat, regardless of the circumstances (incest? rape?) to control/nullify a woman’s decisions about her own body as guaranteed by the Constitution.

• This Texas law authorizes that a $10,000 bounty can accrue to any person who reports and sues anyone who abets an abortion in Texas. Thus, someone without legal standing may claim a grievance, collect a bounty and collect lawyer’s fees merely by making an accusation that someone assisted an abortion after a newly legal six-week period.

• Republicans continue railing against requiring masks to thwart a rampant COVID variant, refusing to acknowledge the medical advice provided by doctors, the CDC and public health authorities. Such rashness endangers the health of everyone, including those who have taken vaccines as a health precaution. Republican governors in several states have gone a step farther to penalize school districts, municipalities and even businesses that mandate masks/vaccinations for employees and clients. Such overreaching acts at control certainly echo the Taliban.

• Republicans enacting laws to nullify valid election results by establishing authority for party officials to overturn election outcomes in many states are autocratic attempts to overthrow democracy in our country.

Just like Taliban behaviors, Republicans are overthrowing democracy here. Why would any self-respecting U.S. citizen support any of these treasonous and anti-democratic acts? Wake up, citizens.

J.T. Downen

Eau Claire

Pulling troops lauded

I am not pleased that the Afghan people do not feel democracy is worth fighting for. I am not pleased that we have spent two decades there without the results we had hoped for.

The withdrawal may have been done in a more controlled way, but chaos was going to be a part of this no matter what. Twenty years of trying to implement democracy has failed.

Actually, each of the last presidents have struggled with the desire to leave. A U.S. diplomat is among many in Washington who think it is time to end a directionless war that has cost American taxpayers $2 trillion.

We’ve been there for two decades and still the Afghan government cannot protect itself. We cannot have a presence there forever.

America cannot put troops on the ground in every country that may need democracy. We have given the Afghans every chance to change. We have trained an army of 300,000 troops for them. We have armed them with sophisticated weapons. We have prepared them to defend democracy, but they have failed to do so. Their president fled, their soldiers disintegrated and their citizens are leaving.

Frankly, I do not want my grandchildren sacrificing their lives for a country not willing to defend itself. We cannot do more than we have done. It is sad that the citizens of Afghanistan will not enjoy democracy. However, we can only do so much. Twenty years is enough.

Vincent Ruzic