Letters: Twitter is NOT the platform; Water protection needs to be revisited
Twitter is NOT the platform
TO THE EDITOR
I once was an avid Facebook user. I enjoyed reading posts from friends and family. I, myself, would post birthday wishes, pictures of my children for people to see, and scroll the feed anxiously awaiting news of engagements, new babies, and good news.
Then one day, it dawned on me that I was spending more time reading about complaints, gossip, and family feuds. I would see people's typed words get misconstrued and how one simple word choice could start an online battle for all of the "world to see." How embarrassing. I no longer felt reconnected with the world after a "Facebook session." I felt overwhelmed, and more disconnected than ever. So I logged off, and never got back on. Do I miss it? Absolutely not.
Don't get me wrong. Social media has many amazing qualities, but I had to break up with it.
With that premise, I'm pleading with our dear President today. I'm asking him to get off the ever-loving Twitter. I promise you, President Trump that you won't miss it once you are off of it for at least 28 days. Change takes time. You will learn that working in the political realm.
In all seriousness, it baffles me that the Commander and Chief of the United States of America finds it necessary to converse with the leader of stinking North Korea via TWITTER! And in such a way to strike fear in the hearts of Americans, and the world alike. I always thought that the President had some secret phone in which he could hold conversations with leaders around the world. Maybe I've just been naïve. Maybe, before Twitter, the President of the United States has never spoken to any leader from any other country before. Maybe, just maybe, I have this all wrong, and Twitter is the only line of communication out there for "respected" decision-makers to uphold dialogue.
As I write this, I know that my words will get misconstrued, and not read exactly how I mean them to sound. The same is true for every Twitter post Trump has ever posted. As an American citizen I am disgusted and disappointed by the way our President is communicating with the world. He is potentially putting the world at dire risk with the touch of his keyboard/iPhone, and/or whatever golden-bedazzled electronic device he has at hand, and I cannot stay silent about my disapproval any longer. Go ahead, "tweet" a Happy Birthday message to your grandchild. Please do not tweet threats to North Korea, or respond to their threats through Twitter. There are other, more appropriate platforms where these conversations/statements can take place. Like a "bat phone" or something, I'm sure. Twitter is completely inappropriate.
May God help us all.
Water protection needs to be revisited
TO THE EDITOR
There have been excellent articles recently in our local newspapers about industrial dairies and their effect on our rural landscape.
For those who think the DNR is fully capable to protect our clean drinking water, a recent study in Kewaunee County revealed 60 percent of tested wells were contaminated with bovine and human bacteria. La Crosse County recently discovered contamination in private wells near an industrial hog facility. The DNR said they did not notify the residents or the county because they didn't have a policy to do so. An audit report last year found the DNR failed to issue citations for violations by industrial producers 94 percent of the time!
In March, a massive manure spill that had gone unreported by the owners and undetected by authorities for at least three months was discovered at Emerald Sky Dairy in St. Croix County. The DNR is still conducting its investigation nearly five months later. In the meantime, some area residents have discovered ecoli in their well water. Is it related to the spill or its cleanup? We don't know.
And now, the Dairy Business Association has filed a lawsuit against the DNR seeking to remove all State oversight of industrial dairies' handling of manure. Unconscionable!
Enough is enough. Until such time as legislators in Madison get serious about protecting our clean drinking water, we should pause on the rapid-fire approval of industrial dairies. Current protections for groundwater need to be revisited (since they aren't working) and deeper dives into problems need to be done! Citizens have a human right to clean drinking water.
Please do your part to maintain clean drinking water. Visit www.SustainRuralWisconsin.org and sign the petition for a state-wide moratorium on new or expanding industrial dairies until the DNR can get control of the situation. Better yet, take the resolution to your township, city council, or county board and ask for their support.
Industrial dairies are not your family operated farm. Farming has changed of late....but our need for clean drinking water will not ever change!
TO THE EDITOR
Very few people have written anti-Trump letters to the River Falls Journal. It's time for that to change.
We all know that Trump is incompetent, ignorant, and makes his decisions based on his ego. He is an outrageous liar, to the point that few people in the U.S. and abroad really believe anything he says. He says he's standing up for the American people, but we are considered a joke worldwide. Based on his own words, he is racist, anti-Muslim, anti-gay and transgender, and has sexually assaulted many women. He stated that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by China and he has denied the 13 U.S. intelligence agencies' views that Russia interfered with our election to his benefit.
Several Republican legislators (and many Democrat ones) have stood up against Trump. People are alarmed about Trump's lack of strategy in Afghanistan (and his failure to even appoint an ambassador and diplomatic staff, making any kind of diplomacy impossible). Trump has said just plain stupid things in response to his commission's recommendations on the opioid crisis (law and order instead of recommended treatment options) and on Russia's sanctions that cut in half our diplomatic presence ("thank you for reducing our payroll"—odd that he never has bad things to say about Putin?) Almost everyone, especially people living in the area, are revolting against Trump's $1.6 billion "wall." White supremacists are acknowledging Trump as their inspiration. Virtually all economists (including myself) agree that his protectionist policy proposals would harm U.S. consumers and exporters (such as the entire agricultural industry), as well as slow economic growth and jobs. They also know that his proposed immigration
policies would similarly slow economic growth and jobs. (Our currently low unemployment means that arguments against immigration are based on ignorance or anti-immigrant bias and not economics. We have far better ways to create jobs.)
Most seriously, every credible intelligence and defense expert says that Trump's bombastic language toward North Korea is highly dangerous at a time when we need a coherent and non-chaotic message from the White House. We are told that the risk of disaster from error and misjudgment is high when two belligerent leaders shout rhetoric at each other. Seventy-five percent of Americans believe Trump cannot manage the conflict.
Despite these, I think the problem of Trump's presidency is far more serious. I believe that Trump is seriously and dangerously mentally ill, and incapable of leading in a rational manner.
I do hear plenty of people trying to normalize the Trump administration. They trust that Trump's family or advisers will steer him properly (this hasn't happened). The Democrats talk about a re-birth in the 2018 Congressional elections and the 2020 presidential election. Others are patiently awaiting the results of the Mueller investigation.
We don't have the time to wait for Mueller, 2020, or even 2018. Trump policies have already had irreversible results.
Given all of this, now is the time for people to begin stating out loud that not only is Trump incapable of meeting the demands of the presidency, he is incapable based on his mental instability. I think this is something that every person must say out loud and relay to their Congressional leaders, Republican and Democrat. Congressional measures must be kkbi-partisan.
You can reach contact information for your legislators at www.senate.gov and www.house.gov. You can also write letters to the editor and talk to your friends about doing the same. It's time for people to do more than recognize Trump's ignorance and mental instability. It's time for people to say it out loud that he must be removed from office right now.
Thank you for considering my views.
Dr. Jackie Brux
River Falls Township
Emeritus Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for International
Development at the University of Wisconsin — River Falls