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Letters to the editor: A more thoughtful tone

A more thoughtful tone

TO THE EDITOR

The James Anderson letter on Colin Kaepernick's protest (Sept. 6), as well as several

others he has written, cause me to wonder whether he wants to persuade people or just wants to vent. I will give him this: he is a very good writer. Even I, "hobbled with a public education" though I am, can see his superior writing ability. I've had a lot of practice judging writing from many years spent as a writing teacher.

For the sake of discussion, I will assume that Mr. Anderson would like to persuade others. If that's the case, then he has adopted the wrong tone. I am willing to consider his position on Kaepernick and to listen to his arguments—until I encounter his supercilious, demeaning tone toward protesters: (if you add up protesting players' I.Q. "the sum would be a two digit number; Kaepernick is a "half-wit"). After reading those ad hominem characterizations, I lose all interest in his points.

Considering the need for dialogue instead of rancor in today's political discussions, it would seem, difficult though it may be to use one, that we all need to adopt a more thoughtful tone.

Don Richards

River Falls

Hoorah for the conservatives

TO THE EDITOR

Writer D.M. Okeefe (Sept. 13, 2018) makes a succinct plea for a return to "old fashioned values," seemingly without realizing that those very same values have pushed us to the point wherein we all find ourselves.

As a "child of the 60s and 70s, I can remember reading—no doubt almost word for word—very nearly the same accusations made about me and my long-haired friends and our generation. "Rock and Roll and Free Love were the Devil's playground!" Meanwhile, the "silent majority" of Nixon gave us, well, the criminal President Nixon. Hoorah for the conservatives!

As Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, Dorothy Day, and others were feeding the hungry, marching for civil rights, and an end to war, conservatives like Gov. George Wallace were stoking the white man's fears of blacks, browns, gays, long-hairs, naked women, radical feminists, and a lost generation of youth. Hoorah for the conservatives!

Which sort of brings us to today: how different are the words of Limbaugh, Bannon, or even Mr. Trump from the fear-mongering of past conservatives? Conservatives with moral values have been running the Catholic Church for centuries: how many children were abused by those "good, moral leaders?" How many billions of dollars have been paid as compensation for crimes against children? Hoorah for the conservatives!

With the little space remaining to me, I want to go on record as a believer in the young generations of Americans and world citizens! I believe that the progressive commitment of millions of youth will liberate all of us from narrow-minded fear of the "other." I believe the intelligence of youth will rescue and regenerate this planet from the folly of "profit-first" conservatives. So a Big Hoorah for the youth!

Robert Daniel Smith

River Falls

VSO is thankful

TO THE EDITOR

My name is Phillip Landgraf, the St. Croix County Veteran Service Officer and I can't say thank

you enough for the generosity and passion of our local Veterans Service Organizations. The

American Legions and VFWs of St. Croix County helped raise $20,000 to purchase a new

vehicle to transport St. Croix County veterans to their VA medical appointments in Minneapolis.

For those who don't work with these organizations, this is just a glimpse into some of the

positive work the Legion and VFW Posts do on a monthly basis locally. St. Croix County

veterans organizations give back to our community and I want to personally thank everyone

involved in this endeavor. I am so grateful for all donations to this worthwhile program.

I encourage all veterans who are not involved in these organizations to inquire, and see if a

veteran organization is something you would want to be a part of. Also, I encourage all

veterans to contact our office if they are having issues/concerns or would like to talk about

entitled benefits based on your military service. Our telephone number is 715-386-4759 and we

are located in New Richmond at the St. Croix County Services Center. We would love to have a

conversation and see if there is a way we can assist you. A

gain, for those organizations who donated I will say it one more time: THANK YOU!

Phillip Landgraf

Director of Veterans Services

St. Croix County

Women have come a long way, but ...

TO THE EDITOR

The film, "RBG" (Ruth Bader Ginsburg), reminds us of the struggle women have had to become recognized as equals in society, from being able to vote, work outside the home, advanced studies to pursue careers, such as doctors, lawyers, architects, economists-even politicians, which had been the privilege of men only. Women have gained a lot, but men, it seems, still hold the last card, control over our bodies, that is, our right to choose if and how many children we can have.

I was at a conference in Latin America some years ago and one of the questions given to us for discussion was: what was the occurrence in the 20th century that had the most profound impact on society? Many scientific discoveries were cited like the discovery of antibiotics, vaccines, weapons of destruction and the atom bomb. Then a voice spoke out saying, "the study of contraception resulting in the pill! This medical advancement freed women for more participation in society: to work outside the home, to higher education and even as political activists. Never before had women been free to participate in the financial support of their families, giving them more value in society and thus self esteem. This was a financial boom to poor and middle class families. This changed women's lives and as a result, changed society.

There were and still are religious prohibitions but in the end, importantly, it gives women the right to make their own choices, while respecting other women's religious values to make their own choices. In a sense women were permitted to be in charge of their own destiny. And we know today the impact of this power which changed so many aspects of our society as women became participants in every type of employment.

Yet today, there are still some areas that women are barred from, not by law but by male dominance. If the issue is abortion, then the loss of contraceptive rights would lead to women seeking more abortions which is the the dominant concern in this rebuttal. And as the confirmation of the new candidate for the Supreme Court was conducted, why the evasion of certain issues pertaining to women's intimate personal rights, that is, the Roe Wade decision. For it is not just an abortion issue, but the right of all women to choose according to each one's religious values, that is, exercise her sexual and reproductive rights, which, if Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed would be determined by six men and three women? And are there laws pertaining to men's intimate rights to make decisions about their bodies? If men can make their own decisions as to their lives, why can't women? Should these intimate decisions be determined by the government? Or rather, each woman's moral and religious values.

Yes, in the history of our great country, women have come a long way, but a now participating half of American society, still has a ways to go.

Rev. Barb de Souza

River Falls