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Letters to the editor: I want to be a doctor; Going back in the Scriptures

I want to be a doctor ...


As a millennial struggling with mental health, I want to help others. Living in a world with such a large stigma behind mental health it is difficult for people to speak out. I am aiming to encourage others to speak up and to know that they aren't alone. Help is out there. 1-800-273-8255. This is for you Micaila.

I want to be a doctor.

Not for the money,

Not for the fame.

To help those who need it,

To help those who blame.

Blame themselves,

Blame others,

Blame anyone,

Even their mothers.

I want to be a doctor.

To talk to that girl,

Who's holding a blade.

To talk to that boy,

Who might want to stay.

To talk to the grandpa,

Who's back in the war.

And to talk to the brother,

Who's still at the bar.

I want to be a doctor.

To listen to the child,

Whose mother is wild.

To listen to the teen,

Who's 3 weeks clean.

To listen to the man,

Who's living in his van.

I want to be a doctor.

To keep myself alive.

So I'm able to strive.

So I can put down the blade.

So I will want to stay.

I want to be a doctor.

For you.

For them.

For us.

And for me.

I want to be a doctor.

Cory Petersen

UWRF Psychology Student

Going back in the Scriptures


Mr. James Anderson's Letter of Jan. 4, 2018 was another stunning bit of near-revelation. Who can argue with Sacred Scripture? Well, given the history of Christianity and every other world religion, apparently everyone! Oh but, I'll not be going there, for Mr. Anderson inspired me to go deeper in Scripture-digging.

I wasn't interested in a small sample. I went through layers and layers as if on some archeological dig in the barren deserts of the Middle East. As a matter of fact, I went all the way back in time and ended up in the first pages of the Hebrew Scriptures, in a book called "Genesis." What did I find there?

According to the Bible, God's "Original Intent" was to go strolling through a Garden with a couple of naked vegetarians! "Wow," I thought, what a wild "liberal democrat!" But hey, I'm not going to argue about Holy Scripture!

As a matter of fact, near as I can tell, I want to be the first one to come up with a Plan — based on the first pages of Genesis — here it is: We remodel every church into a greenhouse: we plant luscious gardens within them, complete with fruit trees and fountains. Then, when we gather for worship, we leave our clothes at the door! Following the Original Intent of the Holy One, we circle up, naked as the day we were born, and sing Amazing Grace! What an amazing day this will be!

Now, I realize that some folks — perhaps most folks — especially "conservative republicans," will not want to go any further back in Scripture than the parts about sin, separation, and division (I guess they like that stuff). But perhaps the Unitarian Universalists can take the lead with my plan. We'll see.

Robert Daniel Smith

River Falls

Little or no factual information


The special election to fill Sheila Harsdorf's seat in the State Senate is the 16th of this month. One of the candidates, in my opinion, is presenting little or no factual information to back up claims that there are some people in our district Housing Authority who would like to prevent homeowners from flying the American flag. That reducing the size of the state government that presses down on us like a great weight would result in more families being able to afford buying a home. Yet the candidate does say what programs would be cut for this to happen.

We have short time to take a good look at both candidates. Are they willing to work to heal or to divide? What about the language they use to introduce themselves to us—such as clear, specific information as opposed to statements that are vague, unproven and could cause fear and anger? In the end, do they talk to us as if we are intelligent or stupid?

Jim Moenke

River Falls

A Christmas gift shop thank you


The members of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 121 of River Falls thank everyone for their generous donations to our Hospitalized Veterans Christmas Gift Shop. Also thanks to Freeman Drug for the use of its window and all of their help.

The response was overwhelming again. Our van was filled to the top with boxes and bags of beautiful gifts that we delivered to the Minneapolis Veterans Hospital. They were very much appreciated.

Thanks again to the wonderful caring and sharing people of the River Falls area. We are so proud of you all!

Betty Swenson

Town of Kinnickinnic

Missing my old-time Republican friends


I remember a few conservative friends I treasured. They believed in the "common good" without calling it "socialism" because "we're all in this together and what affects one, affects us all." They would call anyone "acting a damn fool" to his face, including the President, and would seek to put a stop to it PDQ! They believed that the presidency of the U.S. was the dignified and intelligent face of the nation to the world and would NOT have supported anyone acting like a "horse's arse" in the public sphere, representing the U.S.

They called things like they were. They didn't try to pull the wool over your eyes to fit their political agenda. Moreover, there were things that were more important than party line, land, resources, being right, power or wealth. These folks didn't piously sit in church on Sunday, then go home, break out the beers, verbally and physically control and abuse their families. To them, NOT being hypocritical was VERY important. You had to "walk your walk and talk your talk."

Being a Christian meant loving your family and your neighbor all of the time, not just when it suited the political agenda, or when you were out in public.The greatest of these, my friend said, "is love. It all starts with the family. If you can't treat your family with love and tenderness, settle problems there with compassion and intelligence, you've got no business in politics. It's an extension of who you are and how you function in the world."

We would talk about our political positions. They would say,"You give a little, we'll give a little, let's meet in the middle. We can work together across partisan lines to fix what is broken. We have to for all of our people. And, hey, we can learn something from each other everyday." What would my friends say today? They are no longer with us, but I think they'd say, "Don't be stupid, selfish or separated." If you see the "emperor has no clothes" don't rationalize it.

Don't lie to the American public. DO SOMETHING for the SAFETY and WORLD STANDING of the U.S. The rest of the world is not stupid and if they see U.S. with an incompetent in office, they will utilize it to their advantage.

Nothing says the U.S. must remain a world leader. Our country can fall just as Britain did. Don't leave your brain at the door in order to follow the party line. Don't be selfish. Today's Republicans are wealth-oriented, but are they really concerned with the common good? If ALL OF US aren't being lifted up together, it isn't the UNITED States. No nation can thrive when some of us are dying and suffering from want and lack of access to basic services. Money must not be our God. Lastly, my friends would remind us that we had worked long and hard for civil rights and dignity for the poor, elderly and disenfranchised. Opportunity for all is our way forward. We do better when we ALL do better. If you meet a Republican who incorporates these values, send them my way. Like my friends, I want to work with them.

Linda M. Alvarez

River Falls