This week’s VIEWPOINTs
Knowing fact from fake
A big thank-you to the online Wisconsin news site Madison.com for its new feature “Not real news roundup.” The site lists untrue news stories that have gone viral and briefly describes the facts.
There is so much truly fake news flying around on Facebook, Twitter, and various websites that needs to be debunked. Madison.com is performing a valuable public service by helping us sort out the mess! Check it out.
Alan Reder, Elcho
Tax reform no cure
Deception and lack of transparency are associated with [the proposed] tax reform. I watched an interview with a rich C.E.O. who stated we don’t need this tax change. The middle class needs the money most. He stated that he had more than enough money.
A large group of Wall Street investors at a conference were asked what they would do with the money savings to stimulate the economy. The response was laughter. Instead of the costly tax reform we need to stimulate the economy by creating jobs by updating infrastructure, educating future workers that satisfy the demands of employers and increase wages. We don’t need to cut Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and to do more damage to Obamacare to help it fail. We need to fix and focus on the problems with Obamacare. Educating future workers while you eliminate tuition deductions is no solution.
This tax reform is not a cure, it’s a cancer for the middle class. We are being sold out to save the reputation of the Republican Party. This tax reform isn’t necessary to stimulate an economy that’s doing well on its own and is predicted to increase by 4 percent next year. The middle class needs to be stimulated; these politicians are totally out of touch with the middle class. Food for thought.
Craid Strid, Rhinelander
Voter registration information
The State of Wisconsin recently mailed postcards to over 300,000 registered voters who may have recently moved within the state or out of state. The intended goal of this mailing is to “clean up” voter registration lists. The unintended consequences may be that thousands of voters will be deactivated from poll books in error.
It is important for Wisconsin citizens who received these cards to reply immediately.
The postcard asks recipients whether they want to remain active on the state’s voter list. To remain active, voters have until Dec. 15 to mail a return postcard to their municipal clerk. Voters who do not respond in that time frame will be deactivated. If a voter is deactivated, he or she will need to re-register. Voters may do this online at My Vote Wisconsin. Voters may also register at the polls on Election Day, but to save time, it is wise to go to https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/.
For further information visit the Wisconsin Elections Commission website or call 866-868-3947. You can also contact the League of Women Voters by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karen Kitze, Crescent
Member, League of Women Voters of the Northwoods
Reader connects dying coral reefs and the Northwoods
Coral reefs in the oceans seem far from the Northwoods. In as few as 20 years, those coral beds will be dead. They are dying from warming ocean temperatures faster than expected. Time-lapse pictures of coral reef beds taken over just a few weeks’ time show them morphing from spectacular treasures teeming with life and colors, to brown gooey algae-covered, lifeless stretches of ocean floor.
How does this affect us here in Rhinelander? Hunger and money? Fish that live only in coral reefs are the food (protein) eaten by at least 500 million people. Just think! About 380 million of them live in the “Coral Triangle” of the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. They rely on the sea to eat. Unrest from famine of hundreds of millions of people (think “Hunger Games”) will be a global threat – that includes us.
Then there are economics that will cause global stress unlike anything we have known. Coral reefs are a barrier to storm surges. They protect against economic devastation of coastal flooding and land erosion from violent storms. Coral reefs are a major source of tourism. In areas where the coral reefs thrive there are jobs, roads, schools and food on the table for the people who live there.
Our coral reefs are dying from warming oceans, driven by the burning of coal, oil and gas. I have friends, right here in the Northwoods, who still say “Ah well, the earth has always gotten warmer – or cooler.” The coal, oil, or gas industries have done such a job of propaganda that people in churches and people at voting booths still deny there is danger from ignoring climate change. WHO YOU VOTE FOR REALLY, REALLY MATTERS. The people in power, such as Scott Walker and Donald Trump, do censor, keeping people from knowing the truth with destruction of science books and papers, online resources that should be open to the public, research funding and firing of scientists.
What to do? Even if we immediately stopped burning all greenhouse gas emissions, ocean temperatures will continue to rise and becoming more acidic. However, if we quickly and decisively reduce our burning of fossil fuels, some of our planet’s coral reefs could survive.
Should the reefs die the livelihood of up to a billion people will be lost. Most of them contribute little to global warming, but they will suffer terribly from it. And so will we.
Statistics and research back up everything I’ve written. One source is the movie, “Chasing Coral.” Watch it FREE on YouTube.
Catherine Joppa, Rhinelander