Readers share opinions, viewpoints
Reader asks: Time to rethink Tiffany?
In a Special Election on May 12, we sent Tom Tiffany to Washington to represent our Northwoods communities. Maybe he’s not the right person for the job.
He voted against the Great American Outdoors Act. This Act includes full and permanent funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund from offshore oil and gas revenues. Many Wisconsin lands and waters are protected by the LWCF. They include the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Devil’s Lake State Park, Ice Age Trail and the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. The Act also included $1.9 billion annually for the next five years to compensate for deferred maintenance on lands managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Indian Education. Anyone who has used our local public lands in the last few years is well aware that there has been a serious lack of money for maintenance, leading to closures of popular trails and camping areas.
The Great American Outdoors Act will preserve our Northwoods natural legacy, and will also boost the local economy and preserve recreation and tourism. Perhaps it was the economic shot in the arm that convinced President Trump – not known as a conservationist – to sign it; 41% of House Republicans voted for it. But not Tom Tiffany. He decided to vote against the best interests of his Northwoods constituents.
Maybe it’s time to rethink this November who will truly represent us in Washington. One of our senators, Ron Johnson, also voted against the Great American Outdoors Act, while our other senator, Tammy Baldwin, voted for it. Our rural areas want and need their share of federal revenue, but Tiffany and Johnson seem determined to make sure we don’t get any. Their “anti-government” stance was painfully misplaced here, and could have cost our communities much needed revenue.
Clair Carty, Blackwell
‘Do the right thing’
President Trump is attempting to derail the outcome of the Nov. 3 election. He is trying to block funding for the United States Postal Service and is using his appointed Post Master General, Louis DeJoy, to slow its service. This would cause mail in votes not arriving in time to be counted or even critically important items like social security checks and more to be delayed! It is our right to be able to vote and to vote safely by mail.
Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey just made this statement: “Every vote should be safe. Every vote should be secure. Every vote should count. This should not be controversial.”
There are five states that have had universal mail-in voting for a time now: Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, Utah and Colorado. Wisconsin should be added to this list.
So, we should, “Do the right thing.” as Joe Biden says.
Make sure that you are registered to vote – check with myvote.wi.gov and send for your mail in ballot which you should; fill out ASAP; ballots are available through your municipal clerk.
To make sure that your vote counts, your mail-in vote must arrive five days before the election.
Support Post Offices – one way is to buy stamps.
President Obama sagely said, ‘Trump is more interested in suppressing the vote rather than the virus.”
A recent tweet from Trump states, about his perceived results from mail in voting, “It would make our country a laughing stock all over the world.” Well, who is the real laughing stock?
Laura Locher, St. Germain
Reader: Trump will destroy Social Security
It was Aug. 14, 1935, when President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law. The law has been under attack ever since. It is ironic that President Trump announced a plan to destroy the program on the anniversary of its signing. About 64 million Americans receive Social Security (SS) benefits. Our SS benefits have been earned over lifetimes of hard work.
For many Americans, the monthly check is the only source of income.
Throughout my life, as an independent voter, I’ve heard warnings that I should be worried about losing my benefits but, I really never understood HOW they could be taken from me. Recently, I have learned specific ways in which Trump has tried to take our benefits from us. I want to share the following facts with others who may not be aware.
In a 2015 speech, Trump promised us that he would save Social Security. His actions have been quite different.
He chose Governor Pence as his vice president, knowing that Pence had advocated for privatizing or cutting SS. He named Tom Leppert to lead the Social Security Administration’s transition to the Trump administration, knowing Leppert advocated privatizing SS. He named Congressman Mick Mulvaney as Director of the Office of Management and Budget, knowing Mulvaney had a record of attempting to cut Medicare and Social Security. Trump hired Stephen Moore as an advisor on economics and tried to appoint him to the Federal Reserve Board, knowing that Moore believes in eliminating SS. This past January, Trump issued an executive order aimed at removing people from the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program over protests from organizations like the American Foundation for the Blind. Last week, Trump issued another Executive Order allowing employers to postpone withholding the Payroll Tax with the promise to forgive and permanently terminate the payroll tax if he is re-elected. The payroll tax funds Social Security and Medicare.
Terminating the tax would kill the program. After signing the Executive Order, Trump looked Americas in the eye and told one of his biggest lies yet, saying, “This will have zero impact on Social Security.”
We all need to know the facts on this issue and before we cast our votes. For more and more of us, it has become clear that the most trustworthy rule we have about Trump is that we cannot trust anything he says.
Eloise Sylla, Trego
Stop mask shaming
It disturbs me to see people who wear masks berating those who don’t. This has intensified since the governor issued Emergency Order #1 that requires face coverings in certain situations. Some mask wearers assume non-wearers are selfish or childishly defiant, but this isn’t necessarily true.
Not everyone breathes or functions well in a mask. If the purpose of masks is to slow the spread of COVID-19, pressuring susceptible people to weaken their bodies by wearing them seems counter-productive.
Humans are not clones with identical medical or life histories. As such, the governor’s order doesn’t expect everyone to wear a face covering. It lists exceptions to mask wearing, including trouble breathing and medical or mental health conditions that prevent a person from wearing a face covering. It also says to not harass or threaten people who wear a face covering and to show patience and compassion for those who are unable to safely wear one.
I know a kind cashier with asthma who opts to feel smothered in a mask rather than endure verbal abuse from some masked customers who demand she wear a face covering. How many others are like her?
Every body is different. Please be kind; there could be more to a situation than meets the eye. Stress, both mental and physical, weakens the immune system and we all need to be strong now.
Cara Hettich, Rhinelander
Reader supports Trump
For my fellow Northwoods neighbors, I’d like to share some of the reasons why I support President Trump for re-election. The media are hiding his accomplishments from the American people. Here’s a few examples of things that you may not have heard about.
Trump has taken on Big Pharma in a way that no president has ever done; something our lawmakers should’ve done long ago. He’s put an end to drug-makers being allowed to add all of their research and development costs onto the cost of prescriptions for Americans, while negotiating prices with foreign countries that are a fraction of the American prices, at least for Medicare and Medicaid. Why should we pay two or three times as much? He’s also legalized the importing of medicines from Canada.
President Trump has done a lot of practical things to help the African-American community.One of these isthe funding of the historically black colleges. In the past the HBCs had to come back hat-in-hand each year for their funding. If that isn’t a bid for buying the African American vote, I don’t know what is. I’m proud that President Trump thought that was wrong, and approved a 10-year funding amount so they could have the financial security to plan capital improvements, and make long-term plans.
President Trump really understands trade policy, and how it affects every-day Americans. Here’s just one example. I watched Trump’s meeting with the Maine lobster fishing industry leaders. Turns out that American lobstermen have to pay large tariffs to China and the E.U. to sell their lobster, but if they sell us fish, they don’t have to. Since Canadian boats in the same waters, don’t have to pay the tariff, it puts American fishermen at a huge disadvantage. Some of them even had to sell their lobster to Canada, as a middle-man, just so they could get their lobster to market. Those tough fishermen were almost in tears to finally have some relief. One industry leader said that in 40 years, no President had ever come to Maine to talk to them, help them, or involve them in policy decisions. I could go on. While the media lie through their teeth about President Trump, and hide information from the American people, he keeps putting Americans first. For these and a LOT more reasons, I’m enthusiastically voting for President Trump in November.
Sharon Peterson, Rhinelander
‘Are you better off now?’
I saw a commercial on TV where a woman asked, “Are you better off now than four years ago?” A frequently asked question with almost predictable answers. Supporters of the incumbent are honor-bound to loudly shout, “H— yes,” while the supporters of the out of power party shout, “H— no.”
In my view, a better question would be, “Is the world around you a better place for your children and neighbors?” Are fewer people, especially children, going to bed hungry? Are fewer people living on the street, in the back seat of their cars, or on someone else’s couch? Are fewer people dying of preventable illnesses? Do children and adults have access to the kind and quality of resources that enable them to become all that they can be? Is the world around us a less fearful place? Are the police still so poorly trained and frightened of the people who they are sworn to serve and protect, that they often kill them out of fear. Do my neighbors feel safe enough in their homes so that they are no longer emptying the ammunition shelves of our local sporting goods store?
It is time for all of us to begin thinking beyond the end of our noses. And to paraphrase as famous person, we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.
Jim Leschke, Rhinelander
‘Stand up, fight back, push back’
Enough already of this. They will have to pry my gun from my cold dead hands. Because they will.
Stand up, fight back, push back. Contact your friends, relatives, neighbors and have them do the same. There are 90 million of us. Let the left know they are not coming for us. We are coming for them.
What a blessing to live in a country with a creed that, “All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights governments are instituted among men.”
Who could disagree and oppose this greatest gift of all? The Democrats, of course. They want to determine what your rights are and how you will live, and by the way, what’s this creator thing?
It is our battle to win. Or?
David Folz, Rhinelander
What makes our country great?
Our country always welcomed immigrants from countries with extreme violence and poverty. Trump does everything he can to stop these immigrants.
Our country always stood against violence in our streets. Trump encourages violence and militias, blames others for the results, and uses border guards and other unidentified troops in the interior of our country to attack our citizens.
Our country always stood for rule of law. Trump rejects any law that limits his power.
Our country always stood for religious freedom. Trump tried to stop immigration from predominantly Muslim countries, and speaks disparagingly of some religions.
Our country always protected innocent children. Trump took children from their parents at the border and put them in concentration camps.
Our country stands for every citizen being able to vote. Trump’s party has removed people from voting rolls and closed polling places in poor and ethnic neighborhoods, systematically targeting people who tend to vote for the opposing party.
Our country has accepted absentee ballots since the Civil War. Trump sees this as a disadvantage to his re-election, so now opposes “mail-in voting,” which is exactly the same, and is proven safe.
Our country was founded with a constitution which divides power among Congress, the Executive, and the Judiciary. The House has the power of expenditures of tax money. Trump took money from the military for a wall, without House approval. The Senate has the power of making agreements with foreign countries. Trump speaks with Russia’s dictator Putin in secret, without informing the Senate. Why is he consulting with Putin? Is he getting election help? He has, according to his own words, not confronted Putin about interfering in our elections in 2016 or about the bounty on American soldiers, which is based on solid information from our intelligence agencies.
To top it all off, he has fired the Inspectors General of several federal agencies whose job it is to inform us, the citizens, when something illegal or unethical occurs. This covers up any crimes against our democracy.
Adding this all up, and not forgetting all the people on Trump’s staff indicted or convicted of various crimes, it’s hard not to conclude that Trump may be the most dangerous person who ever held the office of President. The divisions of power and peaceful protest are basic principles of our democratic republic that have made our country great. Trump does not understand them. If this continues, only some of us will be able to vote, and we will no longer have a say in how our taxes are used. Freedoms of speech will be curtailed. Our world will be much more dangerous without the United States’ steady leadership among other nations. Does this sound like the United States of America we love? It sounds more like a dictatorship in-the-making to me.
Sandra McKitrick, Rhinelander
Reader: Change is long overdue
Tom Tiffany immediately got to work once he arrived in Washington. First thing he did was to threaten schools to open or Federal funding would be withheld. His second public move was to threaten our Governor to stop the violence or he would withhold federal funding. Now he is publicly feeding his personal fear of wolves to fed his political agenda to support his election.
I keep hoping that he would evolve to get things done appropriately but he continues to be an out of step outsider following his personal agenda. My hope has dissipated for the time has run out for him to demonstrate that he can met the needs of the people. My hope has transcended with the thought that Northern Wisconsin on Election Day will terminate its old traditional support for political candidates who favor conspiracy theories, individual agendas leaving the electorate with frivolous motions and promises that accomplish nothing.
Drop the status quo and vote for candidates that will honestly work for us. It’s time to take the bull by the horns. Food for thought.
Craig Strid, Rhinelander