2014-02-27 / Views

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

We should all agree that if you want things to change you first have to admit there is a problem. That is what the ACA has done. Before the ACA was passed, we heard of very few attempting to reel in the insurance companies or lower healthcare rates.

We are now having conversations about both. The Republican majority of congress had three years to make this bill better, but instead choose to waste your dollars taking 47 votes to repeal the ACA law, which had zero chance of happening. Representative Issa held countless investigations on Benghazi and states passing bills to make it more difficult to vote. There is no evidence of any wrong doing for any of these issues.

While the Republican party has chosen this path, President Obama and the Democrat party have given five million Americans affordable healthcare, raised the minimum wage for federal workers to $10.10 and other companies. like the Gap, have followed by raising their employees’ wages also.

Raising these wages will lift 900,000 workers out of poverty. Some will say this will cost workers jobs; if it does it is a job that wasn’t paying a living wage, so does it really matter? Do you want to work or do you want a job that pays you a living wage? Those jobs have you being called a “taker” from the likes of Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz and other Republicans.

We are told to better ourselves by getting an education. That education has become less valuable and way more expensive. If you think people who make less than $9 an hour are takers, then think where we would be without them.

Those taxpayers, serve your coffee, take your reservations, clean your hotel rooms and your pools and mow your lawns and pick up your trash to name a few. While some of these jobs used to be held by our youth who still lived at home with their parents, the average age for fast food workers is now 29.

If you think we don’t need those “takers”, think where you would be without them.

William L. Anderson

Cooks, Mich.

Dear Editor,

I find it interesting that the federal government spent in excess of $200,000 to protect a farmer’s cattle from wolves. According to the January 2014 AP news article, MLive.com said it made the estimate based on documents it reviewed. Much of the expense was in administrative time and field work, beside about $38,000 in cash for cattle-loss claims by Ontonagon County farmer John Koski and other assistance.

Brian Roell of the DNR said, “Koski has taken few if any steps to deal with losses to wolves, despite the government aid.” He also claims that “he has done nothing to help himself.” It appears that he said this without consideration for the expense to Mr. Koski.

He was there long before the wolves showed up, and is expected to help pay for problems he didn’t cause. It costs a lot of money to repair fences, clear pasture land and change animal husbandry practices as Roell suggests. He speaks from the perspective of a wildlife biologist, not an agricultural agent, and is substituting his judgment for that of an experienced livestock producer.

And why should he be expected to pay for protecting his animals from wolves? That is an attempt to reverse the burden of responsibility. Livestock depredations are an expected consequence of an ill conceived and surreptious conspiracy by several government agencies, including the DNR, to bring wolves to the Upper Peninsula – animals the DNR has no intention of managing properly. The assistance to John Koski is an admission of responsibility.

We had a cold beginning to winter. In cold winters, an ice bridge forms across the Straits of Mackinac after the close of the shipping season. Since most of the support for wolves in Michigan comes from downstate, it would be poetic justice if wolves cross this ice bridge and colonize the Lower Peninsula in significant numbers.

Our brethren to the south can share in the exquisite joys of hearing them howl, having their deer herds decimated, their livestock and pets attacked and killed and experience all of the other problems we have with this iconic symbol of the wilderness. Nothing focuses the mind like having your ox gored.

Ultimately, it is the taxpayers who end up paying for the folly of our so-called “public servants”.

John Hongisto

Deerton, Mich.

Dear Editor,

High school students, 9-12 grade, in the Upper Peninsula, rejected the opportunity to compete in the Annual American Legion Oratorical Scholarship Competition.

Winner in the Upper Peninsula competition would be guaranteed at least $800 as a runner-up in the state competition; first place is $1,500, with potential of $18,000 in National Competition.

Requirement of competition is speaking on the Constitution of the United States, between eight and 10 minutes and an additional three minutes about one of four selected amendments. Students can compete annually for all four years while in high school, unless winning national competition. Awards will be held in escrow until registered for college.

Imagine, a ninth grader being the only person to compete four years in a row, could be awarded at least $3,200 for college by 12th grade, just but talking for 13 minutes a year.

George Maciejewski

Education and Scholarship

Committee Zone 5

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