Hope for a bipartisan approach in this year's legislative session may be fleeting considering recent political moves by some politicians and political activists. We hope that single-issue agendas, such as a proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage, will not hamstring the Legislature from dealing with the critical issues of the state. Some political ploys on the gay marriage issue, which have been rampant in recent days, have been disappointing. House Speaker Steve Sviggum visited Willmar last month talking of the need for a return to bipartisanship in the Legislature, only to return to W
How about a little support for our Kandiyohi County Board? These people sacrifice a lot of their time, and for what? All the money? Hardly. I don't believe any of them have future political ambitions or are looking for anything more than a little community service and respect. If the West Central Tribune keeps going after these individuals, we may find ourselves with no one willing to run for the job.
Why are people concerned about the marriage amendment in Minnesota and America? We've witnessed how one judge has changed things. Our families, schools, state and nation are at stake for the future! Same-sex marriage was made legal last year in Canada. Already those Canadians who believe in the historic definition of marriage are now considered the legal equivalent of racists.
We have seen the caliber of three of Bush's cronies -- Joe Allbaugh, Mike Brown and Michael Chertoff -- but what happens to the civil service employees in the wonderful world of W? A woman with the improbable name of Bunnatine Greenhouse worked her way up to chief overseer of contracts at the Army Corps of Engineers. Bunny, as she is called, had earned a reputation for being a stickler for regulations during 20 years of receiving outstanding job reviews. Then she made "mistakes" that caused her to be demoted from the Senior Executive Service to a lower job. Her "mistakes"?
Sen. Dean Johnson's promise for a marriage vote in committee creates the perception that District 13 voters have a chance to vote on the marriage amendment this fall. Don't be fooled. A past history of votes in the Johnson-controlled committee shows that his promise is actually a guarantee to kill the bill and block it from reaching the Senate floor for a vote. In 2004, the bill was "debated" and killed in committee by the Democratic majority. A few Democratic senators prevented the amendment from coming before the full state Senate for open debate and vote by every state senator.
Recently the United States House of Representatives voted 216-214 to pass the federal budget reconciliation bill that cuts nearly $40 billion from mostly student loans and human services. The Republican leadership argued this bill was necessary to slow the growth in entitlement spending and thus control the ever-expanding federal deficit. It seems both mean-spirited and shortsighted to make cuts in programs for the weak and vulnerable in our society. This will include drastic cuts to the already tight budgets supporting our foster care system and other vital human services.
My husband and I subscribe to the West Central Tribune and the Minneapolis Star Tribune. I want to thank you for the Feb. 24 headline in the West Central Tribune concerning Sasha Cohen receiving a medal in the Olympics -- "Cohen brings home a silver in figure skating." Your headline was positive and put the correct perspective on Sasha's winning the silver medal. By the Star Tribune saying her "dreams of gold dashed," it made it sound like she didn't accomplish anything because she took the silver medal. She should be given accolades for participating and winning the silver medal.
There are times when George Bush sorely disappoints. Just when you might expect him to issue a malapropian explanation, pander to his base or simply not have a clue about what he is talking about, he does something so right, so honest and, yes, so commendable, that -- as Arthur Miller put it in "Death of a Salesman" -- "attention must be paid." Pay attention to how he has refused to indulge anti-Arab sentiment over the Dubai ports deal. Would that anyone could say the same about many of the deal's critics.
It's testimony to Sen. Dean Johnson's effectiveness and strength as a leader for the Willmar area and state that partisan operatives are working so hard to sow hatred here. Various people have driven to Willmar, and there's a steady drumbeat of letters saying that the only issue you should care about is getting a constitutional amendment on the ballot on gay marriage. The politics of prejudice would then sow hatred for several more months. What's really going on?
WASHINGTON -- When John F. Kennedy ran for president in 1960, he said some things about Catholic bishops that might, in today's climate, be condemned for insolence toward church authority. "I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute -- where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act," Kennedy said in 1960. "I do not speak for my church on public matters -- and the church does not speak for me." Kennedy, of course, spoke those words in an effort to fight anti-Catholic bigotry.