Letters to the Editor

Barone distorts Wisconsin union battle

One needs to look no further than his credentials (Fox News contributor) to understand how Michael Barone could completely distort the union-busting effort by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker ("Public unions force taxpayers to fund Dems," Feb. 25). This article contains enough "red flags" in for an entire fire season, but here are the main ones:

1. There is absolutely no mention of the billionaire Koch Brothers, whose now famous "telephone conversation" with Walker has made headlines across the nation.

2. The repetitive accusation that somehow public employee unions are "funded" by taxpayers (they are, of course, funded through the dues of their members who work middle class jobs for a living).

3. The Rasmussen Poll shows 48 percent of voters in favor of Walker. (Rasmussen is a right-wing organization that never gets it right. They predicted Whitman over Brown by 15 percent in California, for instance. Gallup polled this issue the other day and shows over 60 percent in favor of collective bargaining rights, 38 percent in favor of Walker.)

4. The suggestion that the Democratic party is owned by unions. (Given that only 12 percent of all workers nationwide are represented by unions, this would be financially impossible. However, it's obvious that the GOP is owned by billionaires by examining their top 10 campaign contributors.)

Barone quotes FDR as stating; "Action looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it is unthinkable and intolerable" and directs it at the rights of working middle-class people. Interesting. To me, it clearly reflects the GOP.

Andrew Kubik


Why do working people vote GOP?

A tip of the hat to Frank Hieber for his letter (Feb 26). He nicely summarizes how the current huge national debt, now being used as an excuse to extract ever more concessions from lower- and middle-class workers, has been accumulated largely under successive Republican presidents and congressional majorities.

In light of these facts, right there for the public to evaluate, one thing never ceases to puzzle and amaze me. This is how these same lower- and middle-class working people, many unemployed or barely holding onto low-wage jobs, continue to vote for conservative Republicans — even though, once in office, these politicians will predictably vote for laws that have negative effects on working-class people.

Whether it's aid to education, public assistance, environmental programs or effective regulation of the financial dealings of Wall Street — all are on the chopping block. And all to preserve tax cuts for the most wealthy in our society.

Who can explain this incongruence of the less affluent among us continuing to elect those who will be most harmful to their own status, employment conditions, health, opportunities for their children, and overall well-being?

John Kloetzel


Share Peace Corps stories on Saturday

The American Franciscan padre in our village on the banks of the Amazon River thought the message he received in a telegram was an error.

It said that seven tires ("pneus" in Portuguese) would be delivered on that week's mail plane, the Cessna 180 that landed in a field just outside the village. Panic ensued when the delivery turned out to be seven baby turkeys ("perus"). The padre had made plans to take the mail plane back to the capital and, even though he had hoped for the turkeys, shipped as eggs from Nebraska, to revolutionize Amazonian agriculture, he left the care of the chicks to two green Peace Corps volunteers. "Don't let their feet get wet!" he shouted as he hustled out to the landing strip.

Perhaps my wife or I will choose this story to tell at the Standing Stone Brewery on Sunday, when former volunteers and their friends, or anyone interested, gather to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the founding of the Peace Corps.

It's a no-host event with an open mic for sharing experiences of Peace Corps service. Please join us from 2 to 5 p.m.

Jack Seybold


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