Letters Aug. 6, 2020

Stop printing Kohls’ nonsense

Please stop publishing the half-truths and outright lies from Gary Kohls.  His weekly articles border on medical malpractice, if not quackery. I will address only the first item he discussed in his July 30 essay: the May, 2016 article in the BMJ (British Medical Journal).

1. There is nothing to indicate that any U.S. journal declined to publish the article. In fact, the article draws similar conclusions about the frequency of deaths from medical errors in Great Britain and Canada;

2. The article is an opinion piece, and not a “study” or research article;

3. The article makes no mention whatsoever about drug- or vaccine-caused deaths. Its focus is primarily on surgical accidents, a topic about which the author is well-known internationally.

I have met Gary personally on a few occasions and he scares me with his childish demeanor and ignorance.  I hope that Reader readers are not being influenced by his nonsense.

Jim Brinegar

More on voter suppression

Kudos to Phil Anderson for “Your Voice Counts” in the July 16 edition, which provides information on the range of organizations actively engaged in getting out the vote for the November election. I would like to add a few others that take action against voter suppression, a practice that chiefly targets citizens of color. It is a key strategy of the Republicans to use voter purges, misinformation and roadblocks to voting-by-mail to enhance their chances of retaining power. So now, at three months before the November election, it is even more important for citizens to get involved in this crucial event. As the late civil rights hero John Lewis wrote in his last message, to be read upon his death, “The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed.”

• Americans of Conscience: americansofconscience.com and on Facebook. This citizens  group’s purpose is to “amplify the advocacy and actions of over one hundred civil rights and social justice groups” through its  weekly checklist of Action Items. Members report the actions they’ve taken a given week, and that is aggregated to the tally. Weekly “Sunday SPARK” national online meetings feature personal stories of effective activism and inspiration.

• WinWisconsin: winwisconsin.org/webinars. Help our neighbors on the other side of the bridge! A voter purge put potentially 130,000 Wisconsinites at risk of losing their vote. Most af-fected had zip codes near university campuses or in predominantly black urban areas of the state. Win Wisconsin has been on the ground since 2017, helping to register or re-register voters. Almost 40% of the group’s field workers are people of color. Watch their 7-minute video that explains why Wisconsin is so pivotal  to the election’s Electoral College outcome.

• Movement voter Project: movement.voter, and on Facebook. MVP connects donors to grassroots groups around the country that both mobilize voters and build long-term power for the progressive movement. The organization includes Black, Native American, and Latinx Voter Funds.

... and don’t forget our own League of Women Voters-Duluth, lwvduluth.org, celebrating 100 years of women’s suffrage in 2020. The organization  helps citizens register to vote, provides unbiased voting information, conducts candidate forums, and advocates for voter protection measures.

Gerri Williams

Reckless Republicans

The recklessness of Minnesota’s Republican party leaders was on display at their retreat in East Gull Lake on July 25. “None of you have any of your masks on, you lawbreakers,” House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt joked, according to the News-Tribune reporter, who went on to note there were widespread cheers in response, in a month when deaths from the coronavirus increased by 20%.

It gets worse. Daudt went on: “I assure you these masks aren’t designed to keep you safe. These are designed to make sure that you don’t want your kids to be back in school full-time in the fall, and they’re designed to make sure they want to vote Democrat in the election.”

“Full time” schools, no less, rein-forcing Trump’s obsession with putting his re-election ahead of the health and safety of students and teachers.

Voters should take a close look at the ideologues controlling Wisconsin’s gerrymandered Republican legislature, now working overtime to eliminate Gov. Evers’s mask mandate. If Daudt and his party regain control of the Minnesota House and the state Senate remains in Republican hands, they will be looking at Wisconsin as a template, voter suppression included.

Robert Ellis