Letters May 7, 2020

No forgiveness come November

In November, there will be no forgiveness for our current president and his loyal minions. In Dec., Canada, Taiwan and South Korea began monitoring COVID and taking steps; our leadership was in denial. Nations that have been successful in slowing the outbreak, have intelligent and committed national leadership. The president, and his minions, continue to place money ahead of people.

As of April 14, Taiwan had fewer than 400 confirmed cases. In December when indications of a contagious new illness appeared in China, Taiwan established the Central Epidemic Command Center; something our president has consistently said is not necessary, putting an inept vice president in charge of our pandemic. The Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs worked with businesses to close and ultimately to produce a national supply of masks, and other necessities. Costs were kept low, so all had equal access to what they needed. Taiwan put life ahead of money.  

We recently had an ER doctor commit suicide from her trauma while VP Pence goes to Mayo without a mask. Arrogance and ignorance rein high in the White House. During the SARS invasion, America was pro-active. Republican President George Bush didn’t play politics with peoples’ lives. Since 2003, no progress has been made to be prepared for further international virus threats, no coordinated plan has been developed, no emergency stockpiles inventoried and monitored. Our current president brushes aside all experts in science and medicine; recommending folks put cleaning fluid in their lungs!  We are lucky to have Fauci and Fauci is lucky that the nation would revolt if the president tried to sideline him.  We must be thankful for governors like Cuomo (New York) and Newsom (California).

There are well-organized protesters whining about opening up America; these are the same folks called out for gun rights, anti-abortion, and white supremacy protests. Their support can be directly linked to supports of the president. Perhaps they could learn to do something constructive with all their time off; like helping others?

Putting money ahead of lives, the Republican senate pushed through a ‘relief’ package that gave most of the money to supporters of their party, airlines, large chain restaurants, professional sports teams. Only when the public outcry shamed these greedy companies/organizations, did they return the millions they had taken. The Democrats fought the second package to avoid this kind of corruption, so endemic in the current Republican party. Our small businesses account for 48% of employment across America. Shouldn’t we be focused on keeping them solvent?

Isn’t time for all the ‘closet Republicans’ to come out and form a third party with intelligent, moderate, fiscally responsible people? There are millions of us sitting on the sidelines waiting for some authentic leadership and we will all be voting in November.

Nancy Lanthier Carroll

Climate crime

It’s a crime to lie before Congress unless, apparently, you are a member of Congress.
About two years ago I submitted an OpEd piece to the Ashland Daily Press that called for two newly divided categories of so called “Climate Deniers.” I said that some Deniers are actually “Climate Deceivers,” but that the majority are unfortunately “Climate Deceived.” Since then the climate crisis has only worsened and the deception and lies only deepened.  

More recently, David Koch passed away. He and his brother Charles invested hundreds of millions of their oil wealth dollars into deceiving the voting public, corrupting Congress, and effectively derailing any thoughtful or true political process.  

With all of this in mind, I feel it is high time for a Climate Crime Bill and I am sending a copy of this letter to my Representative in the House. Oh wait, I don’t have representation in the House. My Representative, Sean Duffy (one of the most vocal of the Climate Deceivers), has vacated his office to be with his family (although this “family thing” also apparently involves taking a high-paying job as a DC Lobbyist).   In any case, Sean will be joining the ranks of those whose paychecks are signed by Charles Koch or one of the many other big money Deceivers.  

A Climate Crime Bill could be very similar in nature to the Hate Crime Bill. The passage of that bill did not outlaw or criminalize hate, but simply allowed for steeper penalties when violent crimes were inflicted upon individuals based solely on their race, religion or sexual identity.  Similarly, a Climate Crime Bill wouldn’t criminalize one’s belief that our climate is not changing, or that these changes are not human caused, it would simply allow for additional penalties and increased mandatory minimums in the sentencing phase of those found guilty of regular, sleazy, white-collar and political crimes when the nature of their illegal activities takes them into the climate crime category.  

Those in political office, or in a position of authority over climate issues, who choose to deliberately deceive or mislead for political gain or corporate profit, should face penalties commensurate to the nature of their crime. That said, I’m not in favor of punishments that are both devastating and irreversible, so let’s just lock ’em up.

Kurt Nelson,
Cornucopia, Wisc.

Trump’s war

Is “America” the main, or only, country where a third of the population prides itself on being stupid?

Republican Donald Trump wanted to be judged on our economy. Trump is the current occupant of “Our White House.” Former Democrat President Obama graciously handed Trump a rapidly rising economy and falling unemployment. Obama received an economy about to capsize into severe depression from Republican President Bush after “his people” went on  a money-grubbing 8-year rampage of greed.

Life is more important than money.  But a Republican would rather be dead, his pockets stuffed with cash, than be alive and broke. Trump calls himself a “war-time president.” Trump should be judged on his handling of the coronavirus “war.” Normally we grade on a scale A through F. That scale isn’t big enough. Trump gets a Z. Trump is lazy, hoping for a vaccine miracle.

Where are the N95 masks? Where are the Test kits? People wear homemade “third-world” masks. According to medical experts, close to zero for effectiveness! Where’s the PPE protecting our vital workers? These are the ammunition in this war. Trump says, “get your own; besides, you were probably selling what ‘I’ gave you.  That’s why you’re short now.” Trump’s projecting again.

419 have been killed by COVID-19 in Minnesota in roughly 3 months, extrapolating to 1,676 for a year. We only have about 350 traffic deaths a year.
No one like quarantines. It hurts business. And some would repeal DWI laws; they hurt bar business. Killing someone while DWI is a crime. So is “fake” COVID-19 response.
Trump is an extreme liar; we all know that. He’s a junk-bond salesman. Turn him off, listen to all others, you’ll soon figure out that’s what here. Ask the workers themselves: they have almost zero protection. No ammo!

A. Martin
Merrifield, Minn.