Opinions

Sat
08
Dec

Drinking and driving big concern during holidays

To the editor:

This holiday season and throughout the year, our goal is to help make roadways as safe as possible for everyone. As part of these efforts, the Shawano County Sheriff’s Office will join law enforcement agencies across Wisconsin during the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over holiday campaign from Dec. 14 through Jan. 1.

Whether it’s caused by alcohol, legal or illegal drugs, getting behind the wheel impaired is dangerous and irresponsible. Impaired drivers risk injuring or killing themselves, their passengers, and all other travelers along our roadways.

Alcohol-related crashes remain a significant concern in Wisconsin, resulting in 169 deaths and over 3,300 injuries last year. A growing problem in Wisconsin and many other states involves drugged drivers — people whose ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is compromised by prescription or over-the-counter medications and illegal drugs such as heroin.

Sat
08
Dec

Kids can play football if they know risks

Football is a very physical sport and is not for everyone. The brain injuries that the former players have to deal with are very serious and are sometimes life-threatening. Children who want to play football should be taught what can happen to them, but they should also be allowed to choose for themselves if they still want to play.

Former NFL players have to deal with a lot of injuries from their career. They include concussions, chronic traumatic encephalitic (CTE) and many others body-related injuries. Those come from getting hit in the head many times or from getting hit in a game or practice. Kids should be taught what can happen before they start playing so they know what they are getting themselves into. Football is making an effort to get better equipment to help the players not get injured. But if they really love the game, they should be able to keep playing.

Sat
08
Dec

Republicans like Kucksdorf continue to support Trump

To the editor:

The chairperson of the Shawano County Republican Party, retired Col. Richard Kucksdorf, attended President Donald Trump’s rally at Mosinee during the recent election. He was most complimentary of President Trump’s speech and the part he played in the event.

Chairperson Kucksdorf submitted a letter to The Shawano Leader indicating his support for Leah Vukmir for United States Senate. He said she would be a strong supporter of President Trump and would be a strong supporter of the military, having a son in a military unit stationed at the Arlington National Cemetery.

France hosted an international event celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War I. Four million Americans served in the military during World War I. 117,000 lost their lives and over 200,000 were injured.

Sat
08
Dec

Nazi salute photo is a chance to learn

In mid-November, a photo circulated showing a group of nearly 60 boys last spring at Baraboo High School giving what appeared to be a Nazi salute. It quickly drew national attention. On Nov. 19, I gave a talk at the school. What follows is adapted from those remarks.

I’d like to share some thoughts about why this image is so disturbing. I have no wish to condemn or denounce the boys, and I assume many of them did not understand the meaning of the Nazi salute, nor did they intend to harm anyone.

First, let me say this issue is not just about Jews. It is about white supremacy, and it is a manifestation of growing anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia in this country.

Sat
08
Dec

Rudolph, it’s cold outside, so bring home the bagels

It’s supposed to be a time of goodwill and cheer, but it seems like the folks who need to rattle a saber 24-7 are finding reasons to act like Ebenezer Scrooge and ruin everyone’s holiday season with wave after wave of bitter political correctness.

Holiday classics are threatened with extinction. Time-honored phrases are seen as the gateway to cruelty. Suddenly the first line of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” is ringing through like a tornado siren, and boy, you better watch out — or else.

Let’s start with the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” A holiday favorite for decades, now radio stations are bending to some listeners’ demands that the song be taken off the airwaves because it is allegedly sexist and could trigger a reaction from rape victims.

Sat
01
Dec

Peas on a knife

As the holiday season approaches, I have been thinking about family, mainly family of the past. I don’t recall a Christmas spent at either of my grandparents’ homes, but a child’s memory is somewhat sketchy.

Since my mother grew up in Shawano County, and my father grew up in Milwaukee, I am sure we did not trek down there for Christmas but would likely go to Grandpa and Grandma Nuske’s farm, west of Shawano. I don’t remember Grandma that well, since I was only 6 when she died, but I do recall Grandpa and the farm, located on the end of a dead-end road.

It always seemed like an adventure when we traveled there. Of course, he didn’t know we were coming; he had a phone on the wall, but I don’t think it worked, and we couldn’t call it anyway, as we did not have a phone.

Sat
24
Nov

The case of the disputed deer

(From the Adventures of Hogan Bleak)

It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and I’m trying to figure out what to do with all my Thanksgiving dinner leftovers. There’s more than I expected because my friend Bunny didn’t drop by for the holiday feast, which happened to fall this year on the anniversary of the JFK assassination, which she generally observes by getting morose and staying home watching Oliver Stone movies.

Anyway, I’m on the Internet trying to sell my leftovers on eBay when I’m distracted by some kind of argument outside. Two guys with guns, one of whom is my neighbor Bob, are standing over a dead deer. Not an uncommon sight this time of the year, except you don’t usually see it on the lawn of a residential neighborhood.

Sat
24
Nov

Unspoken truth

The truth may set you free, but telling the truth may not.

In the new age of “Me Too,” telling the truth about sexual harassment or violence is not only considered freeing for the individual involved, but a necessary part of both healing and justice.

We also know that it has to be done immediately, or the message becomes something else — a suspicious personal “Gotcha,” where salacious details are stored for the day when they will be most effective in damaging the unsuspecting perpetrator.

Some women — and men, who can be victims, too — are immediately vocal about what happened to them, but not everyone. For those who choose to wait, remaining silent may be one of the few choices they were able to make about their experience. It may be the only part of their experience that they have ever been able to control.

Sat
10
Nov

Working to drop the debt to zero with our veterans

On Sunday, we pay tribute to our veterans, the people who chose to put their lives on hold to fight for our freedom. They are the ones who went toward the battle as others fled. They are the ones who knew there was the risk they could die in battle, but they moved forward anyway.

Veterans Day is this weekend, which means that the tributes that normally take place on one day take place over several days. The Allied Veterans Council will hold its annual ceremony on the day itself, but Shawano Community Middle School and Wolf River Lutheran High School held their events Friday, while many other schools are hosting events on Monday.

It’s a time of red, white and blue everywhere, as we all gather together and say thank you to our veterans, a way to remind them that we care and we appreciate their service.

Sat
10
Nov

Writer reflects on causes of war

To the editor:

As a 77-year-old retiree now, I reflect on what might have been avoided then, when I was a fresh 22 years old heading for a draft into military service with a Vietnam conflict that was gradually exploding.

President Kennedy had intentions to end whatever this war had become, but these intentions Lady Bird Johnson could not afford to let happen. She was primed up to gain untold billions of dollars income through her vast corporate war support supply companies, which she headed. Her corporate bundle was, after JFK’s murder, to provide for the next seven-plus years, billions upon billions of taxpayer-bought war munitions, i.e., “whatever generals ‘need’ to fight a war ‘properly.’” Lady Bird’s greed didn’t give a damn for the 38,000 US troops who would die, which the passage of time has ultimately shown, to have been sadly, sadly in vain.

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