Opinions

Sat
12
Jan

Opening government won’t happen with closed minds

It’s easy for all of us to gripe about our jobs from time to time, but on the bright side, most of our jobs aren’t put immediately on hold as a result of political bickering.

The Great Wall of ‘Murica, a figurative wall that has been the subject of nervous whispers and occasional fist-pounding for almost three years, has now suddenly turned into a symbol of how fractured and partisan American politics. Because there was no funding to build a physical wall between the United States and Mexico, much of the federal government has been shut down for three weeks now.

Sat
05
Jan

Time for state’s OWI laws to get sober to reality

You can say one thing about Wisconsin — folks take the second item in “Eat, drink and be merry” very seriously. Have a beer or three. Enjoy some wine. Tequila? Sure thing.

However, many of those who imbibe in alcohol decide that it doesn’t have the same intoxicating effects on them that it would everyone else. They drive the wrong way on divided highways, wrap their vehicles around trees and poles, and occasionally kill someone.

So what does Wisconsin do when someone empties a bar of its liquor and gets behind the wheel? It gives said offender a civil citation if it’s the first time. It’s not a crime until you’ve done it multiple times and proven your judgment to be as solid as melting snow — or until your actions have forced municipalities to change the population number on their signs.

Sat
29
Dec

Bring the troops in Iraq home, too

President Donald Trump surprised Republicans, Democrats and much of the world as he announced last week, just in time for Christmas, that the United States plans to withdraw all 2,000 troops currently in Syria and half of the 14,000 troops stationed in Afghanistan and bring them all home.

For the parents and families of those troops, that news was most certainly welcome, as it means loved ones would be out of harm’s way and back home, but for those in Congress and Trump’s administration, the news was akin to yanking the rug out from under them. Jim Mattis resigned as Pentagon chief in protest. Mattis had noted in September that the U.S. military remained in Afghanistan to ensure security at home.

Sat
22
Dec

Trump hoping Santa delivers a border wall this Christmas

Negotiations were said to be continuing today between attorneys for President Donald J. Trump and the North Pole regarding the annual naughty-or-nice list being compiled by Santa Claus, according to anonymous sources.

Though Mr. Claus has not revealed where President Trump stands on the naughty-or-nice list, sources at the White House say the president is unhappy with speculation that Mr. Claus might place him in the naughty category.

Trump has decried reports of a feud with Santa Claus as fake news and publicly released his yearly letter to Santa to prove their relationship is still good.

“Dear Santa,

“I want to thank you for the Elf on the Shelf you left me last year. At first, he was just a cute Christmas toy, but he’s become one of my closest advisors and I’m seriously considering making him my chief of staff.

“I’m a little disappointed you didn’t deliver the border wall I asked for. Maybe this year.

Sat
22
Dec

Council shuts down democratic process

To the editor:

The Shawano Common Council’s decision to approve the resolution to amend Citizens United but not to allow it to go to referendum on the April ballot missed an opportunity to bring the democratic process to a subject that we all care deeply about.

Why is it important to bring this subject to a vote? If you look at the questions that the audience asked at the council meeting you realize that answering those questions is at the heart of democracy. The informed citizen is absolutely the end game. That is the only way democracy can work.

When our citizens vote, they don’t want to sign on to a proposition they are ignorant of. They want to know and will read, listen to the news, talk with their neighbors, in order to be informed.

Sat
22
Dec

Voice of the people matters little to GOP

How much does it matter to the Republican leaders of the Wisconsin State Legislature what the people they are elected to represent think?

Time and again, we’ve seen, the answer is hardly at all.

Late in the day on Nov. 30, the Legislature’s GOP leaders unveiled a raft of so-called lame duck legislation. The bills sought to significantly limit the powers of the incoming Democratic administration and make it harder for people in Democratic strongholds to vote.

About 1,400 people turned out Dec. 3 to register their opposition during the sole hearing devoted to the bills. More than 100 people waited as long as 10 hours to testify for up to two minutes each. All but one person was opposed. The bills passed easily in the Republican-controlled legislature, on mostly party-line votes.

Sat
15
Dec

Council subverted will of the people

To the editor:

The 2010 Supreme Court decision Citizens United has allowed corporations, unions, nonprofits and super PACs to spend unlimited amounts on campaign contributions. Groups including Wisconsin United to Amend (wiuta.com), a nonpartisan network, are working to repair the damage caused by this ruling and restore our representative democracy.

Nineteen state legislatures have already passed resolutions calling for a constitutional amendment to make clear that money is not speech and the Constitution only protects the rights of individual human beings.

In Wisconsin and across the nation, voters have passed Citizens United resolutions by majorities of 70 percent or more. Thirty-one million people (55 percent of Wisconsinites) live in jurisdictions where voters were allowed to express their opinions.

This fall, 573 citizens from the city of Shawano signed a petition asking for a referendum to be put on the spring 2019 ballot.

Sat
15
Dec

Ponschok paid it forward

Fred Ponschok was a teacher at Shawano High School when I attended in the late 1950s and early 1960s. I never had a class with Fred, but the kids I knew liked him.

Thirty-five years later, in 1996, our paths crossed. We both had an interest in the proposed copper mine that was being planned near Crandon. For two years Fred, along with about a dozen active members, launched a campaign to protect the Wolf River from the undeniable dangers of sulfide mining.

We formed an environmental group called POWR, Protect Our Wolf River. Our goal, along with many other environmental groups and Indian tribes, was to get a sulfide mining moratorium bill passed through the Wisconsin Legislature and signed by Governor Tommy Thompson.

Sat
15
Dec

Immigration fine if it’s done legally

To the editor:

We have just re-elected a senator who is firmly in the “don’t help pass a darn thing that might actually help people to spite Trump” camp that includes helping to solve the immigration crisis.

Isn’t that just peachy, folks? I hope you are proud of yourselves.

Now to those who want to give me the other side on immigration would you please pay attention as I am typing this very slowly just for you. My ancestors came legally from Europe many generations ago. I have relatives who now work in the U.S. who came from Canada legally just in the last several years. I am not against people wanting to work here, but do it legally and get a green card. I am not against legal immigration either.

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.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Opinions