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Opinions

Fri
31
May

Trump’s personal character a disgrace

To the editor:

It is one thing to be divided as to the effect of government regulations or how much to spend on the budget, and a completely different thing to be divided over immoral or corrupt personal behavior.

Donald Trump is a divisive issue for many Americans. These same people believe they are arguing over politics, when they are, in fact, arguing about the character of president of the United States.

There has never been a time that the character of the president didn’t matter. When we take a close look at Mr. Trump, beyond the tweets, juvenile name calling and constant jabs at the press, we see he is not really concerned with domestic or foreign policy or the economy or educating our kids. Donald Trump’s essential focus and number one concern is — himself.

Fri
31
May

Trade over aid is best for ag producers

Editor’s note: Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, one of the largest dairy co-ops in the country, issued a statement today after the announcement of the Trump administration’s new trade aid program for farmers affected by retaliatory tariffs.

There is no sugarcoating the fact that rising production costs, low milk prices and disrupted markets continue to inflict serious pain on our dairy farmers. So we welcome and appreciate this new financial assistance.

We also recognize that the aid will provide only partial and short-term relief for farmers, many who have been barely breaking even or operating at a loss for many months now.

Our farmers are looking for the sort of long-term stability and success that can come when we have access to foreign markets for our dairy products. We much prefer trade over aid.

Fri
31
May

Real life about to hit grads — and that’s a good thing

Graduation season is upon us, as hundreds of area teens are saying goodbye to one level of education and moving into the next chapters of their lives, whether it’s further education or starting new careers. It’s something that arrives before anyone realizes it, and there’s a reality check that hits grads hard. Things will change, for better or for worse. In most cases, Mom and Dad have done their parts to guide them and are now letting them soar — or possibly crash — on their own.

Real life will not be giving out trophies for participation, and in many cases, there will be no do-overs when our young adults fail a test. Some have been well prepared for this eventual change in life and therefore will be able to face those challenges and be better people for it, but it’s going to knock others for a loop because some parents either didn’t have time to brief their children on the facts of life or chose to shield them from the harsh world we live in.

Fri
24
May

Petition for redo of ‘Game of Thrones’ season childish

Many of us know the first few caveats of the First Amendment for the United States Constitution — freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion. However, the last part of the amendment gives us the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

I wonder if the Founding Fathers intended for people to start a petition because they were peeved about how a piece of performance art ended. I kind of doubt it, but it would be kind of hard to ask one of them without the aid of a ouija board.

Thu
16
May

Body cam bill balances privacy, openness

When so much about politics is partisan, one might expect a topic like police body cameras to be contentious, particularly as it relates to public access to recordings.

Proposed legislation to regulate the use of these cameras was approved by nine of the 10 members of the committee that produced it, and received unanimous support from the bipartisan Joint Legislative Council. The bill is now working its way through the Legislature.

Last year, another proposed bill to set rules for police body cameras drew concerns from open records advocates and others. Among other things, it would have required anyone who appeared in a body camera recording taken in certain locations to approve of the video’s release to the public. That would create new work for law enforcement and maybe keep too much information out of public view.

Thu
16
May

‘More exports’ mantra isn’t getting the job done

We are deluding ourselves if we think that exports alone will forge a viable future for America’s dairy farm families. We’ve had 25 years of steadily increasing trade, and look where it’s gotten us: 352 Wisconsin dairy farms lost in 2016, 465 Wisconsin dairy farms lost in 2017 and 691 Wisconsin dairy farms lost in 2018.

The “more exports” mantra is not getting the job done for America’s Dairyland. The sooner we start exploring some other options, the sooner we’ll start to turn the tide of devastating farm losses in Wisconsin and all across the country.

In addition to being insufficient to help family farmers, the current “produce all you want, and we’ll export the surplus” strategy articulated by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and others is phenomenally costly to taxpayers. Government spending on our current dairy insurance programs is expected to balloon to billions of dollars in the coming years.

Thu
16
May

Now is the time to invest in roads, economy, future

Addressing our growing transportation needs has become a hotly-debated topic at the state and national levels. In Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers’ proposed transportation budget offers a responsible and urgently-needed path forward to address an issue that has been studied, debated, avoided and delayed for well over a decade.

One issue that’s no longer open for debate is the overall decline in pavement conditions. Anyone who analyzes pavement condition reports or regularly drives Wisconsin roads will come to the same unavoidable conclusion: pavement conditions across our state are worsening. Without prompt action, we can expect that trend to continue.

Thu
16
May

Banning facial recognition knee jerk reaction

Many of the crime dramas you see on prime time television these days utilize facial recognition technology, where some tech pushes a button on the keyboard, and suddenly a million faces a second start flashing on a computer monitor until the match is found. Then the investigators bag the bad guy, and society is saved.

However, it’s a good thing none of those crime dramas are based in San Francisco. Otherwise, the series would either end abruptly or have a “very special episode” where the crimefighters learn a valuable lesson about facial recognition.

The California city is poised to ban facial recognition technology use by city or police officals, according to a NPR report that came out this week. The motive behind the madness is that facial recognition is unreliable when it comes to full accuracy. A study came out this year indicating mistakes were more likely when it came to matching the faces of women or anyone with darker skin.

Thu
09
May

Brunch reservations become a real chore

It’s usually a given that when you try to offer goods or services, you want to provide them with a minimum of fuss or waiting. Most of the time, that holds true for businesses. However, 2019 is going to go down as the year when getting a reservation for Mother’s Day brunch went from being a simple task to being a process of elimination.

Since I’ve moved to Wisconsin, I’ve made it a tradition to take my mother to brunch, letting her enjoy some of the nice food that Shawano County has to offer. After the first year of not thinking about getting a reservation and finding my morning plans of whisking my mother away from the farm for a couple of hours now becoming a more lengthy affair as we waited in the foyer of The Woodland in Gresham, I quickly learned that it was much easier on everyone else if I called ahead and made plans.

Thu
09
May

Government should work for the people

President Abraham Lincoln believed that democracy is a form of government that is “by the people, of the people and for the people.” In a democracy, the government administers programs that are for the public good.

Presently, there are ideas being presented by some Democratic presidential candidates and members of Congress that have the interests of the majority of Americans in mind. These progressive programs have been identified by the term democratic socialism.

Throughout our history, there have been presidents who have truly cared for the people. These progressives strove for an America where people cared about each other, not just themselves, and acted with strength and effectiveness to help each other.

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