From our readers
Re: What do you want to follow? I believe that one of our choices in this election is between "as if" and "what is". What I mean is that the Republican Party seems to be acting "as if" the country is still in a serious recession when all major economist and economic indicators show "what is" " a country that has recovered except in limited pockets. These exceptions are true in the best of times dues to long term shifts such as in energy and demand. The Republicans act "as if" President Obama was responsible for ISIS. "What is" fact is that ISIS began when we invaded Iraq under President Bush. The Republicans act "as if" the President's Administration is largely unpopular with the public. The "what is" is that polling results and polling averages show over a 50% public approval for the job President Obama is doing. The Republicans act "as if" Mr. Trump tells the truth based on facts, but the "what is" is that Mr. Trump says what will focus attention on him with no factual basis shown by labeling fellow Republicans, demonizing Muslims and Mexican illegal immigrants as criminals, exaggerating his wealth, and endorsing torture.
The choice seems to between a Republican Party that endorses "as if" and demeaning of veterans, disability, and ethnicity, or a Democratic candidate that has not been totally honest on a few things but has shown a lifetime of compassion, hard work, and preparedness.
A few counties in northern Wisconsin are considering resolutions requiring our county forest lands meet FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification. FSC is an international governing body based in Bonn Germany; the current Secretary is based in Oaxaca, Mexico. Wisconsin does not have representation on FSC in a voting capacity.
There are two primary organizations certifying forests in Wisconsin"FSC and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). FSC operates outside of State regulations. Academic and survey data suggest FSC artificially limits the availability of wood for a variety of purposes. In 2014 EconoSTATS released a study concluding 31,000 jobs will be lost in the state of Oregon if FSC standards become mandatory. Oregon chose not to adopt FSC. The counties in northern Wisconsin currently meet sound forestry standards, with SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) certification and our Managed Forest Law (MFL).
Before making such a drastic change in public policy a few questions should be answered. Will FSC entail more compliance costs? Will the counties receive a higher price for their wood? If the counties already meet certification requirements, who benefits? Isn't adopting an international standard without representation as a voting member a loss of local control?
Finally, if private residents wish to have their forestland certified it is their right. But county forests exist to benefit all residents of a county. Our county forests have a long history of sound forest management. Adding a layer of bureaucracy like FSC on our county forests does not seem to serve the best interests of the residents of northern Wisconsin. Let's not five up local control of our county forests.
Please ask yourself, "Do you really want someone from Bonn, Germany or Oaxaca, Mexico" running our county forests. I think not.
On behalf of American Legion Post 39 of Marinette, I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank retiring Veterans Service Officer Bill Kowalski for his 17 years of service to the veterans and veteran's families of Marinette County. Bill and his assistant, Michelle Steffen, have provided to all veterans needing assistance in filing claims, acquiring grave markers, and many other issues needed by the veterans.
Marinette County's office has been regarded as one of the finest and effective offices statewide in their work for all veterans, and we need to thank Bill and Michelle for this.
Thank you for your service to those whom you have served.
Michael G. McGowan,
Adjutant Post 39, Marinette
Re: The True Meaning of Patriotism
Summer is the time of year when patriotism is in full bloom. Red, white, and blue are everywhere. There's Memorial Day, Flag Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day. There are celebrations and parades. Nonstop elections seem to be part of the mix. The candidates compete for who seems the most patriotic.
Patriotism should be expressed as the coming together of everyone for the common good. And that everyone includes folks from all other the world with all different kinds of lifestyles. Those who have traveled beyond their own backyards know we are a pluralistic society full of great diversity, a diversity that has been and is good for our country. Indeed, there are currently about as many legal minority citizens as there are European-Americans.
Patriotism also means that we share our country's burdens together. We build each other's roads and schools. We help create winners. We also help the losers. Not with greed, suspicion and distrust, but with love, empathy, and compassion because capitalism can be cruel without regulation.
Patriots don't hate government. Patriots love their government, cherish democracy, and make sure their government serves them, because government is of, for, and by we, the people.
Patriotism is the Golden Rule through government.
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