Letters: Hudson must do better; Inclusion resolution for all
GiGi's Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Center thanks community
TO THE EDITOR
GiGi's Playhouse Hudson Startup Committee would like to sincerely thank the community for the outpouring of support at our launch party Oct. 21, 2017 at River Crest Elementary. We were humbled by the amount of community members who attended and celebrated the commencement of a future GiGi's Playhouse in Hudson.
Thank you to those who donated: Leisen Family Farms: pumpkins; Lori Schroeder: balloons; Ilisa Ailts Photography: photo booth; UWRF Campus Recreation: play equipment; Amy, Leah and Rebecca from Hairworks Salon: fun hairdos; Navy Chiefs Mess Minneapolis: Popcorn; Bill Ruka: printing event flyers.
Thank you to several volunteers that helped with pumpkin decorating, face painting and temporary tattoos; surrounding schools and businesses for posting flyers for the event; Hudson Police Department for sending an officer; Rebecca Mariscal and RiverTown for publishing our story.
GiGi's Playhouses are funded by donations and run by volunteers, so we are extremely excited to bring a Down Syndrome Achievement Center to a community ready to support it. Please visit gigisplayhouse.org/hudson for more information.
GiGi's Playhouse Hudson Startup
Good conspiracy theory
TO THE EDITOR
For those of us who enjoy a good conspiracy the recent release of documents pertaining to the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy was a good thing. The debate over who is responsible for the murder of the president, a lone gunman or conspiracy may finally be put to rest. Or not!
I don't think even Earl Warren believed the Warren Report. Yet the debate goes on, lone nut ball assassin or organized government conspiracy to remove a President. Without reading the 2,000-page plus Warren Report or examining the Zampruder Film, Mooreman photo or Nix footage. Without timing the shots fired from the Texas School Book Depository or locating the Bombbuska Lady, Umbrella or Badge Man or even speaking with Lee Harvey himself, I have determined there was a conspiracy and many officials in high places were involved.
How you may ask does an over-the-hill, overweight, over-medicated balding man from Wisconsin have such insight into the century's biggest mystery? Easy, common sense! If the Warren Commission was correct and Lee Oswald acted alone without any help from the government, CIA, FBI or the mob, why would there be a need to withhold files for 50 years? If Oswald acted alone what could be in any file or written on any document that would need suppression? J. Edgar's dress size? Answer, nothing.
I'm sorry to shatter the illusions of the two dozen or so people that still believe that the American Government would never lie to the people, but they do!
The rich get richer
TO THE EDITOR
One of the proposals for tax reform offered by the GOP is to repeal the federal estate tax. As has been stated many times, only an individual whose estate exceeds $5.5 million or couples with combined assets of $11 million are affected by this tax. Obviously, this is a tax paid only by the wealthy.
Taxes are levied when money changes hands. For example, employees are taxed on their wages and business owners are taxed on their profits because money has changed hands. When a person inherits, the money and other assets change hands from the decedent to his heir. However, the heir has never paid taxes on the money he has inherited, and he won't unless the estate is valued at more than $5.5 million. The estate tax was enacted as a measure to equalize the financial condition between the wealthy and those less fortunate.
Let's compare the contributions to society of the heir who has inherited $5.5 million and the employee who has worked all his life and earned a total of $5.5 million. The above heir, who was privileged to be born to wealthy parents, pays no taxes on the amount he inherits to help support the government whose services he uses. The worker pays FICA taxes on the first $127,200 of his gross wages, as well as income taxes that help to support infrastructure, Social Security benefits, schools through federal grants and student loans, Medicare, Medicaid, national security, military, national parks, medical research, and the myriad other services provided by the federal government.
Once again, the GOP and Trump want to completely eliminate the estate tax. This means that only workers will be contributing to the financial support of the services provided by our federal government, and heirs will get a free ride. This is one way the rich get richer, and everyone else pays the bills.
Hudson must do better
TO THE EDITOR
A great Abe Lincoln quote is, "better to be silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."
I disagree with Abe. I believe so strongly that when people voice their opinions, something wonderful happens. You get to see exactly who and what they are. And you can hold them accountable. That is the true miracle of the First Amendment.
But I do get concerned that as people consider Hudson as a place to live, they may pick up the Star Observer only to read ignorant and bigoted commentary in the letters section. Someone may believe it is representative of a typical Hudsonite.
It is not. At least I hope not.
Have no doubt, Hudson is a community terribly lacking in diversity. It is to our detriment that our children are not exposed on a regular basis to a more multicultural world. And it was certainly a pathetic example of closed mindedness that even the notion of helping Syrian refugees sounded all the alarms it did, rooted in fear of non-Christians.
Hudson must do better.
One recent letter writer boasted of a life of good deeds, and then devalued all those personal achievements with their own ignorance and xenophobia. For that letter writer to have lived so long, to have done so much, and to have learned so little is truly astounding.
I thought of calling on you local religious leaders, and specifically you Christian ones, to take a vocal stance on the hate-filled bilge these letters are filled with. Preaching love and not hate is not political. It is, as they say, your job.
Instead, I simply will encourage any of these letter writers to explain themselves to their pastors. And if their pastors agree and support these beliefs, they can tell Hudson all about that in their next letter.
And be sure to name the churches. At least then I will know where I will never go to worship.
Concept of distinction
TO THE EDITOR
A previous "Letter to the Editor" stated that "At the middle school.... someone was actually teaching that Muslim/Sharia law are good and Americans should embrace them." Although it may be a natural tendency to ignore statements that you know are at odds with actuality, at times it becomes necessary to take issue with them.
As a history teacher in seventh grade where we briefly touch on the Islamic religion in one of our medieval units, I know that quote is not close to the teaching that occurred in any of the seventh grade classrooms. A history course necessarily examines religions; they are among the most powerful of all institutions and forces affecting history. The unit in question examines two historical forces that arose subsequent to the "fall" of Rome: the Vikings and the Arabs (who created an Islamic Empire). Although now eliminated, during the last school year, in one of the unit lessons, there was a very cursory examination of Islamic beliefs. As a part of that lesson, students read a section on Sharia (Islamic law) from the textbook (the reading acknowledged that there was an ongoing debate regarding the concept). The lesson concluded with students creating a chart that summarized the main practices of Islam.
It is not my intention to become one of the recurrent letter writers, nor do I harbor notions that a short note will alter any beliefs. What I would ask, respectfully, is that the letter writer think through the concept of distinction; just as there is a clear distinction between the followers of the Islamic faith and the terrorists of Islamic radicalism, there is also a clear distinction to be made between teaching about a religion in a history class and preaching a religion.
Inclusion resolution for all
TO THE EDITOR
Among the definitions of inclusion is "the belief that all people should feel that they are included in society, even if they lack some advantages." (Macmillan Dictionary) I agree, even if those individuals who have viewpoints different from my own. We should ALL feel welcome. Yet Citizens for the St. Croix Valley posted on their Facebook page that "All are Welcome Here...except if you believe in legal immigration, safe borders, support Trump, believe in only XX and XY chromosomes, or hold any conservative views." (Oct. 1) Too bad that they don't feel included in the phrase "All are Welcome Here" and that they have separated themselves from its all encompassing message.
In another Citizens for the St. Croix Valley Facebook post they say, "Hudson LGBT group is trying to call a Sanctuary City an "Inclusion Resolution." "Inclusion means exclusion of all opposing opinions and values." (Aug. 23) Is this the message of the proposed inclusion resolution to the Hudson Common Council? Absolutely not. It entitles ALL people to feel a part of the larger whole. There's not a "Hudson LGBT group" behind it, and there's no hidden agenda for a "Sanctuary City." The intent of the inclusion resolution is to respect ALL people's varying opinions and value systems in our consistently changing city.
Those who support the inclusion resolution are ALL law abiding, tax paying, family-orientated members of our community, who acknowledge (and even embrace) the array of political, religious and social beliefs around them. We want what's best for ALL and understand that that means something different for everyone. Standing up for the inclusion resolution supports ALL Hudson residents now and into the future.
Tax cuts increase prosperity and revenue for government
TO THE EDITOR
The conventional wisdom, tax cutting reduces revenue to government, that Ms. Brux is advocating in her article on taxes, is wrong. Cutting taxes increases revenue to the government. It is counterintuitive, but it works every time and everywhere it is tried. Reducing taxes is a win-win for all.
President Kennedy, an enlightened Democrat, realized this and said in his Address to the Economic Club of New York, "The purpose of cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus."
Since the beginning of the federal income tax, 1913, there have been three major periods of tax-rate cuts: the Harding-Coolidge cuts of the 1920's; the Kennedy cuts of the mid-1960's; and the Reagan cuts of the 1980's. All of these tax cutting periods were followed by increased prosperity, an increase in GDP with an expanding tax base, and a dramatic increase in employment In all three of these cases, tax cuts were made across the board, including for "The Rich." The results were that the percentage of federal revenue paid by "The Rich" increased substantially as did federal revenue in general.
Contrast this to President Obama raising taxes early in his presidency resulting in an economy that couldn't reach 2 percent growth. The constraints of this letter format preclude listing the data to back up these claims, but the data is easily accessed on the internet. It is well documented that tax cuts will yield faster growth, higher wages, more jobs, and greater prosperity for all.
RoxAnn Klugman, J.D., L.L.M. (Masters of Tax Law)
TO THE EDITOR
When a mentally ill family member committed a non-violent crime we were lucky to be living in California. There, the court considered the underlying mental illness first and provided an integrated rehabilitation program through its STAR Court (Support and Treatment After Release). Had STAR Court not been available, our family member would likely have faced prosecution and prison.
Instead, after a year-and-a-half of collaborative support by the judicial, medical, and social support communities—whose conditions required strict adherence by the offender—charges were dropped. Eventually the criminal record was expunged. STAR Court also provided employment assistance that led to long-term employment and self-sufficiency.
There is no option like STAR Court in St. Croix County for mentally ill offenders.
The underlying cause, mental illness, is secondary to prosecution for the crime itself. Our jails and prisons are full of mentally ill offenders who are in desperate need of a program like STAR Court.
St. Croix County addresses the special needs of the addicted through its Drug Court. Can we not help the mentally ill offender in the same way with a program modeled after STAR Court?
Ellen Durand Olson
A rebuttal of Dr. Brux tax cut column
TO THE EDITOR
Adequately refuting all misrepresentations of economics laid down by Dr. Brux without half a page is difficult. If this paper wants to have any credibility whatsoever, it needs to balance her one-sided, socialist propaganda with historical economic facts.
If the retired professor believes the nonsense she professes, maybe she should move to a Socialist success story like Venezuela or a Communist country of vast prosperity like the former Soviet Union or DPRK.
I could refute every point made here, but some of the most egregious examples: First, this is not a communist country and until the economic destruction wrought by Obama it was not a socialist country either. We are in the process of returning to a Constitutional Republic, not a democracy. So, most economic claims about redistribution belong in North Korea or Venezuela and have nothing to do with our capitalist prosperity that allowed for your and my prosperity in life. Why deny our children's future?
Did you know charity, which satisfies the soul as well as the mind and body, is highest in this country where capital flows freely and the prosperity it creates fuels charitable giving like nowhere else without Government filtering or interference?
Your so-called "longest economic expansion" is factually the worst, most anemic economic recovery since WWII. If you want to understand economic history repeating itself in tax cuts, just read JFK and the Reagan Revolution, by Kudlow & Domitrovic, non-partisan, historical facts, and not debatable.
You state we do not need additional expansion. Really? With a $20 trillion debt, are you suggesting we can cut our way out of this mess Obama created? Major economic growth is likely the only way we can service and reduce our debt.
Taxing the wealthy more progressively when they already pay 95 percent of the taxes has never worked in the U.S. or any country. You can't cut taxes for people who do not pay them.
This kind of poorly thought, uninformed opinion being published to an intelligent community is out of place and insulting. Who sponsors this at The Star Observer and RiverTown News anyway?