Letter to the editor: Calling it out; It's not just one view!
It's not just one view!
TO THE EDITOR
It's not just one view from an extremist blowing off steam!
Last week, we had another letter to the editor from a member of the inclusion opposition group, Citizens for the St. Croix Valley. The topic was positioned to praise the accomplishments of Christians, but it did this with exclusionary rhetoric that indicated other groups and religions are inferior. More on that later.
My rebuttal is not directed to the inclusion opposition group, but rather to all of us that are impacted by this group's constant prejudicial attacks on our community. That letter is not just one view from an extremist blowing off steam. The writer of that letter is part of an organized extremist group that rallies fear against opening Hudson's doors to new communities and cultures. They go after our county board, city officials, churches, public schools, and businesses.
Our Hudson community who welcomes diversity must be ready to help their institutions. We all need to speak up for our communities welcoming work and congratulate the brave steps forward for diversity. When you see your institutions doing the right-thing, sing their praises, share a letter here in the HSO and post it, if you post things. We must have words of kindness outweigh the opposing words that instill fear and bigotry.
Back to last week's letter. One of the prejudicial examples stated that "all of modern science comes from the minds of Christian men," and claimed that this statement can be factually supported. Below is a brief example of diverse contributors who have made major scientific accomplishments, and they are not Christian men and not inferior. In fact some have received the Nobel Peace Prize, which recognizes outstanding work in the sciences (namesake chemist Alfred Nobel himself an Atheist).
Highly recognizable names include: Hippocrates, Marie Curie, Jonas Salk, Albert Einstein, Jane Goodall, Sigmund Freud, Rachel Carson, Abraham Maslow, Margaret Mead, Carl Sagan, Ada Lovelace, the women from Hidden Figures, and so on. I bet you thought of a few more just by reading this list. Our culture does not always give credit where credit is due. Let's give thanks to those making a difference, not excluding the diversity of many who also made a difference.
So no, not "all of modern science comes from the minds of Christian men," even Christian men of science know that this is not true.
Calling it out
TO THE EDITOR
Last week at Hudson's Common Council meeting at City Hall the Hudson Inclusion Alliance (HIA) publicly presented information about the National League of Cities (NLC). Their programs help communities with many services and serve all people no matter their religious beliefs or political affiliations. The NLC has a proven track record and has been around since 1924. HIA's intent is to offer Hudson the opportunity to join a network of cities addressing issues shared by many cities across the country.
Right after Citizens for the St. Croix Valley started a smear campaign, they posted to their website a live recording of the meeting citing the NLC presentation and reposted a YouTube video that makes many false claims about the NLC. Its source (SOS-TV) cannot be verified (eg fake news), and it's produced in a highly sensationalized manner.
What's significant is that Citizens for the St. Croix Valley sent this video in an email to every Hudson Common Council member and to Mayor O'Connor attacking the character of the NLC. I share all of this to call out C4TSCV.
TO THE EDITOR
As most of us know, Congress and the president have been considering various proposals to protect the Dreamers, who are participants in DACA, or "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals," These young people were brought to the U.S. as children and have done nothing illegal. DACA has unfortunately succumbed to politics between the branches of government despite the broad popularity of DACA among the citizenry. And, time is rapidly running out for extensions of DACA and the many contributions that these young people will provide to our communities.
There are other things we should all know. (1) We should not use or succumb to the phrase, "Chain-Migration," which is a negative term used by immigration opponents. A more appropriate term is "family-based immigration," Family-based immigration is the foundation of the U.S. immigration system and it seeks to recognize the stabilizing influence of in-tack families. Some of the proposals to protect the Dreamers simultaneously threaten family-based immigration.
Furthermore: (2) Proposals to protect the Dreamers also threaten the protection of unaccompanied children migrants. These protections help prevent abuse, trafficking, and neglect of these children. It is cruel to pit one group of vulnerable children against another. And: (3) The president is calling for an end to the "Temporary Protected Status" for groups of legal immigrants whose return home is threatened by violence.
And finally: (4) Economists agree that immigration creates economic growth and job expansion in the U.S., and other experts remind us that immigrants are far less likely than others to commit crimes. Rhetoric to the contrary is just that: rhetoric. If you wish to support the Dreamers, unaccompanied children, and families, it is important to contact our legislators at www.senate.gov and www.house.gov immediately. Thank you for your concern.
Dr. Jackie Brux
Emeritus Professor of Economics
Town of River Falls
What do immigrants cost us each year?
TO THE EDITOR
With all the controversy surrounding the "problem" of illegal immigrants, perhaps citizens should look at what they are costing Americans every year. According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform group, (FAIR) state and federal spending jumped over 6 percent last year, setting a new record at more than $135 billion annually, jumping by $35 billion since 2010!
FAIR is a conservative group that aims to reduce illegal immigration by a third. It reports tax paybacks by undocumented workers reached $19 billion last year, which means the net taxpayer cost of caring for illegals is close to $116 billion a year! Broken down, that means $46 billion for education, $23 billion for law enforcement, in welfare payments and $29 billion in medical care!
Approximately 99 percent of illegals use emergency medical services and some also receive Medicaid benefits, even though they are not eligible to enroll. Illegal immigrants are a huge drain on states' budgets, not because they are illegal and don't work, but because people with little education use a lot of social services but pay little or nothing in taxes.
America needs to keep illegals out, but help them find ways to enter the U. S. legally! "Building the wall' is one very positive way to screen all who try to enter the U.S.! And our president needs all the support he can get in making this happen!
See film on warming winters/solutions
TO THE EDITOR
Winter used to be my favorite season. I have many fond memories of sledding, snowboarding, snow forts, and snowball fights. Unfortunately, winters are warming and no longer reliable enough to be my favorite season. Greenhouse gas pollution is the main cause.
The Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts notes that winter temperatures in Northwest Wisconsin are averaging 4.5 degrees warmer than in 1950 and with up to 9 degrees of warming possible by 2055. Without action things aren't looking good for our winters.
I want my own children to experience the joys of winter but beyond the nostalgia is the fact that winter is a huge boost to our local economy. Snowmobiling, ice angling, and skiing draw thousands of tourists to stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants, and shop in our stores.
The pinnacle of winter excitement, and an integral part of our Northwoods culture, is the Birkebeiner. Sadly, the race was canceled last year after weeks of 50+ degree temperatures and rain, exactly the sorts of conditions that are becoming more common (and will accelerate) as our climate warms.
Thankfully there are simple, bipartisan solutions to halt climate warming and protect our winters. Readers are invited to attend a showing of the new documentary "Saving Snow" during Birkie weekend to learn more about the problem and solutions. The 50-minute film travels across the country - starting in Hayward for the 2017 Birkie - documenting how snow dependent communities are coping with warming winters and leading on solutions2.
Birkie Executive Director Ben Popp says "Saving Snow brings to life the realities we face if we don't start to take climate change seriously at the policy level. I love snow, I love what it enables, I hope it is here like it should be for my grandkids!"
Showings will be held 6-8 p.m. Feb. 22 and Feb. 24 at the Park Center in Hayward and 12-2 p.m. Feb. 25. Panel discussions featuring business owners, scientists, students, and community members discussing solutions will follow each performance. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door or online www.bit.ly/BirkieSavingSnow.
Winter is worth protecting. Come see how to be part of the solution.