Letters to the editor: The Unknown Soldier; A growing divide
The Unknown Soldier
TO THE EDITOR
My 15-year-old son wrote this for his World Connections final. The school assignment was to write a magazine biography on the person they consider to be the best or worst person in history. He wrote this about The Unknown Soldier. I thought it may be worth publishing for Memorial Day. His teacher is Nate Kirkpatrick at Hudson High School. My son's name is Calvin Douglas and he is just finishing is freshman year.
The journey of a soldier starts with the call. For many it is simply ingrained into them as what they need to do. For others it is the sight of Uncle Sam saying: "I want YOU, for the U.S. Army."
Still others find the call in defending what they love, or in strong patriotic ideals "for the Red, White, and Blue."
The calls to action differ from person to person, but there is one constant. Every single soldier makes a sacrifice.
Once a volunteer or draftsman/woman is called, he or she then goes through tests and trainings. They become a U.S. Soldier, Sailor, Pilot, or Marine. They are shipped off on a campaign or tour.
They see and do the unthinkable. Some are shot down in their planes, some fall into or drown in the sea. Some are the first fighters charging the beach knowing that they are doing what they must for a country they believe in, some are shot unaware of those who surround them.
They die really experiencing what "Semper Fi (Always Loyal), Semper Fortis (Always Courageous), This We'll Defend, and Integrity, Service, and Excellence" really mean.
These people know more than anyone what it means to love your country, "For no greater love than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends."
Some sacrifice their dreams, some sacrifice their lives. Soldiers may never return home, not even their corpses, for they have lost their names and identity. These soldiers make the ultimate sacrifice.
We will never know these people as the actual person they were. They will always be remembered as an American Soldier in honorable glory, known but to God. THIS is The Unknown Soldier.
A growing divide
TO THE EDITOR
Jackie Renzetti and John R. Russett,
I just want to thank you folks for the fine reporting that I feel that you did for the Thursday, May 17, 2018 article "A Growing Divide" in the Hudson Star Observer.
I believe that that your reporting was factual, well balanced and researched, and based on credible sources that were relevant to the matter at hand.
We don't always get that these days.
Thank you again for your professionalism...and please keep it up!
Special Counsel Mueller
TO THE EDITOR
America owes Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) a debt of gratitude. In January 2018, she leaked (excuse me, "released") transcripts intended to harm President Trump but she was inadvertently his savior!
Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation has had the unintended consequence of revealing that officials within the Obama administration were the wrongdoers during the 2016 presidential campaign.
There was, indeed, Russian collusion ... with the Obama Administration, the Democratic National Committee, and Hillary Clinton and her campaign paying millions of dollars to Fusion GPS for the salacious, unproven claims about Donald Trump in the [now] totally discredited "dossier."
The Mueller investigation, oddly enough, has revealed the greatest perpetrator against the American people was the federal government.
The gravity of the situation is Obama and his administration's top law enforcement goons turned the powers of the State against political enemies in an election.
The people who spied on Donald Trump while he was running for President of the United States need to be held accountable for their [criminal] conduct during the 2016 race are former President Barack Obama, former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
The actions of the Obama administration against Trump are unprecedented in American history. Obama had actual spies, one or more, spying on the Trump campaign. What is this? The Soviet Union? Venezuela? It's the United States of America!
We cannot allow this to happen again. The Obama administration, the head of the CIA, the head of the FBI, the head of national intelligence, and many in the "Deep State" tried to destroy the candidacy of an opposition candidate in another party.
President Trump must choose a U.S. attorney he trusts to investigate the criminal conduct of the Obama administration - Obama, Brennan, Comey, Clapper et al.
Hudson: Working hard to do good
TO THE EDITOR
Hudson is filled with groups and individuals working hard to do good things for all kinds of people. When my daughter was in grade school, the elementary program included ways to engage students on the spectrum. My daughter was paired up as a book buddy with an autistic student, whose friendship created an important memory of a caring environment at Willow River Elementary.
Our city is filled with volunteers that help the elderly and disabled. Our churches are busy doing missionary work with different cultures across the globe, motivated only to provide housing and feed fellow human-beings in need. These are the programs and institutions that deserve our support.
We are learning that Citizens For the St. Croix Valley is just one group that represents the worst of Hudson's humanity; however, they are not us. Most of us are open to people in need and a culture impacted by very normal change.
What is our future? What would Hudson do if our high school had a Muslim teacher who wore a hijab? Would our Hudson residents go to our hospital emergency room if we had Muslim, Jewish and Hindu doctors? Could our Mayor ever be a woman? Will our public school children be able to sing sacred choral music other than Christian?
To some in Hudson these are horrifying questions, but to others it just feels like the natural course of America doing exactly what our constitutional freedoms promise.
Let's take this conversation to our churches, businesses and city government. Let's ask about inclusion, diversity and how to be equitable to everyone who shares our community. What are the inclusion goals of all our Hudson organizations?
The Hudson that I know cares about people, and one hate group is not going to define our community's true values.
Kudos to the HSO
TO THE EDITOR
I want to thank the Hudson Star Observer for reporting on the Citizens For the St. Croix Valley in last week's paper. It took journalistic conviction to print articles that directly impact the personal lives of people deeply rooted in this community. Even though the content undoubtedly did not please everyone, no one can argue against the articles being written in an even keeled way or laid out with real facts. The reporters went to great lengths to verify information through an array of voices, which helped to support chronology and to capture the essence of the saga.
The HSO should also be commended for not cowering to external pressures. Instead of reacting sheepishly to possible backlash from upset readers, our local paper chose to do what they got into journalism to do, report on news that affects the lives of those around us. The impact of this story has led to a reprint in the Sunday edition of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (https://www.twincities.com/2018/05/19/hudson-area-citizens-for-the-st-cr...) and spawned an original piece in the City Pages (www.citypages.com/news/a-hate-group-rises-in-hudson-outbreak-of-weirdness-ensues/482715331). This solid reporting by the HSO has brought Hudson's troubling story now to an even greater audience, with a reader base for the Sunday Pioneer Press alone at over 280,000. No longer can CFTSCV hide in anonymity from anyone.
As Edward R. Murrow said, "To be credible we must be truthful." Thank you HSO for living up to those words.
Just across the river
TO THE EDITOR
With ongoing discussions about the divided Hudson community, here's an update on Hudson's unwanted "refugees." Originally, St. Patrick's Catholic community was going to partner with our parish, Guardian Angels Catholic community in Oakdale, Minn., to welcome at least one refugee family. Hudson wouldn't allow this! Guardian Angels partnered with Lutheran Social Services in Minnesota and has done this Christian outreach successfully with love and compassion. Notes from Guardian Angels communications follow:
"There is a great need at this time for a spirit of welcome in our world and this effort is one concrete way that we can make a difference."
Resettlement Update: "Recently, Paw Say Wah (the matriarch of our family) got a great new job at a food market nearby where she is able to put her cooking talents to work. It's a complicated bus transfer to get her there, but an answered prayer (along with a VERY supportive boss!) will allow her to carpool with a coworker most days. It will be a long day, but another income coming into the house will be a wonderful thing. Summer school for the kids, the start of the green card process—there is lots going on and our parish Mentor Team continues to walk with the family with love and support. We continue to rely on your prayers for our family as they continue this transition into their new lives here in Minnesota."
Side Notes: St. Patrick's still has "Refugees" as a main header on their website. Why? I was baptized, confirmed, and married at St. Patrick's church but have found the Christian outreach and welcome at Guardian Angels to be something that our family was looking for. Perhaps others in Hudson who find this community unwelcoming would like to join us in Oakdale. It's just across the river!
You must be a hater if ...
TO THE EDITOR
...you believe in the Constitutional Republic form of government
...you believe that ALL men (and women) are created equal; that they are endowed by their
Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
...you believe in the First Amendment of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom for "peaceful" assembly, and right to petition the government for a redress of grievances
...you support the Second Amendment rights of the people to keep and bear arms
...you want smaller government control and more The People control
...you love and respect the United States of America, the Bible and the American flag
...you believe the Bible is the inspired word of God
...you believe that our founding fathers formed the Constitution on Biblical Christian principles
...you are 100 percent pro-life
...you believe that marriage is between one man and one woman
...you believe the rule of law should apply to EVERYONE who enters the United States
In addition to calling names, The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) prides itself in targeting mainstream Christian ministries and leading conservative organizations to destroy all who champion biblical values. Some of the 950 groups "named" by SPLC are American Family Association, Concerned Women of America, Coral Ridge Ministries, Family Research Council, Liberty Council, D. James Kennedy Ministries, and Act for America. By casually, or not so casually, labeling organizations as "hate groups," the SPLC strives to shut down debate, stifle free speech, and most of all, raise a pile of money, very little of which is used on behalf of poor people. The CEO of the SPLC makes a whopping $345,000.
Ben Carson, renowned neurosurgeon and philanthropist said it well..." When embracing traditional Christian values is equated with hatred, we are approaching the stage where wrong is called right and right is called wrong." It is important for us to once again advocate for TRUE tolerance. That means being respectful of those with whom we disagree and allowing people to live according to their values without harassment. It is nothing but projectionist when some groups label those who disagree with them as haters."
Those labeling Citizens for the St. Croix Valley and pointing fingers at them for being "non-welcoming," are, indeed not inclusive in their acceptance of opposing views. The HIA and the media need to take the credit for perpetrating the "Great Divide."
Readers are encouraged to visit splcexposed.com. BE AN INFORMED READER.
Get involved with inclusion
TO THE EDITOR
Many Hudson residents have come forward in support of inclusion efforts and are asking: How can I get involved in supporting inclusion?
The Hudson Inclusion Alliance offers several ways to engage. Here are a few quick options.
1. You can visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HudsonInclusionAlliance/ and
click the option to follow our messages. You will find uplifting messages to share with your friends and help you to combat the negative messages espoused by those who seek to dehumanize anyone seen as "other."
2. You can attend one of our monthly group meetings, typically held on the first Tuesday of each
month at 6 p.m. These are posted on our website at www.hudsoninclusionalliance.org. Become part of the discussion and offer your ideas on ways to help make Hudson a safe place for everyone.
3. Connect via email by selecting the Contact Us link from the website and provide your email
address. We send periodic updates and meeting reminders to those who wish to receive our emails.
4. Demonstrate your support by putting a Hudson Welcomes All sign in the window of your home or business. Just stop by The Purple Tree in downtown Hudson to pick up your sign and display it proudly.
5. Ask the institutions that you support and are engaged with - church, place of employment,
community leaders and elected officials — what they are doing to advance inclusion in Hudson.
Kudos to the Hudson Star Observer for presenting fact-based reporting and to the residents who are responding with their desire to make Hudson a more inclusive community. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear." Let us be kind to one another and spread love, not hate.
Background of the Southern Poverty Law Center
TO THE EDITOR
Before anyone attaches anything meaningful to the Southern Poverty Law Center identifying the Citizens for the St Croix Valley as a hate group you might want to do some research on the current version of the SPLC.
There was a time when the Southern Poverty Law Center did useful work reporting on actual hate groups such as the KKK. These days they are simply an organization to support the hysterical voices of the left wing and raise money. Their core mission now is trying to marginalize and shut up even mildly right-of-center voices by calling them instruments of hate, making strained attempts to tie conservative commentators, authors, political figures, and professors to the alt-right or neo-Nazism.
The Citizens for the St Croix Valley would be joined by Sen. Paul Rand, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, and human rights activist Maajid Nawaz, to name a few. I don't know anything about the Citizens for the St Croix Valley but I would caution using the SPLC rating as anything meaningful. Do your own research.
TO THE EDITOR
Hardly a day passes that we don't hear some bad news about Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt and his efforts to undermine the mission of his agency.
These news items fall into two categories, personal and departmental.
In the first category, for example, Pruitt has grossly exploited the perks of his office with expensive travel junkets thinly disguised as official business. He has indulged luxurious tastes in restaurants and airline accommodations, running up hundreds of thousands of dollars expense on the taxpayers' dime.
More notoriously, he has accepted sweetheart deals from industry lobbyists seeking to influence energy policy. The website Politico has exposed the facts of his so-called "condo deal."
Under what used to be "normal" circumstances, no public official could have gotten away with a tenth of Pruitt's corrupt maneuvering and still kept their job. Unfortunately we are no longer in "normal" times and the appearance of corruption in the Trump administration overall is off the charts.
Far worse than Pruitt's brazen rip-offs of the American taxpayer are the damaging effects his harmful policy decisions are likely to have on public health and the health of the environment.
One urgent example is a current Health and Human Services Department report on toxic chemicals in our water supplies which the EPA has refused to release on the grounds that it would be (as an internal email put it) a "public relations nightmare."
When PR trumps public health, something is badly amiss. We need to urge our elected representatives to press for release of the HHS study for the sake of all Americans' health. Lying to Congress under oath, as Pruitt has done numerous times, is impeachable. Pruitt is a disgrace to our nation, and if Trump won't fire him, Congress should act to remove him.
Thomas R. Smith
Click It or ticket
TO THE EDITOR
Wisconsin has made considerable progress when it comes to encouraging motorists to wear their seat belt every time they travel. Over the last decade, Wisconsin's safety belt use rate has increased about 74 percent (in 2009) to nearly 90 percent.
While that's encouraging, we still see far too many people who make the dangerous, and frankly irresponsible decision to not wear a safety belt. As part of national efforts to encourage all motorists to buckle up, Hudson Police Department is joining law enforcement agencies across Wisconsin as part of the annual Click It or Ticket mobilization May 21 to June 3.
The reason we enforce Wisconsin's mandatory safety belt law is not to write citations, but to save lives and prevent needless injuries. Consider for a moment that the 10 percent of Wisconsin motorists who fail to buckle up account for nearly half of the drivers and passengers killed in traffic crashes each year.
In Wisconsin, motorists can be stopped and cited for failing to wear a safety belt. In addition, drivers can also be cited for every unbuckled passenger in their vehicle. During Click It or Ticket, and throughout the year, we want all motorists to be safe, abide by all traffic laws and always remember to buckle up, every seat, every trip.
Geoffrey J. Willems
Hudson Police Chief