1-31-13 Waconia Patriot Letters to the Editor

What exactly defines
the Second Amendment?

To the editor:

If gun advocates want to “define” the Second Amendment, perhaps they should realize that our forefathers were talking about black powder muskets, not modern assault rifles. So, I agree, we are all allowed to own muskets!

Bill LaRue

Wentzell is committed
to serving the public

To the editor:

On behalf of the entire Carver County Attorney’s Office, I would like to thank Mike Wentzell for his leadership as Chief Deputy County Attorney. Governor Dayton recently appointed Mr. Wentzell as a district court judge. Wentzell will be sworn in on Jan. 31 and will be chambered in Chaska.
Simply stated, Carver County is a better and safer place to live and work because of Mr. Wentzell’s tireless pursuit of justice as a prosecutor and chief deputy.
Mr. Wentzell has proven himself worthy of such an important and weighty position as a judge. As one of the State’s best prosecutors for the past 12 years, Wentzell has doggedly pursued justice with a tempered and compassionate approach. He has dedicated his career to protecting the rights of both victims and defendants, while holding criminals accountable for their behavior.
He has also been a trusted advisor to Carver County agencies, served on sexual violence committees, is a member of Chaska Rotary, serves as an adjunct law professor at William Mitchell College of Law, and in his spare time referees hockey. Most importantly, Wentzell is as fine a human being that you will meet.
Everyone who will appear in front of Judge Wentzell will most assuredly walk out of his courtroom and say “I received a fair hearing” whether they won or lost. Because they will appear in front of a judge who is unfailingly polite and respectful, patient, humble, thoughtful, diligent, and uses common sense while always following the law. That is the person we have come to know and respect.
Mike Wentzell is proof that hard work, sacrifice and dedication to public service can enable someone to realize their dream.

Mark Metz
Carver County Attorney

Nation is facing assault on constitutional rights

To the editor:

Right now, we are witnessing an overt assault on our Second Amendment rights.
The media is now working hard to keep the gun issue in the forefront of the American people’s attention despite the strong downward trend in gun violence over the last decade according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.
But the Second isn’t the only amendment being assaulted by forces that would wrest control away from Constitutional guarantees. The most covert, and I would say, insidious, is the use of language to affect our rights to our First Amendment right to free speech and practice of our respective religions.
Two of our largest threats to freedom of speech and the free flow of ideas are the social justice movement and anti-bullying initiatives. But how could anyone be against social justice? It sounds so … “just.” Unfortunately, it’s designed as the next step in eliminating the legitimacy of your opinion and the ability to take an independent point of view.
Social justice issues include the advocating the acceptance of homosexuality, abortion, illegal immigration, cultural relativism, and the redistribution of wealth. I have no problem with arguing the merits or lack thereof of these positions; it’s the use of the label that gives the impression that disagreeing with any of these “points of view” make me or anyone else who would do so, evil or immoral, using the Social Justice “label” to turn the argument of moral values against this form of societal engineering on its head.
And how could anyone be pro-bullying, if you are not for the anti-bullying initiative sweeping the nation you must be a knuckle dragging Neanderthal. When I was growing up in the 60s and 70s it was part of growing up. I doubt one person reading this never had a instance in their life where in some way, physical or not, someone didn’t push them around or make them feel bad. Learning to deal with, and handle that part of growing up helps you handle life. That doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be qualified adults in place for support. It means helping our kids confront challenges and understand the diverse nature of individuals themselves. That instead of outlawing the mention of “selected” particular differences in any disapproving way, to let them discuss differences and realize that one facet of an individual doesn’t define the whole person.
I think this is a much healthier approach than either demonizing or celebrating a single aspect of personal identity. But that’s not what bullying means in this context, this is about creating “protected classes.” To categorize people in a society that is supposed to be based on individualism not classes, to limit what we can say and pass laws to enforce it. It is about separating the great melting pot into groups and hyping up conflict to mobilize these groups to a narrow identity and a disproportionately defensive view. And it is using a label designed to make anyone who would question it look evil. If you can demonize your opposition, you don’t have to defend your position.
Speech codes on our college campuses have paved the way for this dangerous mindset, the idea that some words and ideas are unmentionable. It is becoming accepted, that to ignore or prohibit, instead of confront and debate, is reasonable. This flies in the face of something that has been celebrated in this country since its founding, spirited discussion of opposing and on occasion, offensive views, this was prominent in our university’s and college campuses until relatively modern times.
If we can’t openly disuses, and if not agree, at least learn to understand the opposing view, doesn’t that promote ignorance? How can anyone call limiting access to ideas and information in our institutions of higher education a good thing? This movement to limit speech in the guise of protecting our children, will result in taking away freedom by seeking to criminalize speech, control thought, and limit the ability to cope on their own with something we will never eliminate, human conflict.
Using the strategy of manipulating the language as a means to limit information and retard ability, moves the progressive left towards their societal aim of less self-reliance and more dependence on authority. This ongoing agenda to gradually dismantle our Constitution, as we have seen with the “living document / progressive movement” crowd, is the beginning of the end of Liberty, with an aim to replace it with a Government ruling class. Remember the words of Thomas Jefferson: “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”                                               Beware those who would seek to silence you for your own good.
And beware any attempt to diminish or redefine our Constitution, because it defines our freedom and who we can be.

Frank Long

Carver County DFL to welcome Sen. Marty

To the editor:

The Carver County (Senate District 47) DFL enthusiastically announces that Senator John Marty will be its guest speaker following its regular monthly meeting on Feb. 11. The public is invited to hear one of Minnesota’s most renowned state legislators discuss the hottest topics on his legislative agenda, including his pending “Worker Dignity” bill and proposed single payer Minnesota Health Plan.
Senator Marty is by far the most energetic and practical progressive voice in the state Senate. A St. Olaf graduate with a degree in Ethics, Marty has served in the legislature since 1986 and is known for refusing to accept soft money campaign contributions or contributions from lobbyists. Immensely popular in his home district, he recently won reelection to the Senate by a whopping 74 percent of the vote. In 1994, Senator Marty was the DFL endorsed candidate for Governor, also winning the DFL gubernatorial primary that year.
As a legislator, Senator Marty is the best friend of those who work hard and still struggle to make ends meet. He holds a core belief that every person who works full time for a living deserves to be rewarded fairly. Full time workers should be able to afford adequate food, shelter and other necessities of life, including health care, and “should not be forced to live in poverty.” According to Marty, “Paying workers a living wage is the most important action that can be done to reduce poverty and welfare costs.”
Pointing to recent legislative action that increases the number of people living in poverty, Marty’s “Worker Dignity” legislation counters this poverty-producing impact by 1) providing access to affordable childcare, 2) raising the minimum wage to where it would be if it had increased with inflation since the 1960s, 3) increasing family tax credits for low income workers to ensure that people are better off working and paying taxes than living on welfare, and 4) reestablishing a nationally touted Minnesota jobs creation program that assists small businesses in hiring the unemployed.
Consistent with the goal of ensuring that all Minnesotans are equipped with the basic necessities, especially comprehensive healthcare, Senator Marty’s Minnesota Health Plan is designed to eliminate the problem of un-insurance and under-insurance. In comparison with the current system, the Minnesota Health Care Plan would actually save money, provide a full range of health care services to everyone (including dental, prescription drugs, home health care, nursing home care and mental health) and permit patients to see the medical providers of their choice. It would replace the current unwieldy system of premiums, co-payments, exclusions and deductibles.
Senator Marty’s legislative proposals are not only visionary, they are undisputably practical and the economics have been extensively researched. We invite you to listen to Senator Marty explain in detail these proposals and others. Senator Marty’s talk will begin at 7 p.m. at the Victoria Fire Station off Hwy 5. Please park in the rear.

Phil Benson
Watertown Township
DFL Outreach and Inclusion Officer
for Senate District 47

Clearwater students thank community

Editor’s Note: The following messages were submitted by Clearwater Middle School students in response to the community’s support of their recent service day projects.

To the editor:

Thank you so much for your attendance and support of the 8th grade soup lunch in recognition of Martin Luther King Junior Day. It is people like you that make our community so close knit and supportive of events. While other districts took this day as a day off, we came together to do something good for others. I can just imagine the smiles of the children in Kenya when they receive the money and supplies from kind strangers. This day offered me a chance to learn what it is really like to serve and be a part of the lives of others.

Emma L.
8th grade

We thank you for coming to help support our service project. You were a huge help in our event that will help children in Africa. We are so blessed that we got this opportunity to help someone in the world. My favorite part of the day was watching people come inside from the freezing gold for some hot soup. This was another great MLK day turnout. Once again, thank you, everyone.

Connor S.
8th grade

Many children in Kenya do not even have the supplies required to write this letter. Thank you to our community for supporting our service project. The school supplies, toys, jerseys and games will be sent to those wonderful kids. Having the opportunity to help means a lot to me and our entire school.

Rose G.
8th grade

Thank you for helping a school in Maji Moto, Kenya, with your generous donations. Your support can go a long way in impacting an African child’s life. It was a pleasure to serve you. This day of service really commemorates the work of Martin Luther King Jr. and it really makes a difference. We students at Clearwater really appreciate your attendance and hope you’ll come again next year.

Nathan W.
8th grade

Most people walk away form MLK day unaffected. They have that mindset of, “Another day off, great! Let’s go play laser tag,” or something close to that. However, Waconia schools stayed open, even with -15 degree temperatures to show the true meaning of Martin Luther King Jr’s mission. After an experience like this, I won’t take advantage of MLK day ever again. It will now be like any other holiday, but instead of receiving, I will be the one giving.

Dylan H.
8th grade

Thank you so much for participating in the 8th grade Soup Lunch and Day of Service. We all really appreciate your donations, which go to children in Africa. These children need schooling and with these donations, this can be provided. Serving the community helped me realize how much of an impoart we can make in the lives of those in need. I hope Clearwater will continue doing this every year because it is a great way to remember Martin Luther King Jr and help the people of Kenya at the same time. Thank you all for your contributions!

Alison B.
8th grade