1/31/13 NYA Letters to the Editor

Wentzell served Carver County well in attorney’s office

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 twelve 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


Second amendment rights are under assault

To the editor:

Right now, we are witnessing an overt assault on our 2nd 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 US 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 1st 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 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 capuses 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