Should Social Security, Medicare be protected?
To the editor:
I am a member of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). I get a nice magazine and some senior discounts on a variety of services. I also get surveys and solicitations that are not often appreciated.
Today I received a mailing that asks the question, “Should Social Security and Medicare be Protected?” We are to post either a YES or NO sticker and return it as soon as possible. There are also some petitions to sign that they will conveniently forward to our Minnesota Senators. Also, please send some money, of course.
I am conflicted about how to respond. Let me tell you first that I suppose that I could classify myself as a “senior” and I usually vote DFL. Yes, I am aware of the federal deficit problem. Yes, it does worry me. And, how about the economic issues (taxes vs. spending) that we all hear about on a daily basis? We can fix this if we use our heads.
I am sure that AARP expects all of us to respond YES so they can leverage their large membership in favor of “Don’t Mess with my Entitlements!” But, are we burying our heads in the sand? I see that the U.S. Census Bureau has projected that in the year 2020 the U.S. will have more people over the age of 65 than there will be students in K-12! That is crazy! But if true, how are we going to sustain these very entitlements if they are not modified in some fashion? People live much longer today. They tend to continue working. Why is it not realistic to make the changes needed to ensure that Social Security and Medicare continue to be there for the future? I am not against raising the retirement age for these services, or to index the growth of these services to a chained inflation rate.
So, I am mailing the survey back today with my NO vote. I think I will enclose a copy of this letter. Maybe AARP will read it. Who knows?
Ronald C. Kolb
Certified Financial Planner
Promote fire safety by preventing juvenile arson
To the editor:
Did you know 65 percent of Minnesota’s 318 incendiary structure fires reported in 2011 happened in residential properties? May 5-11 is Arson Awareness Week in Minnesota. The theme is “Reducing Residential Arson.”
Residential arson can be prevented by implementing neighborhood clean-ups and improving internal and external security around homes and abandoned properties. Neighborhood crime prevention groups can add arson and suspicious activity to their watch.
Nationally, 50 percent of arson arrests are children under the age of 18.
In Minnesota in 2011, 55 percent of arson arrests were juveniles. Of the 91 kids arrested in Minnesota that year, some were younger than 10 years old.
Juvenile arson is also primarily residential arson and can be prevented. If your child has experimented with or misused fire it can be deadly. Addressing misuse of fire early, with appropriate intervention, can prevent a child from getting hurt or killed, getting involved in the legal system, or even becoming a serial arsonist. Youth Firesetting Prevention and Intervention (YFPI) teams are located throughout the state to provide appropriate intervention and stop this dangerous behavior before it is too late.
Call 1-800-500-8897 to be connected with a local team who will set up a meeting with the family and determine the best intervention strategy. There are many reasons that children start fires and the local teams are set up to help children and families be safe from fire and prevent juvenile arson.
Deputy State Fire Marshal
Youth Firesetting Prevention & Intervention
Writer asks everyone to play by the same rules
To the editor:
When a “solidly independent” and “not biased” writer charges that a particular legislator can’t speak “without saying something ridiculous” she pretty well nails down the identity of the true “idealogue” [sic] in her (Waconia Patriot, May 2, 2013) letter.
Since the writer of that same nasty letter elsewhere proclaims herself “proud to be a modern day liberal who likes Democrat talking points,” and then goes on to challenge another writer to express “No politics. No anger. Just what is good in your heart”, one can only hope she follows her own advice in the future.
Bachmann offers a breath of fresh air in politics
To the editor:
On Tuesday, April 30 I listened to Congresswoman Michele Bachmann speak to the chamber of commerce at Island View Country Club. She addressed the concerns of small business and voiced apprehension about the road blocks being placed in front of it by federal and state government. She expressed appreciation for what we do in our community.
Congresswoman Bachmann was calm and well spoken. That should be no surprise considering she represents the 6th District of Minnesota and is on the permanent select committee on intelligence — hence, her often voiced concern about homeland security issues and lack of oversight of agencies supposed to be protecting us. She is a federal tax attorney and is on financial services and an assistant Republican Whip. Michele is the Tea Party Caucus Chairwoman and Adoption Caucus Co-Chair and the Foster Care Co-Chair — having raised over 20 foster children herself with her husband. I think her credentials speak for themselves.
She was positive and enthusiastic — a breath of fresh air much needed in this negative, small minded political discourse we find ourselves in these days. Congresswoman Bachmann’s office has direct access to specific liaisons within each federal agency and she has promised help navigating the red tape so often encountered by the average citizen. These agencies include Social Security, Medicare, Veteran’s benefits and more (Anoka office: 763-323-8922; Washington office: 202-225-2331.
Sharon A. Brown
honors essay writer
To the editor:
This Sunday we observe Mother’s Day, thanking God for our mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, mothers-in-law, etc., and the blessing they are in our lives. I believe the most important person on earth is a mother. She has built something more magnificent than any cathedral — in her womb she has made a dwelling for an immortal soul — her baby’s body.
I belong to Carver Lifelines, our local chapter here in Carver County, of the national Lutheran for Life organization. We witness to and promote the sanctity of human life through education based on God’s word. Each year, we sponsor an essay and poster contest to give our young people an opportunity to ponder on how precious God has made each life He creates, and redeems through Christ’s salvation, no matter what the earthly circumstances.
In observance of Mother’s Day 2013, I would like to share one of the winning essays from our recent contest, written by Hannah Truniger, who lives in Mayer and is a freshman at Mayer Lutheran High School.
“In His Hands”
by Hannah Truniger
On Sept. 11, 2001, approximately 3,000 American lives were lost due to two suicide bombers deliberately hitting the World Trade Center. In 2005, over 1,800 people died as a result of Hurricane Katrina. All too recently, a gunman tore through Sandy Heights Elementary School, killing 20 children between the ages of 6 and 7, as well as six teachers, before taking his own life.
When tragedies like these occur in our nation today, we mourn and seek to do what we can to protect the lives of Americans in the future. Yet why do we do nothing as more than 3,000 precious lives slip away every day through a silent horror that is so widely accepted in our society today? How can we refer to our nation as a place where everyone has the opportunity to live out their dreams when over 48 million of our unborn babies have been denied the change to live out a single day? I am speaking of our nation’s greatest tragedy that we know as abortion, the intentional killing of unborn babies. Americans must take a stand against abortion in our country until every unborn child is recognized as a beautiful creation of God and given the opportunity to live out his or her life to its fullest potential.
I believe that life begins at conception, which makes abortion much more than a simple medical procedure that eliminates a mass of tissue. As a Christian, I know from God’s word that an embryo is a human being made in the image of God. “For you formed my inward parts; you covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are your works, and that my soul knows very well.” (Pslam 139:13-14) Not only did God form and fashion us in the womb, but He has a very special purpose for our life and has planned it down to every small detail. “… Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:4-5).
Unfortunately, about 86 percent of mothers abort for the sake of convenience alone. I have the privilege of knowing Coleen Tronson, director of Metro Women’s Center. As a scared, pregnant, young woman, she thought an abortion would be an easy way out of her problems, yet the guilt she experienced only drove her further away from God and deeper into alcohol and drugs. She describes her agony best. “My baby died that day. A part of me died that day too. It went away through the suction tubing that removed the child out of my womb.”
Yet there are other options besides abortion. After three successive abortions, Mrs. Tronson discovered that she was yet again pregnant. This time she sought help, and gave a beautiful baby boy up to loving adoptive parents. Shortly afterwards, her life changed drastically when she accepted Christ as her personal Savior and was blessed with two beautiful children with a godly husband. Now she passionately fights against abortion in Minnesota through the Metro Women’s Center, a pregnancy crisis center devoted to saving babies and delivering financial, emotional, and spiritual help to struggling mothers and fathers. Another influential center is Operation Rescue, a Christian pro-life organization, which has saved hundreds of babies through encouraging Americans to choose life.
Yet young mothers alone are not to blame for the increasing amount of abortions in our nation today. Abortion clinics, their medical workers, and organizations such as Planned Parenthood receive a large amount of money from the abortion “industry,” and do much to advocate abortion. A first trimester abortion costs anywhere from $350 to $550, which adds up to over $400 million spent on abortions yearly. Despite their high salary from performing abortions, many doctors and nurses have eventually chosen to become pro-life. After the death of his adopted little girl, Dr. Anthony Levantino quit his job. He says, “… What was once uncomfortable becomes intolerable. You feel that you’re destroying a human being for money, like a paid assassin … I lost my child, someone who was very precious to us. And now I am taking somebody’s child and I am tearing him right out of their womb. I am killing somebody’s child.”
Unfortunately, some abortion clinics have been performing illegal, dangerous abortions by admitting underage girls, not properly disposing of blood or body parts, or illegally covering up medical records. After a two-year legal investigation, Life Dynamics recorded their results. An investigator, posing as a 13-year-old girl, recorded phone calls to abortion clinics that requested an abortion even though she was underage. These clinics informed her that this was illegal, but over 91 percent of these 800 clinics agreed to still go through with it anyways. Some clinics have even been found to not have a proper license to operate within their state.
Before Joshua went out to fight against the Canaanite armies, God gave him this encouragement in Joshua 1:9. “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” It is crucial for Americans to rise up and fight, not against an army, but against the inhumane practice known as abortion in our country today, knowing that God will be with us. You can make a difference through volunteering at pro-life pregnancy crisis centers like Metro Women’s Center, financially supporting Christian pro-life organizations like Operation Rescue, or petitioning your local, state, or national officials to support life. Most of all, pray. Pray that God would open the eyes of our nation to one day recognize that every child has been given the right to life. Matthew 10:29 tells us, “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.” Truly the One who cares for a mere sparrow upholds every life in His hands.