Letters to the Editor - Sept. 19, 2010Find out what's on our readers' minds this week.
An issue of scope
Sometimes Dick Palmer’s focus is too narrow. “Making Sense of All This Seems Impossible” (Sept. 12) was a narrow-focus column.
He writes that we are the greatest nation in the world. By many measures we are not. Does it really matter? We don’t have to live in the best house in Duluth or anywhere else: Our house is our house. And our country is our country.
“Immigrants came to America by the millions” — and to many other countries as well.
“Entrepreneurs learned to work in the best interests of the people and the communities they served”” Undoubtedly there were many entrepreneurs like this, but entrepreneurs were also responsible for the Liberty Shirt Factory fire in New York, the unsanitary slaughter houses in Chicago and the soot in Pittsburgh.
The American flag is not “the symbol of religious freedom.” The Constitution is. The protection of special interests is as old as our country. According to Gordon S. Wood, the Founders, who disliked factions, were dismayed by how quickly special interests arose. And, oh, the partisan insults directed at Thomas Jefferson and others!
As far as going to the polls “and voting for real change,” we can’t do so until we get ourselves out of the two-party system rut. Either we have to stop treating third-party candidates as “spoilers” or we have to cast blank ballots. Too often we see reports of a “landslide victory” giving the winner “a mandate.” Just think: If all the people who didn’t vote had showed up and cast a blank ballot, the so-called winner would have come in second. That should give any “winner” pause in how they govern.
Melvyn D. Magree
Swing strikes out
Virgil Swing’s anti-teacher crusade in the Sept. 12 Budgeteer was pathetic. For years I’ve read his rants about public school teachers and just ignored them. But after reading that column (“Teachers’ Union to Blame for Drop in Student Numbers?”), I’ve had it.
Virgil, you don’t know diddly about how much work goes into teaching. As a husband of a teacher who taught for 35 years in Duluth’s public schools, I can tell you that she regularly put in several hours at home after the regular school day correcting papers, planning lessons, learning new methods, sharing professional tactics, etc.
Her day at the school ran much longer than the students’ day and then continued onto the night and weekend at home. Every time we were in the car and I drove, she had a stack of papers that she was working on. So for you to comment about her pay is insulting. Most teachers work the way my wife did and you ought to offer them an apology. Your writings are tiresome. Find a new thing to complain about.
What happened to you to make you this much of a curmudgeon?