Letters to the Editor - June 13, 2010

Tragedy could've been prevented The June 6 Budgeteer's weekly news roundup included several local "events" promoting particular agendas. I was disappointed to see an event like the anti-Israel "peace" rally mentioned, while recently the May 6 Nat...

Tragedy could've been prevented

The June 6 Budgeteer's weekly news roundup included several local "events" promoting particular agendas.

I was disappointed to see an event like the anti-Israel "peace" rally mentioned, while recently the May 6 National Day of Prayer, which drew well over 100 people (including key local government officials) for a day to honor God and pray for the welfare of our community and nation was essentially ignored by local news media, including the Budgeteer.

No wonder public opinion polls confirm that the public recognizes a bias in media against anything Christian or related to traditional moral values. Last Tuesday's anti-Israel rally is a reminder of how far we have strayed in only a few short years, quickly forgetting the horrible tragedies of the Holocaust. Anti-Semitism is at an all-time high around the world. Powerful anti-Jewish regimes are set on the destruction of Israel, so America must not turn on this sovereign and democratic nation set in the middle of hostile territory.

Before jumping on the anti-Israel bandwagon, consider some facts about the recent flotilla tragedy that you won't hear discussed in many media outlets:


First, under international law, Israel has the right to protect its people, undertaking measures to defend itself, including a maritime blockade to curb the smuggling of weapons by Hamas. We would expect our own nation to provide similar protection, and indeed it has historically, using maritime blockades.

Second, five of the six flotilla vessels were peacefully redirected to Ashdod, indicating that Israel had no intention of harming any flotilla protesters. Activists on the sixth ship violently attacked the Israeli landing party with knives, iron bars, hatchets, chains and other weapons, discharging firearms and explosives and throwing an Israeli officer over the side of the ship. The premeditated nature of this violence was evidenced by the coordinated actions of the activist attackers and the weapons and bullet-proof vests found aboard the ship. Expecting behavior in line with the flotilla's declarations of "peaceful intent," the soldiers were instead confronted with a "lynch" situation, forcing them to act in self-defense.

Finally, the organization responsible for the ship promotes an extreme anti-Western agenda, and recruitment and financing of jihadist terrorists worldwide, including al-Qaida.

Large quantities of cash were found on board, some in the pockets of activists and most in courier belts ready for transfer to Hamas. Israel repeatedly proposed the flotilla land in Ashdod and transfer their aid to Gaza through existing overland crossings.

Had Israel's offers been heeded in the first place, the entire tragedy could have been avoided.

Kristin Walch

Union bashing in the Budge

I realize that the Budgeteer is now in the hands of the publisher of the News Tribune, but it is amazing that the independence that the Budgeteer once was known for under the Palmer family is lost forever.


Last week's columns, one by Virgil Swing and the other by the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce's David Ross, illustrate how far down the hill the Budgeteer has gone. Both writers appear to subscribe to the notion that retirees are vulnerable and can't strike back at inflammatory statements made by them.

Both seem to be concerned that the city of Duluth budget is being deflated by retiree costs but make no attempt to look into the many extravagant features of the present budget year as well as the past several years -- examples such as the drift into providing certain social services, a domain previously handled by county, state and federal agencies.

The city realm had always been to provide for public safety, proper roads, water and sewer construction and maintenance. One only needs to review that budget now to note where a large percentage of our local tax dollars goes.

There are dozens of retirees, experts in their field as city employees, who would gladly volunteer their time to provide suggestions as to how to economize and make suggestions for efficient operation of departments which are overstaffed and/or operating in a manner displaying an arrogance which is a mirror of their boss, Mayor Don Ness.

Eli J. Miletich
Retired Duluth Cop

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