Gene Farley: Abusing the planet threatens us all
Dear Editor: Jobs, jobs, jobs. We all need jobs — jobs that pay a living wage and don’t misuse the planet. We can develop these jobs along with the civic (societal) infrastructure that facilitates the ability of individuals, families, communities, businesses and our planet to survive and thrive. Ignoring the viability of our planet means nothing can thrive or survive.
Unfortunately, most of our political discourse and the media ignore the present abuse of the planet and the resultant threat to its viability for life as we know it.
It is time we start evaluating the effects on the planet of all our ongoing activities as individuals, families, businesses, communities, governments, nations, media, and other entities. If we fail to look at these effects we will continue reducing the ability of our planet to remain a viable place for all its varied inhabitants.
We must look at all we do in relation to how it affects the continued viability of our planet. When we do that we will begin the exciting work of creating the many jobs that help us work together to use the resources of our planet gently and wisely — work that not only assures the planet’s viability for existing generations but assures its viability for all future generations.
Lucy Gibson: We must provide legal places for homeless to sleep
Dear Editor: Sleep is a physical necessity for human existence. So given that we currently have several thousand homeless people in Dane County, many of whom have no access to shelter, we must provide legal places for homeless people to sleep, or be honest enough to face the fact that our laws deny them the right to exist. If we really want them to go away, why not make a law that says the homeless are just not allowed to exist here?
Lately, people often say we shouldn’t use the Nazis as examples for current events, but what value is that experience to the human race if we can’t take lessons from it? For the first generation that came after World War II, it has been a no-no to take the point of view that any group of people should not be allowed to exist. That realization was the one gift to humanity of the horrors of the Holocaust. After the war, the expression “Never forget!” was popular. But now we’re beginning to forget — to the point that people are even saying we’re not allowed to refer back to that event.
No, we need to remember the lessons learned from that era. It is WRONG to deny people the right to exist!
And that’s what’s wrong with laws that forbid “camping,” given the circumstances of homelessness we’re now faced with. We absolutely must provide legal places for homeless people to exist, or face the fact that our laws deny them the right to existence. If that’s what you want, at least be honest enough to come out and say it. Those of us who can still remember the moral lesson the Nazis taught the world will not be able to agree with you.
Steven L. Kittleson: Ban on Little Libraries? Really?
Dear Editor: Recently the Whitefish Bay Village Board decided to ban Little Free Libraries because the village’s building code does not allow mailboxes and other structures in front yards.
Grafton, in Ozaukee County, embraced the concept through the Arts Board (hardworking and insightful people), and it was endorsed by the Village Board and a plan was developed. The Public Works Department provides (visible) public spaces for the Little Libraries. The department, in collaboration with the Recreation Department, installs the mounting posts. The DONOR provides the village with the Little Library (all necessary supplies), pays the $25 fee for the registration of the Little Library (to the founders for a numbered plaque), and the Public Works Department mounts the library to the post. (There of course are some budgeted costs.)
The beauty of the Little Libraries here in Grafton is that there is a requirement for a designated “steward” to ensure that the responsibility for the structure and contents do not become the responsibility of the municipality. I built and donated a Little Library, paid the $25 fee, and engaged the Girl Scouts to be the stewards.
Grafton provides a living example of a plan that encourages opportunity rather than eliminating opportunity because changing the code (for public benefit) is too time consuming for elected officials.
Steven L. Kittleson
Joseph DuPont: GOP shouldn’t take Dems’ bait
Dear Editor: Every time the Republicans take a hit in an election, the liberal operatives come out in droves to tell them that they should morph into the Democratic model and lose their brand identity. (Something Nancy Pelosi would love.) The problem is twofold. One: Why would anyone give up their core beliefs? Two: “Would Macy’s tell Gimbels?” Even if the Republicans stooped to take the bait, don’t you think that the Democrats would play an ever more generous Santa Claus? Statistically, Republicans lose when they don’t have basic American apple pie beliefs. RINOs, unlike the tea party movement, are part of the problem.
I voted for Ralph Nader in 2008 because both John McCain and Barack Obama voted for the bailouts. They were both part of today’s economic disaster. If the Republicans compromise their values, they might as well not exist. If America is going to turn into the kind of country our forefathers fled from, so be it. But I and millions of others won’t be part of a conscious sellout of our God-given rights for a bribe or promise of any kind of reward. Too much blood has already been shed to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution to allow the likes of Obama or anyone else to marginalize it. If Obama wants us to vote for revenge, then so we will.
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