Opinions

Sat
16
Mar

Public records are yours, so make use of them

Public records: Documents made by a government agency which are required to be kept and maintained.

Reporters love them. They form the backbone of many news stories. A reporter’s pay can be based on drumming up stories, so public records are of great value. Watch the newsroom waters churn when juicy public records are thrown in. Political scandal, big names, big money, controversy, sex or violence! Hold on to your boat. Those fish bite hard, man!

Reporters can do a whole story on a public record. Example: A psychiatrist gets his license revoked by the state for having sex with a patient. Oh, that’s a good one. Hold the press! Translate the legalese into everyday English, get a couple of comments from participants and it might be on the front page the next day.

“Unnamed sources,” “it was reported,” “some people say” — these just can’t compare to the black-and-white of a mug shot, lawsuit or your mayor’s e-mails – all public records.

Sat
16
Mar

Snap judgment: Selfish selfie sends starlet to get stitches

Most of the people you meet tend to be fairly intelligent and understand right from wrong, good from bad and smart from stupid. Every once in a while, though, there’s someone who defies convention and does something that makes you scratch your head and speculate whether their parents might be brother and sister.

The latter seems to be a case with a woman in Arizona who went to the Wildlife World Zoo west of Phoenix and tried to get a selfie with a jaguar. Now, if she’d done it by standing where she was supposed to and had the big cat positioned in the background, that would have been just fine. However, she tried to climb over the big concrete barrier that normally keeps folks like us from becoming lunch for the animals, and the jaguar, feeling threatened by a stranger trying to invade her space, did what any animal would do and lashed out, digging her claws into the woman’s arm.

Sat
09
Mar

Democrats need to trim down the candidate pool

It’s not 2020, and yet we’ve already got Democrats coming out of the woodwork announcing they’re running for president against Donald Trump. There have been so many announcements over the last couple of months that it’s hard to keep track.

Instead of the time-honored tradition of an American election, I feel like I’m witnessing the exodus from a clown car. You see one candidate emerge, and then another and another, and you look at that car to see how many others are going to pop out.

With other activities, this would be fairly funny. For me, it says one think about the Democratic Party — they’re disorganized. You expect a few candidates for one party as the primary approaches, but there are more than a dozen declared candidates with the first election about a year away. If Democrats are eager to unseat Trump next year, they’re going to need a more manageable stable of selections.

Sat
09
Mar

Voting chance for the people to make a difference

Our right to vote is precious.

It wasn’t until 150 years ago that the right to vote got some government protections. The 15th Amendment to the Constitution stated that “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged because of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Women fought for the right to vote for decades, but it wasn’t until 1920 that the 19th Amendment was passed. In 1971 the death of thousands of young adults in Vietnam led to the passage of the 26th Amendment. Voting was thus expanded to include those who were at least 18 years of age

Sat
09
Mar

Socialism embraced by too many on the Left

During the 2016 presidential campaign, many scoffed at Bernie Sanders and his call for socialism. Today, Democrats announcing their candidacy for president shout Sanders’ 2016 ideas as mainstream. Do you wonder why that is? Does that bother you?

Did you know that socialism was tried in America, and the people starved?

The Pilgrims came to America for religious freedom and were financed by wealthy merchants in England. The English merchants had the Pilgrims sign a document that placed them into a communal agreement. The Plymouth Colony was communally owned and cultivated. This caused dissension because the lazy got the same as the hardworking (From each according to his ability, to each according to his need). In 1623, the Pilgrims faced famine because of this socialist commune.

Sat
02
Mar

McCarthy latest example of forgetting it’s just a game

Apparently, Mike McCarthy’s fall from grace has turned into a death spiral. Without a job to worry about, the ex-head coach of the Green Bay Packers doesn’t seem as worried about public optics as he decided to go ballistic against a referee for a bad call.

Sure, you can point out that he got hot with some of the refs when the Packers were playing. However, this incident was at a high school basketball game in Pulaski, and he wasn’t even the coach. He was in the stands, and his stepson was a player for the opposing team.

Sat
23
Feb

Jussie Smollett’s ‘victim’ tale makes victims of us all

When “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett said he was the victim of a vicious hate crime in January, the world felt horrible for him, with U.S. senators and other public officials vowing to take action to strengthen hate crimes laws.

When Smollett was arrested for filing a false police report this week, that horror turned to anger, as the story of an attempted racist attack is now supposedly a hoax, making it so much harder for people of color and gay people to come forward about hate crimes, victimizing hardcore fans of President Donald Trump, and serving as another reminder that some celebrities use their spotlight to cover up their own shortcomings.

Sat
16
Feb

Not wagging tail yet over dog park talk

Last week, news broke about a potential dog park being planned in Shawano near the Shawano County Humane Society. As a dog owner, I should have found that to be wonderful news. I didn’t, because I’ve seen other efforts to establish a dog park in the area fizzle out for one reason or another.

When I first moved to Wisconsin and started working for the Leader eight years ago, there was talk about the city potentially offering some land that it owned near County Road B for a potential park. That didn’t materialize.

Then a dog park group formed, and Shawano County was approached for potential space for a park. Several ideas were tossed up, including the old county farm property, the old Franklin School site and later a clay borrows site in the town of Belle Plaine. Then a circus ensued.

Sat
16
Feb

America needs better health care system

The private insurance market has had a strong hold on American’s health care for decades.

Americans have had to deal with high deductibles, co-pays and no maximum caps in their insurance plans. Patients who suffered from pre-existing conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and other life-threatening conditions have been denied coverage.

Back in 2008, when the costs for health care insurance were skyrocketing, the Democrats in Congress felt the need to help those who couldn’t get the health care they so desperately needed. Although they thought the best solution was a government single payer tax-funded plan, they compromised and settled for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which kept private insurance companies in the loop.

Sat
16
Feb

Military on border OK in certain instances

Is it legal for the military to be on the border? Has the military ever been on the border before? Is our National Security at risk? Can we use active duty, reserve and National Guard military?

The legal discussion for use of the military has been debated since our beginnings. In the early years of the United States, there were incidents involving use of the military by the U.S. government. In 1807, we had the Insurrection Act, designed to quell rebellions. Following the Civil War, abuses by occupying federal troops and carpet baggers in the South resulted in the law known as the Posse Comitatus Act.

The purpose and intent of these two laws is to limit the use of federal military troops to enforce domestic policies within the United States. To be clear these laws are aimed at the use of active military except for the Coast Guard, which operates under Homeland Security.

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