Open Forum for week of Jan. 24

EDITOR’S NOTE: Letters will be accepted for the Open Forum for publication in the next available issue after receipt. Letters may be sent to Forest Lake Times, 880 SW 15th St., Forest Lake, or by e-mail to [email protected] Letters should not exceed 250 words and must be signed with the writer’s name, address and telephone number. Deadline is noon Monday. The newspaper reserves the right to edit letters and assure that rules of libel and good taste are not violated.


A God-Given Right

The rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights were not given to us by government. These truths are self evident and endowed to us by our Creator. No one, no President, no Congress can take away your rights…they are unalienable.

Our “leaders” who derive their power from the consent of the governed, say that they have no intention to infringe on our right to hunt…but “you don’t need 30 bullets to kill a deer.” Thank you, Governor Andrew Cuomo.

I think we agree the founding fathers were pretty smart men. They included the right to bear arms in the Constitution. One could argue that as these smart men were organizing the Bill of Rights, they put them in order according to importance.

My question for Andrew Cuomo and everyone else who is trying to restrict my rights: Why would these smart men put the right to hunt deer and ducks as the second most important right next to the freedom of speech, religion and press?

The answer is they never considered hunting when they proposed the right to bear arms as a natural right bestowed by the Creator. Self-defense is as basic as breathing and eating. All living things have this right.

In fact, self-defense, whether against a home invasion or an oppressive government, is exactly what they intended. It is not a right to revolution.  It is a deterrent to those who would try to trample our God-given rights.

As a law-abiding citizen of the United States, I may defend myself in any way I deem necessary. It is this right that protects the other nine.

Brad Ziernicki


Missing Discussion

After reading the polite responses to my letter to the editor, I have to wonder if they read the articles by T.W. Budig that I referred to and quoted from. In one article, Senator Marty talked about pushing through “quickly” a same-sex marriage law.

My concerns over how same-sex marriage will affect children and society are legitimate and have never been truly addressed throughout this last political cycle.

In 2004, Stacey and Biblarz, supporters of gay parenting, published a meta-analysis study entitled “(How) Does the Sexual Orientation of Parents Matter?”. They found that children raised by parents with same-sex attraction were more likely to engage in sexual experimentation and promiscuity, which Stacey and Biblarz saw as positive differences.

European sociologist Patricia Morgan reviewed 144 published studies on same-sex parenting in her book “Children as Trophies” and found many of the same issues.

In July of 2012, sociology professor Mark Regnerus published a study in “Social Science Research” that examined the effect on a child if the child realizes that one or both of the parents are homosexual. There was an increase in depression, an increase in drug use, and an increase in sexually transmitted diseases for these children as well as the increased chance of experiencing forced sex at some point.

Citizens and legislators need to more fully examine all of the available research on how same-sex marriage affects children and society.

Mary Stolz
Forest Lake


Now You Scoff?

Whatever happened to the party of fiscal responsibility? Has the Republican Party been overtaken by a group of irresponsible, spoiled children?

The U.S. debt ceiling limit these economic terrorists are threatening to hold hostage is for payment debts already incurred by the United States of America, money that is already owed for services or products delivered.

I understand Republicans don’t feel they should pay their bills as evidenced by the ones right here in Minnesota that bankrupted their own party and deadbeat their own attorneys.

Even deadbeat Congressperson Michele Bachmann is allegedly refusing to pay workers in Iowa that delivered services to her failed presidential campaign.

Perhaps if these same politicians that have run this country into debt with their two wars that cost trillions of dollars had worried about paying for them we would be in better shape financially as a nation.

My advice is pay the bills you owe and quit being the party of deadbeats, or worst yet, common thieves.

Max Anderson


Taking What’s There

Sen. Sean Nienow has made a case for spending restraint at the Capitol. That is, restraint for all but himself.

The Star Tribune recently published the per diem payments made to state senators. He and all senators are paid a salary of $31,140. The senators are also eligible for per diem payments generally intended to cover the costs of being a senator.

Here Sen. Nienow is at the head of his class. He is the 10th-highest-paid recipient of per diem money among all state senators receiving $27,903 in addition to his salary. The breakdown goes $9,374 for regular session per diem, $486 for special session per diem, $344 for interim per diem, mileage payment of $3,590, lodging pay at $12,720 and $1,875 to cover communications.

Living within an hour of the Capitol one could wonder why he has a need for over $16,000 to cover lodging and mileage. After all, he isn’t living in Roseau, International Falls, Worthington or Marshall. These people have transportation and residence issues when the Senate is in session.

Throw in some benefits like life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, etc. and his take from the government, us, is even greater.

Mind you, I am not accusing he did anything illegal, only that he wasn’t shy about “taking” what was available. He was, simply, the 10th-greatest Senate recipient of state dollars, almost doubling his salary with per diem payments.

Pete Boelter
North Branch


The Right Fit

I think Chisago County can be proud they have State Senator Sean Nienow representing them in the Minnesota Legislature.

Senator Nienow will serve on the Education Committee and as GOP Lead on the E-12 Education Finance Committee. His dedication to making high-quality education available to the kids who live in our communities is exactly what we need.

For too long Chisago and Isanti County school children have played second fiddle to the special interests of urban politicians who make sure funding stays mostly in the cities. For too long the gap in funding between urban schools and our schools has been unfair.

Do urban schools really need $13,000 per pupil while North Branch kids get $8,000? Last I heard Minneapolis schools had an embarrassingly high dropout rate.

Maybe it’s not more money they need but a better system? But North Branch kids shouldn’t be penalized in the process.

Senator Nienow can be counted on to speak for our kids. No child should be given a lower-quality education simply because of where they live.

Thanks, Sean Nienow, for serving on education and making Chisago/Isanti kids a priority in your work at the capitol.

Elise Hiljus
Franconia Township