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

  • Phil Fishman

    Max is back. We can all rest easy now. Between the “spoiled children”, “economic terrorists” , “common theives” and “deadbeats” comments (the last being done three times in the same rant) that he made in his last diatribe, I think we all know where Max stands. Hey Max, what do you have left to complain about? You have a Democratic Governor who wants to increase spending and consequently taxes. You have a Democratic controlled state Senate and House. You have two Democratic Senators. You have a Demorat as President and a Democratic controlled Senate led by Harry Reid. Yet you still whine and throw out mindless insults. Fiscal responsibility is your issue now? Have you figured out yet how much the national deficit has increased since your President took office? At some point, we can’t keep blaming previous administrations. Your Governor Dayton is taking the same path – perhaps at a little more rapid rate. You run a business, right? Do you regularly include spending more than you take in as part of your long term plan? What part don’t you get?

  • Judi Bruckschen

    Mr. Boelter-

    Great research on per diem payments for Sen. Nienow. Is that really your qualm with our state government? You even take the effort to break it down “per session”. Query – did you research who was ahead of him in terms of per diem payments? Or perhaps you overlooked the fact that Gov. Dayton is spending as much to renovate his “Governor’s mansion” as it it worth? So, you have to acknowledge that Sen. Nienow didn’t do anything illegal and was lawfully compensated for his out of pocket expenses? If you honestly think that we are simply overpaying our legislators, who work many more hours than they are ever compensated for, in your quest to make some entirely baseless political statement, go for it. In your words, “mind you”, these people are not doing what they do to get rich.

  • Max Anderson

    Mr. Fishman,

    Yes we do have alot of Democrats representing Minnesota and I might add none of them have voted to pay the nations debt already incurred and due as your Republians have threatened.

    It seems also that the Democratic party and its elected members are all living within their means, unlike your bankrupt Republican party that stiffs their vendors and members like Bachmann that won’t pay her staff for wages earned.

    Your defense of Republicans that choose not to pay their or our bills is not a suprise.

    Your whinning about others expressing their opinion shows a great deal about you!

    Facts are that the reasons the Republicans are becoming an endangered species is that they have no common sense, no decency, no comprimise and no respect for women.

    Another fact is that the Congress would have come under Democratic control if the gerrmandering that took place in 2010 to artificially protect U.S. congressional and state seats across the nation had been an honest redistricting effort at representative government rather than a way to stay in power.

    I see you use we often when writing your opinions, do you need attention or support or is it just a way to reinforce your far rightwing opinons while standing alone?

    I must ask Mr. Fishman do you pay your bills? Don’t you expect your elected officials and political party to pay theirs also, one must wonder in the way you defend them what your motivation is.

    Your party says a lot when Ronald reagan is now labeled a RINO by your far right comrades, much to be proud of Mr. Fishman.

  • william krebs sr


  • Phil Fishman


    Apparently, I am not the only one who points out your insults and behavior (see the response from Mr. Krebs). Now we have your wonderful comments about being “bankrupt”, “whinning” (sic), “no common sense”, “no decency”, “no compromise” and “no respect for women”. Your response which involves some convulted discussion about gerrymandering (mind you, Democrats are now in control) is beyond mindless. Your other big issue is apparently about Republicans not paying their bills? Max, who is going to pay the bill for the increase in taxes and spending? I love the Reagan reference – however misplaced. Just a note – he’s been dead for a while. If only we could undo what your beloved FDR did, we truly would have a “Great Society”. As Mr. Krebs said, I still don’t know why they even print your letters. You espouse everything you claim to hate.

  • S Johnson

    I would be curious to hear the Times editors take on the subject of Mr Anderson’s HATEFUL and VILE letters. If someone were to write such letters attacking the democrat party would they be so quick to print those as they are to print Mr Anderson’s letters?

    This week’s letter is probably one of the most hate filled letters I have seen printed. You don’t see the others that have commented on your letter calling names why do you resort to that? Calling people ugly names, as you did in the letter, is rather childish yet you continue time after time to do that. I really do pity you Mr. Anderson, you must be really really unhappy about life in general.

  • Max Anderson

    Mr. Fishman,

    I love the way you floss over your political parties inability to pay their bills, I guess you just don’t want to admit to the fact your Republican party elected officials are deadbeats.

    For the record the Democrats do not control everything, congress has been maintained by the Republicans nationwide in which they gerrymandered districts across the nation to keep control of the U.S. Congress and State house seats, that sir is a fact, study up and you will educate yourself.

    As for Reagan, it is your far right wingers calling him a RINO not me, I see you did not take a stand on it.

    As for FDR I am sure because of your disagreemnet with his enacting social securtiy you don’t or will never collect it being as you disagree with it now would you? That would certainley call into question ones principles.

  • Bill B.

    Why don’t you ALL just become facebook friends or something and spare us all the diatribes aimed at each other?

  • Phil Fishman


    While I spend most of my time trying to “study up and educate myself” so I can solve the condendrum based upon the alleged gerrymandering which do, in fact, sir, result in Deomcrats holding a majority and still whinning (your spellling, not mine), Before you personally attack me again, and before others have to write lettters questioning why are even even allowed to post such filth, try and focus on your so called “facts.” While you take pride in pointing things that you describe as “facts”, I now call you on you to explain how others “:have no respect for women”, please explain. Your venomous and misplaced letters are noticed by all.

  • max Anderson

    Calling attention to and describing in acceptable lanquage the failings of a political party is hardley vile nor hateful. It is just giving an honest overview of ones personal opinion.

    If you would like hateful & vile please pay attention to the anti liberal rhetoric and hate talk from such wonderful right wingers like Rush Limbaugh or Ted Nugent who demonize women children and anyone else they happen to disagree with to the point of armed resurection.

    Yes you Republicans have a lot to be proud of.

  • Gary F.

    First off, “Mr. Krebs”…..Internet protocol provides that you don’t use all capital letters!! Apparently you’ve never been allowed on the internet before??

    Max is absolutely correct about his assessment of the pathetic Republicans. They have brought this upon themselves, and they are rapidly losing whatever little support they have. Old white men are dying left and right, and the young, females, and minorities are certainly not going for the tired Republican prattle. Good luck ever trying to win elections in the future with such a neanderthal view of the world.

  • Phil Fishman

    Newsflash from Max… Terms he uses such as “spoiled children”, “economic terrorists” , “common thieves” and “deadbeats” and “no respect for and demonizing women and children” are NOT (and, yes, the ALL CAPS was for you Gary) hateful and vile. If I were Max, I would be a little bit careful about calling people a terrorist or thief. Nothing wrong with a legitimate discussion about politics and policies. Grow up and stop with the juvenile name calling.

  • Ms S Johnson

    Mr Anderson, please point out what has been said about women from both Rush Limbaugh and Ted Nugent? I’ve never heard anything from them that I find offensive or demonizing. Evil (demonizing – whatever) is like the eye of the beholder. Ohh one more thing…we know what your beliefs are Mr Anderson you espouse those every chance you get and then some.

    Having an honest discussion, as Mr Fishman said, nothing wrong with that. It’s the language you use. Drowns out any substance you may have in what you write about. Please get a hobby different from writing to the times paper.

  • Bipartisian

    I agree there is no place for name calling and insulting language and Mr Fishman there is no place for threats; your last comment could very easily be taken that way

  • Phil Fishman

    Point taken Bipartisan. No threat intended. Was merely pointing out the flavor of Max’s words and the possible impact of irresponsibly using words like “terrorist” and “thief”. My apologies, as I was not trying to threaten anyone. My goal was to raise the level of discourse, not lower it. However, with Max, one often has to be abdunantly clear about examples of his name calling and insults as he apparently ignores it otherwise. Nothing futher was intended and no threats were made in my comment.