Open Forum for week of Jan. 31

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.


Look in the Mirror

After a welcome respite from his endless attempts to get attention, Max Anderson continues his tedious, juvenile and asinine name-calling, unsupportable innuendo and defense of the twisted DFL party.

I belonged to it for most of my adult life but it has completely abandoned its fundamental principles to achieve a single-party political system.

In Maxie’s parallel universe, conservatives are responsible for the deficits incurred during the Emperor’s first 4 1/2 years in office, when he had single-party control and managed to accumulate $16,000,000,000,000 in long-term debt, surpassing the cumulative total of every previous president.

Of course both parties are to blame, but true believers like Maxie exist in a world of their own fantasies.

“Affordable Health Care Act,” auto bailout, AIG and “joint oversight” of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by Chris Dodd and Barney Frank: take your pick.

It’s hardly a coincidence that the resident narcissist at 1600 Pennsylvania has not complied with the constitutional stipulation to present a budget to Congress on the first of each year of his term.

The apparatchik of the left are terrified that if that debate were to happen, they would no longer be able to hide from an insignificant little item called entitlement reform.

The president’s own Simpson Bowles Budget Commission, along with the bipartisan CBO, call entitlement reform a necessity to preserve the credit rating of the nation and prevent that incredible debt from being called. The president’s answer? Higher taxes and continued expansion of entitlements.

Through the looking glass again!

Dave Berg
Marine on St. Croix


Compared to What?

A recent letter summarized research suggesting that the impact of same-sex marriage on children will be negative. I appreciate the letter’s civil tone but my question about these concerns is, compared to what?

To traditional marriage? Few would dispute the importance of traditional marriage but this institution has frequently failed children. More than 40 percent of traditional marriages in this country end in divorce and 50 percent of all children (about 35 million) are children of divorce. And unlike same-sex parenting, there is a large research literature documenting the negative impact of divorce on children. Can same-sex marriage really have a worse impact on that many kids?

The writer also cites research that “children raised by parents with same-sex attraction were more likely to engage in sexual experimentation and promiscuity.”

Compared to whom?  High school students who are the children of divorce? Research about the negative impact of same-sex parenting on children may prove to be accurate but this would simply place it on an even keel with much traditional parenting.

I think people who raise alarms about same-sex marriage are looking in the wrong direction. There was a time when skyrocketing divorce rates and increasing numbers of children of divorce raised alarms.  But time passed, politics intervened, and those trends sadly seem to have become an accepted part of American culture.

Focusing on changing the negative impact that traditional marriage too often has on children, rather than the impact same-sex marriage might have, seems like a more appropriate concern.

Michael Harwell
Forest Lake


Middle-Class Squeeze

Governor Mark Dayton’s proposed budget was all over the news last week. Families living on a tight budget have reason for concern. You will now be taxed on over-the-counter drugs, repairs on your car and home, and a host of other services like haircuts and day care.

Everyone has already seen less money on their paycheck due to the 2 percent income tax increase imposed by President Obama in his new government health plan. This Democrat governor did the math and while he bragged about his cut in the sales tax rate, his office ran the numbers. This reduction in the rate, while vastly expanding the items that will be taxed, will in the end net the state over $2 billion in additional money. That means, in the end, they are taking more from the middle class.

Watch as the Democrats decide just how much money can they take out of our household budgets and still sell it as a benefit to the public so they can get re-elected in two years. With them in total control, that’s what will get passed.

The only silver lining is that Chisago County didn’t add to that DFL control in any way. We know that our State Representative Bob Barrett will do everything he can to stop Governor Dayton from taking more of your money, especially at a time when the economy is so fragile.

Thanks, Representative Barrett for all you do fighting for Chisago County residents and families!

Bruce Spangler


True Protection

After the murders of the children in Newtown, Conn., we heard President Obama saying the following: “We need to keep all of our children safe from harm – If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right.”…“If there’s one step we can take to save even one life, then that’s what we must do.”…“As a nation, are we truly doing all we can to give all the children in this country the right to live out their lives free of harm?”

If he was sincere, then for the first time in my life, I agree with Barack Obama. We will most definitely be judged for the violence done to our children, whether it is by child abuse, neglect or murder; exposing them to pornographic garbage; or legally putting the equivalent of one classroom to death every 30 minutes in the U.S. by abortion.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America reported that its affiliated clinics performed 333,964 abortions in fiscal year 2011. That’s one life lost every 94 seconds! This same report states that PP received $542.4 million in government grants and reimbursements.

For 40 years we have heard how legalized abortion would alleviate child abuse and neglect. In truth, these problems have worsened, and if being torn from your mother’s womb isn’t violence, what is?

If Mr. Obama truly meant what he said, the first step is to stop funding the abortion providers. Even unborn children deserve “the right to live out their lives free of harm.”

Jackie Scheldorf


Sign of the Times

I entered a casino recently and was surprised by the lack of noise. Sure, there was background music, but the noise of winning was absent.

I can remember when slots were loudly cascading coins into metal trays and the machine would play some loud circus-like melody and you knew that someone had hit a jackpot. Now, a winner receives a ticket with his or her dollar amount indicated, accompanied by a sound resembling an adding machine.

The people leaving a machine without a ticket are not saving a tree, they are losers. By removing the clatter of the winners and using silent tickets so the losers will not feel bad, the casinos are being politically correct.

However, the casinos could program the machines to dispense a blank ticket so that the loser’s feelings would be assuaged. They could leave the casino with pockets of blank tickets, head held high and eager to return.

This reminds me of one of my first jobs, where the employer took me aside on payday and told me that it would be a good thing if I did not show my paycheck to the other employees, as it would make them jealous!

No one know who’s winning or losing, and I miss the noise.

Tom Obst

  • Bipartisan

    Mr Berg Wrote

    “After a welcome respite from his endless attempts to get attention, Max Anderson continues his tedious, juvenile and asinine name-calling”

    and then Mr. Berg proceeds to write

    “twisted DFL party”

    “the resident narcissist at 1600 Pennsylvania” (writing about President Obama)

    “The apparatchik of the left”

    It seems Mr. Berg has resorted to ‘tedious, juvenile and asinine name-calling” himself

    The caption “Look in the Mirror” seems right on the mark

    • Kelly Wing

      Hi Bipartisan:

      Mr. Berg obviously is not only using sarcasm to make his point, but his language is accurate and true! Max, the DFL, Obama all are what they are, and attempts to obfuscate it are dishonest. A rebuttak like Mr. Berg’s is long overdue, and if the public at large cannot see what liberals really stand for and how negative and anti-American their thought and legislaton are, the public is either SO uniformed, SO illiterate, SO indifferent, or SO selfish.

      Go Mr. Berg, go!

  • Phil Fishman

    Uh oh, I just learned that President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee ended 2012 with large debts.

    Campaign finance reports filed Thursday show Obama’s campaign ended the year with $5.8 million in debt while his party’s political arm, the DNC, owed $21.4 million. The two groups ended the year with a combined $7.5 million in the bank.

    It has been pointed out by an individual or two that the Republican party should be taken to task for its inability to pay its debts. I can only trust that the same criticism will be levied… That would be fair, right Max?

  • Phil Fishman


    Your name means anything but “bipartisan”. Nice try, but good luck catching up with Max’s weekly rants and name calling. Max has finally been called out – just accept reality. Not to worry – your Dem’s still have complete control. Let’s see how this mess plays out. Kelly Wing and Dave Berg couldn’t be more right – it’s just going to get worse from here and we see it every day. No more excuses Obama and Dayton, this disaster needs to end now.

    • Kelly Wing

      Phil’s point about Bipartisan’s name is correct.

      Let’s all be honest here. We each have our bias, right? Max does, bipartisan does, Phil does, I do. Fine. So what we are left with are facts and history to guide us as to what to do. Can ANYONE name ONE country that has taxed itself into prosperity? Can you find a place on Earth where liberal idealogies really work? If they exist, then we’d see them! Conversely, are there examples where the conservative approach has worked? You bet! Look at several US states right now that are fiscally fine because of conservative budgets.

      Any person who is honest must see and admit this. If not, s/he is an ignoramous or a fraud- neither of which is very reassuring,

  • Bipartisan

    So ironic, both you are doing exactly what Mr Anderson does and what you are accusing him of. I agree that he goes over the top; but take a look in the mirror, you are being intolerant of others just as he is.

    Kelly Wing is intolerant of some where around half the US and Minnesota electorate; the Democrats won the Presidency, the MN House and MN Senate but yet she calls those who don’t vote her way, Un-American.
    She tops it off by saying the public is uninformed, illiterate, indifferent or selfish.

    No respect; and we wonder why our politicians behave the way they do

    Although I have to say it is sad to see people hope for failure to prove they are politically and morally right as you all seem to be doing, including Mr. Anderson

  • Max Anderson

    I love it when the losers of an election get brave and start acting as though they won after being trounced on their immoral amendments and lost the state house, state senate and a congressional seat, They hold none of the state wide offices and still refuse to adapt to real life much like the dinosaurs.

    The fact is that the republicans have old unpaid debt they have no intention of paying and refuse to pay, the Democrats have current debt with intention to pay and will follow through.

    That is the difference between a deadbeat and honest people, in fact at the state republican get together last week there was serious discussion of the republican party of mn filing for bankruptcy to permantly erase their debt.

    I guess they might As well, they are bankrupt morally and intellectually so they might as well be bankrupt financially.

    The good news for the republicans is that there is not much lower to go for them, I guess I can understand the anger,name calling and immaturity in the letters above when all is lost and little hope for the future of the party.

  • Phil Fishman

    I do have to give Max credit with an accurate analysis -“anger,name calling and immaturity in the letters above when all is lost and little hope for the future”. The last line of his last diatribe accurately described someone…him.

    Hard to fathom how you can distinguish between Demoract’s debt and Republican’s debt. Apparently, you have some wisdom resulting from “intention to pay” information that only you are privy to. Most of us consider debt to be debt. Remember, this was your big talking point and you again got called out on the facts and the hypocrisy.

    You made it clear in a previous letter that Democrats didn’t control everything and now apparently they do. Either way, the only debt, deficit and bankruptcy we’re going to experience is soon to come. In 4 years, your President accumulated more debt than all other administrations combined. Your Governor is set to go down the same path. Go ahead and push all the businesses and snowbirds out of the state – who do you think will be left holding the bag? Talk about bankrupt… Oh wait, we’ll just raise the debt ceiling again and find more things to tax. How is taxing yourself into prosperity working in Europe?

  • max anderson

    The Republican party of Mn has owed large amounts of money since 2010 for bad decisions by your leadership, now they are on the brink of bankruptcy and have avoided paying for services given by the very people who defended their party, if bankruptcy is filed they most likely will never have to pay what they owe and they will deadbeat their creditors.

    Michelle Bachmann owes wages to hard working people who worked for her campaign and staff, she has the money but just is not paying those hard working people for their time in doing her bidding.

    If this is what right wing thinkers want to defend that says much about you as the supporters of these deadbeats.

    All I can say is that the Republican party should pay their bills and you all should quit making excuses for them.

    All this whinning about taxes from people that want safe food, good safe roads, safe bridges, roads free of snow, police and fire protection, a strong military, water and sewer, good schools, clean air, America is a great place because we have a healthy mix of capitalism and socialism, a mix of people that have different ideas and goals.

    Corporate taxes were 80% ealier in the century, we used to have a draft, there used to be one person in a household that was the wage earner, people were very lucky to own one car and one television and kids were fortunate to have two pairs of jeans.

    So please don’t go with the stomach churning argument that the country is falling apart because you are not getting your own selfish way. Things have been worse.

  • Ms S Johnson

    Well said Mr Fishman…but you and I both know that the democrats will continue blaming all this on the republican party. They will never own what has been created these last 4 years.