Open Forum for week of Feb. 7

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.


In This Together

This letter is in response to ‘Now You Scoff?’ (Jan. 24).

Through the passage of the Affordable Care Act, over $700 billion were “transferred” out of Medicare and funneled into this massive healthcare program. With total disregard for retired Americans who contributed to Medicare, “thieving” Democrats have jeopardized the solvency of Medicare by robbing to feed their latest boondoggle.

The non-partisan GAO predicts our national debt will double during Obama’s presidency. Their prediction factors in the conclusion of the wars in the Middle East, the tax increase on the rich and growth in the U.S. economy. The debt incurred during Obama’s presidency will exceed the combined debt of his 43 predecessors. However, he continues to ignore the recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan and behaves like an “economic terrorist.” This monstrous burden will stifle economic growth and our children will suffer the ramifications.

Sen. Obama voted against raising the debt ceiling during George Bush’s presidency, claiming it would be “fiscally irresponsible.” Would “Commander ’n Thief” be a more accurate description of our current president?

More than four years after her failed presidential bid, “deadbeat” Democrat Hillary Clinton finally paid off her campaign debts.

As you can see, calling President Obama, Democrats or any elected official demeaning names does nothing to solve our enormous problems. Perhaps there is a different approach. As a nation, we need to expect more out of all elected officials, regardless of party. We need to swallow our medicine, follow the Simpson-Bowles plan and act like adults.

Jason Schuldt
Forest Lake


Sadly-Needed Lawsuit

The Northland Mall project was concocted by our mayor over a year ago. A project of this size was not completed overnight.

The EDA is presided over and controlled by the mayor with the three needed votes of his appointees: Mr.’s Blake Roberts, Mike Muske and ex-Mayor Ray Daninger.

The City Council is presided over by the mayor and controlled by himself and the two needed votes of his elected council team members: Susan Young and Jim Dufour (now replaced by Jeff Klein).

The mayor’s long track record of 3-2 votes is still intact. Note last meeting’s 3-2 vote to replace an incumbent planning commission member, thanks to Jeff.

The public deserves the right to know who’s responsible for this miscarriage of justice. The speed in which this project has been expedited proves their unworthiness of our trust.

Also, this $20 million package does nothing to address the public works issue.

If this project is allowed to continue and the citizens do nothing, they deserve what they get: higher taxes for 20 years!

Elvin Norby
Forest Lake


More on Marriage

I am writing in response a letter on Jan 31. In the past month, I’ve written several letters to the editor regarding the Minnesota legislative push for legalizing same-sex marriage and its impact on children and society.

Two weeks ago, I brought to the attention of readers a study by sociology professor Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas, which was published in the July 2012 issue of Social Science Research. Summarizing the results, psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow said “Those who knew that their mothers had a lesbian relationship fared significantly worse on measures of educational attainment and household income, reported more depression, used marijuana more, more often reported forced sexual encounters, felt less close to their biological mother, felt less safe and secure in their family of origin, had more often plead guilty to a minor criminal offense, and were more likely to be on public assistance.  Those who knew their fathers had a gay relationship were more likely to have been arrested, to have thought recently about suicide, to feel depressed, to report sexually transmitted diseases, and to have experienced forced sex.”

The statistical data revealed that children raised by an intact biological family fared the best on a wide variety of measurements.

Children raised by a non-gay single parent were next best. Children raised by a lesbian mother or gay father fared the worst.

This study can be accessed online at

Mary Stolz
Forest Lake


No Compromising

Dave Berg’s tedious, long-winded confession of being a Democrat most of his adult life was a real trail of tears, but it’s time to put away the dictionary, forget the big words and get down to brass tacks.

Social Security is not an entitlement, it is a program paid for by the people with their hard-earned money. The problem is that over the years politicians (Republican and Democrat) robbed it blind for general revenue uses. There would be plenty of funds to cover it had it been left to operate as intended.

Secondly, I never blamed one party or the other for the national debt, of course the five-trillion-dollar Bush wars did not help and the fact Republicans readily assisted in the TARP funding was rather costly.

What I did say was that the Republican Congress was holding and threatening to not pay the debts the country has already incurred and owed.

I also said that the Republican party of Minnesota was not paying their bills and Michele Bachmann was allegedly not paying the wages she owed people.

Please cease your elitist rant, David, and stick to the issue I addressed and you ignored, paying one’s bills.

There are plenty of changes that can be made in solving the nation’s issues. All politicians must compromise to reach that goal, and that is where Republicans failed miserably in their lack of ability to do so.

Max Anderson


At a Crossroads

One thing I like about Representative Bob Barrett is his ability to explain the sometimes complex aspects of government in a way everyone can understand.

Recently he was asked about the state deficit. Representative Barrett said when he came into office in 2010 the previous legislature promised all kinds of things that the legislature could not pay for, causing future deficits. In other words they passed laws that required the government spend more money in the future. They had depleted the state’s savings account and had borrowed $2 billion from the schools.

Republicans inherited these promises and the resulting deficit when they took control of the House and Senate in 2011.

Barrett and the Republican legislature did not raise taxes. They reduced spending where they could, especially in higher ed where there is a lot of waste, and they reduced the huge rate of increase in other areas. They tried to cut taxes but Governor Dayton would not allow it.

The result? Revenue increased without higher taxes but with an expanding private sector. The state’s savings account was filled. Over $1 billion of the DFL education shift was paid back. The $6 billion deficit was whittled away. There is still a $1 billion deficit because future spending is still too high.

We are at a crossroads. Do we continue to reform government and manage expenses or do we increase taxes by over $4 billion dollars (Dayton’s plan) while ignoring that our rainy day funds already have $1 billion?

James Lentz


Too Taboo

Confronting the mass murders of school children and theatre-goers with gun and video bans is monopolizing the news, and is occasion for politicians and the media to jump on stumps.

H.L. Mencken said, “For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple – and wrong.”

It’s true; one shouldn’t need rapid-fire weapons to kill a deer or to stop a school shooter, or gory videos to be amused.  However, gun and video control are complex matters. Let the federal government define “arms” and “speech,” and the states prohibit or control them, but within Constitutional limits.

Most murders, including these, can be minimized by addressing a more important cause: boys without fathers.

Mental illness is another witch hunt. Father deprivation is one form of that. But these subjects are taboo; indicting single-mother homes has been politically incorrect for politicians and the media, liberal and conservative alike to mention.

Richard F. Doyle
Forest Lake