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SENTINEL TRIBUNE Wednesday, February 8, 2017 Page 4 BETWEEN THE LINES By Tom Merchant - Sentinel Tribune -- tmerchant@ncppub.com Shoot first ask questions later... This seems to be the method that President Trump prefers, rely- ing on his own convoluted whims at the moment. We should have known from the git go of his campaign of insulting women, Hispanics, Muslims, and many other ethnic or segments of the American society. I actually thought some of his ideas were good. Our infrastruc- ture is one area that is in dire need of repair, not only at the federal level but at the state levels as well. I would like to see tax reform, but fair tax reform that treats the 99 percent the same as the one percent. One of the tax reform ideas I have heard floated by some congres- sional leaders would give between 12 and 14 percent tax reduction for the wealthiest tax payers, while the remainder of us will receive between a two to four percent cut! Even if you were to equalize those figures the wealthy would in effect receive a vastly larger tax break. How so -- simple math, (not my long suit) -- if you give someone a tax break of 10 percent the person earning $50,000 a year would receive roughly $5,000.00, meanwhile a person earning $500,000.00 would receive (drum roll) $50,000.00! The later would buy you a fairly nice car or pickup, the former would buy you a couple of high end stainless steel appliances, but more than likely would be spent on either paying down debt, or like a lot of us buy something we don't need like a boat or camper. Those getting back the 50 G's would like- ly invest it or sock it away. I guess my thoughts are that demand is the most important factor in building the economy, the trickle down Republican idea didn't work for Reagan, or the Bushes. Oh at the time they were implemented it did stimulate the economy, but in the end they all were forced to raise taxes to sustain it. However, those are things that don't worry me as much as what President Trump has put forth. First off, I will give him a sideways pass on his executive order to put a 90 day ban on persons coming in from the deplorable seven, which I wonder why is Saudi Arabia not included? The worst terrorist attack against the United States 9-11 was mostly by Saudi Nationals. I understand how he wants to secure our borders from terrorists. However you don't have to look very far to find that the vast majori- ty of terrorist acts, since that time, have come from home grown citi- zens of this country, and that there are far more of these attacks com- ing from white extremist groups rather than Jhadist groups. Another factor I read recently, of the 100 persons in this country that had been arrested for trying to join Isis, 75 were caucasian and 15 were mus- lims. I am sorry folks, I think that we need to direct this action inside our country. (These are not alternate facts either! President Trump and his supporters need to get over their paranoia of muslims.) On his trade policies, his heavily rural supporters, who I think might have voted for him, I believe his veiws on trade deals, could be a disaster for farm markets. I realize that this country has tried to fight against cheap imports, but cutting out of some trade deals could really be harmful to agriculture in general, and the consumer as well. My biggest concern is with the president's choice for Secretary of Education. This person is in favor of voucher programs that would benefit mostly persons that can already afford to send their children to private schools. During her hearings she could not even come up with reasonable answers to her questioners. She has never attended a public school, and her children have never attended a public school, which I don't begrudge her. However, there are roughly 66 percent of public schools to 33 percent private schools. When you factor in the number of kids in private schools the percentage go from 9 percent (private) and 91 percent public. In reality, private schools are most likely better than public schools, in that they are well funded, and can select the students they wish to take. On the other hand public schools must take just about any students that show up at the door. This billionaire woman is simply not qualified to be the Secretary of Education, any more than I am to be a brain surgeon. Oh by the way she said guns should be allowed in some schools like in Wyoming or Montana to protect from possible grizzly bear attacks! Again I really don't like the man, even when he was doing his TV show. He needs to realize that you really can't run a nation like a business. When he bankrupts his own companies it is one thing, but if he bankrupts our country that could be bad for everyone. But even his bankruptcies turned into cash cows for him at tax time. I guess that's why he doesn't want anybody to see his tax returns! All I can say is pray for him and our country. Have a great week and do good! TO THE Pretty good profit high cost of the approval process doubles, triples, or even quadru- margin pies the cost of a real new drug and Just saw an ad for a 'new' drug leads to scams like Neudexta. The that allegedly is helpful for people cost of this bureaucratic empire is with psuedobulbar affective disor- born by you in the form of higher der (people who have had a brain taxes, higher drug costs, and high- injury and as a sequela have inap- er insurance premiums. propriate episodes of crying or And the FDA wants to make laughter.) it illegal for doctors to prescribe This 'new' drug contains "off label" (Only for indications small amounts of dextrometho- that have the FDA's blessings) rphan, which is cough syrup, and This would result in much higher Quinidine which is used to treat costs and seriously limit doctors abnormal heart rhythms and leg and patients therapeutic options. cramps. Both are widely available, Clearly reform in this entire pro- generic, and cheap. The retail cost cess is in order. for a months supply at the doses in Jeff Cassel "Neudexta" is probably under $10. The cost of "Neudexta" is $763 for a months supply. United Way meets This is outrageous price goug- goal ing on a par with "Epipen". It is A couple of weeks ago, we sent a result of the third party payer in a letter to the editor asking for system and is further testimony to some help in getting this year's the worthlessness of the hordes of United Way of SWMN campaign bureaucrats in Washington. to its goal of raising $570,000. Before you accept a prescription The final numbers are in and it it is fair to ask how much it will looks like this year's campaign cost, and if very costly if there is will be the largest ever in the 54 a cheaper altemative. "Insurance year history of the United Way of will pay" means you pay in the SWMN. The campaign ended at form of higher premiums. $612,150.00 and it could not have The FDA approval process can been done without the fantastic take years and can cost 1 to 1 1/2 support from each and every donor billion dollars. The loss of 9 to 10 that believes in the United Way's years of patent rights as well as the mission. The dollars raised from this year's campaign will help with our local internal programs and the grant program. The dollars are raised and dispersed in our region. Committees, made up of volun- teers, from the same region, review and interview prospective grant recipients. Stay tuned to your local paper for more information on the application process and how you can volunteer to help in the review process. The application process will start February 1st as the grant application and process information will be posted to our website at www.unitedwayswrnn. org under the Our Impact tab. Stay tuned to your local news- paper to read about how those dol- lars are being used throughout our local communities to help those in need. Our United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. Tim O'Leary United Way of SWMN Board President Julie Pederson Campaign Co-Chair Lee Steffen Campaign Co-Chair "Stories from the Batt Cave" I don't know who let take away electrical current better Reportedly, in the 1950s she had used for watching TV. the Japanese silk print wallpaper the dogs out, but I let The bird might have come in just ($90 a roll) torn from the front the bird in to have a look at a field guide to hallway of her Beverly Hills home make sure that it had properly iden- because shadowy images of birds I was headed outside, tiffed itself, were part of its pattern. That sounds I can't remember why. There are I don't know who let the dogs out, goofy to me, but who am I to ques- many reasons to go outdoors, but I know that I let the bird in. tion anyone's sanity? I'm afraid of I'd just been outside, playing bas- There was no panic in the house- microwave ovens. ketball. I'd played a game of H-O- hold. It didn't give us the wil- Superstitions were a way that our R-S-E. The first player attempts lies. We didn't feel as if we were ancestors tried to make sense of an to make a basket (the hoop was wearing someone else's underwear, existence that seemed capricious hung outside on the west end of the didn't scmv3" tound coveting 'and frightenig$ IId t!le ( ,didn't chicken house) from a certain spot "our priceless anticitteg in bed tS :"ihaye microw v 9,.y, ens cg q e : and in a particular way, explain- We'd had birds in the laouse before trate their fears upon in those la ,s. ing to the others beforehand the andwe had no priceless antiques. In these enlightened days, few requirements of the shot. If the shot We weren't that superstitious, people think that having a bird fly was successful, every subsequent Birds have long been thought to be into a house is bad news. Our cat, player must make a basket in the associated with otherworldly paw- Purl (a housecat that never sets a same way. If a player failed to ers. The ability to fly gave a bird paw outdoors, but is a dedicated duplicate the shot, they acquired a a mystical quality that many look bird watcher), would consider a letter, starting with H. If the first to as a portent. A bird flying into bird entering the house to be a player misses a shot, control moves a house through a door or window, dream come true. to the next player. Whenever any was said to foretell a death. If We left the door open and the player spells out "Horse," he loses, that were true, there would be few bird flew out the same way it came I'd played against our horse. I'd humans left. in. About 518 houseflies flew in. It smoked him. I took a class on superstitions and was a crummy trade, almost as bad I opened the door. It's my habit to their meanings. The instructor felt as the one I made years later when do that before I walk out of a door. that the original superstition was I traded off a well-used Ford for an I'm appreciative of a junior high that when a bird flew in through even more used Plymouth. teacher who taught me to do that. an open window, circled the room The bird left. Nobody died. Those English teachers know stuff, or landed on the back of someone's Nobody was injured. The advice didn't arrive in time to chair, and then flew back out, it was It was much better than the time prevent me from having a crooked saying that someone who lived in when I thought it would be fun to nose, but it did save some wear and that dwelling was about to buy the hit a golf ball in the basement. tear on my beak. farm. There was probably no time I know that brought bad luck. A bird flew in the opened door. It limit applied for this to occur. was a house sparrow. I'm sure that Supposedly, Lucille Ball was ter- A1 Batt 2017 it had tried ringing the doorbell, but rifled of birds. Lucy refused to stay 71622 325 St. we didn't have a doorbell. We'd in any hotel room that had images 1-1, MN 56042 just obtained a TV and my mother of birds. No birds or pictures of http://albatt.net/ was afraid that a doorbell would birds were allowed in her home. ul By' Lee H. Hamilton he argues, we have enormous potential -- but we cannot power, a straightforward discussion of race and ways to take our success for granted. Indeed, our democracy is surmount the burdens that racial discord have imposed As a country, we make a habit of looking forward, not being tested right now by a disintegrating sense of cam- on our society, a magnanimity toward ideological adver- backward. But I'm going to ask you to turn your atten- man ground among Americans of different racial, ethnic, saries, an underlying sense of inclusiveness and decency. tion back a few weeks, to Barack Obama's January 10 and class background, and by the growing ease with These are wise words from a mature politician who farewell address to the American people, which people can retreat into "bubbles" -- both geo- clearly has confidence in the nation's ability to forge~ I've been reading presidential farewell speeches for graphic and ideological -- in which we see only people ahead and meet its challenges. many years. Most of them give good advice. This speech, we identify with and hear only information that fits our I understand that a lot of people in this country don't however, was exceptional, preconceived notions, agree with former President Obama on many things. Why? To begin with, it is filled with confidence This makes the underpinnings of a successful repre- But set aside the person who wrote it for a moment: this in ordinary people and respect for what workaday sentative democracy -- the search for common ground, speech is instructive for all of us on what this country is Americans can accomplish. This is a founding value the willingness to negotiate, the freedom to compromise all about and how we can make it better. of our country -- both a promise and a call to civic -- difficult if not impossible to pursue. Lee Hamilton is a Senior Advisor for the Indiana University arms. "Show up, dive in, stay at it," Mr. Obama says. Yet what may be most striking about the farewell Center on Representative Government; a Distinguished Scholar, "And more often than not, your faith in America and in address is its optimism that we can overcome division IU SchoolofGlobal and International Studies; and a Professor Americans will be confirmed." and temporary steps backward. As you read this speech, of Practice, IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He" At the same time, he makes it clear that it's challeng- it's hard to avoid a sense of the basic strength of our was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34years. ing to make representative democracy work. As a nation, country. There's a celebration of the peaceful transfer of (ISSN 8750-3905) Thomas Merchant tmerchant@ncppub.com Managing Editor Junette Merchant sentrib@ncppub.com Office & Production Joan Spielman jspielman@ncppub.com Ad Rep. & Circulation Published every Wednesday at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 Periodicals Postage Paid at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 SUBSCRIPTION PRICE FOR THE SENTINEL TRIBUNE WILL BE: In the following counties: Cottonwood, Redwood, and Murray $45.00 per year. Elsewhere in Minnesota $49.00 per year. Out of the state $55.00 per year. Canada and foreign countries inquire at the Sentinel Tribune Office. If wrong amount is submitted subscrip- tion will be pro rated accordingly. "Snowbirds" may put their paper on hold at no extra charge while they are gone, or pay $5.00 extra to have it mailed out of state. Missed copies cannot be furnished because the cost of mailing single copies is about $2.00. Any request for a back copy must include $3.00. Newstand price is $1.00 per copy. 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