Wagner fear-mongering is making us all slaves
For me, Bob Wagner’s “legislative report” published a couple of weeks ago in the Whitehall Ledger and the identical letter, published in the Madisonian, brought on a flood of emotions.
His rant about how we are slaves to the national debt recalled for me the extraordinary effort Wagner and his extremist Tea Party friends put toward drowning state government in the bath tub.
Make no mistake; I don’t know anyone who thinks our extraordinary national debt is a good thing. Addressing this issue in the long term, without forcing our economy into a double dip recession in the short term, should be a high priority.
But Rep. Wagner’s effort to dismantle government altogether was obstructionist and mean-spirited. He voted to close a state veteran’s home at a time when demand for services to our veterans is only increasing. He voted to throw out a tiny pay raise for public employees, after they had already voluntarily agreed to a two-year freeze on their salaries. Wagner justified both of those votes by claiming we had to cut spending, while blatantly ignoring predictions by legislative staff that plenty of money would be available to pay for it. Turns out we have even more revenue than the staff predicted, thanks to government efforts to stimulate our economy.
And, I was reminded of the line-item veto by Governor Schweitzer of infrastructure items in Wagner’s district, a move based on Wagner’s refusal to support the legislation. It’s hard to argue with the Governor’s logic. If the local representative doesn’t support it, why should the state? The result is that the loss of nearly $1.5 million in state funding for critical bridge and sewer improvements in House District 71 can be laid directly at the feet of our legislator. And perhaps the worst part of that debacle is that even the Tea Partiers in other counties saw the writing on the wall and voted for it. They now have the needed funding. At least our $1.5 million is going to good causes.
But for HD 71. . . looks like us slaves will be hauling our own sewage and pulling our own ferry across waterways. Who needs government, anyway?
Trying to make sense of World War II references
About the reference that David Kelley made to the “boys of Dieppe” in his paid article in the Jan. 5 edition of The Madisonian. The raid was made August 12, 1942 by
Canadian troops who lost 60 percent – killed, wounded or captured in less than six hours. The Allies also lost 96 aircraft. It was a total failure. I don’t understand the how this applies to the current situation.
Cross-country support demonstrating a winning situation in Ennis
The 19th century English Philosopher Herbert Spencer said, “The great aim of education is not knowledge but action.” For me, at this point in my life, it’s a true statement; and, action meant first time attendance at the Jan. 11 meeting of the Ennis School Board. Under new business, I witnessed a win-win action.
There is the old saw that says, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” In that regard, I recall, the community had always supported the Ennis school system. So, I went to the meeting curious as to whether I would find this support to be the situation now.
Early on, under new business, came presentations by the cross-country coach Cori Koenig and two of her Mustang student-athletes, Wyatt Murdoch and Madison Owens. They reminded us all of who we are as Americans. And that is, one individual does make a difference to the community.
Madison told how much cross country meant to her and how one athlete can represent Ennis in a cross-country meet and after doing at least two meets can go to state and compete against all classes of schools. No other sport offers this.
Wyatt came on a break from basketball practice and explained how cross-country taught him goal-setting, made him a more durable athlete, and resulted in more energy for all his activities.
Cori is the new coach and looks to recruit more athletes and build the program.
School board members raised questions and concerns. Cori answered the questions raised. Community members offered discussion and support. It was pointed out that cross-country is the only sport in which a student can be a dual-athlete – meaning they can concurrently participate in another sport.
The result of Coach Cori and her two-team members’ inspiring presentation was for the school board to vote unanimously to continue the cross-country program. Thus occurred a win-win action for both individual achievement and for community.
And, I was reminded of what the Greek playwright Aeschylus, c. 490 BC, said, “Learning is ever young, even in old age.”