10/1/2008 – Editorials


By Richard Peterson

It’s the election season again. Our ears and eyes will be assaulted by a wave of radio and television ads none of us really want to see or hear. Here’s some advice: Don’t believe the attack ads. They’re lies and distortions. Don’t pay any attention to them. Put them out of your mind unless you deliberately want to base your vote on lies and distortions.

In this column in the October 4, 2006 issue, I stated we will not publish letters to the editor endorsing candidates unless they are paid advertising. I added that I wasn’t satisfied with that policy because it forces letter writers to pay for saying good things about their candidate.

At the same time, we’re publishing letters at no cost for those who attack candidates. So, I’m scrapping that policy.

Letters to the editor from subscribers endorsing candidates will be printed as space permits. We probably won’t publish letters to the editor from those who are not subscribers.

If a reader objects to something published in this newspaper (including this column) we will be happy to provide space for a rebuttal.

Form letters which are sent to all newspapers usually go directly to the wastebasket.

All letters are edited for grammar and spelling, but the thought the writer is trying to get across will not be changed. We may also edit for good taste or excessive length.

Unsigned letters go straight to the wastebasket.

In the interests of fairness, we will not publish letters which bring up new charges against candidates in the last issue of this newspaper prior to the election. Rebuttals will be printed in that issue, which will be our October 29 issue. So there are only three issues of this newspaper left open for letter writers.

Letters for the Wednesday edition must be received by Sunday. Letters received on Monday will be held over until the Wednesday edition nine days in the future.

We have a floating deadline on Monday afternoon.

At the end of the day, the newspaper is completely put together. Sometimes we can take items until 3 or 4 p.m. The earlier you get the item to us, the more likely it is to get in the Wednesday edition. If you wait until 5 p.m. you’re going to be out of luck. We leave to print at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The October 15 edition will be a day late because of the Columbus Day holiday. As a result, all deadlines that week will be moved ahead one day.

We will accept letters for that edition on Monday and the newspaper will be put together on Tuesday and mailed on Wednesday.

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"Republicans, who have won so many elections painting Democrats as socialists and pinkos, have now done so much irresponsible deregulating and deficit spending that they have to avoid fiscal Armageddon by turning America into a socialist, pinko society with nationalized financial institutions and a financial czar accountable to no one and no law."
Maureen Dowd
The New York Times

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Here’s an item from Todd Morgan’s column in The Record at Grafton:

I’m not going to kid myself or anyone else. I don’t know if bailing out the country’s financial institutions is the right thing to do.

What I do know is I don’t want to live through a depression like America endured during the 1930s.

If that means it is going to take taxpayer dollars to keep that from happening I’m all for it.

What we should do, however, is make Americans question all the deregulation that has occurred in the last 20 years from the airline industry and railroads to financial institutions, to name a few. This may have benefited the Wall Street crowd, but the American public is paying the bill and the CEOs who led the country down this path get $18 million golden parachutes when the bubble bursts.

What has all this deregulation gotten us? For one, our airlines lose money on a regular basis, can’t manage their schedules and fly outdated planes. Almost every week we hear something negative coming from the airlines. Last week it was pilots logging too many hours.

The country’s railroads don’t want to serve the rural areas of the country anymore. Deregulation in our neck of the woods has allowed them to basically run a line from Seattle, Wash. to Chicago, Ill. They still remain one of the largest landowners in North Dakota with land given to them by the government. Now it’s not in their best interests to serve rural areas.

There’s no competition. The politicians have let them merge and merge again so they’ve carved up the country and no one competes with anyone anymore.

In 1999 Congress was pressured by the same crowd and eventually passed legislation that repealed financial protections. Again. I’m no expert, but I think it’s safe to say this Wall Street crowd has been very reckless in their business practices and listening to their wants and needs has led us down this path.

Remember we’re talking about Wall Street CEOs who have redefined the meaning of the word greed.

They have conned our politicians, shipped American jobs overseas and are darn close to running this country over the cliff.

Now in regard to this bailout the same crowd wants $700 billion in taxpayer money with no strings attached. These same people have made billions since 1999 creating this financial crisis. Now we’re going to reward them for it?

Nearly all Americans with a job have their savings tied up in these financial markets and if it wouldn’t mean the demise of all these savings, I would suggest letting the financial institutions choke on this debt. But what do you do?

Congress, through the American taxpayer, almost has to bail them out or risk another Great Depression and no one wants that. In what I know is all oversimplification, the country needs to go hack to policies regulating lending institutions that were in place prior to 1999.

There need to be safeguards and oversight attached to this bailout, as it is clear the Wall Street crowd can’t be trusted to govern themselves.

This whole thing is a big fiasco, driven by greed and corporations, through their cronies, the lobbyists and free-traders, who have hijacked the federal government, sold out American interests and have basically run the country into the ground.

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Morgan is right, but he fails to point out that the blame should fall on the conservatives, who have pushed deregulation at every opportunity. As a matter of fact the deregulation of the banking industry was slipped into an omnibus bill in 1999 by Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas). Gramm was John McCain’s primary advisor on economic matters until just recently.


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