Letters to the editor

Trump is cleaning the swamp

President Trump is continuing to press forward daily at breakneck speeds with his mandate. He’s cleaning the swamp, creating jobs, working to repeal Obamacare, repealing burdensome regulations, working on tax reform, making America safer by supporting our law enforcement officers and finally enforcing existing laws. After eight years of failures, laziness and wimpiness what a difference a real leader makes! Unfortunately socialist Democrats and the DC establishment are determined to subvert President Trump and the wishes of our Republic. Recently Senator Baldwin smugly commented on our President Trump’s actions on the cable show MSNBC. Basically she implied that Pres. Trump appointing successful non-governmental persons to his cabinet proves he’s not serious about cleaning the swamp; really Senator. Cleaning the Swamp means exposing, dealing with swamp creatures like the over zealot socialist bureaucrats that will not accept the authority of our President governing such as simply downsizing bureaucracy. It is now obvious that these zealots are willing to violate Federal Laws to leak personal and classified information with the goal of subverting the President of the United States from governing this great nation. This includes the Obama Administration using the Federal Agencies to spy on political opponents. It is also painfully obvious that the socialist media propaganda outlets like MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, and New Your Times, DNC, college professors, other left wing democrats will not accept the authority of our President and our Constitution. It appears they have totally lost their minds and need to seek mental treatment or is there something more sinister going on? These people are sick, dangerous and I fear for the Presidents and his family’s lives. Remember President Trump is exposing these media outlets, taking power, money away from them and bureaucrats but more important he is proving that we don’t need government in every crevice of our lives i.e. socialism. I encourage investigations into all Federal Government Agencies by our Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The FCC /FBI should investigate the aforementioned media and bureaucrats for their ties to foreign governments, persons or entities. If you care about your Freedom and Liberty you should agree. These subversives should and will be exposed, arrested, fined, imprisoned and if justified they should be executed for treason. God Bless America and President Trump.

Jim Kazmierczak,

Lodi

Change the sexual violence culture

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and we want to share how we can all help prevent sexual violence. Because while sexual assault results from individuals making harmful decisions, there are also cultural norms that lead to high rates of violence:

• Rigid gender norms – The idea that men always want sex and women are supposed to please men gets in the way of having real conversations about consent.

•Oppression – Stereotypes about and discrimination against any group of people can make it seem okay to take advantage of those with less privilege.

•Objectification – When we focus on someone’s looks instead of seeing them as a whole person, it’s easier to disrespect their boundaries.

• Sexual entitlement – Thinking other people “owe” us sex can lead us to pressure our partners into doing things they don’t want to do.

How can you help? Keep an eye out for these social norms in the media and in everyday conversations, and talk to people in your life about how they contribute to violence. For more about Sexual Assault Awareness Month, see www.hopehousescw.org/upcoming-events.html. If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual violence, you can call Hope House’s 24-hour confidential helpline at 1-800-584-6790.

Nola Pastor,

Hope House of South Central Wisconsin

Walking quorum is important

On April 19 our town convened its Annual Meeting. Residents discussed problems for the Township. Two resolutions were presented as motions that passed. One thing stood out: the Board chair and three members present did not understand a key problem in town government: the Walking Quorum. It is an illegal evasion of our Wisconsin Open Meetings Law (OML), enforceable by the state. One resident at the meeting, a previous Town Chair, stated clearly to the Board the Walking Quorum definition: it is a series of communications among Board members about town business that, when added together, constitute the participation of at least half of the official Board.

Wisconsin’s OML prohibits the Walking Quorum as well as discussions of official business on social occasions, urges officials to avoid any electronic communication of official business, requires that Board members know these rules, and makes clear that residents have a legal right to full disclosure of any such Board’s discussions. This was raised last night by a resolution to require full disclosure at regular Town meetings, of any such communications about possible annexation of the Town of Lodi to the City of Lodi. Discussed were implications of much-raised costs from such annexation for the Town’s taxpayers. The resident who drafted the resolution said the chairman’s monthly agenda item “communications” in regular Town meeting is the obvious time for disclosure. Our taxes can provide us with satisfactory and legal governance, or not.

Margaret B. Vaughan,

Okee

In Response to Dodgeball Fundraiser for Medical Relief Trips

The April 20 story on Hailey Snyder’s fundraiser to raise $7000 for medical relief trips abroad highlights best intentions of an EMT committed to international service. While Ms. Snyder’s intentions are laudable, they also may inadvertently cause harm.  

I have been studying international medical volunteering since 2011. Research demonstrates that such volunteers often cause harm not only to the people they hope to help, but also to local social support institutions doing the work well after foreign volunteers depart. I urge Ms. Snyder, and members of the Poynette community, to think more critically about how to help. 

Often our best intentions cloud our judgement about what is helpful. We presume that people in places like Sri Lanka and Kenya are so impoverished and vulnerable than any help is better than none. However, there are people on the ground doing that work over the long term. We don’t see them, but they’re there. While they need support, sending unskilled volunteers is not necessarily helpful. I tell my students: if health or social support professionals in poor countries needed help, generally locals are more useful than we are: locals know the language, culture, and community. We don’t. 

The critical question that people wanting to volunteer abroad must ask themselves is: would I be allowed to do here what I plan to do abroad? Ms. Snyder is an EMT. What certification does she have in HIV/AIDS or counseling? In teaching trades? In caring for special needs children? Has she had a criminal background check, which would be required to work with children in Wisconsin?  

Does Ms. Snyder speak Swahili, Kikuyu, or Luo—languages of Kenya? How about Sinhalese or Tamil, as spoken in Sri Lanka? Without these languages, local professionals will have to spend time translating for her, time they could have used helping people they’re there to serve. Lacking language skills, cultural know-how, and training in the tasks she aims to do, Snyder unknowingly stresses, rather than helps, local support systems, despite her best intentions. That can cause harm.

Ms. Snyder should travel and discover the world. Being a helper requires know-how she lacks. Funds raised by the dodgeball tournament would go further if used to support organizations in Wisconsin or abroad doing the work long-term.  

Noelle Sullivan,

Global Health Studies and Anthropology, Northwestern University,

Board Member, WorldView Education and Care

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