Letter to the Editor: March 15, 2023
Letters to the Editor published in the March 15, 2023 issue of the Tomahawk Leader.
The following is a paid Letter to the Editor, per Tomahawk Leader policy.
Let your voice be heard
Dear Lincoln County Voters:
On April 4 voters will decide on a new justice for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Currently the seven-person court is dominated by four conservative justices. One of the conservatives is retiring. Whoever is elected will tilt the court’s balance right or left. Among the issues likely to come before the supreme court this year is whether our 1849 law, making it a five year felony to perform an abortion, remains on the books. This is an issue of tremendous personal consequence to many Wisconsinites.
Spring elections usually are low turnout affairs no matter how important the issues may be. If you are thinking about sitting this election out, ask yourself if you really want this important decision to be made for you, by a small minority of conservative leaning political activists who vote in every Spring election.
Let your voice be heard. Vote April 4.
Don Dunphy Merrill
We need to all stay connected on this
We assume everyone these days has internet access. After all they are walking around with a cell phone, iPad or some type of device.
But have you ever asked about the quality of service they actually have?
The majority of the counties across the Northwoods do not have high quality internet. Our email may work, and if we’re lucky we can use search engines, but no way is any type of zoom, telehealth, downloading or live streaming working well.
Yes, we have heard that state and federal money is now available to solve this problem. And while the amounts sound impressive, I encourage you to dive deeper into what those true cost will be for affordable, reliable, quality internet.
To truly provide adequate internet for the Northwoods one time funding is needed to implement high quality internet as a public utility. This current incremental approach is wasting time and money as individual counties try to solve the issue.
Now is the time for each of us to let the Joint Committee on Finance know they need to go beyond the Governor’s proposed budget on this and provide appropriate one time funding to implement internet as a public utility and get this done!
You can submit your thoughts to the Joint Finance Committee at [email protected]. Or attend the April 25 JFC budget hearing in Minocqua at Lakeland Union High School.
We need to all stay connected on this!
Reconciliation is not just forgiveness
Once again, correspondent Diana C. Smith has raised a pertinent and pressing issue. Though we usually come up with different solutions, I admire her for her courage and detailed thought-out positions.
All that she reported is correct. The pain of sudden and unforeseen death, especially wrongful death, is tragic and painful. Thus, nearly everyone would agree something absolutely must be done about wrongful death from guns.
History records absolutely no instances of a gun acting solely on its own to discharge itself (let’s not confuse careless handling of a gun with doing what with a gun what a gun is for – that is, a gun is not a paperweight or a hammer). Similarly, history records no instances of a poppy seed morphing into
a drug and forcing itself on a human person leading to addiction.
Hoping to legislatively control the misuse of guns and dangerous drugs is an admission that we cannot control ourselves.
By all means, it is an imperative duty for all of us to seek to help those who lack the mental capacity to not squeeze a trigger or use drugs. But a responsible person who squeezes a trigger or takes a dangerous drug must be dealt with for the selfishness they display. There is no excuse for doing evil.
Do I believe in personal reconciliation? Of course, I do. But reconciliation is not just forgiveness.
A peculiar thing about gerrymandering is its shamelessness.
Its shamelessness is underrecognized and underappreciated in the sense of refusing to see itself for what it is, how proud it is of its morality. Its very morality exudes shamelessness.
But how did shamelessness get to be so moral?
Gerrymandering is inherently undemocratic. It stacks the electoral deck. Wisconsin is so thoroughly stacked as to be a scientific experiment in political engineering.
What can possibly justify a deliberately imposed constriction of a more inclusive and participatory democracy?
Here we need to swing back to shamelessness itself in order to assess its morality. That is, gerrymandering is so patently immoral that the only way to deflect its immorality is to use political descriptors that portray gerrymandered voters as evil.
This shamelessness – and the strut and swagger that celebrate shamelessness – is what happens when a deeply immoral thing is “justified” (and therefore made “moral”), when those who want the immoral thing call themselves moral.
Gerrymandering is most immoral when it protects minority rule, neo-aristocratic wealth, and racial dominance. Understanding this evil requires careful examination. But advocates of the immoral thing call their effort good and they call evil those who want this immoral thing undone.
Gerrymandering is itself the immoral thing. Why is it so difficult to recognize this truth and vote accordingly?