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Letters to the editor: Two different basketball programs; Buying legislation

Two different basketball programs


Recently in the past week both the boys and girls basketball programs played at home in Ellsworth. These two programs are being run opposite of each other.

At the boys game they honored senior Drake Flom for his 1000th career point. Just the third Ellsworth boys basketball player to achieve this honor ever. Drake was awarded with the game ball from the game at Amery where he eclipsed the mark and a nice ceremony before the game against Baldwin. Also that same night Ellsworth celebrated senior night by having a very nice introduction of starters with lights out and honoring Drake, Alex Motley, Zach Nugent, Isaac Gale and Logan Betthauser. It was very nice to experience this along with the win over Baldwin that helped Ellsworth keep pace in Middle Border Conference title race with Prescott.

Now the girls this past week played against Osceola. A winnable game but without the fanfare of the boys games. Ellsworth girls tried hard but still lost by almost 20 in what was just another conference loss at home this year. At this game the sound system wasn't working correctly to start the game so Ellsworth's own Shaelyn Olson sang the national anthem a capella and did an outstanding job. Hats off to Shaelyn for a wonderful rendition.

Because of the sound system neither Ellsworth or Osceola's starting lineups were acknowledged at the beginning of the game. Now, these kind of things don't seem to take place at the boys games but when it comes to the girls they seem to take a backseat on these kind of things.

My point in all this is that it would be nice to see the senior girls get the recognition that boys received at their "senior night" game. But with the current coaching staff of Ellsworth High girls basketball it remains questionable if this will happen. The girls try hard and there's some talent there but getting them to mesh and play as a team remains cloudy.

Congrats to the boys for a very good season so far and good luck to both girls and boys teams as playoffs start this month.

Kurt Buckner


Buying legislation


Forget buying votes at the polls — much simpler to just buy the end results at the top of the chain.

Paul Ryan, the Great Gatsby and gavel wielder in the House, just pocketed a cool $500,000 from your friend and mine, the Koch Brothers. As you all know, of course, they are almost as old as I am, and being multi billionaires, really needed the latest Tax Law legislation to pad their bottom line. As it turns out, that will be several MILLION dollars fatter due to having Ryan in their pocket, along with a few other smug legislators and Trump Toadies. Just bribery in the name of party financing.

Okay, now for business. The business of business is to make money for said business—NOT necessarily to hire employees. They all find ways to cut labor costs. For instance, the wonderful loving AT&T no longer hires technicians to repair and install landlines—they consider them independent contractors—so Ergo! No pensions, no IRAs, no withholding paperwork—just more ways to cut services and maintenance. On top of all that, my rates have increased by $6 a month over the last two years. Not much you say? Well, how many customers do they have nationally? Do your fourth grade math and you can see how they were able to throw a few bonuses to their long time employees. Of course, a few others got layoffs, and their highly profitable TV arm, DirecTV, is no doubt doing very well.

But wait! Is not the stock market setting new records every day, according to our Republican friends, and definitely a bragging point for the great genius himself, Trumpet, he who claps loudly to applaud himself—just in case no one else is interested. Oh-oh, a fly in the ointment. Seems as though it isn't all that rosy, or maybe profitable. Big correction took place—market down about 656 points. Gee whiz, will we all starve now? Will lots of stockbrokers jump out of windows? Will all the overpaid CEO's have to give back a few million? What excuse will Trump's press secretary drum up for this one? Lots more in my head about this selfish greedy bunch of leeches in power right now, but gotta save a bunch for our own "Slippery Scottie" from Wisconsin.

Don Beebe


Different speaker, same omissions


Did you listen to the State of the Union address? In the perspective of a large majority of those who listened, President Trump hit a home run. Personally speaking, he did a good job of highlighting the common principles of the American dream, which the founders referred to as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Like Bush and Obama, the president has plenty of costly solutions that overspend and increase the size and powers of the federal government. Continued war in Afghanistan, possible new war with North Korea, infrastructure, new education plan, family leave plan, and new plan for the war on drugs included.

Again, I felt uncomfortable with the president's use of another executive order to keep Gitmo open. I didn't like Obama ruling this way, and I feel the same with this president.

I heard no mention of the ballooning national debt, while the Treasury notified congress that the debt ceiling must be raised again, or they will run out of money by early March. What about all those bubbles the Federal Reserve has inflated? He talked about the dangers during the campaign.

I heard no mention of the militarized expansion of the police state, including local police and federal entities like Secret Service, CIA, FBI, NSA etc. I don't remember voters clamoring for security, at the expense of private rights.

I heard nothing about congressional corporate-cronyism, neglecting constituents while engaging in self-serving practices. Nothing about the millions of dollars in federal contracts for benefits and campaign contributions, eminent domain, earmarks, pork-barrel spending, and a failure to do the will of the electorate.

If you need a visual of the real state of the union, just remember the bipolar audience. One side was animated, the other was lethargic. They divide us, to control us.

Each of us pay a personal cost for this mismanagement of our federal government. According to the newly released Fraser and Cato Institutes Freedom Index, we are losing ground. The US was number 2-4 many years in the past. Sadly, we are now ranked at number 17.

For too many administrations, although the players change, the game remains rigged in favor of the elite ruling class, at our expense. Only the people can motivate the government authoritarians to adhere to constitutional principles and consequently, enjoy the fruits of freedom.

Scott Thomson

Maiden Rock

Elect a justice who fairly applies laws to all


With the spring primary election coming up, I'd like to ask everyone to think about what qualities you expect to see in a Supreme Court justice.

Spring elections are non-partisan, so politics should not play a role in this ballot decision. We should be looking for a person with a wide-ranging background—both in relation to the law and as a citizen. The best candidate needs a strong focus on the Constitution, and is one who believes in a judiciary that fairly applies our laws to everyone.

Not all candidates in this race are like this. Do your research. We need an individual who owes no favors to politicians. Look for experience and proven leadership; someone who will bring the values of hard work and fairness to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Let's take the opportunity to elect a justice who reflects Wisconsin's best with your vote on Feb. 20.

Tammy Tollefson

Town of Clifton

Prime time


As we prepare for the tourist season retailers will have to put more effort into instilling patience into their staff. As I instructed a new potential future driver one day as her mother was teaching her how to put gas in her car, there is a lot retail customers have to know.

I proceeded to inform her in front of her mother, if she has a bad day, feel free to take it out on the staff at whichever retailer you choose. That is what the staff is paid for. You are a customer giving that clerk your hard earned money so they are working for you. Don't take it out on the person or happening of the day that irritated you, take it out on the clerk who you don't know and had nothing to do with your problem. It is her job to listen to you relieve your frustration.

The young lady's mother just stared at me with her mouth open in awe to what I was saying. When I finished I said, "never mind," I just thought I would teach her what sarcasm was while you were teaching.

Tony R. Huppert

Spring Valley