Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor for Aug. 20

Much of what Trump says falls on deaf ears

Donald Trump has not been suave or debonair. I don’t know that any of his staff can truly assist in this matter. However, much of what he says is true. It all is falling on deaf ears as the media has their own take already established, and the steady beat of the left won’t permit it to be heard.

I understand by dredging up the past, it does not erase the perception of the present, but I do so to show that all news is not dealt with even-handedly. Hillary Clinton’s response to Benghazi was far from immediate. It took Barack Obama four days to respond to Ferguson. With Trump it’s damned if you do and damned it you don’t.

The only thing I can say about the press these days is talk about Russia is mum simply because the latest info points more and more to include the DNC and persons within the U.S. Now suddenly their focus is elsewhere.

Margaret Godwin Bergmark, Lebanon

A conundrum for Americans

Over the past few months, several news programs have focused on the pace of technological innovation here in the U.S. with the intended consequences of replacing humans in the workplace. Artificial intelligence and robots are being developed to handle a wide range of tasks from complex medical diagnostics where the robot replaces your general practitioner to the more mundane tasks performed by hotel staff like short order cooks and front desk clerks. Abusing the H-1B visa program, foreign auto manufacturers bring cheap foreign labor into the U.S. to perform work that Americans currently do, and American IT workers are being asked to train their replacements from India to perform their jobs at a lower cost.

This presents a conundrum for Americans. The use of cheap foreign labor, robots, and artificial intelligence go straight to corporate bottom lines improving profits and shareholder wealth. That’s great for anyone participating actively or passively in the stock markets. That’s great for all us boomers who aren’t competing with anyone for jobs anymore and have investment income and retirement plans to live on.

But, what are the consequences for children currently in school, or people who have been in the labor force for only 10 or 20 years? What should our youth and younger adults be learning so they can become independent and not have to compete with AI and foreign workers for fewer jobs? Foreigners could be sent home, but that won’t be good for investments. What will Congress do?

David Vail, O’Fallon

Conform to US Constitution; don’t make amendments up

First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The maniacal morons who loot, beat, destroy and set fire to autos and buildings when they demonstrate are, without question, felons who should be arrested and jailed for a few years. Those who quote the First Amendment to the Constitution usually have not read it and if so they do not understand it. Do these clueless dregs of humanity not know the meaning of “peaceably assemble”?

The actions of protesters are not limited to one side or the other — I don’t think either side knows what the First Amendment says. And if they do, they are violating the very clause that they claim protects them.

Let’s return to being Americans and not members of some sect that sees evil in every movement not conforming to their ideological hopes and dreams.

And let’s start conforming to the U.S. Constitution and not make up “amendments” to suit our own philosophy.

Don Gillen, Belleville

Safeguard our soil and water

Illinois suffers from a wasting disease borne by our streams and rivers, which carry riches down our waterways to the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico. We should all want to keep Illinois’ soil in Illinois, otherwise we squander one of the state’s most important resources.

Seventy-five percent of Illinois is farmland, yet 20 percent of nitrates reaching the Gulf of Mexico come from our state. Recently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that this year’s Gulf dead zone is roughly the size of New Jersey, the largest on record. Dead zones are areas where massive algal blooms use up oxygen killing off sea life. Excessive nitrogen and phosphorus runoff, not Illinois farmers, are to blame.

The Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy relies on farmers voluntarily adopting practices like cover crops to promote soil health and hold nutrients in the field (and not in our rivers), and help farmers protect their farm resources. The more soil that runs off a farm, the more investment washes away down river. To meet voluntary goals, Illinois needs the help of the food production industry.

To maintain Illinois’ place as a food-producing powerhouse, we must safeguard our soil and water. I call on Illinois’ food company giants to encourage the producers they buy from to incorporate conservation practices where they can to protect the resources our communities all depend on – healthy soil and clean water.

Carol Hays, Prairie Rivers Network executive director

I hear Moscow is nice this time of year

Barbara Viviano correctly identified herself as partisan, since her job as first vice chairwoman is to defend St. Clair County Republicans. It doesn’t matter if Rep. Mike Bost is wrong, Viviano defends him. That’s partisanship.

Viviano and Bost, along with actual paid political operatives, are working to discredit the Indivisible 12th with smears and lies. Indivisible is not partisan, we’re ideological. We have members who didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton, plus Greens, Independents and Never-Trump Republicans.

What unites us is our objection to the life-destroying Donald Trump/Paul Ryan agenda that Bost rubber stamps. This is not hyperbole. Bost voted to strip health care from 700,000 Illinoisans at Ryan’s orders. According to Viviano, we should all sit quietly and accept our fate.

Organizing as ordinary Americans is a right enshrined in our Constitution to seek redress for our grievances. Thomas Jefferson said, “What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?”

Ms. Viviano, was it “getting pretty old” when the Tea Party opposed President Barack Obama? Of course not, because you agreed with those organized citizens. But the First Amendment is not for your partisan interests. It’s for all Americans.

Like so many movements before, the Indivisible 12th will continue our peaceful resistance, promoting our values and ideals. If Viviano is tired of the “‘concerned citizen’ schtick,” perhaps she should move to a country with stricter control over political opposition.

I hear Moscow is nice this time of year.

Shannon Russell, Belleville

Thank God for people like him

It is so heartwarming to see someone who would open their heart to special needs individuals for the sake of bringing joy into their lives. Former Minnesota Viking linebacker Steve Ache is such an individual. Ache met a group of special needs individuals at a local YMCA and was so impressed with their efforts in working out with various exercising equipment that he wanted to become involved in their lives. He had treated them to football games and pizza parties in the past and most recently reserved the Elks Club swimming pool for a pool/pizza party. The group had a ball. Thank God for people like Steve.

John Klaus, Belleville