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Liars figure and figures lie

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opinion Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

Broken politics

Both political conventions are over. Billions of dollars are flowing, and the fighting is fierce — on TV, billboards, radio, yard signs, and bumpers. The language is intemperate. Lies, fact-checkers disparaged, socialists, radicals, on and on... Is the two-party system beyond repair?

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The other week a friend repeatedly referred to his opposition as the “enemy.” I tried to protest, but he continued with more insults. Plainly, many partisans cannot talk to each other with anything like civility.

Every day I receive emails telling how much money is needed to counter the hundreds of millions that a few billionaires are pouring into the campaign against Democrats. When I watch the storm of negative TV ads I think of all the better uses for my money than to fuel this fire.

When neither federal nor state legislators can agree on whether government is necessary, or how it might be funded, we have lost our way. The way that children in America are taught about how democracy and representative government are supposed to work.

Compromise is weakness? My way or else? I think I have already made enough contributions to the candidates who have demonstrated some common sense. I cannot abide any more partisan food fights.

Gordon Prickett

P.E., CDR, USNR

Aitkin

Editor’s note: This letter was published on Sunday, Sept. 9 under the name of Gerald Augustine. The Dispatch regrets the error.

Liars figure, figures lie

The Obama administration, using Bureau of Labor Statistics, tells us that inflation is 1.41 percent for July (the latest month figures are available). Boy, 1 percent inflation is really good news.

What they don’t tell you is how they get those numbers.

Seems Obama didn’t like the “old” method of calculating inflation, so he changed the way the numbers are calculated.

No longer are grocery or gasoline prices included in the calculation.

One percent inflation is a political football. Obviously, Michelle has not been to her local A&P lately, and Barry isn’t obviously pumping gas for his limo.

Just a little more change we can do without.

Art Becker

Pillager

Tribe battles nuke waste

The Prairie Island Indian tribe continues to protest the nuclear spent fuel casks at Xcel Energy’s nearby Prairie Island nuclear plant.

The tribe’s general counsel recently asked, “Why do you have to keep it here?”

One reason for keeping it there is that it was the fuel that supplied low cost, reliable, round the clock electric power to the tribe and its big Treasure Island Casino. Those casks are not a hazard to human health and won’t be for decades.

Of course, we need permanent geologic storage for them. And if the tribe’s protests help spur some federal action that way, good for them.

We do have a perfectly useful storage site for spent nuclear fuel casks at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Ten billion dollars of the funds assessed on nuclear power users for geologic storage have been spent on it. The Obama administration has stopped work at Yucca Mountain and is even dismantling the facility. A recent report to the U.S. Senate from the General Accounting Office (GAO) states that the Obama administration’s closing of the Yucca Mountain nuclear storage facility “was made for political reasons, not technical or safety reasons.”

There was a faint hope that we could hear something about the issue in Charlotte this week. No such luck.

Rolf Westgard

St Paul

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