Letters to the Editor

To the editor,

The Lincoln County United Christmas Spirit Appeal is a county wide effort to coordinate Christmas giving by matching those in need with individuals or groups that want to give gifts. Fulfilling this goal is accomplished with assistance from the Merrill Fire Department, Merrill Area United Way, Johnson Gifts & Home Decor, St. Vincent De Paul, area churches, civic groups, businesses, schools and individuals. Lincoln County was very generous in meeting the need of the nearly 600 children who received gifts last year.

Christmas Spirit Request forms can be picked up starting Nov. 1 at St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Store, 1004 E, Main St. and the Community Care Center, 401 W. Main St. Completed request forms may also be dropped off at these sites, ONLY until Dec. 3.

Tags, with children’s first name, age and other pertinent information will be available at Johnson Gift & Home Decor and some local churches, for those wishing to purchase gifts. Financial donations are appreciated and can be mailed to Lincoln County United Christmas Spirit Appeal, c/o St. Vincent De Paul Outreach, 401 W. Main St., Merrill, WI 54452.

If you have any questions or wish to purchase gifts for children please contact Frieda at 715-921-0728 or leave a message at the Outreach office, 715-539-2666.

Thank you for caring and sharing.

Frieda Swanson

Lincoln County United Christmas Spirit Appeal

I can hardly wait…

I lost count of the political cardboard in my daily mail. They were about the right stiffness to clean out the bottom of a bird cage or to scrape up oil spills in my garage. But, in all fairness, I did read a couple of pieces back when the political bickering first started. I really appreciated those big cards that included “facts” as well as some quotable phrases.

Those “facts” left me with all questions and no answers. If I took all those “facts” at face value, I should be looking for a third-party write-in candidate from another planet. The most common theme was “change,” followed by “throw the bums out of Madison/Washington,” all the way down to “wasteful spending.” I had serious difficulty distinguishing one argument from the next.

These are some questions that rattle around my head. Do all politicians have their own personal hard hat and bull horn? Where do politicians get those gigantic numbers they throw around so freely? Who is doing the “people’s work” while they are out campaigning? Where did they snoop to get my middle name for their mailings? The questions go on and on.

The cost of independent political surveys and TV space – wouldn’t it be interesting to follow the money to find out who pays the bill? By the way, if you want to close a conversations with one of the survey callers, demand a credit card number and their social security number to cover to cost of your valuable time. These calls usually came right at dinner time with my family.

Wow, I got calls from Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Sean Duffy and some of their minions. Mostly I was irritated with the timing of these calls, but more concerned with the lack of politeness. They gave me no opportunity to respond or ask questions. I would sell my vote to the first politician to guarantee me the same health care and retirement benefits they have, or will enjoy. Mitt, is that short for Mitchell or Mitten? I have a Mormon question for him – hope he calls back.

From those political mailings I have learned some new phrases that I will try to work into future conversations. Also, I have developed a concept: borrow from the postal department to cover wasteful government spending. There must have been a lot of money earned at my mailbox this mid-term session. I can hardly wait for the real elections in two years.

Rich Prange

(I approved this message)



I read the letter written by Mr. Gilk last week and think it needs a response.

Yes, I think privatization of the SS system would be a good idea. Why, you say?

Because the current plan is run by the government and they have basically bankrupted the plan they borrowed on it and placed IOU’s in the box. They are repaying it with freshly printed money that gets more worthless with every dollar they print. If it were done properly the person would be able to run his own account, no one but the person or their heirs could touch it until they reached 65 or so. The individual would control where it is invested not anyone else. By doing this how will we IMPOVERISH our grandkids? They don’t get anything from SS now should we die before we collect that which we and our employers have paid in plus the interest we could accumulate. As an example my Mom died before she drew a dime of SS money, where did her cash go?

Now to the financial disaster of 2008, it was a long time a brewin’. Both parties were responsible. What really caused it was the Democratic controlled congress telling Freddy Mac and Fanny Mae they needed to relax requirements to get a loan which is government backed. I can remember when you needed 20% down to buy a home. No they tell you “are you sure you’re buying a large enough home”?

The money is nearly unlimited. Guess what? Both organizations have gone BROKE and we still haven’t told them to quit doing bad loans. They in they last 3 years have gone into the RED again and will need more taxpayer money to bail them out in the near future.

The government runs the Postal Service which is in the red nearly every year. They run the Amtrack system – also broke. SS and Medicare are nearly broke. Medicaid is broke. We have a National debt near $13.5 TRILLION with a debt cap of $14.2 Trillion which they think we’ll surpass in a year or two. The 2 auto companies they took over also are stumbling along and are precariously close to failing. Yet Ford is making money hand over fist. They have passed a health care bill that they now say will add somewhere near ONLY $1 Billion more than thought. Just a little miscalculation.

I ask Mr. Gilk if you don’t think we need a strong military how do you expect to defend us from losing the freedoms protected a number of times now. Not only our freedom but Europe and Asia as well.

Privatization if done correctly makes more sense than the way we are dumping our money down a rat hole so the congress can grab it and spend it before it gets returned to those of us that have paid in for a number of years.

Thanks for your time.


Chuck Bolder


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