This letter is in response to Abi Humber?s article about being a part of Occupy Chicago (Oct. 12 issue). Abi, it saddens me that you have been caught up in the deceptive rhetoric of a chanting crowd.
You decry the ?unfair banking processes that plague America.? You don?t specifically state how you think the banks have hurt us, but my experience has been quite the opposite.
When we got back from our honeymoon, we only had a dollars to our name. But thankfully the Peabody State Bank was willing to make a loan, at a very responsible rate, to a young man who had almost nothing. Over the years their financing, coupled with many hours of work, has enabled me to start a farm from scratch and provide for my family. I am thankful for the way American banks help even the little guy.
You assert that ?the middle class is paying more taxes than the CEOs who make millions each year.? That simply is true. We actually have a heavily graduated tax system in our country that forces the rich to pay more in taxes than the poor. Again my own experience is a case in point. I now pay more dollars in taxes every year than my total income was when I first started. I am thankful for the disproportionately large contribution that the rich make to our society.
You lament the fact that the rich have so much. If it?s so wrong for the rich to have this wealth, then why do you call upon them to give it to you in the form of free breakfasts and forgiven debts, etc? Is it not also bad for you to own this wealth? I am thankful we live in a country where we have the right of private property.
You feel capitalism exploits 99 percent of us. But what shall we switch to? Socialism? Commun?ism? Serfdom? Let?s not saw off the branch we?re sitting on.
I am thankful to be under an economic system that provides opportunity for every individual.
This wonderful country allows you to demonstrate if you want to. However, please don?t feel like you?re representing 99 percent of us. You?re not.
I am writing to clarify a remark I made at a county commission meeting.
I suggested the county start budgeting to contribute to political campaigns of select government officials in Topeka so that someone would start listening to us. That was a tongue-in-cheek remark made out of frustration with our inability to get anywhere with repealing the Keystone tax exemption.
I did not mean to suggest that government officials were ?on the take,? although in hindsight I can see how it could be taken that way. There is no evidence to prompt an accusation of that sort, and at the time I did specify I was not making that accusation.
What I was referring to was a hearing in Abilene concerning Keystone. Jim Prescott, a Keystone spokesman, and a citizen from Texas against the pipeline were the speakers.
In addition, public comment was allowed and several people related their experiences with Keystone personnel and their heavyhanded use of ?eminent domain,? their environmental concerns. There were several heart-rendering stories presented by property owners present, and I also addressed the tax exemption.
In attendance were over a half dozen state senators and representatives representing the ?Keystone Six Counties.? They did not volunteer any comment during the meeting.
As the meeting broke up, I stood at the back of the room and watched as these legislators checked in with Mr. Prescott but ignored their constituents who had valid complaints. Neither of Marion County?s senators nor our representative were there or a part of this group.
One Congressman from another county did approach me and tell me to ?get over it, a deal is a deal.?
This situation is what generated my remark at the commission meeting, and I apologize specifically to Bob Brookens who was approached about being ?on the take? and any other legislator who may have had the same experience.
District 2 commissioner
Enjoying real treats
in Marion County
We were camped Sept 27-30 at Marion Reservoir (Hillsboro Cove park). They gave us this wonderful guide for Marion County, with your welcoming introduction.
We also picked up your Free Press in the ice cream shoppe across from the park, and enjoyed it, too.
The guide was so thorough and full of pertinent information. We read it cover to cover. We ate dinner at the Tabor College cafeteria?what a great meal! Wanted to go to Durham and Lost Springs, but maybe another time.
We have been coming to the area from Emporia for quite a few years; there used to be a restaurant at Marion County Lake. We?ve been at the Burns Cafe for lunch,and in the spring the owners would let us visit their beautiful gardens.
You have great museums in Hillsboro and Marion, and we revisited the Goessel museum complex and the Alexanderwohl Church. A very pleasant church secretary let us in, though they were still in the remodeling mode.
We were happy to discover the old apartment house on Marion?s Third Street (Elgin Hotel) is now a bed and breakfast. It had been at least nine years since we had visited.
The very best was Marion?s new fabulous library in the Santa Fe Depot.
Now, I need to get another guide for myself, as I am giving my copy to a friend who wants to explore Marion County after my glowing report.
Keep up the great work!
America?s course of self-destruction
The political manipulation of President Obama, of Hillary, the BATF, attorney general and Congress are all on a course of a futile, useless use of time and money. America doesn?t need another law, resolution, stimulus or buyout. What America needs is to get on its knees to God, confess our sins, and get back to the Bible?our sins of abortion, homosexuality, lesbianism and evolution.
When Joplin, Tuscaloosa, wildfires, and the hurricane and floods went up the East Coast, people said, ?Where is God?? He is where we put him when we threw him out of everything. And he has a way of getting our attention. Or have you noticed?
Do know, people, that all the destruction in Joplin, Tuscaloosa, wildfires, and the hurricane and floods that went up the East Coast, do you realize, people, that our government could build new every home, business, bridge, anything that was destroyed, with the amount of money we spend in two months in Iraq and Afghani?stan? We spend that amount in Iraq and Afghanistan in two months!
We send our young men to other lands to stick our nose into the business of other nations that hate us, don?t live like us, and they are happily sending our young men back to us in body bags.
God help us, America is on a course of self-destruction.
Wake up, people.
Anton H. Epp