Author: Rice County Republicans

Consider Moravchik for MN State House 20B

Kathy Brown Dodds, local chair of the Rice County Republicans penned this fine letter of support on behalf of Joe Moravchik’s run for MN House 20B. To the editor: Knowing that Rep. Todd Lippert is a far-left liberal, pushing legislation that would take away parental inclusion in educational curriculum, encourage more government oversight and regulations on small businesses and public land usage, I suggest that it’s time for him to step away and let someone who really cares about individual rights take the District 20B seat in the State House. Lippert has not listened to his constituents who want big government to get out of the way in order to let individuals chart their own path to success. And he has stood with Gov. Walz who has shut down all of Minnesota with a “one size fits all” solution to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lippert let our local restaurants and small businesses suffer and die because they were forced to close, even in rural counties with few cases of the virus. While other local legislators, Sen. Jasinski, Sen. Draheim and Rep. Daniels all pleaded with the governor to loosen restrictions, Lippert was silent. He followed his party line, and did not have the best interests of the voters in his district. We can do better; we have an alternative, someone who puts politics aside and works toward the betterment of...

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“Comparing healthcare across the globe” by Rita Hillmann Olson

Column by Rita Hillmann Olson Originally published in the Faribault Daily News Sept 28, 2019 Recently, I spent eight hours with a family member in a rural hospital’s ER. The only attending physician practiced in a hospital 50 miles away and was helping out. The staff repeatedly apologized for the wait time as they kept the patient comfortable. While waiting, a statistician’s cold number became a living fact. A 2018 survey by the Physicians Foundation found that 80% of physicians claim to be “at capacity or fully overextended.” Combined with 2017 survey results from the American Association of Medical Colleges we can expect a U.S. doctor shortage of up to 120,000 physicians by 2030. Waiting line warnings are brightly flashing! We all have stories that mold our healthcare opinions. Friends of my family recently welcomed their first baby. They have good health insurance which required them to go 45 miles-past two hospitals-for delivery at the hospital “in their plan” Baby’s mom had a different doctor since hers did not practice at that hospital. This family soon discovered having health insurance does not mean better access to needed medical care. We can agree on wanting increased access to medical care and consumer choice. But can we have both? The U.S. spends more than twice the average of other developed countries – over $10,000 per capita – on medical costs.  Before...

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“Battle for the heart” by Rita Hillmann Olson

If during 2019 you told me that Minnesota’s summer parades and fairs would be canceled in 2020 — I would have just waved you off and laughed. What was unbelievable last year, is this year’s reality mixed with doses of confusion, fear, chaos and lies. Churches are closed because they are “non-essential” while “essential” liquor stores are open! We’re prevented from shopping in businesses, but rioters can burn them down. Don’t let grandma out of the nursing home but instead send the COVID-19 “positives” to her. Welcome to 2020! In James Waller’s book, “Becoming Evil”, he explains how ordinary people commit extraordinary acts of evil. He outlines the forces that shape social conflict, starting with the first-time death comes into the world — the killing of Abel by his brother Cain. Whether you hold this story to be fact or mythical, it sets up the role of the heart within human history. Humans have a tragic capacity to twist whatever progress we make. Internet technology leads to identity theft, for example. To guard what flows out of a human’s heart, restraints are necessary. The heart’s first line of defense is personal conscience. It triggers emotions of guilt or fear to warn of danger. Propaganda damages our conscience by repeating bias or misleading information to manipulate our beliefs and actions. The next level of restraint is the family unit —...

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“A Freedom of Choice in Education” by Deb Kaczmarek

I became a non-believer in January 1992. I was teaching in a school district that “balanced” the schedules of teachers of “gifted/talented” students by assigning each a section of non-college-bound seniors. It was the tried-and-true way to cover classes that nobody wanted to teach. From day one, my seniors made clear that they didn’t want to be in class. I shared that sentiment. The course had clearly been designed to ask so little of students that they could not fail to graduate. It inspired nobody. Fortunately, I saw in those reluctant students glimpses of my dad, a brilliant drop-out. I unilaterally jettisoned the approved curriculum, substituting materials and strategies I used with my advanced classes. Doing so violated district policy and put my job in jeopardy. It was the most successful teaching of my career, but there were failures, too. It was those kids I couldn’t reach—that the education system had never reached—who caused me to recant my union’s doctrine of one-size-fits-all education. I swore a new allegiance—to freedom of choice in education. Nearly 30 years after my break with education orthodoxy, we find ourselves in a declared pandemic that challenges the modern creed for correct living. Suddenly, we’re re-examining the dogmas of ever-denser housing, ever-more-mass transit, ever-larger sporting and entertainment venues, ever-more-mega malls, churches, hospitals and school districts. Suddenly, truck drivers are recognized in the pantheon of “essential...

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“We need to talk about a path forward” by Kathy Brown Dodds

To the editor: These days it seems that everyone is talking about the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been little else in the news. For good reason; we are up against a new disease that crawled out of the proverbial jungles of China. The economic hardships resulting from our government’s decision to shutter our public habits is a plight of its own. As we discuss how to fight the disease, we should also be discussing another topic: the reopening of our economy. Not everyone wants to have this conversation, but it is a necessary one. Some of our bolder elected leaders, like U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn, have been willing to have this conversation. One example of a company doing the same thing is SageGlass. SageGlass, based in our very own Faribault, is a crucial manufacturer of electrochromic glass, which is essential for modern construction practices. They have been shut down since March 16 but plan to re-open soon with beefed-up sterilization and sanitation practices, and a strict social distancing guideline. This approach seems sensible. Hagedorn and others are right, we need to implement responsible ways to unleash the workforce and restart our economy. The current path, which in Minnesota appears to be based on inaccurate modeling and overly pessimistic assumptions, is completely unsustainable. Thanks to SageGlass for helping lead the way to return to the normalcy we so desperately need....

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