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Montevideo American-News - Montevideo, MN
  • Letters to the Editor, Thursday, June 26

  • The American-News welcomes letters of opinion from our readers. Letters regarding current local and national news items are encouraged. All letters are subject to editing for length and style. Letters containing potentially libelous or obscene statements will not be published. Letters must contain name, address and phone numb...
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  • The American-News welcomes letters of opinion from our readers. Letters regarding current local and national news items are encouraged. All letters are subject to editing for length and style. Letters containing potentially libelous or obscene statements will not be published. Letters must contain name, address and phone number for verification and in case of questions. E-mail letters to: nvespasiano@montenews.com Letters may also be mailed to:  Editor, Montevideo Publishing, P.O. Box 99, Montevideo, MN 56265
     
    How low can you get
    In response to Kay D. Pray’s letter in last week’s paper, at my wife’s grave at Terrace Lawn I put out a nice geranium potted plant on a Thursday evening and it was gone Monday morning, along with another plastic arrangement. She loved these solar powered butterflys and in the past I had put out four of them and they never last more than maybe two weeks. I don’t believe it’s the people that mow the grass. It’s really disgusting how people can steal from a cemetary.
    —Terry Holen
    Montevideo
     
    Modern Day Mordor
    One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them in the land of Mordor where the shadows lie.
     
    One of the greatest works of literature in the English language is J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings.” It tells the story of the creation of a ring of power indued with dark magic to enable Sauron the demonic ruler of Mordor to bring all under his rule. Anyone who possesses or uses the ring is enthralled by it and becomes entrapped in the evil lord’s darkness.
    Page 2 of 4 -  
    We have an equally subtle and entrapping influence at work among us and we do not have to venture into the dim past of Tolkien’s Middle Earth to see it in operation. It is called political correctness and it is a tool of the left to bind it’s adherents in the darkness of thought control. It is in direct opposition to every concept this country was founded on and its repugnance stinks to high heaven.
     
    Here is how it works its diabolical ways. You must not speak or write certain things or you will be an outcast from a society formulated to the Orwellian concept of everyone bound and proceeding in one ideological direction. Since some words, phrases and concepts are out of bounds the natural place political correctness goes is thought control. If it cannot be spoken and it cannot be written surely it must not be thought. The natural place thought control goes to a fascist form of governance that binds people in a land of shadows.
     
    Many people on planet earth have been bound in this land of shadows where the sunlight of free speech and unfettered dialogue could not find its way. Now this controlling influence is prevalent here and manifests itself in countless ways. There are many but I will enumerate two.
     
    In the halls of our universities where as never before free speech and open dialogue is being controlled by politically correct leftist professors who are successfully shutting down any ideas and any speech which does not agree with their own political concepts.
     
    In the concept which is being voiced by elements of the left today that anyone who disagrees with President Obama’s policies and leadership does so out of a racist heart. In other words those who disagree with our president are not merely of an opposing political bent but are evil. Governmental demonization of this kind in the past history of our world has led to very dark places.
     
    It is the action of the politically correct, self- appointed police to introduce compliance into the heart of the American people. Dare I say this? Can I think that? This did not exist in our society before! Personally I do not think that President Obama could lead a horse out of a burning barn. This observation has nothing to do with race but everything to do with years of watching him in action. In any event don’t give up your God given free will to any far left formulation for politically correct control hatched in modern day Mordor.
    Page 3 of 4 - —Doug Hodge
    Montevideo
     
    Consequences of unsafe driving
    A recent American Associ­ation of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) journal article highlighted a report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) finding that motor vehicle crashes cost the U.S. economy $277 billion, or $900 per person living in the U.S., based on 2010 calendar year data. When combining economic impacts with societal impacts (harm from the loss of life, decreased quality of life due to injuries) of vehicle crashes, that monetary loss jumps to $871 billion.
     
    NHTSA's study, “The Economic and Societal Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010,” includes various factors in calculating price tags, including property damage, medical/rehabilitation costs, congestion costs, legal fees, emergency services, insurance costs, productivity losses, employer costs, etc. NHTSA says about 75 percent of all costs are paid through taxes, insurance premiums, and things like travel delays, all of which are experienced by the general public and not just crash victims.
     
    Vehicle crashes killed almost 33,000 people and injured 3.9 million people while damaging 24 million vehicles.
     
    The report found that in 2010:
    • Drunk drivers accounted for 18 percent of the total economic loss due to crashes and cost the nation $49 billion (or $158 for every person in the country). When factoring in lost quality of life, these accidents accounted for $199 billion, or 23 percent of the overall societal harm caused by crashes.
    •Speeding vehicles accounted for 21 percent of economic loss and cost the nation $59 billion, or $191 per person. Including lost quality of life, speed-related crashes accounted for $210 billion, or 24 percent of the overall societal harm.
    Page 4 of 4 - •Distracted driving accounted for 17 percent of the economic loss and cost the nation $46 billion, $148 per individual living in the U.S. Including lost quality of life, these crashes cost $129 billion, or 15 percent of overall societal harm caused by crashes.
    • Pedestrian and bike-related crashes accounted for 7 percent of the total economic loss and cost $19 billion. With lost quality of life, these crashes were responsible for $90 billion or 10 percent of societal harm.
    • Seatbelt usage prevented $69 billion in medical care, lost productivity, and other injury-related costs. On the other side of things, not using a seat belt resulted in 5 percent of economic loss and cost the nation $14 billion. When factoring in lost quality of life, those numbers change to 8 percent and $72 billion.
     
    The South West Safe Commun­ities Coalition encourages everyone to buckle up, drive safely and never drink and drive – the consequences are just too great for you, your family, and our communities!
     
    If you are interested in joining the South West Safe Communities Coalition please call 1-800-255-0736.
    —Leah Prestholdt
    Safe Communities Coordinator
    Countryside Public Health
     Lac Qui Parle Office, Madison

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