The American-News welcomes letters of opinion from our readers.

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 Letters containing potentially libelous or obscene statements will not be published.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: Letters may also be mailed to:  Editor, Montevideo Publishing, P.O. Box 99, Montevideo, MN 56265


What does pro-life mean?

Phil Drietz, in his letter to the editor, quoted Mother Teresa in opposing all abortions. Mother Teresa was known to stand at the gates of the clinic where despairing women would come for an abortion. Mother Teresa would let these women know that if they delivered the baby, that she would make sure the child was cared for.   


Are we, as a society, willing to care for the life of the child after it is born or merely legislate what must be one of the most difficult of decisions for a woman to make?  


Why would a woman choose an abortion? Could it be because she is fearful of the economic costs, wondering how she will feed, house and provide for the child? Is she without medical insurance allowing her to care for a child whose diagnosis might require many operations, intensive care, and possibly institutionalization? Is the woman bringing the child into an abusive relationship that frightens her? Was the pregnancy a product of rape or incest?   Is she frightened for the future of the child, without access to good education and a safe environment?    

It is our job as a society to create a support system so that a woman would be secure in giving birth. Abortion rates go down when supports are in place.  


It seems ironic to me that two wedge issues for Republicans are abortion and unrestricted gun rights. If it is wrong to kill an unborn child, is it somehow OK to justify certain homicides, or capital punishment or the horrors of conventional war? Sensible gun legislation merely asks how guns can be made safer so fewer people will die from reckless or impulsive actions.  


Have we considered the threat to life by military might? The United States spends more on military defense than the next seven countries combined. The “war on terrorism” costs the


U.S. both blood and treasure. The Costs of War project at Brown University estimated in June 2014 that the U.S. wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan would cost taxpayers “close to $4.4 trillion, not including future interest costs on borrowing for the wars.”  


It is estimated that over 1.3 million people have been killed since the U.S. declared a “war on terrorism.” One million people perished in Iraq alone, a shocking 5 percent of the country’s population. UN figures show that 1.7 million Iraqi civilians died due to strict sanctions in Iraq, half of whom were children. Isn’t war a pro-life concern to people of faith?


Are we blind to the fact that weapons of war kill and maim? Is Donald Trump pro-life when he promises to stop nation building and will break international law by “immediately re-authorizing the waterboarding of suspected militants if elected contending that ‘torture works.’”


Are we not frightened by the terror of nuclear war that could destroy our world as we know it? Donald Trump has said he might use nuclear weapons and questioned why we would make them if we wouldn’t use them.


Let’s seek to be a society that protects all life, both the unborn and the living. I find the Democratic platform to have a stronger pro-life stance, seeking the common good for all.  


—Vicki Poier



Setting the record straight

Steve Emery made a false statement in a recent letter to the editor.

In it he claims I supported the buffer legislation. I was not in office when the buffer legislation was passed. Republican Tim Miller is the one who supported and voted for the buffer bill.


—Andrew Falk



There is a third choice

In this year’s presidential race there is an alternative to the choices put forth by the two-party establishment and mainstream media,  a candidate who has consistently stood for constitutionally limited government,  a candidate who has been married faithfully to the same woman for more than 35 years with no infidelity,  a candidate who served as a Marine, yet would never send the young men and women in our armed forces into harm’s way without an actual declaration of war from Congress,  a candidate who believes in the right to life for every human being conceived, a candidate who believes in the right to bear arms with no limitations, a candidate who would not funnel hard-earned tax dollars to subsidize foreign nations, a candidate who would work to eliminate entitlements for non-citizens.


This candidate, Darrell Castle, is a humble and dignified statesman who is running because delegates at the Constitution Party national convention drafted him to be their standard bearer. He is a Christian attorney from Memphis, Tennessee. Having known him personally for almost two decades, I can testify that he stands in stark contrast to the self-aggrandizing narcissists we see promoted on the nightly news. I will be voting for him, along with others, in 48 states where he is either on the ballot or a certified write-in; enough states to get the 270 electoral votes to win the election.


There are some who would say those of us choosing to vote for alternative “third party”/independent candidates are costing their preferred candidate the election. But I refuse to accept the irrational blame of those trying to manipulate me into voting for the disaster of a Clinton or Trump presidency. We must stop the delusion that a vote for one of the top two is a necessary one. By voting for someone who doesn’t really represent what you believe, you are casting the wasted vote.


Others might be tempted to say that an independent/3rd party candidate simply cannot win. But in 2012, of the 242 million people qualified to vote, only 129 million did. That leaves 113 million who stayed home, probably out of frustration because they did not see a candidate worthy of their time and effort. Conversely, we can see what can happen when people are actively motivated to vote by the results of Jesse Ventura’s win. Not voting at all actually demonstrates approval or acceptance of the status quo by showing indifference to the outcome.


My conscience will be clear, no matter who is elected, because I will be choosing someone with honor, integrity, and character, rather than compromising for the perceived lesser evil. No one is entitled to my vote, least of all someone who has not earned it. Voting is the currency of one's virtue and should be invested wisely, not for some shallow victory which will certainly bring dubious, regretful consequences.


Perhaps you are asking why you haven’t heard of Castle before. The simple answer to that question is twofold: those in places of control would prefer he remain obscure as they don’t want his principled opposition and second, he does not have the war chest to buy exposure and influence as others do.  But you can check out Darrell Castle on youtube, facebook or at In this information age, there is little excuse for ignorance and complacency.


—Tammy Houle

Redwood Falls


Clearing up misconceptions

In a letter to the editor in last week’s newspaper there were some misconceptions that should be addressed.


An average levy increase of 3.69 over the past three years does not mean that the amount of money Lac qui Parle spends in the total budget went up by 3.69 percent a year as stated. It does not work that way.


After the county determines the revenues from all sources other than property taxes and subtracts that from the budget, the remainder becomes the tax levy. The tax levy is the amount of the tax that is raised through property taxes. The levy can go up, even if the county doesn’t increase spending. The budget can go up and down without changing the levy. The decrease in our county program aid and low interest rates have been the driving factors in the levy increasing in the last decade.


Comparing the increase in the levy directly with the increase in the cost of living for the individual years is comparing two things that are unrelated. The “cost of living increase” and “inflation” are not the same. The “cost of living” doesn not take into consideration most of the increases in county operations of the highway, social services or sheriff departments.


Most of what the county does is directed by state mandate. The county has to keep a minimum amount of money in reserve as directed by the state auditor. The state or federal government dictates what we have to do in every department.


—Roy Marihart



Is bullying what we want?

I can be quiet no longer! The media is full of reducing and hopefully erasing bullying in our society.


Yet, one of the presidential candidates that the electorate has nominated is a bully. When things aren’t going his way, he turns to bullying. He disrespects large portions of our population verbally.


Is this really the sort of person we want to represent the United States to our children or the world?


Please ponder this.


—Jackie Herfurth



Lang brings fresh ideas

As a member of the Minnesota National Guard and the MSU-Mankato ROTC program, I have learned to be a responsive and adaptive leader, and have learned to be grounded in my values and my profession.


I met Andrew Lang early in my enlistment. I was drawn to his confidence, his professionalism, and his sincere concern for our country. As I got to know Andrew Lang, I saw first-hand, the implementation of what I was learning through my training. It was evident that Andrew Lang truly took to heart the mission and the values of a soldier.


When not in uniform, Andrew Lang continues with the mission and values garnered from his military training as exemplified in the pride he takes in his position as county parks supervisor.

Andrew Lang is an amazing husband and father. He cherishes quality time with his wife and children whether it be camping, hunting, fishing, shopping, worshiping at regular church services, or watching a good movie. His two boys are full of laughter and excitement when they are with their father — a testament to Andrew Lang’s commitment to God and family.


Andrew Lang is a trustworthy leader. He worked diligently to become a Blackhawk pilot. As a young father, he deployed twice in support of America. He holds true to his values. He knows the issues that are important to District 17. He brings fresh ideas and the willingness to take those ideas to the Senate.


Your vote for my fellow soldier, Andrew Lang, on November 8th is important. He will work extensively to support District 17.


—Ryan Rauenhorst



Please go vote

We are now two weeks away from Election Day November 8th. I want to express a few of my thoughts for those who are unsure on who to vote for.  


Just because you say you are Republican you don’t have to go in and vote down the line Republican and because you may be supporting Democrat candidate also does not mean you need to go down the line and vote Democrat.  


Someone asked me about two months ago what does DFL stand for and I didn’t know  … now I do! Democratic-Farmers-Labor Party “creating a better life for Minnesotans,” opportunity, accountability and Prosperity. We support:

• Employment – a job for every Minnesotan who wants one.

• Economy – a strong climate for small businesses.

• Safety – safe neighborhoods and streets.

• Democracy – fair, open elections.

• Labor – the worker’s right to organize and bargain collectively.

• Fair Taxes – basic services at a fair price, progressive taxation based on means.

• Health Care – access to affordable health care.

• Freedom – of conscience, expression and worship.

• Due process – of law.

• Equal access – to justice and public services.

• Environment – a clean, safe environment.


I recently attended Meet the Candidates at Pioneer Public Television. I listened to when they were asked a question and I heard the answers. I encourage you all to go to and meet your candidates prior to casting your vote. Friends and family with young kids please pay attention to Andrew Falk who supports early childhood education. His opponent, Tim Miller, does not!  


Please go vote!


—Suzie Richter

Granite Falls


The American-News will not be accepting any more letters to the editor of a political nature until after the Nov. 8 election.