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Readers’ Views

Piecemeal socialism

To the Editor:

It looks as if Norman M. Thomas’ observation back in 1944 has pretty well come true. He was a leading American socialist, pacifist and six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America.

Thomas said this in a 1944 speech: “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of ‘liberalism,’ they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened. The Socialist Party will no longer be running a candidate for president. The Democratic Party is leading this party to socialism much faster than we could ever hope for.

“The difference between Democrats and Republicans is: Democrats have accepted some ideas of socialism cheerfully, while Republicans have accepted them reluctantly.”

The wise words of Margaret Thatcher: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

Linda Ebeling

Trimont

‘Spice of Life’ coming

To the Editor:

The challenges of living with memory loss can sever social connections at a time when that is needed most. Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia have in the past had a “stigma” attached to it. It was not talked about, and those living with the disease and their care partners were often excluded from social settings, leading to isolation and increasing the downward spiral of both persons.

Fortunately, this is changing in our society today.

In the Netherlands in 1997, Dr. Bere Miesen worked on a new concept that he called a “Memory Cafe” to break through the stigma associated with the various forms of memory loss. These gatherings that he promoted were proof that staying connected and having fun made a difference.

CREST is undertaking this new venture. On Feb. 20, the first Spice of Life event (a Memory Café with a different name) will be held 1:30-3 p.m. at the CREST office located at 820 Winnebago Ave. in Fairmont. This is a social event in a safe, welcoming place, where those living with memory loss and their care partners come together and enjoy the planned activities and the company of others in similar situations. It is not a place to drop off your loved one, but rather a place where you can come together to enjoy activities and a break from you normal routine. There is no charge for these monthly events, and the Spice of Life is open to anyone in the county or surrounding areas.

What will we do there? Oh, there are so many options. Through reminiscence, we hope to generate joy, happiness, comfort and smiles, lots of smiles. Some of the activities on our list are music (maybe even some dancing), funny old TV shows, memory joggers (things from our past that will be familiar), maybe a ride to see fall colors, maybe an easy craft or puzzle, and snacks … always snacks. Doesn’t this make you smile just thinking about it?

Watch for more details in your local newspapers and information shared at churches. If you have any questions or are wanting to sign up, call the CREST office at (507) 235-3833. This is a concept that is becoming more popular all the time. Please come and give it a try and offer your ideas. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Joyce Peterson

CREST caregiver

support coordinator

Fairmont

Would like your input

To the Editor:

The 2020 legislative session is underway at the Minnesota State Capitol, and I anticipate a number of topics will be hotly debated.

The Department of Human Services is a mess with continued reports of waste, fraud and abuse within the agency.

A projected $1.3 billion budget surplus must also be dealt with before session adjourns, so I expect plenty of debate over the next few months.

Lawmakers are also likely to debate a capital investment bill before the end of February. This proposal borrows money at low interest rates to fund construction projects across Minnesota.

As always, I would like to know your thoughts on the budget surplus, capital investment bill and other issues. Contact me any time by phone at (651) 296-3240, or by email at rep.bob.gunther@house.mn

State Rep. Bob Gunther

R-Fairmont

Senate agenda ready

To the Editor:

Legislators from around the state reconvened in St. Paul on Tuesday for the start of the 2020 legislative session.

The Senate Republican majority’s agenda for the abbreviated session, which is scheduled to end May 18, is expected to include proposals for an infrastructure-focused bonding bill, for reducing prescription drug costs, for addressing rising incidents violent attacks in the Twin Cities, and for managing the state’s projected $1.33 billion budget surplus.

If you look at the big numbers, our economy is in fantastic shape. Unemployment is low, we’re adding jobs, and we have a healthy budget surplus. Now we have to make sure working families are benefitting as well. That means more tax relief from our large budget surplus, access to affordable health care and inexpensive prescription drugs, and child care that doesn’t break the bank. Those are some of the things we will work on this session.

Last month, Senate Republicans unveiled their Vision 2020 Agenda, a comprehensive plan for the upcoming legislative session. The agenda includes ideas for health care, transportation, education, energy, job growth, violence prevention and more.

State Sen. Julie Rosen

R-Vernon Center

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