The Reader’s Viewpoint - December 20, 2018

Thursday, December 20, 2018

 Protection from financial abuses needed 

Our Senators voted recently on whether active duty service members and their spouses deserve to have laws enforced that defend them from illegally high cost loans.

They voted on whether senior citizens deserve a protector who will clamp down on scams.

They voted on whether students deserve protection from abuses by debt collectors.

They voted on whether First Nations people deserve to be protected from discrimination that leaves them without credit or with higher interest rates.

They voted on whether Montanans deserve a strong law enforcement force in Washington, or whether payday lenders and other financial powerhouses can count the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as an ally.

Senator Tester voted, once again, to oppose Kathy Kraninger to lead the CFPB. He knew that she was unqualified, ideological, and will leave consumers like you and me without protection.

Senator Daines chose to let Montanans down.

Susan Fenner of Great Falls

 

Honor ‘The Mother of Exiles’

The Maginot Line was constructed by the French in the 1930s. It was a military defensive perimeter extending from Italy, all along the German border north to Luxembourg. It was complete with troop quarters, supplies, an under-ground rail system and gun emplacements. Proponents considered it genius, and up-to-date technology gave the French an impression of an impenetrable wall against further German invasions. At the start of WWII, the Germans just went around the wall, through Belgium and conquered most of Europe.

In 1961 the German Democratic Republic, or East Germany, began construction on what they called the Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart. Included in this attempt at population control was the Berlin Wall all of which was famously called the “Iron Curtain” by Winston Churchill. Over 200 people were murdered by East German soldiers who were given permission to shoot anyone attempting to escape over the wall to freedom.

Both the Maginot Line and the Iron Curtain were monumental failures costing time and considerable sums of money and only addressed the symptoms, not the causes of their perceived need. There are many in our government today who propose to repeat this same miscalculation.

In the late 19th century and early 20th, we faced massive immigration from Europe. What did we do? We instituted immigration stations, such as Ellis Island which from 1892 to 1954 processed over 12 million immigrants. 40 percent of Americans today can trace their ancestry through this one station alone. In the 20th century they and their descendents helped to construct a great nation with their ambition and courage.

Today we again face a crisis of immigration, this time from Central America. Individuals and families, just as in the

20th century, are again fleeing from famine, poverty, corrupt

governments and gangs. But our government has closed the doors and sent our military to the border to construct walls and razor wire fences and have been given permission to shoot any individual as they deem necessary.

In 1875 we began construction on a monument in New York harbor. Emma Lazarus in her poem “The New Colossus” called the

figure “The Mother of Exiles.” We have come to know the statue as

“Lady Liberty.” Ms. Lazarus gave us in her poem the famous lines;

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wrenched refuse of your teaming shore.”

Please consider, do we honor this monument simply with a poem, or do we today, the decedents of immigrants and the

beneficiaries of their courage, have the wisdom gained by their

fortitude to implement the principles endeared by “The Mother of Exiles.”

Jim Tikalsky​​​​​​​ of Laurel

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Wednesday, August 21, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check www.laurelexchangeclub.org for more info. Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/laurelexchangeclub . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: clubinfo@laurelexchangeclub.org The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Tuesday, August 27, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Tuesday, August 27, 2019
Fourth Tuesdays, 7 p.m., Eagles Hall, 313 W. Main, 628-4503
Wednesday, August 28, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961

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The Laurel Outlook

 

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