The following is a paid political letter.

Sen. Hawk's purpose is to serve the community

To the editor

I am writing to explain why I am supporting Sen. Tom Hawk for re-election and think he is worthy of your consideration as you cast your vote.

The core mission for Twin Valley is to unlock the possibilities of our customers and communities by providing them telecommunications services that are better quality at a similar price as anywhere in the country. In 2020 and into the future, that service is high-speed internet.

As a member of the Senate Utilities committee, Tom has contributed as much to the promotion of rural broadband as any member of the Legislature that has covered any part of our service territory in the 15 years I have worked at Twin Valley.

Sen. Hawk’s interest isn’t just about broadband or political issues that get driven in the media and have little bearing on our everyday lives. His purpose is to serve the community. We had another issue where a law was passed but due to unintended consequences, our business got negatively impacted. I called Tom and he went to work. A meeting was had with him and the Republican chairman of the Senate Utilities committee. Ultimately, there wasn’t a positive solution for us, but what stayed with me was that Sen. Hawk and the chairman had a great relationship. Sadly, that is not the case far too often. Tom cultivates his relationships with the other side so that he can be effective for all of his constituents without regard for political affiliation.

Sen. Hawk’s track record of effectiveness for his district is long and consistent and that’s why I’m proud to support his re-election. I hope you’ll consider doing the same.

Ben Foster,

CEO, Twin Valley Telephone, Inc.

Perspectives on various columns

To the editor:

In last Wednesday’s opinion section were a number of pieces on various aspects of our current situation that I think warrant observation. Each offers a perspective from a particular point of view and vantage point.

Mr. Hanson asks: What is the violence in American cities all about. He proceeds to tell us what it’s all about. It’s a “Cultural Revolution.” Undoubtedly there are extremists involved, but not only from the Left, but from the Right. I was informed of that by friends in Minneapolis and it was reported so in the Star Tribune, that White Nationalists were involved in the trouble there. And some involved in the violence are, undoubtedly, simply opportunists. Masks and darkness offer anonymity. Leopold Kohr, in his book, The Breakdown of Nations, says that at the right time, in the right situation, anyone, irrespective of race, creed, or education, is capable of and will do horrendous things. He wrote that once a “critical mass” is reached violence is inevitable. So what Mr. Hanson is offering is an opinion, in which may be some truth, but all of what he wrote is probably parts of what is going on, as he enumerates before laying it on Leftist revolutionaries. I strongly doubt that we are on the verge of a serious revolution, which can come as easily be from the Right as the Left. But who can say? Nazi Brownshirts clashed with Communists in Weimar Germany before coming to power.

You can’t disprove a negative, as Cal Thomas says, but the labeling and naming, again, come from the Right as well as the left. “Liberal” has perhaps become as much a negative as “Racist,” at least in some “Conservative” circles. However, while much progress has been made in general with regard to race, Leonard Pitts Jr. presents the reality of race in America. When I was growing up in Manhattan, de-facto segregation was a fact of life. I didn’t see a black face until I went to high school. Balconies in movie theaters were reserved for Blacks. The city pool was White. Even today, the “N” word can still be heard in some circles in Riley County. No White parent has to have “The Talk” parents of color have with their kids, especially boys,. The impact of slavery in America didn’t end with the Civil War, or Reconstruction, or Segregation, or even the rise of a Black middle class. It persists in the court system, education, housing, commerce, every area of American life down to, still, the voting booth and where pollution is dumped. The idea that people won’t work if they get too generous benefits from governmental programs are part of a mentality that comes directly from the institution of slavery. It's a White attitude problem that none of us are sometimes even conscious of, including this writer.

Clarence Page is right. The worker with a high school diploma, whatever the color of skin or ethnicity, has been abandoned by both parties because neither of them have been able to put ideology and partisanship aside or maybe their debt to corporate money to understand and communicate clearly a central fact of modern American life: that globalization and global warming can’t be walled out or ignored and so offer real solutions for those folks. We aren’t the power we were in 1945, because we don’t stand alone in the world and haven’t since the collapse of colonialism and the Soviet Union. All workers are in a global marketplace. Robots do more and more menial tasks. Eventually freight may come in driverless trucks. The pace of technological change goes beyond our capacity to cope or, apparently, control it. The place for one in America with lesser skills and education shrinks. So, when a demagogue comes along and taps into that frustration and fear and says that only he can turn back the clock to when the “average guy” could provide for his family on a single paycheck and protect them from those who seem threatening or scary forces in the world, millions flock to him. What I’ve written is a perspective, too; from an old geezer who reads history and has lived some of it.

Frank Siegle

1013 Houston St.

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