Out in the cold
Mayor Soglin is upset because Occupy Madison has gone around him to the county in an effort to at least get a daytime warming shelter ("Day Shelter Spat," Joe Tarr, 10/5/2012). If he were doing his job, that wouldn't be necessary. He has been a constant hindrance in getting any sort of progress at all.
There are no outdoor toilets, no overnight shelters, no day shelters, no showers and no place where the homeless can sleep in peace.
Winter is coming. Many people sleep outside by choice because the overnight shelters only allow them shelter for a couple of months. That is why they wait until they absolutely have to come in from the cold.
The Salvation Army routinely sends women away because they don't have enough room for them all. This is only one of many reasons why we need another shelter. There is nowhere for families to stay.
Last year there were three people who I know personally who froze to death! How many more died who I don't know? What makes their deaths so tragic was that they didn't have to happen.
What Madison needs is for city and county representatives to stop bickering and start working together.
It is important for Dane County to know that the resources from the city of Madison are scarce; however it is just as important that Mayor Soglin realize that it is not only mental illness and drug abuse behind the homeless population in Madison. Our recent economic recession and foreclosures are contributing to this issue.
A day shelter is necessary in our harsh Wisconsin winters as a resource and place for people to warm up, regardless of the cost to the city. These are not just bums on the street, these are our neighbors, friends and coworkers who are going through what might be the hardest time of their life. It's easy to turn your back when it's not happening to you or your family. If it is not the biggest city in Dane County's responsibility, whose is it?
Derek J. Rickard
I've always liked Ruth Conniff, but her article on how "Wisconsin Loves Obama After All" (10/5/2012) was truly retch-worthy. While mentioning myriad reasons why the Democratic Party has consistently failed us (and excluding so many more), she refutes all those betrayals with little more than, "But it's hard to resist a great pitch aimed right at your heart."
Seriously? So, no memory at all of the innumerable campaign promises that Obama backtracked on? No mention of his signing the treasonous NDAA, which allows the U.S. government to arrest and indefinitely detain any U.S. citizen without charge or trial, or appointing a Monsanto vice president to oversee the FDA? Or his bailing out the banks that destroyed our economy while refusing to prosecute a single individual? Or how about his escalation of a drone war that has killed hundreds if not thousands of children, etc.?
Worse, Conniff seems to revel in this lunacy: "Obama has a way of connecting with progressives when he needs us and making us feel great," as if feeling good about ourselves (when politically advantageous) is all Obama needs to secure our vote. This article was an insult to the intelligence of progressives and liberals everywhere.
David A. Hammond
Your article on a politically divided marriage raised interesting questions ("A House Divided," 10/19/2012). We all know people who are likable and honorable, yet vote for leaders and policies that cause harm to our country and to the world: people who bend over backwards to help an ailing relative, but vote against meaningful health care reform; who volunteer time and money to help the less fortunate, yet oppose the very programs that would do the same. One may say "I believe we should help each other, I just don't want government taking my money to do it." This may sound reasonable, but only plays into Republican strategies to strip funding and talent from the arms of government, and then claim government is incompetent.
I believe our honorable and generous Republican friends may mean well, but are either woefully uninformed or simply living with a dreadfully high level of cognitive dissonance.