LETTERS: Working off school loans, Seeking power, Lincoln freed some slaves

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Working off school loans
A small graduation cap sits on assorted cash. (Adobe Stock)

Interesting column by Louise Butler about serfdom and its opposite (Aug. 4). When I went to college a long time ago and could not afford the tuition; I took out a federal Loan. When I graduated as an RN I had the option of working in an area that really needed me and by doing so each year 10% of my loan would be paid off up to 50%.

This was a great opportunity; of course, I knew this up front. So that is what I did.

Forgiving all school loans just makes me think that more the stuff is free the less incentive to do more for yourself and for your community. Since the Valley has many needs this is something that should exist as colleges are way overpriced. But the need for educated workers is high.

Lauren Heiy


Seeking power

Americans have found all kinds of ways to feel powerful without ever actually becoming powerful in the way democracy envisions.

We use urban vocabularies, outrageous fashion statements, body inking, jewelry and weight training to set us off from the mainstream.

We hearken to advertising jingles like “There are many versions of you,” and “It’s your world.”

We set off fireworks on patriotic holidays to mimic our powerful men of war. We attend church to learn we are chosen above all others.

We attend TV game shows, buy lottery tickets and borrow money hoping to become economically strong.

We transform morbid obesity into a “big and beautiful” statement, turning a poverty of health into a bonanza of pretended personal power.

We engage in pop psychologies like resiliency to explain the fact that we survive one disaster while ending up at the doorstep of another. We convince ourselves we are “community strong” after horrible events that are often the result of individual and collective weakness.

We riot in the streets, deface buildings, loot property, buy guns and shoot up crowds, all to establish our power to disobey laws and control society.

We commit suicide when we finally realize our personal power is empty and is just an advertising-inspired mirage.

Is it possible we can do better as a nation?

Kimball Shinkoskey

Woods Cross, Utah

Lincoln freed some slaves
A detail of a life-size painting of President Abraham Lincoln by artist W.F.K. Travers is seen during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, Friday, Feb. 10, 2023, in Washington. Created from life in 1865, the 9-foot-tall oil on canvas is one of three known, life-size paintings of the 16th president. (Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo)

Abraham Lincoln did free the slaves within the rebellious Southern states. He was unable to free any slaves in the Northern states due to the requirement of a little known document, the U.S. Constitution. He pushed for the 13th Amendment, which finally freed all slaves.

Hank Shiver is partly correct; he did instigate the Republican ideal of freedom from slavery in the United States. Lincoln’s election one of the impetuses for the rebellion of the Southern states as Lincoln and the Republicans wanted to end slavery.

Slavery had been eliminated in much of Europe by the time Lincoln was elected and the majority of the population of the U.S. was looking to do the same. Please concentrate your ideas to the multiple areas of the world where slavery still exists, several Muslim nations, China, Russia and others. Do not forget the sex slave trade worldwide. The UN is protecting slavery in many countries. Support the end of slavery in the world today and stop nitpicking historical facts.

Auston Cron


LETTERS — We welcome your letters and commentary. Submissions must include the writer’s full name, address and daytime telephone number for verification. Letters of 200 words or fewer will be given preference. Submissions may be edited for length, grammar and clarity. Letters may be mailed to P.O Box 3267, McAllen, Texas78502-3267, or emailed to [email protected].