Letters: Gorging on the carbohydrates of chaos and the corn syrup of conspiracy theory

3September 2020

I fear that I can not keep up with it.

The latest bit of drivel oozing through that funnel of fear called the internet, is airplanes full of thugs in black, coming to hide in shadow and control the mind of Joe Biden. And, undoubtedly, engage in any other mischief that black-dressed shadow dwellers are wont to do.

The details of this apparent mind control effort are unavailable but under investigation, much as that famous list of communists in the State Department was being investigated by the right honorable Senator Joseph McCarthy in 1950.

I’ve been told many times how history can repeat itself, or maybe it’s just that the scoundrel has a limited number of devices to deceive, distract or misdirect. And so they tend to be repeated.

What is new, is how this haven of hostility is so quickly channeled through our laptops and smart phones.

Like a diet of unwholesome fast food, we gorge ourselves on the carbohydrates of chaos videos and the corn syrup of conspiracy theory. Before we can digest it, the next load of pap is being prepared. I feel like the goose being force fed, for pate de foie gras.

Maybe it’s time to Turn Off, Tune Out and Drop In to the local book store, for a well balanced meal of literary ideas and commentary, along with a side order of the printed press, for real news and sanity.

Take care, wash your hands, cover your mouth, keep your distance, and stay safe.

Bob Emery, Mendota Heights


Focus on divisiveness is not sustainable

The news item on page 5A on Sept. 1, depicting the first direct commercial passenger flight between Israel and the UAE should really have been on Page 1.  This result of a “U.S.-brokered deal” is immense. Hopefully it represents an incremental erosion of ethnic and sectarian divisions in the Middle East.

We, in this country, don’t realize the level of ethnic and sectarian ostracism and isolation that exists across that part of the world.  An ostracism and isolation that only stifles cooperation and exacerbates poverty while allowing players to continue the strife and hatreds rampant there.

That’s where we’re headed if we don’t change our ways. The present focus on racial divisiveness is not sustainable.

Art Thell, Inver Grove Heights


Then it will be too late

What scared me most about the president’s acceptance speech at last week’s RNC was the sight of applauding Border Patrol agents in uniform at this most political and partisan of events. Do they work for all of us or are they now just loyal to the president? To me it harkens back to Mussolini’s Black Shirts who terrorized Italians into submission.

Democracy is fragile and it takes work to uphold its integrity, especially when up against concerted efforts from the most powerful to undermine it. Our freedom is already limited through the president’s fear tactics and relentless lying that has quieted sensible political dialogue and any rational conservative voice. He has also crossed numerous constitutional lines with impunity.

If the president wins re-election, he will not change. Another four years will only embolden his behavior which will cause irrevocable harm to our democracy and government institutions. People may not realize this now, but it will be too late to do much about it when they finally do.

Bill Lightner, St. Paul



Over the past three months we have heard volumes of information in the news media about the rights of people who interact with the police. Those who have been arrested or were being arrested for an actual violation of the criminal statutes. Of course, we only hear about those who resisted that arrest which results in their injury of death. We do not hear about the police officer who is injured or killed at the hands of those who resisted arrest. To resist arrest is in itself a criminal violation.

We often talk about “rights.” But on the other side is the “responsibility” to obey the law. Over 90 percent of the time the arrested party complies and does not resist. But when they resist arrest they enter into a confrontation with the officer that becomes, for the officer, a life and death struggle. If the officer loses, he/she could suffer great bodily injury or death. FBI statistics from the 1960s indicated that nearly 50% of all police officers killed in the line of duty were shot with their own gun. Currently, due to “retention holsters” which make it more difficult for a suspect to gain control of an officer weapon, that percentage is down to about 10%.

Police officers don’t set out to arrest people for no reason. If they did, their employer (the city or county) would suffer substantial lawsuits for false arrest. Nearly every single tragic incident that has occurred in recent memory is the result of the suspect resisting arrest. Even in the George Floyd matter, it can be heard on the police body camera audio of Floyd’s companions, who were in the car with him when he was arrested, advising him not to “resist.”

Jim Feckey, Mendota Heights


A clear message

On Jan. 20, 2017, the newly-elected president, Donald Trump, stepped before the American people and gave his inaugural address. In it, he described an America that was “trapped in poverty” with “rusted out factories” and “crime and the gangs and the drugs (which) deprive the people.” And with the bravado and hollow bluster that has become his trademark he decried, “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.”

Fast forward three and a half years to the present. After nearly a full term in office, he has repeatedly vilified and undermined the governmental institutions designed to make us safe, failed to take the most necessary steps to control the recent pandemic, flooded the internet with a tweet-storm of invective against anyone who might criticize him, and stoked the fires of injustice, divisiveness and hatred that have, in no small measure, contributed to the unrest and turmoil playing out in towns and cities across our country. “There is no fear…” in Trump’s America, he said, yet we are told now that voting him out of office and entrusting our government to anyone but him is something to dread.

But listen carefully. Behind the calls for justice and peace that echo across America, there is a clear message being sent to Donald Trump. “Enough!” it says. And come Nov. 3, the voices of the America we know and love will have the chance to tell him, in no uncertain terms, that his clear and present danger to our democracy “stops right here and stops right now.”

John W. Wheeler, Maplewood

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