Letters: They’re adults, and should be responsible for their own actions

12November 2020

Macalester College Suzanne Rivera wants to pay fines and bail money for Macalester students who were arrested while protesting in the wake of the election last week on Interstate 94.

First of all, protesting on the Interstate is breaking the law. Secondly, I would hope we have raised our children to be responsible for their own actions. Especially by the time they are adults, and, President Rivera, they are adults.

Marjorie Orris, Shoreview


What to stand for and against

I was sitting there waiting and wondering who our next president would be. Although I knew it was inevitable, my stomach was in knots when I awoke on Wednesday last week to hear that votes in a number of states were still being tallied. I was also saddened but not surprised to hear of the unlawful protests that had sprung up.

I am angered that we, the people, have allowed ourselves to get to this place. But, more than that, I am tired, tired of the hatred and vitriol spewing out of people’s mouths no matter whether they voted for Joe Biden or Donald Trump.

The saving grace for me was a zoom call that Wednesday evening hosted by Braver Angels. It is the nation’s largest grassroots movement uniting red and blue Americans in a working alliance to depolarize America. All of us were looking for hope, inspiration and a possible way forward based on integrity and respect. We got it.

The invitation was to sign a Braver Angels open letter and pledge entitled “What We Will Do To Hold America Together.” It already had over 6,500 signers. It outlines what we as individuals must stand for and stand against if we are to support and strengthen America and our democracy.  I know that you will not only want to sign it but send it to all your friends and family. I am sending it to our old and new congresspeople as well. Please join me — braverangels.org/hat.

Elizabeth Stites, Woodbury



You do know, of course, that there is no constitutional provision for someone called a “President-Elect,” although journalists and citizens alike know what it means. Prudence dictates, however, that you wait at least until states have certified their vote counts. Better yet, wait for the Electoral College to announce its vote count.

Once the process has been completed, whoever is elected, start calling that person President-Elect. Until then, we’re Biden our time to see if Donald Trumps the media.

Dave Racer, Woodbury

On the hunt

The latest chapter in the horrid saga called The Trump Presidency is the U.S. attorney general’s nonsensical direction to the DOJ staff to begin investigation of fraudulent voting. Rumor has it that these will be lifetime appointments so that when they’re done with their fraudulent investigation they can continue their work by hunting for Bigfoot.

Patick F. Quinn, St. Paul


Who, me? Yes, you

The writer of the “Not the enemy” letter (Nov. 8) laments the violence against reporters on the street. If the writer was a layman I could understand his perplexity. Coming from the executive director of the Radio, Television, and Digital News Association, however, I find it incomprehensible — if not duplicitous.

The Media (general term) is reaping what it has sown. The major commentary networks have created controversy through their thoughtfully created “noise silos” while generating huge profits and, as usual, the grunts on the street take the brunt of the backlash. The writer, from his position, should understand that. Controversy is never created in a vacuum.

Commentary networks craft “news” items using selectively chosen portions of facts. These are then processed through their stars on a repetitive basis with added side commentary delivered in panic mode to garner the ratings necessary to hold and build listenership and subsequently generate the highest possible per-second advertising rates. The methods employed are painfully reminiscent of brainwashing methods employed by Cold War-era Communist countries in enticing their populations to accept the meager provisions of their planned economies.

In summation, Dan Shelley’s statement is a simple, “Who, me?” statement. Nobody in his position could be that obtuse, could they?

Art Thell, Inver Grove Heights


They are the heroes

I am a Vet but I am not a hero. I do not have a Purple Heart or other decorations for valor. For the most part I enjoyed 45 active, National Guard and Reserve years of duty. I was assigned to medical units in Japan, the Central Pacific Islands, Viet Nam, the Middle East, Pakistan and Bolivia. I did not serve directly in Iraq I. My exposure to the Korean war was minimal. My high school friend Red was KIA, and another, Romie, narrowly escaped the unanticipated well-armed, well-led and winter-clothed Chinese army during “The Coldest Winter” in November 1950, 70 years ago this Veterans Day. Romie was directed to escape with other GIs by Catholic Chaplain Emil Kapaun who remained with the wounded. Father Kapaun was captured and died in prison.

I was a medic caring for the wounded and ill while training other medics at various levels across those years. It was an interesting and vital life with adventure and satisfaction. I was well paid, including travel expenses, housing allowances and health care for myself and family, and currently enjoy a generous pension with health benefits at any military facility and through the VA where I received much of my medical school training.

You and others, including myself, paid for my service and training including the GI Bill and VA benefits-with your taxes. I do not consider the military a form of “socialism” any more than are Social Security benefits, farm subsidies, and public education as some have recently alleged, including Mr. Trump, members of Congress and candidates for office. I supported Medicare in 1965 despite the vigorous opposition by the AMA and was called a Communist by some of my colleagues until they began to receive Medicare reimbursements. I heartily supported the Affordable Care Act and I am appalled that some of my fellow Americans intend to deny medical care to a significant percentage of their neighbors.

I vigorously opposed the Viet Nam disaster and all our intrusions into the lives, languages and cultures of foreign governments by our “Best and Brightest.” Their attempts, with more recent heroic veterans, to convert Iraq and Afghanistan to “democracy” while using their natural resources, has been a military, moral and economic failure of indescribable magnitude.

Finally, I am a member of veteransforpeace.org. I respect, honor and salute all veterans alive now and those lying under Carl Sandburg’s “Grass” in so many cemeteries nationally and abroad. “They gave their last full measure of devotion.” They served. They are the heroes.

Thomas Chisholm, White Bear Lake
The writer is a retired colonel, Medical Corps, U.S. Army

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