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One thing I have learned over the years is that the stock market has no master. Anyone who says or thinks they are smart enough to control it and predict its fickle ways is asking for trouble.

President Donald Trump seems almost insecure about the possibility that the apparently strong economy could dive into a recession, influencing his chances for a second term in office. Never mind how a recession could damage the everyday lives of many Americans.

But his constant haranguing of the Federal Reserve could easily have unintended, negative consequences. For instance, if Trump gets his way and the Fed suddenly does seem to cave and drop the interest rate, the collective beast that is the market may well conclude the Fed is no longer acting independently but rather at the direction of the president and his politics. Then who knows what will happen?

Trump may well wish he had been more careful with what he wished for — or in his case, demanded — with his insulting, blustering tweets.

John Spoolman, Plymouth

• • •

Let me get this straight. China pays the tariffs, not U.S. consumers. But Trump is going to delay the tariffs on electronic equipment and toys until December to protect consumers against higher prices during the holiday gift-buying season (“Trade war will start to hit harder in U.S.,” Aug. 21). The economy is going great, but we may need to stimulate the economy in other ways.

Did they teach economics when Trump went to Wharton?

Judy Matysik, Minneapolis

POLYMET MINE

As a miner, I know this won’t work

The Star Tribune’s Aug. 19 opinion page had an interesting juxtaposition: a counterpoint by Nancy McCready promoting PolyMet (“Transparency, PolyMet foes demand. If only they’d noticed 14 years of it”) next to a separate feature, L.K. Hanson’s weekly “You Don’t Say” cartoon, quoting Richard Hofstadter, author of the essay “The Paranoid Style in American Politics.” Hofstadter would have instantly recognized the mining promotion culture in Minnesota.

Mining fans in Minnesota have themselves convinced that radical environmentalists and metro legislators are diabolically limiting their access to economic prosperity. I believe they exhibit symptoms of paranoia.

The truth is simpler, and it’s mostly economic. Our existing taconite ore bodies and proposed copper ore bodies are low-grade. Without subsidies and weakened environmental regulations our mining corporations are not competitive in a global marketplace.

The Hofstadter quote was great: “It is the use of paranoid modes of expression by more or less normal people that makes the phenomenon significant.”

As a former miner, I know many of the members of Conservationists With Common Sense. They are more or less normal. I would trust them with my life, but not with my environmental or mining policy.

Bob Tammen, Soudan, Minn.

• • •

I read with interest an article on the re-establishment of wild rice in the St. Louis River estuary (“Working to bring back wild rice,” Aug. 13). Ironically, this effort will be severely compromised if construction of the PolyMet sulfide mine, located upstream of the St. Louis River estuary, is allowed to proceed.

When sulfide-bearing copper ore and rock waste are exposed to air and water, the result is acid mine drainage, which includes heavy metals and sulfates. Sulfate pollution destroys wild rice and increases toxic mercury contamination of fish. This, in turn, unfairly burdens low-income and tribal communities that rely on wild rice and fish for food.

In 1973, Minnesota established a water quality standard of 10 parts per million for sulfate in wild rice waters based on decades of research. That standard was reaffirmed by University of Minnesota research and by a 2018 court ruling. Unfortunately, state agencies, influenced by mining interests, have been reluctant to enforce it.

Let’s protect the health of natural wild rice — and those who rely on it — by demanding that state agencies enforce the water quality standard. And while we’re at it, let’s also demand that our leaders require these same agencies to conduct a formal assessment of all the health risks and public health costs of the PolyMet mine.

Nancy Giguere, St. Paul

POLITICS

To take civil discourse seriously, make people pay for incivility

In regard to the excellent editorial reprinted from the St. Cloud Times on Aug. 20 (“We’re all to blame for poisoned political discourse”), I think that paper’s Editorial Board was able to illuminate where the poisoned political discourse in the U.S. is coming from.

We are never going to have a reasoned debate on the issues that Americans disagree on unless we can agree on what the facts are.

Lies, half-truths, alternative facts, deceit and conspiracy theories are tearing this country apart. If we are going to have any hope of changing this situation we the people are going to have to start at the top.

We can no longer allow politicians and cabinet officials the luxury of lying to the American people. If a officeholder or cabinet official knowingly tells a lie, he/she should be subject to an impeachment trial. If a politician tells a lie and is called on it, he/she should have one chance to take it back with a public statement. If the statement is not adequate or the politician continues to tell the same lie, he/she should go to trial.

Wayne Ode, St. Charles, Minn.

THE CURRENT

Nothing to do but wish Oake well

I am writing to offer a possible alternative to the current narrative on the separation of Brian Oake from the Current (“Oake out at 89.3 after incident,” Aug. 17). I have been a chief financial officer for multiple small companies. In this role I have been involved with more employee terminations than I would like. I can tell you that single-incident terminations are very rare — much more often the terminations were a culmination of incidents and behaviors with multiple warnings. Due to data privacy laws, employers cannot offer any explanation.

Was the separation solely due to Oake’s recent social media post or was it a culmination of events? We will likely never know, and actually, it isn’t really our business to know.

I am a longtime Current listener. I hope for a good replacement for the morning show host and wish Oake the best. That is what we all should do.

Michelle Hayden Soderberg, Plymouth

TRANSIT

Memories of streetcars past

Katie Galiotos’s recent article on the lost streetcar system really brought back wonderful memories (“Artist designs maps of ‘lost’ streetcar system,” Aug. 16).

My mother, Ann Hoglund, was a single parent in the 1940s and started driving streetcars for Twin City Lines in 1943. A few years later, I would occasionally ride with her for several hours, and what fun! At the end of the line, she would flip up the cane seats, and I could have whatever change was found. And in the summer, there was nothing like the big, open windows. Mother loved driving streetcar and regretted the changeover to buses. But she loved her job. She had a wonderful smile, and her regular passengers were her friends who shared their lives with her. When she had to retire in the late 1960s for health reasons, she was one of the only remaining female drivers.

As a result of passengers not claiming lost items, I still have an amazing collection of umbrellas and gloves. But only one token!

Gloria Ann Linnell, St. Louis Park

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