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Martha-Ann Alito, wife of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, was recently recorded saying this to a woman posing as a Catholic conservative: "I want a Sacred Heart of Jesus flag because I have to look across the lagoon at the Pride flag for the next month."

Reading this, I thought of Jay Gatsby looking across the harbor to the green light at the end of Daisy's dock in "The Great Gatsby." "Gatsby believed in the green light," says Nick, the narrator. Gatsby believed in "the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us." He looked across the water to the green light and felt hope, but the future he imagined for himself could never come. Martha-Ann looks across the water to the Pride flag and feels anger. Perhaps she sees a version of the future that scares her?

Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." This may be true. But then I remember those last lines in "The Great Gatsby": "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

Timothy Hennum, Minneapolis


Details change minds

How a question is asked often makes a big difference in people's answers in a poll. Tuesday's Star Tribune/MPR News/KARE 11 Minnesota Poll results cover Minnesotans' attitudes about Donald Trump's "hush money" trial and felony convictions ("Trump's trial was fair, most Minn. voters say," front page, June 11). I wonder how much difference it would have made if the poll's question had fully spelled out what Trump did and how it affected people and the election.

With my addition to the question in italics, if the poll had asked, "Do you feel someone who has been convicted of a felony where they were charged in a scheme to influence an election to get themselves elected to the presidency should or should not be eligible for the presidency?" would more people have answered: "Should not"?

For me, knowing a person has been convicted of a felony but without full knowledge of the nature of that felony wouldn't disqualify them from being eligible for the presidency. Even considering when candidates legally hide damaging information, I wouldn't like it, but that shouldn't disqualify them from being president. But when they commit a felony to influence my vote, that's where I draw the line.

Paul Rozycki, Minneapolis


I would like to ask the set of Minnesota voters who think the Trump trial was fair to conduct a thought experiment. Let's say, sometime in the future, a prosecutor runs for office on the promise of convicting President Joe Biden for bribery. The prosecutor wins. He brings the politically fraught charges in a venue that votes 90% Republican. Hand-picked to preside over the trial is a judge who, contrary to his code of ethics, contributed to the Trump campaign. The indictment does not set forth the elements of the underlying crime, contrary to the Sixth Amendment. The elements are not revealed until the instructions are given, at which time the jury is given a smorgasbord of potential elements on which it doesn't have to reach unanimity. Yes, completely fair. Anyway, he had it coming.

Chip Allen, Woodbury


What else can regular people do?

I have been a Democrat some 60 years, my entire adult life. But I have rarely been so discouraged as when reading the article about the Minnesota Poll results "Gaza war divides voters in the state" (June 12). True, most voters are more concerned about inflation and housing, but solid opposition to President Joe Biden's support for Israel's war is particularly concentrated among Democrats and strongest among Biden's most likely voters.

We have tried everything to send a message to the president: city council resolutions, voting "uncommitted" in the primaries, tent encampments at colleges across the country. Support of genocide is a losing issue at the polls.

Reliable sources now indicate over 36,000 dead in Gaza, 1.7 million internally displaced, 1.1 million with food insecurity and the famine there now already started. This war is the biggest moral issue of our times, yet our taxes have delivered $230 billion dollars of solely military aid to Israel since 1948.

Biden has little time to regain his lost support. Even if he cares more about loyalty to Israel than about the Palestinian deaths and bodies buried under the rubble, his support for this slaughter will lose him the election.

Charles Underwood, Minneapolis


I pose this question: Is the current process — destruction — both in Gaza and on the West Bank helping to destroy the beauty of Judaism? When the state of Israel was first formed, there was a feeling of justice and glee that finally wrongs could be put right. At least, that's what I felt. The thought that the founders of the state could develop a democracy with both Jews and Muslims was exhilarating. In a sense it was like what was happening here in the States; different religions, races and creeds being able to come together to create an even more dynamic democracy and growth through diversity! I know, at the outset, there were Zionists who strictly disagreed with that concept and were willing to torpedo that ... and have over these decades.

Just a personal note here, when I fought in Vietnam it was clear we were creating more enemies, not fewer. Killing members of the Viet Cong created more enemies of their relatives. Prior to that it was also brought home by a Danish friend of mine at university. When asked why he joined the underground to fight the Nazis, he startled me by replying, "They had just taken my brother captive. And I got angry!" Nothing about stamping out fascism. All those killed have uncles and/or fathers and/or brothers!

What appears to be happening now is that the government, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu being its prime spokesperson, kills dozens and dozens of potentially innocent Palestinians for each Hamas member. And Israeli settlers on the West Bank take Palestinian land and lives without consequence. And just recently during this conflict, more land is being unilaterally expropriated from others. I ask: Aren't these actions similar to what's being done in Ukraine? Yes, it's a bit more violent in Ukraine; but give it a bit more time.

What ever happened to the idea of Israeli democracy, not theocracy? Fortunately, some believe, the new generation of Israelis may help to correct the current direction of the state. One hopes so. Otherwise, why is there an Israel?

Thomas Saylor, Minneapolis


Rethink this selection

In regards to the story "Controversy puts pause on U Holocaust center hire," I strongly oppose historian Raz Segal's hiring as potential director of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and am thankful about the pause in his hiring.

As a University of Minnesota graduate, I have a vested interest in the U and I do not believe Segal is the right candidate for this position. His views on blaming Israel, not Hamas, for the events on Oct. 7 will further fuel the antisemitism already present at the U.

As a daughter of Holocaust survivors, I clearly understand that antisemitism led to the death of 6 million Jews, including many of my extended family. The goal of Hamas — which includes the extermination of all Jews in Israel and included the killing of 1,200 civilians on Oct. 7 — clearly illustrates Hamas is a terrorist organization, and Segal's position blaming Israel is alarming. As someone who also knew Stephen Feinstein, the center's founder, I know that Segal does not represent the center's goals and mission. I urge the president of the university and all members of the Board of Regents to reconsider Segal's appointment.

Sylvia Fine, Minneapolis