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The opinion piece “Klobuchar slipped badly” (Oct. 17) and its alleged “critique” of the senator must be answered.

Amy Klobuchar has been an intelligent, moderate and able senator for the people of Minnesota. The opinion piece cited above was simply a rant without fact or logic, filled primarily with adverbs.

As a former English teacher, I took particular exception to the paragraph beginning, “The same was true of [Klobuchar’s] characterizations of health care issues ... .” No rational description of positions taken by the senator, or, for that matter, of the laws themselves, was attempted. Instead, the writer used filler such as “wildly exaggerated,” “wholly unfounded,” “ruthlessly reamed out,” “grossly misrepresented,” “baselessly warning” and “absolutely lose.” That would be six hysterical modifiers in just three sentences. Not fact, not argument. Just personal, emotional opinion.

These modifiers offer no facts and no logic but instead simply describe the writer’s emotional response to a perceived threat to her own worldview. If we continue our public discourse in this vein, the republic may not survive.

Judith Koll Healey, Minneapolis

• • •

I disagree with several statements in “Klobuchar slipped badly,” but at least one of them is flat-out wrong and must be corrected. The Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision did not, as the writer asserts, authorize “unrestricted access to abortion.”

Instead, it prohibited restrictions on the right to choose during the first trimester, beyond requiring that the procedure be performed by a licensed doctor in medically safe conditions.

It said during the second trimester states could regulate abortion in ways reasonably related to the health of the pregnant person, and in the third trimester, that states could ban abortion unless it is necessary to save the life or health of the mother.

Further, the Supreme Court’s 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision gave states more leeway to restrict abortion, and many states commenced regulating it to the point where it became a “right” in theory but not in practice. So, Senate Republicans aren’t trying to rush Barrett’s ascension to the court in order to “restrict” abortion rights — they are already restricted — but rather to do away with the right to choose altogether, against the will of a solid majority of the Americans public.

Anne Hamre, Roseville


A justice should do her homework

Thank you, Cathy M. Kolwey, for your personal and pointed testament regarding Amy Coney Barrett’s limited awareness of at least some important racial issues (“Barrett should admit her unfitness ...” Opinion Exchange, Oct. 17). It was shockingly disappointing to realize Barrett had no response to Sen. Cory Booker when asked what books she’d read to educate herself on the issue of implicit bias. One would have thought that surely, as a parent in a multiracial family, she would have already done much homework to figure out how best to raise a Black child in this racially charged world, particularly in view of the long list of relevant resources highlighted after the death of George Floyd. To be so woefully ignorant of the deeper racial awareness required to navigate life in the 21st century does not bode well for either her children or her opinions as part of the highest court in the land.

In reading “Caste” by Isabel Wilkerson, it has become so painfully obvious to me that the racial divide in America is even more deep-seated and pervasive than most whites (myself included) realize. In the words of Maya Angelou, when you know better you do better. Amy Coney Barrett, we all need you to know better, so you can do better for all of us.

Laurie Pellerite, Woodbury

• • •

The commentary stating that Barrett is a bad mother of Black adopted children because she did not read all the same books or take all the same actions that Kolwey believes she should have was reprehensible. Could the Star Tribune not find enough negative opinions regarding the professional expertise, knowledge, experience and practice of the Supreme Court nominee that it published a random Minnesotan personally attacking the nominee based on the writer’s personal opinions and her own high opinion of herself, parenting practices and beliefs? Do you feel that it is appropriate to attack a female nominee’s family situation? To accuse her of not being a good parent to her Black children? Who died and made Kolwey the supreme judge of human interactions? What a disgusting and vicious personal attack against a supremely skilled woman.

Patricia Landers, Maplewood

SID HARTMAN, 1920-2020

Remembering one of the greats

As sports editor for the Minnesota Daily student newspaper in the late 1960s, I tried to bring diversity to the press box at Memorial Stadium by assigning a woman to accompany me to cover the Gopher football games.

At our first one, several occupants of that exclusively male bastion complained and would not allow her into the small, dingy facility.

Sid Hartman, who seemed to be the de facto dean and gatekeeper of the press box, responded to the objections by encountering me in the doorway and asking me: “Is she a good reporter?” I answered: “Well, she’s trying to be.”

With that, he allowed her in, breaking the gender barrier at that facility.

The cramped old press box had a low ceiling made of wood, not glass. But Sid was instrumental in helping this female journalist and others after her to reach it.

Like many male sportswriters of the era, Sid was a little late joining the bandwagon for women’s sports. But once he got there, he was a devoted supporter, as he was in that University of Minnesota press box more than 50 years ago.

Marshall Tanick, Minneapolis

• • •

About 65 years ago, I was seated next to Sid at a Vikings luncheon. I told him my great uncle was Sig Harris, the hero of the Little Brown Jug game in 1903. From that moment, Sid’s running monologue continued to and during the speeches after lunch. Sid knew more about Uncle Sig than I did. He treated me no different than an All-American or All-Pro. I will never forget his kindness.

Lou Harris, Minneapolis

• • •

I have subscribed to your newspaper for 42 years (now reading digital editions). Just finished reading the wonderful tribute Patrick Reusse wrote of Sid’s distinguished career (“So long, old friend,” front page, Oct. 19). Reusse knocked it out of the park. Thank you.

Tom Wilson, Edina

• • •

Most major cities have them. They are the local media icons who become synonymous with their local city. But perhaps one of the biggest was Sid Hartman, the sports commentator and columnist who kept writing for more than 75 years and covered the Twin Cities sports scene in both wonderful moments and heartbreaks until his death at 100.

The likelihood of another print columnist becoming a local/national celebrity in today’s day and age has become less and less as the industry has changed and newspapers are cutting their resources and staff. But the change in media made Sid Hartman’s star shine even brighter as the type of old-school writer and reporter who started here and remained loyal to the Twin Cities even when he began to receive national recognition.

It is true that the industry’s changes will mean the chances of another Sid Hartman are very unlikely. Still, the truth of the matter is that there will never be another Sid Hartman, even if the media industry was the same as it was years ago when Sid wrote his first byline.

Hartman will be missed.

William Cory Labovitch, South St. Paul

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