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A celebration for a team winning the Super Bowl. A mass shooting. One wife and mother dead. Eleven children suffering gunshots and other injuries. Ten or more adults suffering gunshots and other injuries. So many safety officers present to protect players and fans. Who's to blame? We all are. Strive for gun control and mental health service. Be kind to one another.

Kathryn Behm, Minneapolis


This guy, again

Former President Donald Trump says NATO's European partners who don't pay their share should be thrown to the wolves (or a Russian bear). Trump says, "You gotta pay your bills!"

Bold words for a man notorious for stiffing employees and contractors at his many properties.

Joel Carter, Minneapolis


The comment (Nation + World, Feb. 13) by U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., on Trump's blathering about NATO and too many other topics is emblematic of the GOP's blindness on the man. For Rounds to assert that he will judge the man on what he does rather than what he says just makes me itch with the illogic. How can we ignore the man's words? If his actions don't align with his words, how are we to anticipate what's next? We cannot have a loose cannon like that in charge of our world affairs, our military or our nuclear forces.

Harald Eriksen, Brooklyn Park


Trump has made numerous controversial statements over the years. None of his past comments are as shocking as his comment about not supporting NATO allies if they are attacked by a foreign country while adding that the attacking country should "do whatever the hell it wants." Trump conditioned his statement to a NATO country not meeting its full financial obligations to NATO despite being a member.

Every Minnesotan deserves to know whether our congressional representatives and 2024 candidates support Trump's statement and why. The Star Tribune is in the best position to gather those responses. Its job is to let readers know where our politicians stand on issues — particularly one affecting national security.

William Sweeney, Minneapolis


This modus operandi, again

Wow! The self-indulgence and hypocrisy of the Trump-backing Republicans never cease to astound thoughtful people. They rail for border security. Then they are presented an effortful compromise bill on border security that would likely reduce the chaos at the border. (The fruits of politics is the efforts of compromise). They trash that because flawed leader Trump wants border chaos to continue so he can keep that as a campaign issue. Then they refuse to support a bill for support for Ukraine because it doesn't address the border crisis. (Besides continuing border chaos, fearless leader wants to punish Ukraine and help Putin.) Then they work to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas because he wasn't doing enough to help the border crisis. Thoughtful people recognize the hypocrisy.

The misguided Trump-supporting House Republicans primary efforts are to try to demonize President Joe Biden and Democrats in anyway they can, including obviously politically motivated investigations into Hunter Biden and President Biden. I am very hard-pressed to see any efforts on their part to work to help disadvantaged Americans on the multitude of meaningful issues that exist. The self-indulgence and hypocrisy to aid an incredibly flawed and narcissistic leader is mind-blowing. It reminds me of Boris and Natasha working for Fearless Leader in the "Rocky and Bullwinkle" show.

Bruce Hermansen, Apple Valley


"House impeaches Mayorkas" (Feb. 14). How embarrassing! Our Republican congressional delegation from Minnesota was united in support of this fiasco. When will these shenanigans end? Those members are accomplices in this sham impeachment of Mayorkas that most experts decry as falling far short of "high crimes and misdemeanors." Have they forgotten that they represent Minnesota, cited by President Jimmy Carter as "a state where government works" when he picked Walter Mondale as his running mate? Their antics certainly aren't reflecting our tradition of good governance. And what about the folks who re-elect these agents of dubious governance? What does it say about them? To paraphrase an old adage: Fool you once — shame on them. Fool you twice — shame on you!

Richard Masur, Minneapolis


As a former governor, I see the following:

The Star Tribune Editorial Board (Feb. 11) suggested that the Minnesota Legislature set "modest goals" this session. So modest, in fact, that the board left out two very vital subjects.

The first is the total failure of the media and our elected officials to deal with the findings of the study released by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs in May 2021 that stated that our legislators were granting special favors to wealthy campaign donors including being able to "shape" legislation. This influence peddling is both corrupt and illegal. Where are the news stories and editorials? And where is the attorney general?

The second is the steady demise of our citizens' Legislature that has evolved during my time from one with a modest staff that was housed entirely in the State Capitol to one that employs more than 530 people and occupies two majestic buildings costing over $800 million. Worse still is that 300 of those employees are partisan staffers hired and managed by the party caucuses but paid for by the public. Simply, each party caucus is now a massive political operation with more than 50 people engaged in communications alone.

Add automatic pay raises and it looks like a full-time mini Congress with large partisan armies more dedicated to special interests and incumbent protection than voluntary public service. Is this what we want?

Arne H. Carlson, Lake City

The writer was governor of Minnesota from 1991 to 1999.


Slogans, flags and snark

As a local history writer in Northfield, I was discontented when I read "Northfield rebrands with a fill-in-the-blank slogan" (Feb. 12) to replace "Cows, Colleges and Contentment," which has served our town well since 1914. Actually, there was a time that another slogan was approved, the very blah "Northfield — A Special Place," but the citizens demanded the return of the historic and unique one. I disagree with the civic brander, Jeff Johnson, whose firm was paid $45,000 (!) and came up with "Cows, Colleges and Community" and other variants. Johnson said that "contentment could signal complacency which has a less-than-positive connotation." Oh, yeah? What's wrong with signaling that contentment among the cows and colleges awaits here in Northfield? What could be more positive than that?

Susan Hvistendahl, Northfield


Last month, a local vexillologist wrote that the time has come for Minneapolis to replace its city flag ("Up next: A grand new flag for Minneapolis," Jan. 6), saying: "A great city flag communicates identity. It says: 'This is us. We are distinctive and our flag exhibits that.' " This week, our mayor drew wide attention to Minneapolis when he lambasted people who work from home, "sitting on their couch, with their nasty cat blanket" ("Mayor's 'loser' joke hits close to home," Feb. 8). As a joke it misfired but, fellow citizens and cat lovers, that "nasty cat blanket" could be our new city flag — a rectangle of cloth that is di-stink-tive and says "This is us."

Chris Steller, Minneapolis