Congratulations to Inspector Charlie Adams for 37 years of outstanding service to the city of Minneapolis ("'Gold standard' of community policing," Sept. 22). At least 37 years — because that is merely his time as an officer with the Minneapolis Police Department, and it is clear that Adams has served the community in more ways than that. The article describes Adams as the "gold standard," and as "a friend to the people." I haven't had the privilege of meeting Adams, but I don't doubt that he is a man of high character.
The other asset Adams has brought to his work is that he is actually from Minneapolis. Retired Chief Medaria Arradondo and former Deputy Chief Greg Hestness also employed this asset — to the benefit of the MPD and our city. My question is, why do we settle for less than the gold standard or a friend to the people?
Why do we delude ourselves into thinking that officers who are neither from Minneapolis nor connected to our city can provide effective policing? If they lived in first-ring suburbs, then maybe. But many of our current officers drive long distances from places that do not resemble our city for their shift with a gun on their hip. I know they are not comfortable in Minneapolis; I've seen it in their eyes and also in their blatant disrespect for our citizens.
When I grew up in Minneapolis, officers were required to live in the city; we had one on the next block. That's community policing! Our army of occupation failed in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Vietnam, etc., and it fails here at home. Minneapolis will never return to greatness until we find a way to police ourselves.
John K. Trepp, Minneapolis
The editorial "Dysfunction rules at Mpls. City Hall" (Sept. 23) is right on target. I refer to the council's meeting room as Dysfunction Junction.
How so many people of limited intelligence got elected is a true wonder.
Here's how functioning adults with normal cognitive ability think: OK, the old Third Precinct is a wreck, so you have to clean it up anyway. You use that fact to move to the second point, excavating with rebuilding in mind. Then you rebuild on that spot, but you name it "The George Floyd Memorial Third Precinct" (or something like that; maybe the council can handle one small decision).
It's a deal everybody gets something out of. The residents get a neighborhood precinct, and the officers get a new home. The city doesn't have to rent space. Floyd gets a memorial.
Stop letting perfect be the enemy of the good.
Rob Godfrey, Minneapolis
Trump is unacceptable, so ... you won't try to stop him?
A letter writer on Saturday ("Our two-party failure") offered the opinion that President Joe Biden's public appearances "don't command strength, they show age." That's true. He does look old. He is old. But he still travels the world and gets a lot of work done. The letter writer rightfully goes on to describe Donald Trump as being unacceptable as president.
Here's the part I don't understand: The letter writer stated that if the election is between Biden and Trump, he won't vote. That doesn't make any sense. That kind of thinking isn't helpful. This isn't choosing between the lesser of two evils. It's choosing an old, experienced man with a big heart over a man who tried to overthrow our government. I agree with the letter writer that we need younger leaders, but now is not the time to dump Biden. I suppose not voting is better than voting for Trump, but voting for Biden lessens the chance of Trump winning. I hope the letter writer, and anybody who shares his thinking, will reconsider.
Doug Williams, Robbinsdale
'See, hear, feel' without killing
In the commentary "Hunting's true quarry is what they see, hear, feel" (Opinion Exchange, Sept. 25) the author celebrates hunting as a means of communing with nature. This notion seems terribly misguided to me. I have never understood how hunters can go out and kill another species just because they can — armed with guns and bows and often gadgets that lure animals to their death. I admit I have long felt animals to be my equal, and I gave up eating them years ago, including fish, because I couldn't separate one species from another on the food chain. To me killing for sport (and the culture that celebrates hunting) dehumanizes us, revealing the way in which we refuse to understand the interconnectedness of humans and animals. I have never understood how hunters justify their love of killing by claiming they love nature.
Hunting is declining, and I think that's a great sign that people are understanding the amazing intelligence of animals in all their varieties; each species from beavers to wolves to bear to bison have a unique intelligence and role in the ecosystem. Instead of hunting animals, why not simply observe them without needing to also kill another life? Humans have developed much of the world, expanding and cities and agriculture further into the wilderness, so that there is very little wild land left on the planet, and we are losing species at a faster rate than ever before. At last count the earth's wildlife populations have plunged by an average of 69% in just 50 years due to climate change. Wouldn't it be wonderful to simply coexist with other threatened species and learn more about ourselves by seeing, hearing, feeling and learning?
Carol Dines, Minneapolis
When I was younger I was vehemently and vocally anti-hunting. A friend of mine, hoping to sway my position, invited me to go on a morning hunt. It was a game changer for me. Matthew Fritz's "Hunting's true quarry is what they see, hear, feel" was magical and exactly described the beauty of hunting. Thank you for describing the true nature of hunting and hunters.
Ann Hersman, Excelsior
Not a useful message
Given their own history, I am absolutely flabbergasted that the leaders of JewBelong would use a billboard to ridicule another religious tradition: "Judaism. Come for your girlfriend. Stay for the lack of hell" ("What's up with the 'JewBelong' billboards?" Sept. 25). Where to start? By no means do all Christian traditions use the fear of "hell" as a way to gain converts or to quell bad behavior in their own ranks. Better and more faithful to New Testament Christianity is Dietrich Bonhoeffer's statement that proclaiming the gospel "should be like holding out to a child a shining red apple or to a thirsty man a glass of fresh water and asking: Wouldn't you like it?" More difficult to mention, though Jewish tradition has no notion of "hell," is that there are sections of the Hebrew Bible in which the people of Israel are condemned in language that might sound like something like "hell on earth."
As a Christian theologian, I am not called to "tame" these texts but, like a Jewish teacher, to interpret them within the context of a God who is "merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness" (Exodus 34:6). Judaism can and does do far better than that JewBelong billboard.
Fred Gaiser, Falcon Heights
The writer is a professor emeritus of Old Testament at Luther Seminary.