This is not a partisan opinion. I am simply stating facts. I saw the Star Tribune front pages last Sunday and Wednesday, and on Sunday the headline portrayed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tim Walz as "Aiming to bridge the great divide." Then Wednesday's headline portrayed U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar as running "for the middle."
I would like readers to check those facts. Neither of those candidates has any interest in working across the aisle. Klobuchar's record: 95 percent of the time party line (tinyurl.com/klobuchar-party). And Walz has not told anyone how he is trying to bridge the great divide. All he did in that article was state his agenda.
Sure, both parties are critical of the other, but Democrats seem to bad-mouth and spin the facts more. The anger that has been shown by many these days is disgusting and repulsive. I think the Democrats are shooting themselves in the foot with their behavior. Sad. Very sad. That was the party of my family for decades. I grew up with it. They were proud to be Democrats. There are times now I am embarrassed by it.
Debate facts, be respectful and, certainly, behave like adults. No unflattering pictures on literature (who cares if it was a bad hair day anyway) and no spinning stories to make someone look bad. That means both parties. We need civility and respect in campaigns, or we are never going to accomplish any good works.
Chris Addington, Stillwater
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I thought the Star Tribune did a really good job in its articles profiling the two candidates running for governor of Minnesota (Jeff Johnson, Oct. 7, and Tim Walz, Oct. 14). After reading the articles, I am more convinced than ever that Walz should be our next governor. He came across so positive and so filled with hope for Minnesota, for Minnesotans and for our future. That is a really important quality for a governor to have. Not only should a governor competently manage the day-to-day workings of state government, but that person needs to inspire and lead those who live here. Tim Walz is the person we need in the governor's office, not only for his positive attitude and leadership abilities, which today in politics is in really short supply, but also because he will work to unite all Minnesotans.
Eva Ichkhanian, Minneapolis
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In the free campaign ad for Tim Walz on the front page of the Sunday Star Tribune, we learn that Walz is a sportsman and veteran who supports banning assault weapons. Accompanying the print version of the same article, we see a photo of Walz shooting a semiautomatic shotgun. The highly vilified "assault weapons" Walz proposes to ban are nothing more than semi-automatic rifles used for hunting and target shooting. These small-caliber rifles fire a 60-grain bullet, one bullet per pull of the trigger. The semiautomatic shotgun Walz is shown handling can fire a 400-grain slug, one slug per pull of the trigger, at the same rate as the dreaded "assault rifles." Why would Walz propose banning a firearm with less than one-sixth the firepower of another firearm that he personally uses? Simple: He is pandering to liberals. We need a governor who will not weaken our Second Amendment rights simply for political gain.
Chad D. Hagen, Sleepy Eye, Minn.
Can we 'adapt'? Yes, absolutely not, maybe?
And what would it take? Who needs to step up?
In response to Jennifer Brooks' Oct. 14 column "Climate change: Argue or adapt":
Originally from a suburb outside the Windy City, I came to Minneapolis to study politics and environmental policy. Don't get me wrong: The winters here are still worse than three months of piercing wind and sludge, but by the time I finish studying the exact entity I wish to protect for the rest of my life, its climate will be undergoing extreme warming and weather fluctuations. What an unfortunate dichotomy to be able to study the environment at its most terrifying and equally mobilizing epoch.
My mother grew up on a dairy farm in rural Iowa that required heavy amounts of feed for their herd of Holsteins, and the 400-acre-plus farm was under constant stress. Whether it be economic turmoil or environmental setbacks, my mother remembers well the stressors placed on growers, harvesters and farmers alike. The subsequent influence these stressors have on food producers will only increase as our country's big actors refrain from addressing their personal role in our changing climate. Corporations like Tyson Foods, with widespread relationships across the nation, can alter their agricultural footprint to one far more sustainable. Many farmers, like Martin Larsen, whom Brooks cited in her column, are doing everything in their power to curb their own footprints in order to sustain their livelihood and resources. With their broad economic and social influence, agri-giants should play the role as corporate leaders, shifting the industry into more sustainable practices.
Kristin Gill, Minneapolis
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Kudos to Brooks for finally writing what everyone has been thinking for the past 10 years. We need to stop thinking we can stop climate change and start focusing on the important work of adapting to it. Even the Paris Accord (if implementable) was never touted as a plan to stop climate change, but only a plan to slow it. Adapt or perish — those are our choices.
Jack Kohler, Plymouth
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It's disappointing to see Strib columnists like Brooks contribute to climate-change denial this late in the game. With her commentary that we could "argue" or "adapt," Ms. Brooks is simply extending the self-destructive mentality that may have already doomed millions of people as well as countless species.
Surely the denial of climate change has run its course — first the simple fact of climate change was denied, then the fact that human activity was the primary cause was denied. Now we can stop arguing and start adapting? The whole point of all those warnings for the last few decades was that, no, we can't "adapt" to this. We may survive as a species, but hundreds of millions of lives are at stake because the catastrophic disruptions climate change will usher in will be permanent and pervasive.
Minnesota farmers (many of whom have been climate-change deniers themselves) will not simply be able to plant different crops that are better suited to the "new" climate, because the climate will be subject to dramatic and ongoing fluctuations. The crops that are better suited to the "wet" climate this year will be wiped out by drought next year, or the year after. What part of "unpredictable" and "severe" weather fluctuations do we not understand here?
The time to end the argument passed decades ago. Scientists sounded the alarm in the late 1970s and early '80s, and by the early to mid-1990s, we had a clear scientific consensus that climate change was real and that humans were causing it. There was no argument, just ignorant people who refused to accept or understand the science. You may "adapt" in the evolutionary sense (assuming you believe in evolution) but your life, your profession, and your home will be dramatically altered. Whether you're a refugee from the flooded coastal areas or a failing farmer who's unable to grow or harvest crops in an unpredictable and unsustainable climate, simple adaptation is not going to be an option. If you don't understand that, you still don't get it.
Paul Udstrand, St. Louis Park
Both the founders' intent and current realities factor in
The Oct. 14 commentary "(231-year-old) news flash: The Senate is undemocratic") was well-written and accurate, but there are a couple of pieces of information that should be noted with it. First, the founders were trying to create a republic, but were generally very wary of democracy. The Electoral College and Senate are both republican institutions that were not intended to be democratic in that the representatives were not selected by the whole of the voting population. Both the Electoral College and Senate were selected/elected by the state legislatures. Second, it is ironic to me that today the Senate is the more democratically elected body in that its members are elected by the whole population of the state, whereas representatives are elected by often-gerrymandered districts intended to favor one party or the other. The Senate demonstrates that we are indeed, generally, a 52-percent-to-48-percent electorate.
Dennis Speetzen, Minneapolis
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The Senate is undemocratic because the small states have the same number of senators as the large states. The 50 senators from the 25 smallest states represent only 17 percent of the U.S. population. The other 50 senators represent 83 percent of the population. Not only do small states wield more power in the Senate, but they also have a disproportionate number of Electoral College votes. The smallest 25 states average one Electoral College vote for approximately every 370,000 people, while the largest 25 states average one Electoral College vote for approximately every 568,000, with the smallest state, Wyoming, having one Electoral College vote for every 193,000 people, and the largest state, California, having one for every 719,000. So much for "one person, one vote." This provision in the constitution is unamendable (per the commentary's author, Harvard law Prof. Noah Feldman). But I don't think that means we can do nothing. We do not have to have 50 states. It is unlikely that small states will combine to form larger states — what is the incentive? But large states can split into smaller states. What if we have North, Central and South California? North and South Florida? New York and East New York? Texas and the Heart of Texas (consisting of just liberal Austin)?
Maggie O'Groske, Minneapolis
The video we can't see is the inconsistency that matters
Opinion columnist D.J. Tice ("Take Ellison-Kavanaugh Consistency Test here," Oct. 14) sees the accusations against U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh as political mirror images, with only minor differences, like the "odd claim" by Ellison's former girlfriend Karen Monahan that she has a video of the alleged incident with Ellison. I'd like to give Mr. Tice this consistency test: What does he think the national reaction would have been had Kavanaugh's accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that she had a video of Kavanaugh assaulting her, but didn't feel like producing it? Monahan's claim to have such evidence is not merely "odd" — it is the single critical element that makes the two cases completely different. Failure to recognize essential differences is blindness, not consistency.