Make it constructive, please, and not hurtful

On Sept. 1, I will join thousands of others who will peacefully march to support nonviolent solutions to conflict, environmental protection and a change from the destructive economic and foreign policies of the Bush years. I also respect Republicans' rights to participate in the democratic process.

I ask those who are considering blocking bridges or streets to think: Has anyone ever gained a person's understanding by making him mad? Who is hurt when you block a bridge -- the single mom hurrying to a day care center, the jobless person on the way to an interview, the stroke victim in an ambulance?

Please channel your energy into constructive change we so desperately need, not at innocent victims.



Consider policies, life and mental acuity

Do voters realize that this election is not about Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama or John McCain? They are merely the faces attached to the policies we are voting on.

While Obama is criticized for speaking in general terms and not going into the specifics of his proposed policies, we know all too well the policies of McCain. As bridges fall, gas prices hit record highs, unemployment soars, insurance companies take over health care, a Cold War is rekindled, retirement funds tank, our debt is passed on to our children and American troops die based on a lie -- we are living with McCain's policies right now. They are the same as George Bush's.



I don't understand. Sen. McCain made fun of Barack Obama going to Germany and other places but now he sends his wife (a beer distributor's daughter) to Georgia. Perhaps Obama could send Wally the beerman over as a countermove.



Two weeks ago, when asked if he supported a child's right to life, Barack Obama responded, "That question is above my pay grade." Granted, we may not pay our elected officials enough, but it is frightening to think why someone vying for president would avoid the question. Either Obama was scared of conveying his belief or he did not want to deal with the challenging issue. Neither bodes well for our country should he be elected.



Of course it's true that age sometimes brings wisdom, but with John McCain's continuing pattern of confused utterances that cannot be dismissed as mere misspeaking, age brings true concern about a candidate aspiring to an office requiring the utmost mental clarity.

If not for handlers like Joe Lieberman to "clarify" what McCain meant to say, the concern would be widespread about his fitness for office. Combine these "senior moments" with his legendary short fuse, and it's apparent that John McCain is not a safe choice as a cool- and clear-headed president.

So in this time of reckless, bellicose adventurism, let's keep the keys away from John McCain, lest in anger or confusion, he hits the gas instead of the brakes.



It's lost space for beautiful old buildings

It's sad to learn that the mayor of Eden Prairie, Phil Young, says he "doesn't have any interest" in the 1942 Wisconsin-style barn near Pioneer Trail (Star Tribune, Aug. 27).

In my opinion, that is exactly what is wrong with the Eden Prairies and the Maple Groves of Minnesota -- there aren't enough Wisconsin-style barns decorating the landscape and countryside. We've destroyed our history to make room for Ruby Tuesday and P.F. Chang's.

Give me beautiful old buildings like the Wisconsin-style barn any day. You've sold your soul, Eden Prairie -- say it ain't so.



Lower it -- to 19, not 18

As a parent who has raised three boys, I believe there is a double standard with the drinking age limit. Trying to get kids through high school without drinking, we used "it is not legal." However, after high school everyone is drinking.

Legal drinkers, of whatever age, must drink responsibly -- that is the clear expectation. If a person can fight in wars, vote, get married and have children, certainly he or she should be legally able to drink, responsibly. However, there are many kids turning 18 while still in high school. Changing the legal drinking age to 19 will ensure that no one can start drinking legally in high school.