Ballots preferred

It is said that the streets of St. Paul will soon be laid waste by such groups as Genocide Intervention Network, Anti-War Committee, Black Bloc Anarchists, National Stonewall Democrats and Codepink in order to instruct the country's elected leaders in how this republic, sometimes termed a democracy, should be operated. These folks no doubt expect the Republican National Convention to dissolve into chaos as a result of their efforts.

They should, however, be aware that the planners of our system of governing devised a most excellent method of dealing with national problems.

It is not called a protest.

It is not called a demonstration.

It is not called a riot.

It is called an election and, please, let us get on with it peacefully.



Finally some fairness

Minneapolis City Council Member Cam Gordon criticized the Metropolitan Council for deciding to raise transit fares not only once, but twice (letter, Aug. 19).

He blames that on the fact that council members are not elected by the people who live in the district that they represent. He says that the Met Council needs to find a different funding stream for transit service in the metro area. Well, it did just that.

The council raised transit fares so that those who actually use the service are paying more. They are not even close to paying the actual costs. Those actual costs are being subsidized by those of us who drive, buy gas and pay taxes and do not use transit.

We need to let people who actually use a service be more responsible for paying the costs. It only makes sense!



Too much sway

Mikheil Saakashvili, the president of Georgia, is known as a tough nationalist who didn't hide his intentions of forcing Ossetians and Abkhazians to live in his country. Saakashvili gave an order to wipe Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, from the face of earth.

The Georgian air force and artillery struck the sleeping town at midnight. More than 1,500 civilians perished in the very first hours of the shelling. At the same time, Georgian special forces shot 10 Russian peacekeepers who didn't expect such a betrayal from their Georgian colleagues.

The United States has reacted in the same way in Grenada, Panama and other locations, not counting the invasion of Iraq. John McCain is willing to restart the Cold War just to show his friends and financial backers from Georgia he is a friend. That is not a leader we can afford.


Dollars from soldiers

Civilians, take note

So U.S. troops overseas have donated more than six times as much to Sen. Barack Obama as they have to Sen. John McCain (Star Tribune, Aug. 17, page A9)?

If you really want to support your troops, vote for Obama.



It's bad for America

The Republican congressional plan to drain America first, led by Michele Bachmann and John Kline, is great political theater for November, but will drastically weaken the United States and make us even more dependent on foreign oil.

Foresight would say that we should conserve the oil we have and maximize our efforts for alternatives. But prudence rarely makes political headlines. The more of our own oil we burn now, the more dependent America will become on undemocratic countries with large reserves, like Russia and Iran. Let's think bigger than a sound bite and beyond the next election.




Minnesota needs him

I disagree with the Republican leadership and recent letter writers regarding lack of support of Mark Olson's endorsement as a candidate for the Minnesota Senate.

The objection seems to be about his conviction of "domestic assault," and one letter writer talked about "slapping about his wife." The facts as indicated in your earlier article are that he was convicted of misdemeanor domestic assault for causing his wife fear for bodily harm, but was acquitted of intentionally harming or trying to harm her after his attorney argued that he had acted in self-defense. Could it be that because of the high profile of the case, there might have been prejudice? What is fear? Some people are even afraid of a mouse.

If I were in that district, I would be proud to support and vote for Olson after following his past conservative Christian service in the Legislature. We need more of his kind of representation in both houses.



Out with the old

The Aug. 18 letter writer who lamented the demolition of old buildings might as well grin and bear it. St. Paul saves her old buildings; Minneapolis doesn't.

The beautiful old Great Northern Depot was twice as grand as the Milwaukee, the one they decided to save. The School of Architecture at the University of Minnesota was unable to save the Metropolitan Building because nearby buildings like the Sheraton-Ritz (remember that?) didn't want an ugly neighbor. Then there were the grand hotels, the Radisson, the Curtis, the Leamington, all ugly (like the St. Paul Hotel), so they had to go.

Even the old Residence Hotel on 4th Avenue was a beautiful structure. Gone. The mansion at 828 Portland, which had declined into a rooming house, was declared an eyesore. My grandma lived there, and I caught nightcrawlers on the front lawn after dark. Now it's an asphalt parking lot. Before it was razed it looked a lot like prerenovation Forepaugh's in St. Paul.

Isn't the old City Hall (we called it the Court House) starting to look old and out of place? Maybe it needs to go.