For a country that just wanted to get away from the royal family 235 years ago, Americans sure are getting excited over Prince William's and Kate's wedding.
The royal family has no real power any longer, so let's keep in mind that it's just a wedding. Britain's elections have more significance and impact on the United States than this wedding, since the Brits are one of our most strategic allies.
WILLIAM CORY LABOVICH, SOUTH ST. PAUL
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We are amazed that not one hearing regarding health care (except how to cut it) or health care exchanges has been convened by the state's representatives or senators.
Yet on the other hand, bills in the Senate and House (SF1118 and HF1369) regarding an effort to ban videos at inhumane pet facilities are actually getting hearings.
What is wrong with this? Are the legislators so weak that they would turn a blind eye to the mistreatment of animals, while not standing against the mistreatment of humans through lack of health care?
This is a sad time for Minnesota.
GEORGE AND HELEN PETERSON, Golden Valley
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Peter Leschak longs for a perfect world where creatures do not kill each other. Yet he comes from a philosophical assumption that contradicts his conclusion ("Sharing the world with the birds and the bees," April 17).
If we value all life because "we come from the biosphere," then to interfere with natural selection is about the only act that can rationally be called wrong.
He gets closer when he writes of a "spirituality" and calls for "love." The only worldview that explains the utopian desire he expresses is the one in which humanity is created to have stewardship over a perfect creation without death.
ROSS OLSON, MINNEAPOLIS
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The Star Tribune printed a letter from a reader comparing the oil-soaked birds of the Gulf oil spill to birds killed by wind farms (Readers write, April 21).
This is a nonsensical but oft-repeated myth. More birds are killed each year by power lines, domestic cats, windows and automobiles each year than by wind turbines.
The notion of windmills being a threat to birds is based on antiquated wind farm technology. By giving an unchecked voice to this nonsense, your paper is doing a disservice to the public discourse.
If anything, BP's disaster should illustrate exactly why we need a public that is better informed about alternative energy resources.
RYAN SIMONSON, MINNEAPOLIS
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I wonder if Jason Lewis feels that the heroes of 9/11, the firefighters and first responders who risked and sacrificed their lives to help their fellow human beings were fools for acting altruistically ("Who is John Galt? Who was Ayn Rand?" April 17).
These brave men and women certainly weren't motivated by "rational self-interest" (what could be crazier than running into a burning building?), but by a spirit of compassion, generosity and, yes, even self-sacrifice.
The trouble I have with Rand's objectivist political philosophy is that it rejects "the better angels of our nature" which, contrary to Lewis' assertion, I believe are innate.
All you have to do is look at how people respond in crises. When the Red River floods or when a tornado devastates a town, busloads of people come to help out their fellow citizens.
We are social beings, not isolated individuals. We humans have survived this long not only for our ability to reason, but for our generous capacity to reach out to others in a spirit of joyful cooperation.
KURT SEABERG, MINNEAPOLIS
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Lewis glorifies Rand's "objectivism" philosophy. In this philosophy, collectivism (being motivated by the good of the collective) is rejected, and individualism (being motivated by the good of the individual) is promoted.
Fascinating. All those Masters of the Universe on Wall Street engaging in the ultimate "profitable enterprise" did not do our economy and society a lot of good; they in fact did massive damage, which we are still trying to dig out from more than two years later.
On the flip side, we can all be very thankful that countless people like soldiers, cops, firefighters, teachers and volunteers everywhere are not guided by Rand's objectivism.
PETER LANGWORTHY, ST. PAUL
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I couldn't help noticing a slight omission in Lewis's fawning homage to tea bag goddess Rand, who is to philosophy what Orly Taitz is to law.
For all her stiff-spined individualism and condemnation of welfare, when she became eligible for the collectivist largesse of Social Security and Medicare, Rand lined up with her hand out like everybody else.
Lewis somehow overlooked the fact that the government was there to help in her battle with cancer, just as it is for all of us. Welcome to the collective, St. Ayn.
NEIL ERICKSON, RICHFIELD
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Unfortunately, Lewis just reinforced stereotypes about objectivism, boiling it down to the same simple concept as always: Ruthlessness is good, provided you're on the handle end of the hammer.
And, as is often the case with Rand's devotees, he made no real attempt to persuade anyone to agree with him. Instead, he patted himself on the back for being smart enough to agree with her.
ADAM KINTOPF, RICHFIELD
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U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., is famous. That is a fact. But it is a sad commentary on Time magazine, our nation and the world that she is being honored as "influential" ("Bachmann hits Time's top-100 influential list,'' April 22).
And make no mistake, this is an honor. Besides commanding great media attention, she also has the distinction of standing out among her peers in another category. She makes more misstatements, intentionally or unwittingly, than other politicians.
And that's quite an accomplishment in a field where the truth is so often distorted. Let's hope Time chooses more wisely next year.
SUE TELANDER, BLOOMINGTON
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