I'm pretty sure that 99 percent of all the letters being sent to the Star Tribune are about the shutdown -- some about how the GOP needs to give in, some about how it's Gov. Mark Dayton's fault and some about how people have been affected.
Although I want a quick resolution to this issue, and though I'm sure that it is severely affecting the lives of countless Minnesotans, there are also a number of people who aren't affected at all and who aren't invested in seeing the situation resolved quickly.
Those unaffected people aren't calling their representatives to encourage a compromise -- they are calling to tell their representatives not to back down. That partisan behavior will only drag this stalemate out longer than necessary.
The shutdown would be more effective if it were even more severe than the current situation. If state universities, the Stillwater Lift Bridge, funding to cities and public transportation all shut down, a lot more people would be affected and furious, and would stop caring about partisanship. The more angry people there are, the faster the politicians will be forced to reach an agreement.
LEA BART, MINNEAPOLIS
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Those who blame "politicians" for the budget impasse miss the point that both the DFL governor and Republican legislative leaders are doing what they promised during the election. So the responsibility for the shutdown is with the electorate.
Bob Carney Jr., who finished second in the Republican gubernatorial primary, proposed a way to get state government up and running ("Neither GOP nor DFL has a mandate," June 30), and both sides should accept his recommendations. If one side does not, we will know who is responsible for the continued shutdown.
LEN SCHAKEL, LAKELAND
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In the latter days of the budget negotiations, there have been numerous references to the "cone of silence." As I recall, that phrase comes from the 1960s television spy-spoof "Get Smart." That joke, in the show at least, was that within the "cone of silence" nobody could understand what anyone else was saying.
That may still be the case, but the irony seems to be lost on those who use the phrase. Maybe our legislators could find another phrase, such as "cone of authentic listening and integrity," but that might be too much to ask. And it would lack a certain pop-cultural resonance.
PHIL QUANBECK II, ROCHESTER
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I want to thank a dedicated state worker who went above and beyond yesterday to do her job to protect vulnerable citizens.
Lori Goetz, an ombudsman for nursing home residents, spent nearly two hours on the phone with us, way past 5 p.m. quitting time, to help us provide the best care possible for a family member with dementia.
I hope that Lori is back on the job soon, because there are vulnerable people who need her.
DEB STEHLIN, APPLE VALLEY
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I explained the shutdown to a friend of mine -- a vulnerable adult. She listened closely, reflected on the situation for a moment, and waved it off.
"Don't worry," she said about the politicians. "They'll be back. They always come back."
MARY DUFFY, HOPKINS
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The U.S. oil reserves are supposed to be for an emergency, aka a short-term catastrophe. Let us get this right. The price of oil is on a long-term climb upwards; that is not an emergency.
I realize that President Obama wants to fight rising gas prices and the resulting damper on the economic recovery, but, the more we try to artificially hold the price down, the slower we are to adapt our behavior.
Changing our transportation system and land-use design from what has taken place since World War II will be a very long-term and painful change; the sooner we can start the process to change, the better.
Eventually, if we keep trying to hold down the market price -- eventually, yes, it will be an emergency, because there won't be sufficient supplies left anywhere at a decent market price to serve our needs by any means possible.
MIKE LUKE, EXCELSIOR
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A recent article profiled grocery stores in the St. Cloud area that help shoppers find healthful foods through a program that rates and ranks products based on their nutrient content ("A new weapon in the war on weight," June 29).
There's a local resource available for Twin Citians. For the past three years, Kowalski's Markets has offered a point-of-purchase nutrition program called Good Foods for Good Health. Much like the NuVal program highlighted in the story, shoppers are guided toward healthful options throughout the store.
But, unlike the NuVal program, Good Foods for Good Health considers the wholesomeness of foods, too. Foods that have artificial ingredients (colors, sugar or fat substitutes, etc.) are not awarded a "seal of approval," because there's a growing body of research suggesting that at least some of these ingredients may not be doing our health any favors.
If mushing through the land of food labels is confusing and too time-consuming, there's an in-town option to ease the load.
SUSAN MOORES, WOODBURY
The writer is a nutritionist for Kowalski's Markets.
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