A front-page article on April 13 about Internet sales tax, and also a "Whistleblower" article on April 10 had much in common, such as: How do you expect to collect from an out-of-state retailer? The Whistleblower article reported that it took one retailer 34 months of nonpayment to lose its permit, and it mentioned another retailer that owes from 2000. How will the state collect from out-of-state Amazon if it cannot collect from in-state retailers? Maybe it is time to "create" a new job or hire someone capable of enforcing the law.
DAN GOURDE, FRIDLEY
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I agree with President Obama: Candidates' wives should be kept out of political battles -- unless the candidate is using her as a "human shield." If Mitt Romney uses his wife as his expert witness and sounding board, as he has been reported to have said, then he should be prepared for us to question her qualifications. If he holds her up as a testament to his humanity, we have the right to reject both of them.
"Working" does not in any way abrogate one iota of "mothering," but it certainly makes it tougher. One who has not experienced the complications and nuances involved in being a "working mother" doesn't know what they're talking about ("Democratic pundit ignites debates about women's roles," April 13).
I've been blessed to have had two working mothers as wives, one of whom also has multiple sclerosis. Their lives and struggles make Ann Romney's life look like a fairy tale. Choosing between caring for a sick child and going to work so that you can provide for your sick child is almost as tough as deciding which bills to pay so that you can afford the medicine that will keep you alive.
"Into every life some rain must fall" is an old saw that in no way excludes the fact that Ann Romney hasn't worked a day in her life.
JOHN CRIVITS, ST. PAUL
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An April 13 letter writer ("A show of hypocrisy over foster homes") defended the right to smoke in foster homes as being more important than children's health. To denigrate a sensible legislative proposal to ban smoking in such homes with outcries against "moralistic health police" is a lame argument. Smoke of all kinds presents a high risk factor for premature death in people of all ages, with children among the most vulnerable. Kids need all the help they can get, especially in foster care scenarios.
JULIE MELLUM, MINNEAPOLIS
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The April 13 letter writer commented on allowing homosexuals to be foster-care providers but prohibiting foster-care providers from smoking. There is no hypocrisy here. The differences are clear. There are no health hazards to children who are in the care of gay persons. There are well-demonstrated health hazards to children exposed to secondhand smoke.
RICHARD MASUR, MINNEAPOLIS
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I hope the arrest of George Zimmerman serves as a wake-up call for those relying on self-defense legislation in Minnesota. Protect yourself. Drive away. Minnesota law enforcement and prosecutors will yield to political pressure, just as their counterparts did in Florida.
JAMES M. BECKER, LAKEVILLE
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An April 13 letter writer bemoans liberals' use of the word "war" in describing conservatives' war on women. I would counter this partisan complaint by referring to the so-called war on Christmas that is hyped heavily by Fox News every year. At least the war on women exists as a demonstrable series of policies and legislative overreaches attempting to deny or rescind rights to women, whereas Fox's perceived war on Christmas is a ridiculous cobbling together of small-town stories about someone saying "happy holidays" instead of "merry Christmas" in order to suggest that followers of the No. 1 religion in the U.S. are a persecuted group unable to celebrate their No. 1 holiday.
JEFF YOUNG, EAGAN
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