His wife was a real person; he is a façade ("Edwards owns up to 'sins' after mistrial is declared," June 1). But the prosecutors are the real idiots. If two benefactors had given John Edwards money for a new roof, pool and tennis court, no one would have thought for a second that he had violated campaign finance laws. The head of the Federal Election Commission was prepared to testify that the money was not a campaign contribution. And the jury agreed with that thought. The judge was not much smarter than the prosecutors when he decided to let in a ton of salacious testimony having nothing to do with the alleged crime. I bet the jury was offended by that, because the instructions they got had nothing to do with infidelity. Edwards stands as a tragic figure who plummeted from the mountaintop to the bottom of the garbage dump, and he will live with the impact of his folly.
RICHARD BREITMAN, MINNEAPOLIS
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Reading about the fire at the Walker Community United Methodist Church, I was inspired by how that building brought together so many different groups of people and how it was a place where demonstrations and gatherings of activist groups took place ("What we have before us is a new journey," May 29). This place embodies what I believe America to be, a place where all people can come together as one and pursue their dreams. I hope this community acts as an example for all Americans and is able to stay alive even though its gathering place is gone.
EMILY HOLDAHL, EDEN PRAIRIE
I'm a south Minneapolis parent and supporter of Washburn High School principal Carol Markham-Cousins ("Washburn High: In serving all, does it sacrifice some?" March 15). I have watched her over the last five years as she has endlessly given her heart and soul to all students. She will be there to help the few students at Washburn who may not graduate this year. These seniors have overcome odds in their daily lives that I cannot even imagine. Needing to prioritize shelter, food and horrific family situations sometimes took priority over getting to school. She is a hero.
LORA STEGE KOPPEL, MINNEAPOLIS
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To those running for the presidency: The voting public would like to know how you would approach the serious problems the country faces at home and aboard. Instead, all we hear is what's wrong with your opponents. It's easy to criticize, harder to have the courage to present your own ideas. It's interesting to me that those in the sciences -- though having diverse ideas, religions and nationalities -- manage to work together, sharing ideas and thus solving difficult problems. That's something that appears to be impossible in politics. Cooperating and combining brings out the best ideas from each, thus benefiting all. Disagree, yes, but look honestly at the ideas from both sides, pick the best from each, and get something done.
RUTH HALVERSON, ST. LOUIS PARK
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Our government was founded "of, by and for the people." This does not mean we should run the country as a business, a political-action committee or by signed pledges to do the will of a few. We need to work together to do what is fair, right and just to move this country forward. We have been hoodwinked into thinking we need to hate our government, our government officials (especially the president) and anything that has to do with the "good of the people." For the "good of the people," let's shake off this hatred and get to work changing attitudes in our homes, communities and state.
MARY DOSAN, EVELETH, MINN.
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The Star Tribune has published a series of articles trying to sway public confidence in the state's two-tiered day care system ("Lack of child-care records puts kids at risk," May 30). We have become a society that seems to think that personal responsibility should be shifted to the government for everything. Selecting a day care is a choice parents make; they should take it seriously and not just rely on some public website or on inspections by the state or county. Ask for references, talk to other parents, etc. You are your child's best inspector. If you are a parent who drops off your kid without going in and talking to your provider, then you are not doing your job. We don't need unions, more regulation or more websites to make day care better. We need parents to stop shirking their responsibility and put the time and effort into knowing who is watching their children.
DAVID ANDERSON, LONSDALE, MINN.
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Unlike David Rask Behling, I love dealing with Amazon and will continue to do so. It has the best customer service of any company I have dealt with, bar none ("My dearest Amazon, our divorce is final," May 30). You can immediately be connected to a "live" person, who's helpful and takes care of your problem. You don't have to wait through a seemingly never-ending series of pushing number after number on your phone. You don't end up speaking with someone from another country whom you can't understand. And your problem is always handled with efficiency, knowledge and friendliness. As long as I can deal with a company that prides itself on customer service, I will. Perhaps other companies should take a lesson from Amazon.
LINDA DALEY, BLOOMINGTON
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The Star Tribune Editorial Board is upset because the U.S. Postal Service is competing for ad revenue ("USPS delivers blow to fair competition," May 29). The editorial decries the situation without saying one word about the reason that the Post Office is so desperate for money. It's because the Republican-controlled Congress passed a law designed to drive it out of business. Perhaps if the newspaper backed a repeal of the requirement that the Post Office fund its pensions 75 years into the future, the problem would go away.
DAVID M. PERLMAN, NEW HOPE