I am a male who likes females. Like most males, when I see an attractive female, my pupils expand. This is not something caused by volition. I did not wake up one morning and decide, "Gee, today I think I will like girls." My sexual preference was given to me through a mishmash of heredity and environment. I really don't have a choice in the matter.
Others have a different sexual identity. It is not something decided upon reflection. Their sexual orientation was given to them. This country was founded on the principle that all people should be treated equally, as long as their interests do not interfere with anyone else's interests. What someone does in the privacy of his or her bedroom has no influence on me. And it shouldn't on anyone else. If a same-sex couple falls in love and wants to have a committed and meaningful lifelong relationship, what does that have to do with me? It does not diminish society to give the same civil rights to same-sex couples as we do to heterosexual couples. With the divorce rate of heterosexual couples hovering over 50 percent, we should know that by now.
JERRY LEPPART, EDEN PRAIRIE
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After reading Jason Lewis' recent commentary about "conservative" values, it appears that he needs a little history lesson ("The Republican Party finds its soul?" May 27). The founding fathers did not oppose taxation, as many conservatives claim; they were against taxation without representation. Republicans focus on creating voter ID laws designed to disenfranchise those who don't vote for them while also opposing nearly every major civil-rights legislation in the past century. It's clear to me that the Republican Party does not support the ideal of representation for everyone that the founding fathers fought and died for.
PATRICK FREESE, ST. LOUIS PARK
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Thank you for printing Stephen Young's cogent and articulate analysis of our political conundrum ("Survival of the fittest: The evolution of an idea," May 27). We are well into the second depression brought on by this coupling of Wall Street anarchists and religious chauvinists. It's long past time we quit kidding ourselves. The radicals are the Federalist Society members of our U.S. Supreme Court, not the people who have paid into our Social Security system for more than 40 years. The irresponsible entitlements are those given to the billionaires, not the pittance paid those crippled from overwork and toxic waste dumps. We argue about "God, guns and abortion" forever and a day. The overly wealthy tell us, "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!" Sooner or later, even the Wizard of Oz couldn't fool everyone all the time.
DAVE PORTER, MINNEAPOLIS
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Young's article is a contrivance of facts meant to mislead and ridicule. As a follower of Ron Paul for more than a decade, I found it offensive. While what it says about social Darwinism is academically correct, it has nothing to do with either today's Republican Party or the Ron Paul movement. There is nothing small-government about today's GOP. It is composed of just as big a group of panderers as the Democratic Party is.
Paul is for smaller government, against uncontrolled defense spending and against allowing the Federal Reserve the ability to stick the government's hand into everyone's pocket. He's hardly a social Darwinist.
ART SMITH, EDINA
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I worked in a milk plant in India for 17 years. We used to tell the public to boil the milk before drinking, so I agree with the concerns raised about raw milk in a recent Star Tribune article ("Raw milk, and raw emotion, go to court," May 20). I also urge people to make sure the food they are buying in stores hasn't expired. Always check the expiration date to avoid any further health complications.
MOHAN KHANNA, LINO LAKES
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Like so many others, I'm heartsick and outraged with the savage cruelty of the Bashar Assad regime in Syria. I'm equally frustrated by the inability of the world community to effect a political solution to the situation. Maybe we ought to change the focus from politics to morality. In my imagination, I wonder if anything would happen if Pope Benedict and the Dalai Lama made a trip to Damascus to plead on behalf of the human community. If they aren't enough, maybe Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi could go with them.
JOE MCHUGH, St. Paul
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Syria's president has been murdering its people for at least 13 months. He has supported terrorists and trained them, too. All people need their freedom and rights. America needs to be a role model for the world and do something to stop the bloodshed.
GLENN MILLER, LAKEVILLE
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The so-called stadium action demonstrates two lost battles in the fight for reclaiming democracy. One is the handing over of our money to the owners, the 1 percent. The second is the betrayal of our leaders to govern for the common good.
The supposed jobs created by this action will multiply the debts we stack up for our children. It's one thing to enact projects and policies that are against your own interests, but it is or should be criminal to impose destruction on all of us. That's socialism for the rich and powerful.
SUZANNE LONG, ST. PAUL