I love hearing Ventura's old growl on the radio again, promoting his new book or TV show or whatever it is he's promoting now ("Jesse takes on today's politicians," June 13). I'm not sure what's better: The conspiracy theories, the crazy talk, the Trump-like ego, the "threats" to run for president in 2016, or the delusion that his fame, or what's left of it, is based on his status as a rebel, not self-parody.
KEN DARLING, GOLDEN VALLEY
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Thank you for publishing the interview with Ventura. It's nice to know there is someone out there who actually agrees with me when it comes to what is really going on in American politics. I just wish there were more people out there like me with that same mind-set.
DAN WICHT, FRIDLEY
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Sturdevant was spot on in her analysis of the state of labor unions in this country ("Wisconsin reinforces a trend already in progress," June 10). It seems odd to me that people who cry foul -- attributing criticism of their wealth and overreaching power to the "politics of envy" -- are the very same people who will use it when it is to their advantage. Organized crime infiltrated labor unions when unions were under the heel of big business and organized crime saw the potential market of fairly paid workers to buy their goods and services. Who knows what unholy alliance will form to combat the war being waged on the American middle class by latest generation of big money Wall Street corporate carpetbagger grifters!?
BENJAMIN CHERRYHOMES, HASTINGS
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In response to Katherine Kersten's column ("State poised to enter a legal danger zone," June 10): It's interesting to me that nobody takes into account that the lack of parental guidance in many homes is one of the main reasons for a child's failure to do well in school. I see it every day with the students I come in contact with. It doesn't matter what their ethnicity is. The fact of the matter is that too many parents just don't care, resulting in the learning gap and many other problems we see at school. Busing kids to other schools in an effort to "level the playing field" and all the money in the world are not going to change things. Parents need to do their jobs. When are we going to start holding them accountable?
LAURIE THOMPSON, ANDOVER
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Bonnie Blodgett's column on fascism was the most ridiculous thing you have ever published and is an insult to the millions of people who lie in mass graves because of Stalin and his successors ("Fascism is one word for what we're seeing," June 10). To say that the Soviet Union, as a reward for the millions of lives it spent defeating an enemy, was justified in reducing millions of people to virtual slavery to a totalitarian government is crude and insensitive.
Furthermore, Blodgett shows she knows nothing at all about fascism by defining it as "capitalism without boundaries." A more correct definition of fascism is a system of nationalist authoritarian socialism which directly or indirectly attempts to control all aspects of society. Mussolini allowed corporations to continue to exist but exerted government control over them, bending them to his will.
Blodgett also falsely credits FDR with ending the Great Depression. He did no such thing. In fact, government intervention slowed the recovery by preventing the economy from relocating wealth and jobs away from failing areas.
CONNOR DEPIES, BURNSVILLE
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The underlying attitude of the "marriage is not a priority" mind-set ignores the children ("Middle class trading 'I do' for 'maybe later,'" June 10). The token "I am not against marriage or against men" and the "assembling" of a group of men to "be there" for the child notwithstanding, the focus is clearly on the adult's desire to add parenthood to a string of achievements. Nowhere does the complication of custody and visitation, even with sperm donors, get addressed. And, of course, no mention is made of the clear data that the absence of a father in the home is the most powerful predictor of violence, crime and incarceration, not to mention the correlation with academic failure and poor lifestyle choices. Just because middle-class, educated women are doing it does not make it wise.
ROSS S. OLSON, MINNEAPOLIS
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On one hand, it's great that people (women) are making personal choices and not following a path to marriage out of duty or expectation. On the other hand, I wonder why organizations like Minnesota for Marriage, Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage are not spending time, energy and money trying to strengthen marriage, or make it more appealing. Why are these organizations spending all their resources trying to prevent loving, committed couples from being married? Why don't they address the things that negatively impact marriage, such as unemployment, unstable housing, infidelity, or chronic illness/medical bills? Or maybe they could focus on people who simply don't think marriage is important. Stop trying to legislate against people who want to be married and spend some time trying to strengthen marriage instead. And vote "No" in November.
KIM KLOSE, ST. PAUL
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I read Jim Drennen's lengthy list of Star Tribune headline puns to see if any of them offended me, but no pun in 10 did (Readers Write, June 9). Keep up the good work: I enjoy your punny headlines.
PATRICK DWYER, ELK RIVER
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I object! You recently received a letter telling you to stop the puns. No, please keep them coming. Puns are an art form and I believe they should be continued in your headlines. Without puns, how will I know what the article is about? Puns sum up the article and tell me what I will likely find if I continue reading. Forget bylines. Puns are where it is at. Who doesn't love an "Oh! I get it!" moment when they read the paper? If you don't love that, switch to the Wall Street Journal or something equally as boring.
GENEVIEVE BETTIN, MINNEAPOLIS
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A figure given in a June 10 commentary about educational-adequacy lawsuits was inadvertently truncated. Colorado's governor has said that litigation may result in up to $17billion in capital improvements to schools in that state.