With so many learning, thinking and talking about the tragic shooting in Aurora, Colo., it is only natural that once we get past the recovery and communication of basic details, the discourse turns to something larger and supposedly more profound.
We extrapolate from the event to think about what it really means: "What does it tell us about ourselves, our country, our culture, our humanity?"
Many start making proclamations: "This is a symptom of sickness in America!" "This is why we need more gun control!" "This is why we need less gun control!" "This is what happens when kids grow up watching violence on movies and TV!" "This is what a culture of war brings to society!" "This is why we need more intelligence gathering on civilians!"
What scares me most about an event like this is not that it could happen to me, or to those I know and love. What scares me is the dialogue it provokes. What scares me is this extrapolation.
Events like these give power to con artists and cult leaders. These are the events that wound people's souls and leave them vulnerable to someone who can convince them that they have the answers.
I write this only to express my sincere desire that we be careful and skeptical of anyone attempting to hold up a tragedy such as this shooting as a reason for doing anything or thinking anything or passing any laws.
Be mindful. It's after tragedy that our wits are most weary.
CHRISTOPHER MATTHEW JENSEN, RICHFIELD
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What a joke that the city of Los Angeles is going after U.S. Bancorp for neglecting its foreclosure properties. Why isn't the city also suing HUD, whose foreclosure properties are also grossly mismanaged, not inspected properly, neglected and left to rot away because it takes months to get them to market and more time to close once properties are bought?
Oh, wait, that's right -- HUD is exempt from city inspections and other laws the majority of us are subjected to. Fat chance that one of its management companies will even cut the grass. After all, it's just the taxpayers' money that is being used.
MIKE JAKUBIK, RICHFIELD
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As someone who has had to call on the Minneapolis Fire Department on two occasions, I want to commend the members of the department for their work. They do a fantastic job! However, with the city facing huge budget problems, perhaps a combined department of paid and volunteer firefighters would be a more fiscally responsible route to pursue. As retirement occurs, these volunteers could move into paid positions.
My son applied twice to the Minneapolis department, along with hundreds of other applicants vying for three or four open positions, and never even got an interview. He's now a volunteer firefighter/paramedic in Woodbury. Too bad he had to leave the city to fulfill his dream.
ANNE MCGRANE, Minneapolis
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OK, let the corporate, non-crying capitalists do what they want to do to make profits, within reason ("There's no crying in capitalism," July 17). But they use all the assets this country offers to help them make money, and so they're also responsible for how the country is doing
It should go both ways. The financial corporations expected us to dry their tears in 2009. What are they doing to help the economy recover now? Corporations need to pay their fair share of taxes so we can help those people they make cry with layoffs, wages that don't cover basic necessities and workplace injuries, for example.
We shouldn't have to pay the price for the profits they don't pay taxes on because they're in offshore banks, or the tax breaks they get on profits made in other countries using non-U.S. workers.
Corporations have lots of choices. They can choose to change the current prevalent pattern of hanging on to record profits, continuing to squeeze more and more productivity out of their employees, and ignoring the need to create jobs, or support families with reasonable pay and hours.
Looking at long-term profits would serve their shareholders. Changes could help the middle class survive and grow so there are people ready to work for them and buy their products.
GAYE SORENSON, ST. PAUL
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I have a solution to the day-care providers' lack of judgment. Parents, do away with your cabin, three-stall garage, private schooling, fancy dinners, winter vacations and alternate work shifts. No more fancy cars. Shop discount stores and find friends and family to fill in. Plant a garden, use a clothesline, and just suck it up and be there for your children. That's the way it's supposed to be. I know this because I'm a very busy mother and a day-care provider.
LINDA KOLAR, WALKER, MINN.
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The Star Tribune editorial on U.S. strategy to advance our interests at the conclusion of Egypt's power struggle was disturbing ("High U.S. stakes in Egypt's evolution," July 15). The editorial's premise that "America's guideposts must remain our longstanding commitments to democracy, human rights, the rule of law" is gross hypocrisy.
The United States gave money to former strongman Hosni Mubarek for some 35 years. Like other dictators in our pay, he was feted by our presidents when he came to Washington, where no one even suggested that he should hold fair elections. The many billions we gave him over three decades saved his corrupt economy from collapsing and kept him from being overthrown to make room for the possibility of democracy.
In return, Mubarek left our ally, Israel, alone and used our money to buy U.S. weapons that enriched our corporations and enabled him to maintain "stability" by pointing our guns at ordinary Egyptians.
DEAN DEHARPPORTE, EDEN PRAIRIE