Readers Write (March 25): Political vision, foie gras, safe driving, mail

  • Updated: March 24, 2013 - 5:51 PM

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Politics and vision

Why do we no longer think on a grand scale?

Recent politics reminds me of a visit to the Art Institute of Chicago. Wandering galleries filled with Monet, Rembrandt and Rodin left me with a sense of awe. One particular gallery, with Hubert Robert’s “The Fountains,” has stuck with me. These paintings stretch from floor to ceiling, giving a sense of grand scale.

This grand scale is what reminds me of how small today’s politics have become.

At one time, our politics pushed the country to do things on a grand scale. Politics got us the Hoover Dam and the interstate highway system, and even landed a man on the moon. Today our politics lacks the imagination needed to move our country forward. From crumbling roads to infant mortality (we rank 18th in the world), our politics fails.

We know what the problems are; we know how to fix them, and we have the resources to do so. But for some reason, today’s politics sees only failure. Our politics have become so impudent that we are left to live amid the ruins of our former greatness.

Looking at “The Fountains,” one sees people amid the ruins of Rome’s former greatness. We can learn from these larger-than-life works of art. Let’s not allow today’s small politics to make our future just another historical point depicted on some grand painting.

Bryan Haugen, Mayer, Minn.

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It’s simply wrong to celebrate it

Rick Nelson’s rave review of Borough (“Foie gras and ice cream? Oh, yeah,” March 21) will no doubt entice many to try this new restaurant. Sadly, Borough does indeed serve foie gras (literally, “fatty liver”). The Borough chefs and Christian Gasset, owner of Au Bon Canard, the farm from which they buy foie gras, will no doubt defend themselves by touting how “humanely” the birds are raised.

While it is true that Au Bon Canard is not a factory farm that air-pumps vast amounts of feed down the goose’s throat, Gasset still practices gavage, or force-feeding. Twice a day he forces back the bird’s head, inserts an 8-inch funnel down its throat and pours nearly a pound of food down its esophagus. It “only” takes seven seconds per animal. How many seconds could Gasset or any other human stand this twice a day?

Seriously, if you have an ounce of compassion for other living beings, you will not support the buying, selling and eating of foie gras that is fattened using gavage — much less glorify it as a culinary delicacy.

Kristin Heiberg, Minneapolis

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