Readers Write (May 7): Orchestra, North Dakota oil, girls' self-image

  • Updated: May 6, 2013 - 7:46 PM

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Musicians ill-served by their strategy

The musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra are like children playing with fire. They have no idea how much damage they might cause in their contract dispute. Nothing in the published bios of the musicians’ leadership indicates the education, experience or other expertise to manage a multimillion-dollar organization.

Amid their red herrings, straw men, ad hominem attacks, motivation-­questioning, demonizing and other fallacious distractions, the musicians’ leaders and their sympathizers have failed to address the core issue: How can the orchestra fulfill its mission in a financially sustainable way? Surely it cannot do so when its expenses exceed its revenues. No amount of rhetorical posturing can wish away that simple fact.

The musicians understandably are frustrated and angry about how they have been affected by the same economic conditions that have cost millions of other Americans their jobs and income. Unfortunately, it appears that their leaders have preyed upon that discontent to foster a mob mentality that is leading the musicians headlong into chaos.

A better strategy would be for the musicians to recognize the substantial interests they have in common with the Minnesota Orchestral Association. A first step would be for the musicians to find leadership that is more sagacious about the core issue and their fundamental goal.

Bill Fruen, Wayzata

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North Dakota field is good for humanity

The May 3 Letter of the Day (“North Dakota oil field’s size is anything but good news”) expressed dismay at the fact that there are those who wish to take advantage of the abundant resources available in the North Dakota oil fields.

While the letter writer came across as a true believer in matters of the environment, could we please bring some common sense into the discussion? Our economy, and growing economies around the world, are driven by fossil fuels and will be for years to come.

The question should be: Which country do we want to monitor, regulate and profit from the exploration? Which country will make sure it occurs in a safe and sensible manner?

Fossil fuels are going to be produced and consumed. The industry can provide much-needed jobs, much-needed tax revenue from the wages and profits, and much-needed independence from our current suppliers.

Most important, however, is that all of the financial rewards of this industry will be funneled through the American free-enterprise system.

If we are as concerned with the health of humanity as much as we are the health of the Earth, then the United States should embrace all the fossil fuel production possible, because nothing in history, ever, has done more to improve the human condition around the world than the American free-enterprise system.

Tim Miller, Lino Lakes

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