Readers Write (June 12): Trayvon Martin, NSA, Burger King hero

  • Updated: June 11, 2013 - 7:20 PM
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TRAYVON MARTIN

A distorted picture in defense of the shooter

Wonderful that you found a former state and federal prosecutor from Philadelphia, so far north of Florida, who nonetheless knows just what happened the night George Zimmerman shot an unarmed Trayvon Martin to death (“The Trayvon Martin case, take two,” June 10.)

Commentary writer George Parry is also quite the lawyer, creating a “cowardly” prosecutor’s cartoon of Zimmerman (as crazed murderer), in order to make it seem silly that Zimmerman could actually have been at fault in the case, which has not yet gone to trial.

Parry’s bold conclusion? That Zimmerman did shoot Martin, but was so innocent, that only “media-spawned hysteria” could have brought him to trial. Poor gun-toting Zimmerman, whom Parry concludes is the victim of a “lynch-mob frenzy.” Not a word in the article about the unarmed young black man who ended up dead because Zimmerman shot him.

Frieda Gardner, Minneapolis

• • •

Congratulations, Star Tribune. You have figured out how to turn a stalker who attacks someone into the victim. If a strange man followed a woman in his car, got out to chase and accost her, and then shot her when she fought back, no one would think twice about considering it murder. But when a man does that to a young black man in a hoodie, somehow his actions magically become self-defense rather than violent aggression. Bravo, Star Tribune. Bravo.

Nate Swenson, Minneapolis

* * *

NSA WHISTLEBLOWER

He broke his pledge to the American people

Edward Snowden is controversial and big news. More of us support the NSA’s activities than oppose them, but Snowden took it upon himself to reveal secrets he swore to protect as a condition of his employment. He thereby put Americans and others at risk. He followed this by leaving the country and seeking asylum in Hong Kong to avoid prosecution and probably severe penalties. He has many supporters, including Ron Paul.

Other supporters, no surprise, include fellow abusers of security clearances, typically in hiding in other countries. All seem to share Snowden’s arrogance and narcissism. One observer concludes that Snowden was not properly vetted. This seems incontrovertible. How was his top secret clearance established? He should have been given personality tests and given a background investigation, at a minimum. And he was making $200,000. Not bad for a man without a high school diploma.

Rodney E. Johnson, Minneapolis

• • •

It seems odd to me that a recent letter writer advocated on behalf of government agencies that sift huge volumes of data generated by U.S. citizens who have done absolutely nothing wrong on the off chance that they will uncover a nugget of useful information regarding terrorism. Benjamin Franklin states the case far better than can I: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Brad Dimond, Richfield

• • •

NSA? PRISM? Every devil everywhere smiles the broadest of smiles every time he hears an American say, “I have nothing to hide.”

William Hunter Duncan, Minneapolis

• • •

It seems irrational to criticize the government for its failure to “connect the dots” before 9/11, and 12 years later criticize the government for making an effort to do so.

Americo Del Calzo, Minneapolis

* * *

Saving the Day

Together, we can make the world a better place

I met a hero at a Burger King.

In the parking lot, unknown to me, I had a flat tire. The man came out of the restaurant, pointed out my problem and proceeded to open the trunk of my car, took out the tools and the spare tire, got down on his hands and knees, and changed my tire. It was hard work.

He would not accept any money. “Just your prayers,” he said.

How much to learn from that man. What a great world we would have if this were our mantra: Pass it on.

Arlene Baker, Minneapolis

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