Readers Write: (Aug. 15): Minneapolis police, Detroit finances, energy and power, drug enforcement, strip clubs

  • Updated: August 14, 2013 - 6:43 PM
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MINNEAPOLIS POLICE

Stop questioning the good work they do

Minneapolis police statistics show that more “action” occurs downtown and on the North Side, so why not concentrate on those areas?

When did it become “profiling” when a higher police presence in certain areas is justified by statistics indicating a higher level of criminal activity?

The media need to quit being self-serving and starting fires where there are none. Yes, deal with those few overzealous officers, just as we do with doctors, lawyers, politicians and all others, but do not paint the majority of officers who serve our cities with the “profiling” label that has become popular as of late.

TY YASUKAWA, Burnsville

• • •

The Aug. 14 headline “Downtown, North Side cop stops jump” initially prompted the image of one of Minneapolis’ Finest wrestling a suicidal person off a railing of the Hennepin Avenue Bridge. Instead, it was the same old drumbeat from the Star Tribune — maligning the MPD for doing good police work. Its amazing that the hands-off policies being touted today are never linked to that sad reality known as the city of Detroit.

JOHN N. ROUNER, St. Louis Park

 

The writer is a retired Minneapolis police sergeant.

• • •

SPEAKING OF DETROIT

Right wing gets its wish; this is an omen

Detroit is the largest city in the country to have filed for bankruptcy, even as it is paying $240 million toward a new sports facility. It, therefore, becomes the poster child of “corporatocracy” in America.

For decades now, probably longer, right-wing elements in this country and elsewhere around the world have relentlessly and inexorably been working to destroy government and what it represents — the public sector.

Detroit will be forced to privatize public services and institutions — utilities, schools, police and fire, museums and all those thousands of services performed loyally by dedicated public servants.

This is the conservative right-wing dream — everything owned and controlled by business and corporate monopolies — everything for profit only. The public sector, the public good, the common welfare will all become vestiges of a long-dead past.

STEVEN BOYER, St. Paul

• • •

SPEAKING OF PLUTOCRACY

Money leads energy’s wrong-way charge

Two items in the Aug. 14 A section — a news story, “Big bets on coal, despite the risks,” and a full-page ad supporting the Keystone XL pipeline taken out by the American Petroleum Institute — together constitute a naked display of the power of big money over survival sense.

The climate science is beyond debate: Human-generated CO2 emissions are endangering our environment. We already have more carbon-generating fossil fuel than we can safely consume. Are we really this determined to fry ourselves — and future generations — off the planet?

THOMAS R. SMITH, River Falls, Wis.

• • •

DRUG ENFORCEMENT

Holder makes sense; letter selection doesn’t

The Star Tribune continually fails to help advance intelligent, nuanced and factual discussion on its opinion pages. The publication of the Aug. 14 letter “The law’s the law, until it’s changed” is the latest example.

The letter writer oversimplifies Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision on drug enforcement in an attempt, I presume, to disingenuously frame it as either illegal or unethical. Why? Presumably, from the tone of the remainder of the letter, because he doesn’t like or agree with the Obama administration.

Holder’s decision is both constitutional and broadly supported in Congress. The memorandum that he delivered to federal prosecutors simply changes how charges are filed. By omitting the weight of drugs involved, those charged will not automatically fall under federal jurisdiction and thus mandatory-minimum sentencing laws. But they still may if the prosecutor and judges believe the circumstances of the offense merit such inclusion.

RYAN GAU, Minneapolis

• • •

STRIP CLUBS

Leave them off the list of celebrated locales

In “North Loop Rising” (Variety, Aug. 9), the Déjà Vu strip club is listed under establishments deemed “time tested,” as “the still-pimpled 18-year-olds’ preferred venue for Intro to Lap Dance.” Commercial sexual exploitation of often-underage females is tried and true? Innocent fun?

I know women who were trapped in that life, forcibly taken out of state and away from their families and friends so as to become dependent upon the men who then controlled them and their finances by violent means. For these women, stripping was a gateway into being prostituted, where they paid a “stage fee” and worked long hours under humiliating conditions. There are club rules, but dancers constantly need to fend off persistent hands. The environment objectifies women in a horrible way.

I have not heard any of these women and girls say they like it, but a “stripper” can’t make money if she complains on the job. Please stop the perpetuation of this notion of consenting adults in a club atmosphere where no harm is done. Strip club patronage isn’t a rite of passage for young males or the expected norm for disgruntled middle-aged men — it is a demeaning, demoralizing, violent means of control.

JEAN ABBOTT, Lakeville

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