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If had a son or daughter at Wesleyan University, I would switch them to basket weaving or anything other than Magna Teter’s world history class. In her Sept. 27 commentary “Those who don’t know history are doomed to misrepresent it” (ironic, eh?), Teter claims that Neville Chamberlain did not use appeasement with Hitler’s Germany. She writes this in response to the comparison by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of allowing Obamacare to happen without taking a stand against it.
Politics aside, the example is spot-on. What amazes me is that a history professor at a prestigious college doesn’t know of Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement in the early days preceding World War II. As prime minister of Britain, he allowed Hitler to goose-step through both Austria and Czechoslovakia. Though (at the insistence of Winston Churchill) he finally declared war on Germany, it was too little, too late, and Poland and France folded like a thin, faulty paper degree in history.
RICHARD GREELIS, Bloomington
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Explaining to do if new offer is rejected
After reading of the Minnesota Orchestra management’s latest offer to the locked-out musicians and the Sept. 30 deadline upon all of us, I think public opinion for a settlement will now swing to management, and the musicians and their representatives had better have really good reasons if they reject this offer.
Of course they’re not going to get everything they want, but to the public, that six-figure salary plus a $20,000 signing bonus places the musicians, rightly or wrongly, in the same class as professional athletes, with their bloated salaries, signing bonuses, performances bonuses and even body weight bonuses. Members of the public may now certainly view the musicians as pulling down incomes far above most of their own.
I hope that Marilyn Carlson Nelson, who is funding the signing bonuses, will proceed to create a new business model for the orchestra based on public-private partnerships for the long term. There could not be a better leader from the private sector, and she needs to get the governor and the Legislature on board with a plan that can be finalized either in a one-day special session — which costs about $25,000 and would help build confidence in the orchestra’s future (read: another reason for Vanska to stay here) — or the next regular session in 2014.
WILLARD B. SHAPIRA, Roseville
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I, too, feel better about paying more
I could not agree more wholeheartedly with the writer of the Sept. 27 Letter of the Day who says he is happy to absorb an increase in postal rates. I actually feel guilty paying so little for so much and will be happy when the new rates are established.
ANN P. BURAN, Minneapolis
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.