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MARK ERICKSON, Minneapolis
It’s hard to take the outrage seriously
Let’s not get too overwrought by the feigned outrage of European leaders over U.S. spying. Every single one of those countries has espionage agencies like the CIA and NSA. Every single one of them spies on the United States, too. Every one of those countries spies on every other country, friend and foe alike. It’s de rigueur. So, ignore their pompous, self-righteous hypocrisy. Oh, and you can ignore the hypocritical denials by the United States that it’s happening.
KEVIN DRISCOLL, St. Paul
Suspension, now lifted, sent a certain message
George Carlin had seven words you can’t say on television (“Judge says wrestler can rejoin Shakopee team,” Oct. 24). Maybe Shakopee High School should have seven words you can’t text or speak.
Gordon Kelley, Dundas, Minn.
SMOKING, PART TWO
Don’t, for a moment, imply it was ever ‘cool’
I was disappointed by the recent causerie by Seth Stevenson on the misuse of the word “cool” (It’s so not cool when a good word is overused,” Oct. 17). The most unexpected thing was his attempt to associate cigarette smoking with being cool. It is unclear whether he overtly intended to advance the cause of the tobacco industry or was unconsciously joining a dwindling number of smoking proponents. Either way, while failing to coherently define being cool, he clearly reemphasized the definition of being a pawn.
As a thoracic surgeon, I have the unfortunate privilege of operating on victims of the tobacco scourge. Lung cancer continues as the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Smoking remains as the most important risk factor for lung cancer, resulting in about 85 percent of cases. As you can imagine, these statistics do not engender in me a sense of indifferent coolness.
I tell all of my patients, and anyone who will listen, that the best medical decision one can make is to not start smoking and, for those who have started smoking, to quit. The tobacco industry’s only way to continue is for it to recruit new smokers from the ranks of the young and impressionable. This is why Stevenson’s article was so unhelpful.
Dr. STEPHEN CASSIVI, Rochester
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.