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Boycott would not make Russia tolerant
In an Oct. 25 commentary (“U.S. must boycott next Olympics”), Ellen Kennedy cites the potential boycott of the 1936 (Berlin) Olympics as a missed opportunity for the United States to “strengthen international resistance to Nazi tyranny.” In the same way that the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Olympics did not alter the behavior of the Soviet Union, and in the same way the Soviet boycott of the 1984 Olympics did not alter the behavior of the United States, boycotting the 1936 Olympics would not have altered German behavior, nor will boycotting the 2014 Olympics alter antigay behavior in Russia.
JACK KOHLER, Plymouth
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I just talked to a dear old friend visiting from Moscow. She was outspoken in her condemnation of gay marriage. It’s a strange situation for me. I’ve spoken in defense of the Soviet Union and Russia for the past 30 years. I think that my Russian friends are just as wrong about their gay prejudice as any people who fear and hate others because of race, sex, religion … the usual list of human-rights violations.
Most Americans don’t know that Russians are a lot like American conservatives, and that’s not a good thing. The Soviet Union should have been popular with American conservatives, but the wall of lies about communism prevented that truth from being known. Most Americans don’t know that Russians are and always have been religious. I’m not. I call religion the often harmful influence of the “ancient desert people and their books.”
Here is my advice to help Russians. Go to the Sochi Olympics. Treat the Russians with respect by getting over the lying Cold War propaganda. Focus on the true human-rights violation. Gently make news. I’m positive that Russia will reform faster than we did.
ROBERT PERSCHMANN, Chaska
Obama’s policies turn the world against us
If President Obama’s long-term objective was to make us the most-hated country in the world by even our own allies, I think he has achieved his goal (“Europe furious over spy report,” Oct. 25). He may now get nothing but a cold shoulder from our European friends in the remainder of his term, and that already-shaky foreign policy of his may now get little or no support from the rest of the world. I challenge anyone to name a country that is happy with the United States right now.
MARY MCINTOSH LINNIHAN, Minneapolis
Listen to the pros if they say it’s not ready
Speaking as a computer programmer, software designer, systems analyst and IT project manager for many organizations over more than 25 years, I am left shaking my head after the Obamacare rollout in recognition of an occurrence that’s much too common in this field. Many large efforts entrusted to IT are deemed to have an “aggressive schedule” or “condensed timeline” or to be “mission critical” and other categorizations in which the common bottom line is a drop-dead date and cost set by executives for completion and production rollout of critical applications. As evidenced by the Affordable Care Act rollout, sacrificing quality for schedule and budget does not work. When professionals hired and trusted to do the job openly warn that the system isn’t ready to go live, they should be believed.
TAMI LYNN PETTERSON, Minnetonka
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.