Readers Write (June 14): Green Line, Amtrak, Iraq, guns in stores, Minnesota Orchestra, summer

  • Updated: June 13, 2014 - 6:00 PM

Let’s stick to historic labels like “Hiawatha” and “Humphrey” for our planes and trains.

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A day in the life:  Woman connects from Green Line to Blue Line, delayed upon arrival at Terminal 1 and misses flight at Terminal 2. Why in the name of historical awareness can we not give billion-dollar public infrastructure investments names that actually mean something and give the public some idea what it is? Make the words “Hiawatha Line” big blue letters. And the “Capitol Line” big green letters. And the eventual “Minnetonka Line” red or whatever else. Our Chicago neighbors get the Eisenhower, the Stevenson, the Dan Ryan. We get number and colors. Give us a little credit. Oh, and I also liked that “Lindbergh” and “Humphrey” terminal naming, too.

Keith Aummers, Wayzata

• • •

In the old days, one could set one’s watch by the train’s arrival; today, one cannot even set one’s calendar. Thus, all the glowing statements about a renaissance for downtown St. Paul with the relocation of the Amtrak station and the construction of light rail might have a much higher chance of happening if the St. Paul mayor would press Amtrak to rectify its abysmal, internationally embarrassingly poor performance. I love train travel, but I’ve given it up because I can no longer rely on it to get me to my destination in a timely manner.

Louis Lavoie, Plymouth

IRAQ

Middle East debacle: It’s complicated

The Obama administration has put itself squarely between a rock and hard place. On the one hand, we are supporting insurgents who are trying to overthrow Bashar Assad in Syria, recently indicating we may provide arms. On the other hand, we are considering action against insurgents in Iraq, who are challenging the existing Iraqi regime. Such support may include airstrikes. Interestingly, the insurgent group in Syria — whom we support — and the insurgent group in Iraq — whom we oppose — are affiliated. Moreover, Iran has indicated it would like to work with us in protecting the Iraqi regime, but at the same time it is supporting Assad, whom we oppose. (It is also trying to develop the means to produce nuclear bombs — comforting.) Finally, Israel’s continued existence (our best ally in the region and the most democratic country) is opposed by Syria, both insurgent groups, Iran and Iraq. Did I forget to mention that the Obama administration supported the overthrow of Mubarak in Egypt in favor of Morsi, who has since been ousted by the military, and that diplomats died in Libya? With Obama’s foreign policy record in the Middle East, I fear his legacy may rival that of Nero, who “fiddled while Rome burned.”

Casey Whelan, Maple Grove

• • •

We lost the war in Iraq, and everybody knows it. Two presidents lying to us about it doesn’t change a thing. The countless sacrifices of American lives and body parts makes this hard to hear, but no less true. When you start a war on false pretenses and fail to ever establish agreement on what winning would look like, maybe losing is inevitable.

John K. Trepp, Minneapolis

 

GUNS IN STORES

Think about what goes into this choice

Star Tribune staff writer James Lileks’ column on June 13 (“Staying out of the bull’s-eye: Packing heat at Target”) focuses on potential reasons why someone would choose to bring a weapon such as a rifle into a Target store in Texas.

I’m offering a similar perspective, but I’m focusing on the decision before entering the store with the weapon, in this case, a rifle. I’m assuming most people who shop at Target stores in Texas drive to the store in a vehicle. Then the person, who chooses to carry a rifle, has to make a conscious decision to bring it into the store with them. As they’re exiting their vehicle, they have to reach for the rifle, similar to reaching for a cellphone or a purse that they anticipate they’ll need while in the store.

The conscious decision comes into play; otherwise, why would someone choose to lug something as large and heavy as a rifle unless there was a real, perceived need to carry it? Do they truly perceive a need to have a rifle with them while negotiating the aisles of the Target store? Of course not, but they sure must perceive a duty to send a message.

Patrick Bloomfield, Chisholm, Minn.

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