Readers Write (June 20): Medtronic, Iraq, team nicknames, Green Line travel, social media

  • Updated: June 19, 2014 - 6:09 PM

Corporate taxes help fund the infrastructure firms need to thrive.

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I realize that our business tax code is far too complex to address in a simple letter, and I too would agree that it needs to be reformed (editorial, June 20). However, one thing is easy to understand: Our nation and state need money to fund our infrastructure, which results in educated workers, an efficient transportation system and courts to protect intellectual property.

When Medtronic and companies like it move their executive headquarters overseas to shed part of their tax burden (“Medtronic buys Irish firm for $42.9B,” June 16), while keeping their operational headquarters here, it falls on the rest of us to pay more for the infrastructure they use to exist and thrive in.

I hope that such companies do not feel patriotic; otherwise, they might have problems sleeping at night. I wonder if Medtronic will celebrate July 4 at its new executive headquarters in Ireland? The main national holiday there is St. Patrick’s Day. Coincidentally, it is also known as a day of obligation. If that proves to be too much, maybe Medtronic can find a new location that does not put so much pressure on it.

Marc Doepner-Hove, Mound

Iraq

If only … we finished the job the first time

As Sen. John McCain and a letter writer aver (Readers Write, June 19), the current troubles in Iraq are because of a misguided departure of the United States, which should have left troops in place there. It would seem then that after the Gulf War, we should have finished the job by ousting Saddam Hussein and kept a military presence in Iraq when we had a broad coalition of Western and Middle East allies, who not only fought alongside the United States but shared the war’s expense with us.

Jim Waldo, Duluth

• • •

In a June 19 letter, a reader laments that “In Iraq and Afghanistan, we left before the institutions were in place to assure continued order.” Although I do not disagree with the writer, he forgets one key point: Both Iraq and Afghanistan asked us to leave.

Thomas Trampf, Minneapolis

• • •

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is harshly critical of President Obama’s handling of the Iraq situation. Isn’t that like the arsonist who blames the fire department for taking so long to put out the fire?

David Sanford, Minneapolis

 

NICKNAMES

A pair of suggestions for the D.C. NFL team

“The Washington Pigskins.” After a nanosecond of assumed negativity upon hearing that, one realizes: Oh yeah, a pigskin is a football. Change the team name to the Pigskins and fans can still refer to them as the Skins (“Feds cancel Redskins’ trademark on name,” June 19). Your most famous fans call themselves the “Hogs” and have dressed up like Miss Piggy for decades. One would assume they could roll with such a change. Your new logo, a football depicting any trait you want your team to engender, would be a marketing bonanza. There you go: a new name, two reasons why it pertains to only you … and a chance to make a bundle.

Tom Meneely, Arco, Minn.

• • •

In honor of those who still don’t appreciate why Washington’s NFL team name is so offensive, I think it should be changed to the “Washington Rednecks.”

Paul Oman, Brooklyn Center

 

DOWNTOWN TO DOWNTOWN

Light-rail ride isn’t just about the speed

Jonathan F. Mack’s June 18 commentary (“The 18-minute transit gap”) completely misses the point of urban rail transit. It’s not designed to outrace an express bus between downtowns, but to move large numbers of people through dense areas with multiple destinations en route. (Try to imagine an express bus whizzing through lower Manhattan and you get the idea.) Now, a hardened ideologue hears this and says it’s “telling people where to live,” but lately government policy has been following market demand for density, not the other way around.

It’s kind of amazing to read, in 2014, reheated predictions from 10 years ago about empty trains and a regretful public, as if the ultimate victory of car-dependent infrastructure will happen naturally and cheaply if only the transit busybodies would get out of the way. Recent experience with gas prices, the exurban housing collapse and $700 million bridges to Wisconsin has taught us otherwise. And when we get the bill for replacing our baby-boom-era bridge and highway system, it’ll dwarf a few light rail lines.

Paul Chillman, Richfield

• • •

The article comparing commute times between downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis failed to capture several decision factors that many of us consider on a daily basis. While speed certainly does come into play for some, for others there is tangible value in being able to use that commute time for texting, viewing e-mails, checking news updates on a smartphone or simply reading a book (train or bus win out); for getting exercise (bicycle), or for avoiding the stress associated with highway traffic or finding limited parking (train, bus, or bicycle). While it is a decision point, speed is not the sole factor in how one chooses to travel from Point A to Point B.

Glenn Miller, Minneapolis

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

Watch for the fallout from student’s lawsuit

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Reid Sagehorn’s family has filed a lawsuit relative to the overreactive school authorities at Rogers High School, and the same at the local police department (“Student sues district over fallout from online post,” June 18). This was a sad case of knee-jerk reaction by all parties involved.

As we watched this situation evolve, I couldn’t help but think that the authorities lacked maturity, wisdom and discernment in handling this case. Sagehorn and his family have paid the price in a personal big way.

It is now time for the authorities to pay the price for their over-the-top actions in this matter. I can only hope that his family will win its civil-liberties lawsuit and that heads will roll at Rogers High School and the Police Department for their imprudence in this matter.

Jon McCollum, Plymouth

• • •

Ah, the foibles of youth compounded by the advent of social media in all its forms. What will it take for all who use these media to realize that anything posted is open to public scrutiny, different interpretation and leaping to conclusions other that what the writer intended? It seems to be happening more and more frequently, and it surprises me that so many are still so naive (dare I say stupid?) as to not consider just what they are saying and what might result from that.

Margaret DeHarpporte, Eden Prairie

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