Readers Write: (July 27): Immigration and crime, Medigap, today's rhetoric, Boundary Waters, Carnegie Hall

  • Updated: July 25, 2014 - 7:17 PM

That has to be the explanation. Any other excuse is stilted and stupid.

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Omar Kalmio had a criminal record but was not deported.

Photo: Flint McColgan • Minot Daily News,

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Every few days one reads a story that demonstrates that bureaucratic thinking has taken over this or that process, and that as a result untoward events have occurred.

But the July 20 article documenting that the Immigration and Custom Enforcement agency has allowed brutal murderers and rapists back into the public because their “home” country refuses to repatriate them (“Without a country, offenders go free”) is imaginable only in a country that has lost its bearings and decency. This can’t reflect constitutional issues as claimed — our constitution does not ask we act so phenomenally stupidly and without regard for the public’s safety.

Anyone involved with allowing this to occur — from the court sophists who “reasoned” their way to such drivel, to the ICE (which has attempted to fly under the radar), to our complacent elected representatives — ought to forever be ashamed.

As portrayed, this is a prime example of extreme incompetence.

Paul Bearmon, Edina

MEDIGAP

It’s easy if you know where to look. Here …

I was incredulous at the disservice Mike Meyers’ commentary on Medigap plans was to the population of folks making decisions about Medicare and supplemental insurance (“And the icing on the cake?” July 20). I will admit that resources to figure out options and make choices are not obvious, but with a little digging you can learn of some great nonprofit support services.

I’m a firm believer that we can educate ourselves, whether we are computer-literate or not. Two years ago, I was about to turn 65 and experienced the deluge of mail and phone calls and felt similarly overwhelmed. But I also learned of the Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging, which offers help by phone through the Senior LinkAge Line (1-800-333-2433) available to Minnesota residents. Also available is one-on-one counseling through community outreach. I met with a volunteer counselor at the Southdale Library and I learned that there are two types of Medigap — Advantage and Cost — and what they meant.

After deciding which was for me, I made calls to three providers armed with a list of questions. I chose which company to go with based on the quality of those calls and have not regretted my decision. There’s nothing wrong with buying from an insurance agent, but it is a shame to put yourself solely in an agent’s hands.

Suzy Hillard, Minneapolis

• • •

Go to the source, which is www.medicare.gov, and get all your information laid out in a clear, understandable way. Notice that this is a “dot-gov” site, not a “dot-com” site. Click first on the tab “Supplements & Other Insurance.” On the page that loads, click on the side tab labeled “Find a Medigap policy.” Next, enter your ZIP code. All the information about all the available policies from all of the providers are laid out and compared with one another in such a clear fashion that it will take you only an hour or so to decide which is the best for you. Toward the end of each year, you can go back to this site and decide again whether to renew your policy or choose a different one.

And for people who are deciding between real Medicare or the for-profit alternative called Medicare Advantage, go to the same medicare.gov site to get information about the policies and costs. Medicare B, which is the part of Medicare that covers drug costs, is also clearly laid out at this site.

Billie Reaney, St. Joseph, Minn.

 

TODAY’S RHETORIC

Plenty of arrows still being slung

With all due respect to D.J. Tice (“Today’s rhetoric? A pillow fight,” July 20), he is wrong, wrong, wrong!

Tice assumes that most people get their news through the polite media of newspapers, television and radio — nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, people shape their opinions based on the snarky snipings of the gossip grapevine, Internet blogs, AM radio flamethrowers or satirical news programming. I will concede his point that we do not have anyone yet who can match the journalistic pugilistic rhetoric of an H.L. Mencken, but it’s certainly not for lack of trying.

And how long do you think Mencken would stay gainfully employed as a journalist today when newspapers have become entertainment tabloids instead of making news events intelligible to their readership? (About a New York minute!) I will leave you with some Mencken chestnuts and let you decide if there is anyone around today who can fill the breach:

• Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.

• Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.

• For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.

• In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.

Benjamin Cherryhomes, Hastings

 

BOUNDARY WATERS

Just remember what columnist didn’t

Dennis Anderson should check the rules before his next trip into the Boundary Waters. The National Forest Service says: “The maximum group size in the BWCA is nine people and four watercraft. You may not exceed either limit at any time or at any place in the BWCA, including portages, campsites, or waterways.” In his July 20 column (“Heavenly moments”), Anderson lists 10 people in his group traveling from East Bearskin into Moon Lake.

David Carpenter, Minneapolis

 

CARNEGIE HALL

How do you get there? Pay up — it’s that easy

For years, scientists have argued as to whether practice or native talent plays a more important role in the development of elite performance. The July 20 article “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Talent” reported that contrary to the previous view that practice accounted for 80 percent of elite performance, a recent comprehensive literature review shows that practice time only explains 20 to 25 percent.

While this talent/practice debate will likely continue, the answer to the question of how best to get to Carnegie, or even to our own Orchestra Hall, is neither practice nor talent. The answer is “rent it.” Renting can save a lot of the time, energy, frustration, years of practice and even the need for native talent. I can attest, personally having played Orchestra Hall.

Carnegie Hall has been available for rent from its opening in 1891. For about $17,000, you, too, can have it.

Les Block, Minneapolis

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