Readers Write: (July 26): The environment, Affordable Care Act rulings, Vikings stadium and birds

  • Updated: July 25, 2014 - 6:49 PM

Few bees and flowers, a likely result of our decisions.


A roadside wildflower in the Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area.

Photo: Chris Welsch • Star Tribune file,

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I know, I know. With all of the problems in the world, why write about the lack of flowers along the highways of Minnesota? We can’t save everyone in the world, but what about just us here in the United States? I just completed an MS ride across Minnesota, from Pipestone to Welch Village. What struck me was the lack of bees and flowers along the highways. The combination shows that there are unintended consequences to genetically modified seeds. These seeds have coated insecticides and herbicides which, when dried, get blown away, infecting the surrounding vegetation. If this were changed, the environment would eventually correct itself. But “eventually” can be a very long time, especially when there currently is no prospect of legislative action.

This is not a tirade against genetically modified seeds, but a hope that we become less quick to condemn those wanting to spend sufficient time analyzing the ramifications of actions companies want to introduce, such as that taking place with the potential extraction industries in northern Minnesota.

Tom Saylor, Minneapolis


Majority hates it, and Democrats to blame

The Star Tribune Editorial Board is upset that an appellate court upheld the law as contained in the 2,000-page Affordable Care Act (“2 judges, 6 words and millions at risk,” July 25). First, we need to be a nation that respects the law. If not, we will have the chaos seen in many countries. Second, Congress should not pass 2,000-page laws because “we have to pass it to find out what is in it,” as Nancy Pelosi, then speaker of the House, famously said. Well, we have now found another provision in it, and the courts need to uphold the law as passed, not as some people wish it were written.

Chris Schonning, Andover

• • •

The Editorial Board failed to include one pertinent point: Its view is in the minority regarding efficacy of the national health care law. Poll after poll, regardless of the polling entity, shows that the majority of Americans are against the law. The latest Real Clear Politics average is 40 percent in favor, 55 percent against. Not even close. Court rulings should not be influenced by politics, but the editorial should have included or at least acknowledged the above statistic.

Mike Touhey, Le Sueur, Minn.

• • •

The editorial really hammered the Republicans. And, yes, they deserve criticism. However, the Editorial Board gave Democrats a pass, and this mess started with them. They legislated with arrogance (remember President Obama’s reply to Republican criticisms? He replied, “I won.”) and irresponsibility (Pelosi’s infamous quote).

Finally, Democrats worked hard to pass this without a single Republican vote, even changing the rules of the Senate to do so. Legislation this major needs to be bipartisan. If Democrats had reached out then, there would be a better chance at a bipartisan fix for this mess now. (The Republicans were not obstructing then; they couldn’t do so, and would not have wanted to because Obama was so popular. Rather, they were ignored, as were some of their good policy concepts.)

The editorial should have been more balanced.

Keith Rose, Champlin

• • •

U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen admirably calls for immediate approval by the FDA of the vaccine that will prevent needless death and disability from meningitis B (“How many more students have to die?” July 25). This is, as the article says, a “no-brainer.” Though many of his Republican colleagues would denounce him, I hope that he will be equally insistent on a legislative fix to the clerical omission in the Affordable Care Act. This is also a “no-brainer.” It would remove the threat of thousands of untreated illnesses and untimely deaths among those who could lose health insurance by the decision of a literalist court.

Paul Peterson, Northfield


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