Readers Write: (Aug. 8): Corporations and people, Senate race and farms, rule "of” or "by” law, the minimum-wage hike, "The Yard,” judicial races

  • Updated: August 7, 2014 - 7:17 PM

Let me tell you about capital in the 21st century.

I used to get letters from the Personnel Department, then from the Human Resources Department. Now they come from the Human Capital Department. I’ve finally made the transition from person into money, just about the same time that corporations have turned their money into people.

David Leussler, Minneapolis

 

The writer works for the Minneapolis public schools.

FARMFEST FORUM

Several platitudes, but issues unaddressed

I intentionally picked Wednesday of the three-day Farmfest in order to hear the debates of the congressional candidates. I came away very disappointed — not so much in what I heard, but in what I didn’t hear.

I was hoping to hear, from both incumbents and challengers, ideas regarding the swelling national debt and continuing deficit spending. None was given. I was hoping to hear commentary on the changes needed to Obamacare, which is not only wrecking my personal budget with double-digit health insurance premium increases, but about what the cost burden will be to the U.S. Treasury deficit as well. None was given. I was hoping to hear some semblance of a solution to the rail transportation woes that are leaving much grain in the far Upper Midwest unshipped at a time when bins needed to be emptied for the upcoming harvest. None was given. I was looking for answers to getting adequate supplies of propane into Minnesota for this fall’s corn drying season as well as the home and business winter heating season. None was given.

While candidates praised the farmer, looking for votes, Washington leadership has hit us with higher taxes, rising costs for health insurance, plus more and more burdensome regulations. The responsibility for the issues raised in my unanswered questions has to be with our current leaders and representation in Washington. That’s why I am encouraging my friends and neighbors and business associates to spend more time than ever to become highly informed on the candidates and the issues before going to the polls in November.

Mark S. Nowak, Wells, Minn.

 

RULE ‘OF’ OR ‘BY’ LAW

In practice, everything is a product of its times

The distinction between rule “of” law and rule “by” law (“Our nation’s direction turns on a preposition,” Aug. 7) is sometimes made as laws the government serves, deriving from natural morality or divine revelation, vs. laws the government uses, because they are practical or convenient.

Stating that the U.S. Constitution is an example of rule of law and that slavery was the result of rule by law is disingenuous at best, given Article I, Section 2, Clause 3, and Article 1, Section 9, Clause 1 (affirming slavery). By extension, then, what do we make of Amendment XIV, Section 2 (abolishing slavery)?

If the notion of freedom from slavery flows directly from natural morality, then why was it not a widely held common belief in the mid-1800s, and why did it take until the mid-1900s for the right to equal treatment under the law to be codified? Further, given that Raymond Harris (1788), Thornton Stringfellow (1856) and many others used the Bible to defend slavery, what do we make of divine revelation as a source for laws?

It is straightforward: Laws are created by human beings to suit their purposes at the time they are written. To contend otherwise is pure sophistry.

John Ammerman, St. Louis Park

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