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Readers Write (March 16): Bullies, economy, special ed, taxes, guns, immigration, Keystone XL, conclave

  • March 15, 2013 - 7:49 PM

ANTIBULLYING BILL

D.C. columnist doesn’t understand Minnesota

George Will apparently is clueless about what’s been happening in Anoka County (“Watch where you’re pointing that Pop-Tart,” March 10). He seems to think that the state’s antibullying legislation is about 7-year-olds who make their Pop-Tarts into the shape of guns and 5-year-olds with bubble guns. He owes an apology to the parents of children who have died as a result of bullying, and to the Legislature for trivializing this important work.

DAVID M. PERLMAN, New Hope

• • •

They call each other names, pick fights, provoke, intimidate and bully one other constantly. I’m talking about our legislators, who then have the audacity to write antibullying legislation for Minnesota’s schoolchildren. These days, the real children are at the State Capitol, where the motto seems to be, “Do as I say, not as I do.”

DAVID HALSEY, Maple Grove

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U.S. ECONOMY

Obama must be doing a few things right

I must have just awakened from a long winter’s nap. Obviously, Mitt Romney must have won last November’s presidential election. The stock market has already hit an all-time high. The housing recovery is firmly underway. Nearly a million new homes may be built this year. U.S. auto sales in February showed the fourth straight month of seasonally adjusted sales above 15 million vehicles for the first time since 2008. Even the unemployment rate has fallen to the lowest level since December 2008. It’s amazing how fast a strong leader can create jobs can turn our economy around.

DON HABERMAN, Orono

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SPECIAL EDUCATION

Don’t underestimate potential of children

The letter writer who suggests that special education not be offered to “kids who are so disabled they can’t learn” is sadly ignorant (Readers Write, March 10). The vast majority of special education students do learn and, with proper support, become productive members of society. The notion that we’re spending a lot of money in public schools trying to educate the uneducable is false. To get to the root of the problem in funding requires only a brief look at the federal government, home of the unfunded mandate.

JOHN HETTERICK, Plymouth

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STATE TAXES

It’s easy to see where some people come from

You can bet your bottom dollar that the people who oppose increasing taxes on the rich will be the same ones against raising the minimum wage (“Most want tax hike only on wealthy,” March 3).

TIMOTHY J. O’BRIEN, Minneapolis

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GUN OWNERS

Keep weapons, but work against violence

I wish that gun owners would help lead America to a safer future. But first some will have to face their fears that the government wants to take their guns away. No one wants to take the guns they use for hunting or self-defense. I say to gun owners: Acquire a gun for every family member, for every hunting purpose, for every building that you own, for every perceived threat. Then come help America reduce gun violence. We cannot save America without you.

JOHN DEITERING, Buffalo, Minn.

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KEYSTONE XL

Railways are not the answer in these parts

Canadian and Bakken crude oil will get to the southern refineries one way or another (“Canadian oil finds new pathway,” March 4). So, Mr. President, come to the Twin Cities and watch 1 million gallons of crude oil cross over the Mississippi River via rail every day. Then you might make an informed decision about the need and safety of the Keystone XL pipeline. Do you want to spill on land in Nebraska or have a tank car accident through Minneapolis and St. Paul? Not in my back yard, please!

STEPHEN JOHNSON, New Brighton

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IMMIGRATION REFORM

Let’s try a new, more productive approach

The root of the immigration problem is both a failure of neighboring country economies to supply adequate employment, and the desire for cheap labor by U.S. employers. It’s in our interest to assist with more rapid economic development in neighboring countries. It is also in our long-term interest to recognize that children of low-wage immigrant workers have no desire to pursue the jobs of their parents, leading to an endless cycle of hiring new low-wage immigrants to replace the previous generation. It’s time to pay adequately for difficult work, and to provide and strongly enforce the use of a reliable worker-status verification system for employers. We will pay more for fruits and vegetables, but less for services for families with no health care or retirement savings.

LESLIE EVERETT, St. Paul

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WHITE SMOKE

Congress should vote like Catholic cardinals

Catholic Cardinals put their vote for pope on paper and in a disguised handwriting. After votes are tallied, white or black smoke spews from a chimney. Congress should try this. That way they can vote for the changes they’re willing to accept across the aisle anonymously and without fear of party punishment.

LINDA PETERSON, Plymouth

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