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Readers Write: (Dec. 24): Target's security breach, Hennepin County pay, 'Duck Dynasty' and 'free speech'

  • December 23, 2013 - 5:27 PM

TARGET’S SECURITY BREACH

Demand more, or rally around local retailer?

While it’s very nice of Target to offer discounts in the wake of its credit and debit card security breach, the company really needs to spend more time responding to its customers. I have a Red Card that I used a few times during the period of time in question. It is a debit card linked to my checking account. After this story broke, I started calling Target trying to get my card replaced. The company speaks of long wait times, but as of Sunday all I’d been met with was a busy signal whether I called at 7 a.m. or midnight. So far, there haven’t been any unauthorized charges on my checking account, but what if there had been? I can’t get hold of anyone at Target to cancel the card. Target needs to figure this out and fast.

TRICIA KALINOWSKI, Blaine

• • •

I can’t help feeling that people are “targeting” the wrong Target. You’ve got analysts saying Target’s not doing enough, a customer who files a lawsuit against Target, and financial institution CEOs whining about all the money it’s going to cost them to close and reopen accounts. Where the heck is the ire that should be directed at the yo-yos who’ve committed this crime?

The analyst gets paid to analyze; the customer gets her 10 percent off on purchases and free monitoring from Target, and the CEOs certainly haven’t stopped making millions from their card services. I should add that all the lawyers who are certain to get involved will make their share of the “hay” that will grow out of the debacle.

I give credit to Target for realizing that this is serious — something the company has stated from the beginning.

Let’s face it: we live in a society where too much information is “out there,” to be “had” — some of it we even freely share. We have too many thieves who think nothing of stealing from someone else. Why? Because there’s little in the way of punishment to deter them if they do get caught. What to do to limit your chances in today’s world? Pay cash, and start your campaign to start beheading the thieves instead of blaming the store. Target’s the victim here as well.

JIM STROMBERG, Edina

• • •

Sunday’s article stated that cardholders are not responsible for fraudulent charges. This is a continually perpetuated myth. While it is true that I am not responsible directly for charges to my card by someone who has stolen it (or the number), fraudulent charges are paid for by the credit card company. Where does the credit card company get its money? From us. We pay the retailer, who passes along approximately 3 percent of our money to the credit card company in fees. The credit card company sets aside a certain amount to pay fraudulent charges. So, we are all, collectively, paying for credit card fraud.

COREY SEVETT, Minneapolis

• • •

Target Corp. is hugely important to Minneapolis. In my current job focusing on promoting further growth and vibrancy downtown, and in my former job focused on strengthening neighborhoods and low-income residents, Target has been a vital ally. Over many years, it and its predecessor organizations have helped to lead a remarkable corporate community in our region. The company is managing through a tough situation at the moment, and when a friend is down, a pat on the back never hurts. So thank you, Target, for the jobs you provide, the volunteers you deploy, the philanthropic gifts you make, and your commitment to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Target makes a significant contribution to the quality of life here, and I remain one of millions of loyal customers.

STEVE CRAMER; CEO, Minneapolis Downtown Council

 

HENNEPIN COUNTY PAY

It’s not surging; it’s catching up

Thanks, Star Tribune, for choosing such a balanced headline and opening paragraph for the Dec. 23 article about the coming pay increases for Hennepin County employees (“County pay surges up to 15 percent”) — even though other choices, such as “Hennepin pay finally catching up” or “A pay thaw after years of freeze” would have better reflected the story. Not catchy enough for Page One, above the fold, I suppose. We public-sector employees sure appreciate your participation in the ongoing assault against us and thank you kindly for doing your part to keep us in our place.

MELINDA ERICKSON, Minneapolis

‘DUCK DYNASTY’

Freedom of speech has a specific application

Whenever an individual like Phil Robertson of the television show “Duck Dynasty” finds himself mired in controversy for expressing an opinion that someone takes offense to, defenders, without fail, immediately take to the rooftops shouting “freedom of speech.”

It would be nice if they actually realized what freedom of speech is. The founding fathers made sure that freedom of speech was included in the Constitution so citizens could criticize and question the government without fear of retaliation. The right to free speech in the official capacity has nothing to do with the simple act of freely speaking about whatever suits your fancy.

The government neither grants nor protects one’s ability to speak. That’s a privilege earned at the time of birth.

JASON GABBERT, Prior Lake

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