U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s program to roll back some of President Donald Trump’s more egregious actions, such as leaving the Paris climate accord, is admirable (“Klobuchar would undo Trump’s orders,” June 19). But her proposed method, executive order, is not the way the U.S. should be governed. Wise people have stated that Trump’s government without Congress will lead future presidents to ignore that co-equal body in favor of ruling by fiat. So now it appears that one of the most sensible presidential candidates, with one of the most compelling platforms, is following the method of one of the most corrupt presidents with one of the most self-serving programs.
Please, Amy, remember that Congress needs to be a partner in governing the U.S. and propose to use bills instead of presidential orders.
Elaine Frankowski, Minneapolis
Taiwan must not be party to Hong Kong’s potential extradition law
Regarding “Protests rattle Hong Kong — and Beijing” (editorial, June 17), as the Star Tribune Editorial Board rightly pointed out, the drafted extradition bill in Hong Kong would affect not only the people of Hong Kong, but also all foreign nationals, including Minnesotans.
If enacted, this bill will have those living in or traveling through Hong Kong exposed to the risk of being extradited to China because of China’s sole discretion on the potential subjects’ suspected “criminal activities.”
The two major protests of over a million people each in Hong Kong within a week demonstrate that China’s “one country, two systems” promise is untrustworthy. Freedom, democracy, rule of law and human rights evidently cannot be guaranteed by an autocracy, as those universal values singly and combined pose great threats to the existence of dictatorship itself. Therefore, Taiwan will continue to uphold its democratic values and reject that unconvincing formula of China.
Thank you for the editorial’s clarification that the extradition of Hong Kong fugitives to Taiwan is only the “ostensible initial reason” manipulated by the Hong Kong’s leader for the legislation. In fact, Taiwan believes that cooperation to combat crime cannot come at the expense of sabotaging human rights. And Taiwan will not be party to an illegitimate law. We staunchly support Hong Kong people’s struggle for freedom and human rights. As Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu tweeted earlier, we call for Hong Kong’s leader to embrace democracy and stand on the right side of history.
Eric Huang, Chicago
The writer is director general (consul general) of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago.
Don’t use a dangerous substance to fundraise, no matter the cause
It concerns me that financially strapped charities are using beer as a fundraising tool. Finding new methods for raising money is a great idea, but using alcohol as the incentive? Is this wise?
It’s a brilliant move by breweries, to be sure, and convenient for charities — breweries offer both venue and activity, that is, drinking. But is alcohol consumption something nonprofits want to promote?
Research indicates it may be that no amount of alcohol is safe. There’s compelling evidence that alcohol consumption is linked to at least seven kinds of cancer, with breast cancer a particularly strong connection.
Also, alcohol abuse is now a public health crisis. A study reported in JAMA Psychiatry in 2017 indicates the rate of alcoholism rose by 49% between 2000 and 2010, with 1 in 8 Americans meeting the criteria for alcohol use disorder. Alcohol is not innocuous — rather, potentially self-injurious and hazardous to others, and lethal on the road.
And brewery events may effectively exclude many who abstain due to an alcohol problem and don’t wish to be tempted — perhaps they’re under the radar, quiet about their addiction, but they represent a sizable group. Countless people know the tragic consequences of alcohol abuse/addiction in their lives, among family and friends, and the fierce struggle to maintain sobriety.
Nonprofits, espousing a mission to do good, would do well to consider their role in the wellbeing of individuals and communities and resist the temptation of an easy way to raise money that may have detrimental consequences, exploiting people’s proclivities and addictions. There must be better fund-raising strategies!
Jean Greenwood, Minneapolis
Why does Congress get so much, while the rest of us scrape by?
Regarding a recent article on Congressional salaries (“Efforts to raise Congress’ salaries falters,” June 12), my sympathies are few. They are asking for cost-of-living adjustments to their salaries of $174,000 per year. I am a retiree, living a very simple life on an annual fixed income of less than $22,000. My home, since December 2016, is a lovely apartment in a Section 42, Dominium-owned community. It’s my understanding that the annual rent increases here are based on a percentage of the area median income, determined by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.
How can apartment owners continue to advertise these units as “affordable” senior apartments? This was to be my “forever” home since my retirement. I cannot afford this forever. When politicians come up with a solution for affordable housing for seniors on a fixed income, I will be happy to encourage their salary increases.
Char Golgart, Coon Rapids
Trump is not a military hero, nor should he get away with claiming it
In a recent interview conducted by British journalist Piers Morgan, President Donald Trump acknowledged that he never served in the U.S. military. My negative reaction to Trump’s excuse for avoiding military service — that he was not a “fan” of the Vietnam War — is shared by many Vietnam-era veterans (like myself) whose lives were permanently impacted by that unpopular war. We were not “fans” of the war, either, but we responded to the call to serve because we were loyal to our country. We didn’t think of ourselves as “patriots,” but now in retrospect I realize that we were.
That is why so many of us are offended by Trump’s efforts to portray himself to the American people as a loyal patriot and ardent champion of American military forces. Many of us view Donald “Bone Spurs” Trump as a fake military hero, and we are offended by his bland dismissal of the painful war that changed our lives profoundly and permanently.
Charles M. Hanson, Brooklyn Park
Call white hate group for what it is
Why does the Star Tribune honor Michael Hari, the man charged with bombing a Bloomington mosque, by calling him a “militia leader” in the headline (“Court: Militia leader tried to escape,” June 21) and in all previous articles about him?
“Militia” is a term that has a particular historical meaning in the U.S. — “a citizen army called upon in cases of emergency” is one of many similar definitions. He chooses to call himself a militia member. But Hari is merely a member of a group that uses violence and threats against people they hate and hope to intimidate. Call him what he is: a terrorist.
Nancy Gaschott, Minneapolis
Want to see your thoughts here? Submit a letter to the editor.