Stephen B. Young’s April 27 commentary “400 years later, Shakespeare is still our guide” was a curious piece. Though it begins by noting the recent death of Prince, it hardly mentions him. Rather, its crux is that the genius of another man, Shakespeare, has never been, and will never be, surpassed: “Greatness had happened. At best, the rest of humanity could only achieve something less” and “I am not, in any really important sense, the equal of Shakespeare — and neither are you.” I love Shakespeare, too, but I don’t know why it’s necessary to assume that his genius will never be equaled, and imply, thereby, an infallible means of rating genius. Was Shakespeare smarter than Einstein, or more musical than Prince?
But more than that, I object to Young’s facile application of his Shakespearean learning to contemporary political figures. So he suggests that Hillary Clinton bears resemblance to both the murderous Lady Macbeth and the patricides Goneril and Regan — that she has not the loving character of either Cleopatra or Cordelia and is more like the shrewish Kate. Where does he get this stuff? Why isn’t Hillary rather comparable to the wise Portia, or the witty and independent Beatrice? These are Shakespearean heroines, at least the equals of the men in their worlds. Sorry, but Young’s view reeks of the worst kind of sexism, thinly veiled as literary erudition.
Then there is his comparison of President Obama to Brutus and Hamlet, due to Obama’s supposedly being “consistently unwise in decisionmaking” and lacking the “willingness to act.” Again, he presents these as insights gleaned from the genius of Shakespeare, rather than the quite common political biases that they clearly are.
Michael Woolsey, Eden Prairie
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Many men are listed in Young’s article about genius. Where are the women? For example: Sappho, Elizabeth I, George Sand, Margaret Sanger, Eleanor Roosevelt, Marie Curie, Georgia O’Keeffe, Mary Shelley, Jane Austen, Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony — to name but a few off the tip of my virtual pen.
Fred L. Klein, Minnetonka
Opponents of ‘unelected body’ seemingly would prefer gridlock
So, in other words, what the writers of the April 28 editorial counterpoint “Met Council needs more than tweaks” want is for the Metropolitan Council to succumb to the modern American version of democracy: two equally sized voting blocs having diametrically opposed visions of how the world should be, refusing to compromise with each other. No, thanks.
TYLER LEKANG, Minneapolis
Do those resisting understand what this is really about?
An April 28 letter writer, responding to the “Credit Target for transgender policy” editorial of April 27, wrote: “Target has no right to force the vast majority of its customers to cave to the highly unique needs of the transgender people.” I found myself wondering what “unique needs” those are. A nicely dressed to-all-appearances female goes into the women’s restroom, goes into a stall, emerges a little while later, washes her hands and exits. A to-all-appearances young (or older) man goes into the men’s restroom, goes into a stall, emerges a little while later, washes his hands and exits. What are the “unique needs” of either of those people? And how can an outside observer tell if either one — or both — are transgender?
I have also heard objections to transgender people using their identified-gender restrooms based on the possible confusion for children. Tell me — wouldn’t it be more confusing to a young child to see a nicely dressed to-all-appearances female going into the men’s restroom?
Bravo to Target for its enlightened and caring approach to what should be a non-problem.
Cheryl Petterson, St. Louis Park
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There have been several articles lately saying that states should not be ostracized for discrimination against the LGBT(Q) community. That patience and education will overcome. However, that is not possible. The federal government must act immediately! On July 21, 2014, President Obama signed Executive Order 13672. That order amends Executive Order 11246, which in 1965 spelled out classes that could not be discriminated against for employment purposes. Obama’s executive order added “gender identity” and, by determination, transgender status. This means that all federal government employees and all contractors involved in federal contracts cannot discriminate on that basis. When federal funds are allocated for bridges and highways, the receiving states will need to certify under oath that they will not discriminate, or the dollars will dry up. Dear Mr. President, you’ve gracefully taken a whole lot of “stuff” from the Republican Party; time to turn the screws!
Tate Halvorson, Minneapolis
‘FOOLS AND FAST CARS’
Those cars were built for speed; not so for other leadfoot drivers
To an April 27 letter writer responding to last weekend’s reckless-driving citations for a group of drivers traveling more than 100 miles per hour in the western metro area: Apparently you don’t get out much. Ever driven Hwy. 169 at any time of the day? Interstate 35W? I-35E? I-494? Moms’ minivans pass me at 90 mph. If I’m going 75, they are going 95. The dangerous, middle-aged, affluent “terrorists” (really, terrorists?) you complain about were at least driving vehicles that warrant going 110 mph. These cars are supposed to travel that fast — that’s how they are built. These rich suburban males willingly pulled over for the police, took their tickets like men and will pay the consequences in the form of a fine. Sorry, letter writer — it might have been a lime-green Lamborghini, but you seem a little green around the gills. Maybe someday take one for a spin.
Sue Wilson, Savage
MINNEAPOLIS ROADS, PARKS
Spread the burden with a sales tax; lighten up on homeowners
Regarding the $800 million funding plan discussed in “Roads, park upgrades near passage” (April 28), why are any funds coming from property tax increases? Are the homeowners of Minneapolis the only ones who use the streets and parks? The extra funds should be coming from a sales tax so that everyone who uses and benefits from street and park improvements in Minneapolis shares the burden of the cost.
The city seems to be hellbent on bankrupting its homeowners by overburdening us with tax increases that are out of control.
Lori Patterson, Minneapolis
Riddle me this: Where is the line drawn on tolerance?
If I had a dollar for every time the words “diverse” or “diversity” appeared in this newspaper in the last month, I would be able to fund the proposed soccer stadium without taxpayer money.
It appears that the only type of “diversity” that is not tolerated in this newspaper, on college campuses and in general public discourse is “diversity” of opinion about the benefits of “diversity.” Quite the paradox!
George Woytanowitz, Minneapolis