The front page of the Star Tribune on Aug. 1 informed us that Brian Cornell will earn $36.6 million as the new CEO of Target Corp. Another front-page article informed us that Jacquita Berens also will earn more next year. She will receive a 75-cent hourly raise, boosting her 70-hour workweek by about $53. In fact, both are employees and will work hard to do their best at their jobs and, given the profit and company growth responsibilities, Cornell clearly deserves more income. He will collect almost $100,000 a day, more than three times what Berens will earn in a full year.

There is something inherently immoral in this disparity of income that will continue as long as wealthy corporate boards extend ridiculous pay packages.

David Wilbur, Edina

The writer is former COO and vice chairman of Carlisle Plastics.

• • •

Could you please thank Brian Cornell, the new CEO of Target, for completely screwing up my Facebook and e-mail accounts? I expect a discount.

Brian Cornell, Minnetonka

The writer is a retired dentist.

EBOLA OUTBREAK

Federal agencies must do the following:

We need to actively address the Ebola outbreak before the virus is spread to our country via airline travel. Two federal agencies with the most authority in this area are the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Aviation Authority. The DHS has authority for the overall federal response in case of a pandemic, and the FAA has authority over international airline travel.

Three policies must be implemented. First, halt all airline travel to and from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. The West African airline company Asky already suspended flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone after Patrick Sawyer, a U.S. citizen, was sickened with and eventually died from Ebola while traveling to Nigeria on a commercial airline. The FAA should follow Asky’s lead.

Second, the DHS should screen all travelers to the United States from the West African region for Ebola. Such screening is completely workable. In fact, pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act, the U.S. has been medically screening thousands of refugees entering the country for years. Additionally, Nigeria’s Civil Aviation Authority has just implemented rules to screen all airline travelers to Nigeria for signs of Ebola. We must do the same.

Lastly, the DHS should mandate and fund appropriate treatment and quarantine facilities at the local level. The burden of shouldering Ebola cases must not fall on our local governments. We must prepare and act now before the virus spreads here.

Joe Tamburino, West St. Paul

 

SANCTIONS

U.S., E.U. actions do more harm than good

The July 30 editorial “Finally, U.S. and E.U. step up on Russia” contends that without strong sanctions, Vladimir Putin won’t be contained. But using economic sanctions to contain the Kremlin will prove as effective as using kerosene to contain a wildfire.

Sanctions entrench foreign leaders in power. Many leaders use them to unite their people against the governments imposing them. After the first round of U.S. sanctions, for instance, Putin’s approval rating skyrocketed to a record 83 percent as his people rallied around him.

But far worse than adding a weapon to Putin’s political arsenal, sanctions will also make Russian aggression more likely. A study conducted by Robert Pape, founder of the University of Chicago’s Project on Security and Terrorism, shows that sanctions increase the likelihood of forceful retaliation in 95 percent of instances. This, as national leaders tend to escalate conflicts to save their country’s international reputation.

Economic sanctions won’t save the world from Russia. But they will make the world a more dangerous place for all of us.

Christian Rice, Washington, D.C.

 

HEALTH CARE

Married or not, spell out your wishes

In response to Jon Tevlin’s July 30 column “A trip to ER makes the case for same-sex marriage clear”:

While I completely support the right of consenting adults to marry whomever they choose, it is important for people to know that a completed health care directive is an even better way to ensure that a person of your choosing will have the right to speak for you regarding your health care wishes, should you be unable to speak for yourself. A health care directive form also helps clarify just what those wishes are. All adults, married or not, should complete one. They are available from your primary care physician or at www.honoringchoices.org.

Maureen Tyra, Plymouth

 

The writer is advance care planning coordinator for North Memorial Health Care.

 

IMMIGRATION

Take time to learn your own family’s story

Yes, “one reason for the lack of compassion is that our country is not reading enough literature,” such as the excellent books recommended by Jocelyn Hale (“Empathy vs. ‘tough love’: The border crisis defined, July 30). However, a greater reason for the lack of compassion at the border is this: These days, few Americans know their own family’s migration story. Unless you’re Native American, your ancestors migrated to the United States for a reason. Enslaved African-Americans came here in chains. Others came by choice. My German great-grandmother was an orphan, the daughter of a single mother who died in childbirth. My Swedish great-grandfather was a poor tenant farmer. Another great-grandfather was famine Irish.

I believe that the more we know and understand about our own migration stories, the more able we are to be compassionate to others who migrate. Why did your ancestors come to America? Connect with your family genealogist. Literature moves the soul. Your own family stories will move your heart.

The Rev. Susan M. Moss, St. Paul

 

WAR DRUMBEATS

A lesson from history, always relevant

Let us remember 50 years ago — on Aug. 2, 1964 — a largely fabricated incident about the U.S. destroyers Maddox and Turner Joy being fired upon by Vietnamese patrol boats while patrolling off the coast of North Vietnam. This purported event was followed by swift U.S. retaliation and by Congress passing the famous “Gulf of Tonkin” resolution on Aug. 7, 1964, giving President Lyndon Johnson far-reaching powers, leading to another unnecessary war, the consequences of which are still being felt today.

Barry Riesch, St. Paul