I used to get letters from the Personnel Department, then from the Human Resources Department. Now they come from the Human Capital Department. I’ve finally made the transition from person into money, just about the same time that corporations have turned their money into people.

David Leussler, Minneapolis


The writer works for the Minneapolis public schools.


Several platitudes, but issues unaddressed

I intentionally picked Wednesday of the three-day Farmfest in order to hear the debates of the congressional candidates. I came away very disappointed — not so much in what I heard, but in what I didn’t hear.

I was hoping to hear, from both incumbents and challengers, ideas regarding the swelling national debt and continuing deficit spending. None was given. I was hoping to hear commentary on the changes needed to Obamacare, which is not only wrecking my personal budget with double-digit health insurance premium increases, but about what the cost burden will be to the U.S. Treasury deficit as well. None was given. I was hoping to hear some semblance of a solution to the rail transportation woes that are leaving much grain in the far Upper Midwest unshipped at a time when bins needed to be emptied for the upcoming harvest. None was given. I was looking for answers to getting adequate supplies of propane into Minnesota for this fall’s corn drying season as well as the home and business winter heating season. None was given.

While candidates praised the farmer, looking for votes, Washington leadership has hit us with higher taxes, rising costs for health insurance, plus more and more burdensome regulations. The responsibility for the issues raised in my unanswered questions has to be with our current leaders and representation in Washington. That’s why I am encouraging my friends and neighbors and business associates to spend more time than ever to become highly informed on the candidates and the issues before going to the polls in November.

Mark S. Nowak, Wells, Minn.



In practice, everything is a product of its times

The distinction between rule “of” law and rule “by” law (“Our nation’s direction turns on a preposition,” Aug. 7) is sometimes made as laws the government serves, deriving from natural morality or divine revelation, vs. laws the government uses, because they are practical or convenient.

Stating that the U.S. Constitution is an example of rule of law and that slavery was the result of rule by law is disingenuous at best, given Article I, Section 2, Clause 3, and Article 1, Section 9, Clause 1 (affirming slavery). By extension, then, what do we make of Amendment XIV, Section 2 (abolishing slavery)?

If the notion of freedom from slavery flows directly from natural morality, then why was it not a widely held common belief in the mid-1800s, and why did it take until the mid-1900s for the right to equal treatment under the law to be codified? Further, given that Raymond Harris (1788), Thornton Stringfellow (1856) and many others used the Bible to defend slavery, what do we make of divine revelation as a source for laws?

It is straightforward: Laws are created by human beings to suit their purposes at the time they are written. To contend otherwise is pure sophistry.

John Ammerman, St. Louis Park



You wanted the hike; now you’ll pay for it

I wholeheartedly applaud the move by Stillwater’s Oasis Cafe to add a minimum-wage fee to its customers’ tabs (“Cafe adds fee for wage hike,” Aug. 7). While it is somewhat over the top, it very transparently proves a point that many consumers either don’t realize or choose to ignore: When businesses’ costs are increased for any reason, including as a result of government edict, that cost increase gets passed on to customers.

Those supposedly so appalled by this move are many of the same people who ardently fought for the minimum-wage increase, knowing full well that it would force businesses (especially small ones) to make difficult choices to cover the increased labor expense. Perhaps these individuals would prefer an “ignorance is bliss” situation in which the company stealthily increases prices?

John Grimes, Hopkins



Finally, an elected body with some sense

I tip my hat and high-five the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. It “just said no” to being the public agency that would oversee and operate “The Yard,” a new downtown park that will be adjacent to the new Vikings stadium. With 80 days designated as Vikings days, the Yard will not really be a public park. The Vikings “bullying machine” has finally hit a pothole on its road to the Taj Mahal stadium that it forced into the wallets of the taxpaying public.

The Minneapolis City Council, along with many other public entities, sold the farm when they jumped into bed with the Vikings. It’s nice to see one public agency simply walk out the door.

George Larson, Minneapolis



Support for Brian Hagerty, Beverly Aho

Seven candidates are running for seat 43 on the Hennepin County District Court. For many reasons, I am supporting Brian Hagerty.

I got to know Brian when he was my colleague at a large law firm. He stood out not just for his outstanding legal mind (he graduated at the top of his law-school class), but also for his commitment to public service. Brian left private practice to become a judicial clerk in federal trial court. His service as a judicial clerk over the last 10 years gives him unusual insight into how courts and judges work. It also means that he has worked on a wide range of cases, both civil and criminal.

That broad expertise would serve him (and us) well: Hennepin County District Court is not just a criminal court, and we need judges whose experience is not limited to criminal law.

And because Brian has spent his career as a judicial clerk, he has no reason to take sides in any case. He will be the kind of impartial, independent thinker that we need on the bench.

Learn more about Brian Hagerty, and about who supports him, at www.hagertyforjudge.com.

Brian Melendez, Minneapolis


The writer is a former president of the Hennepin County Bar Association and the Minnesota State Bar Association.

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I am writing in support of Beverly Aho for the position of Hennepin County district judge (open Seat 61). I am a lawyer and have had the good fortune to work with Bev Aho for seven years, and can attest to her competence, experience, integrity and work ethic. I believe that, as a second-generation American, she will strike an ideal and appropriate balance between diligent enforcement of the law and a level of compassion and wisdom exhibited by great judges. She also will bring to the bench other strengths not frequently found in judges: an extensive background in science and technology and an MBA degree, combined with a résumé demonstrating a broad range of work and community volunteer experiences.

Steve Hedges, St. Louis Park