An evident lack of interest this time
Why so little media coverage of Sikh temple shooting rampage? I was surprised that the night of the latest mass shooting, the news networks stopped coverage and aired fill-in programs.
Why is that? I can think of some reasons, none very good portents for our country.
1) Such shootings have become so commonplace we're no longer shocked.
2) We're passive, resigned to the fact that there's nothing we can do, that any gun control is unthinkable. (Many don't realize how much worse our gun violence is than that of other countries, because they don't have any curiosity to learn more. Even many thinking people have just given up and believe that we can't fight the NRA or the system.)
3) The victims aren't "like us." So we're sympathetic, but not that sympathetic.
4)There are a lot of gun-loving voters whom politicians don't want to rile up. True, very few of them are that nutso, but many harbor racist beliefs similar to those of the gunman.
STEPHANIE SARICH, Minnetonka
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City's coordinator ought to be role model
I consider it the height of irresponsibility that Shaun Murphy, Minneapolis' bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, doesn't wear a helmet when cycling ("King of the road," Aug. 7). The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that helmet use while bicycling reduces the risk of head injury by 85 percent. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that 616 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles in 2010. The institute also reports that only one in 10 fatally injured bicyclists in recent years was wearing a helmet.
In light of these statistics and common sense, Murphy's rationale for riding helmet-free -- "he doesn't want the activity to appear dangerous or scary" -- sounds ludicrous. Like it or not, his position with the city makes him a role model. I hope he and his supervisors reconsider the message his reckless behavior is sending.
WARREN DJERF, St. Louis Park
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What matters, and why, about his finances
A writer asks why we are upset about Romney's wealth. Maybe the writer is upset about it. I am not. I am curious about the source of Romney's wealth and his lack of candor in discussing his financial situation. I am curious about how many millions he has stashed off-shore and how many millions of dollars in taxes he has avoided by such stashing. I am also curious about his unwillingness to show his tax returns and whether the accusation that he did not pay any taxes for 10 years is true.
The writer claims that Romney knows how to create wealth and that this is what our economy needs. A caveat is that Romney knows how to create wealth for himself and his cronies; there is no evidence that he has ever created wealth for anybody in the middle or lower economic classes. Creating wealth for oneself might be the opposite of what our economy needs.
Romney openly espouses the trickle-down theory, which has never worked. In contrast to the writer's experience, I don't hear anybody question the candidate's wealth. I do hear a lot of questions about his principles, mores and veracity. When a candidate for president says "it's none of your business," I believe I have the right to decide if I agree.
WAYNE SATHER, Eagan
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Perhaps the various Republicans calling Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a liar for saying that he had been told -- he thought reliably -- that Mitt Romney had paid no taxes over the last 10 years how they themselves know their own claims are true ("Reid called a 'dirty liar'" Aug. 6).
Can, for example, Sen. Lindsey Graham explain how he knows Reid's accusations are "absolutely unfounded"? Either Romney has made his taxes available to a small group of Republicans who appear on talk shows and apparently no one else, or they are just defaming Reid on speculation.
If Reid in wrong about Romney, Romney could give Reid a real kick in the pants just by releasing the tax forms.
JOHN SHERMAN, Moorhead, Minn.
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This profligate party is to be trusted?
Two recent articles in the Star Tribune indicated that Democrats cannot balance their spending. One ("3 DFLers exhaust funds fast," Aug. 4) told of three local Democratic candidates who had outspent their resources on their campaigns. It also was reported ("Obama's big-dollar bet being tested," Aug. 5) that the president's re-election campaign has spent all or most of its money prior to the Democratic National Convention.
This is a glaring reminder of the mess we are in, and nothing will ever be done about our economic condition with Democrats at the helm of our country.
PAT SVACINA, Plymouth