Your Wednesday editorial headline, “Tear-gassing kids is a new low on border,” is sensational — but not accurate. It may be low, but it is hardly new. Tear gas at our southern border started with the Carter administration, and during the Obama administration was administered over 100 times. Also, your sentence about the mother walking from Honduras to San Ysidro with her children strains credulity. It is over 3,000 miles, and if they left with the first group, that would mean mom and kids walked an average of over 100 miles per day. Not likely!
Gary Nash, Chanhassen
• • •
The headline on Wednesday’s editorial (“Tear-gassing kids is a new low on border”) could not be more disingenuous. First of all, using tear gas to control illegal entry at our southern border is not “new.” It has been used often by prior administrations, most notably by the Obama administration, which, according to records of the Department of Homeland Security, used tear gas and pepper spray routinely at the border from 2010 on.
Second, while children may have been affected by the gas because they were placed in proximity to the hundreds trying to illegally enter the U.S. and who were throwing rocks and bottles at border agents, I doubt they were “targeted” by President Donald Trump as you claim, any more than they would have been targeted by former President Barack Obama. If the purpose of your editorial is to get an intransigent Congress to “find a humane way” of dealing with the thousands seeking entry into our country, then you should take up this issue fairly, and not use it simply as a way to attack Trump.
Ronald Haskvitz, St. Louis Park
• • •
The Star Tribune Editorial Board really needs to amend the “Tear-gassing is a new low” editorial. I am by no means a Trump supporter, and I agree it is sad and shocking that we need to resort to tear gas. The Editorial Board needs to realize its power in informing the reading public. When you ignore the tear-gassing that occurred during the Obama administration, you lose legitimacy and make it more difficult to turn to you for unbiased news. Where was the outrage when Obama was tear-gassing immigrants?
Trump acts deplorably on a daily basis. He provides plenty of fodder for his opponents. There is no reason to engage in SELECTIVE outrage over the Trump administration. Amend and include the “Original Low” that occurred during the Obama years. Then let’s get on with comprehensive immigration reform!
Thomas Sullivan, Edina
• • •
Excuse me, editorial staff. When the previous president of the United States used tear gas at the border, I didn’t see any big editorial. I cannot even remember seeing it mentioned in your newspaper, let alone the editorial pages. You people just cannot get over it, can you?
Richard Burton, Ramsey
Redefining ‘success’ might help kids thrive and live fulfilling lives
Re: “Perfectionism is causing ‘real suffering’ for young,” Nov. 27:
When my three children reached high school age, I told each of them to study and do their assignments well, but not to strive for straight A’s, as the extra effort probably was not worth it. They were there to live whole lives, not just as students, but as part of their community, and that’s what they did. They didn’t achieve straight A’s, but each was admitted to the college they wished for, and thrived. They all became citizens I can be proud of, interested in the world around them rather than always keeping their noses to the grindstone.
As professionals, I am so proud of their achievements, but prouder of the well-rounded people they have become. Even my son with a major mental illness is current on world events and full of well-informed opinions, and everyone who meets him loves him nearly as much as I do.
We parents sometimes exercise a power over our child’s goals that is scary and awesome, and should wield it carefully. That’s not to say that each and every child’s anxiety is mom’s or dad’s fault; it might be in that child’s own makeup. But we can moderate our own involvement.
Our children are their own people, not a reflection of us, and we are there to support them, not remake them in our own image.
Mary McLeod, St. Paul
Which principles guide us?
Is anyone else noticing a disconnect here? On page A4 of Tuesday’s paper we see an elaborate 18-foot tree dressed in more than 500 feet of blue velvet ribbon embroidered in gold with each state and territory. “Our theme honors the heart and spirit of the American people,” said First Lady Melania Trump. Which heart and spirit is being honored when the article above the picture boldly reads: “Trump defends use of tear gas on migrants”? Would we be silent if this was happening in another country?
I would hope that the real heart and spirit of the American people here does not remain silent!
Judy Besch, Brooklyn Center
New frontier will require great care
I’m a biomedical engineer who gives talks on DNA testing. Typically, I’ve mentioned the near-term possibility of human gene editing with all its potentials and risks, now apparently brought to reality by Prof. He Jiankui’s Chinese team (“Scientist kept work secret,” Nov. 28). As he said, if he hadn’t done it, someone else would have because the technology is readily available.
We are now at a similar point as we were in 1949 when the Soviets demonstrated that we no longer were the only ones to have nuclear weapons. As with splitting the atom, there are great potential positives from genetic engineering, such as eradicating genetic diseases or providing immunity from infective agents. But there are dark sides to be considered. For one, we don’t know enough about the consequences to proceed with human experimentation. For another, if it’s used to improve performance, it’s likely that the rich and powerful will be the first and potentially only beneficiaries.
What to do? Threats, bombast or ignoring it is not the way. Diplomacy and negotiations diminished the nuclear threat. The same could work for genetic engineering, but let’s not delay on initiating the process.
Gus Fenton, Minneapolis
Choosing better site for feedlot could eliminate much opposition
Common sense dictates that you only build feedlots in areas that will never threaten drinking water supplies (“Feedlot sparks loud reaction,” Nov. 26). An area with “porous rock and sink holes” might be one of the worst locations possible. Furthermore, any proximity to communities of citizens is a direct threat to their health, safety, and well-being, as the odors are the worst imaginable.
My grandfather, then uncles, managed a hog feedlot, consolidation, and trucking operation for over 50 years in southwestern Minnesota. They were on flat ground far from any surface water, only surrounded by distant farms. That is an example of a proper location to develop these new operations that could avoid the stressful controversy for over 300 neighbors opposed to this project.
Michael Tillemans, Minneapolis