Site needs technology that all people can use

Like countless others, I’ve had trouble with the MNsure site. I’ve just figured out why. One of three messages rotating on the homepage directs users to find out which browsers work best with account and application features. Here is what MNsure recommends:


Browsers that work best with the application and enrollment part of the site are:

• Firefox 17- 22 & 24

• Google Chrome 30

• Internet Explorer (IE) 9

• Safari 6.0.5 on an Apple

Optimize your visit by downloading one of the following:

• Firefox

• Google Chrome


I use an iMac. It is eight years old. I cannot run any of the browsers listed, not even Apple’s Safari. So, of course, the MNsure site never works.

We live in a world where new versions of high-tech gadgetry drop every eight months, but just because they are out there doesn’t mean that all of us are running out to purchase them. I don’t because I am not interested and it’s all very expensive.

So I wonder how many other people, PC and Mac users alike, are having the same problem with access to a federally mandated program because the designers did not create a site that accommodates real-world users?




Why a parishioner would keep the faith

I would like to propose one question to all those who do not understand Catholics like me who are committed to remaining Catholic no matter what happens within the institution of the church:

If it were discovered that many math teachers throughout the state of Minnesota were accused of some kind of serous wrongdoing, would you stop believing that five plus five equals 10?

Abuse by priests is deeply wrong and disturbing. Abuse by anyone is deeply wrong and disturbing. No sane person would deny that. But it doesn’t change Catholicism, nor what many of us believe.

The church needs us now more than ever. I will be at mass on Sunday, and I will hold my head high walking in, never embarrassed of my faith. There is no force great enough to take that away from me.


• • •

Regarding the accusations against Catholic Archbishop John Nienstedt (“Nienstedt, facing boy’s accusation, steps aside,” Dec. 18):

(a) I fear that we are moving into Salem witch hunt territory.

(b) If any pat on a bottom is seen as actionable, then it’s time we arrest every football coach between here and Grand Marais.



The writer is a retired Episcopal priest.



The case against it offers little hope

There were two takes on raising the minimum wage on the Star Tribune Dec. 17 opinion pages: one a column by Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune headlined “The minimum wage is a real illusion,” and the other an editorial cartoon by David Horsey of the Los Angeles Times portraying a plutocrat — er, aristocrat — looking down his nose at his serfs saying he will feed them to the wolves if they keep harping on better wages. I agree with the unstintingly honest cartoon because it so honestly says what Chapman’s tome attempts to circle and obscure with so very many words.

Presently the most basic and immoral law of economics in too much of America is unmitigated greed. What irritates most about Chapman’s position is that he’s actually saying such greed is immutable — to be expected and, therefore, accepted. After all, he claims that if the minimum wage rises, the price of goods will inevitably rise or owners will either outsource or automate. In other words, good business means low wages one way or another: no thoughts about how machines will replace consumers or about companies such as Costco, the antithesis of the Wal-Marts and McDonalds.

If Chapman is right, we are destined to be a Third World economy where workers will have to be satisfied with slave wages and the market for goods will become even more depressed than it presently is. Already one family owning Wal-Mart earns more in a year than more than 30 percent of all of our workers. Is this really the so-called paradigm or future model of American capitalism?

GREG VAN HEE, Perham, Minn.



Don’t assume anyone’s choices are poor

Robert Reich (“Define ‘charity’,” Dec. 18) proposes a hierarchy of giving: If one donates to Mixed Blood Theatre or Carleton College, that is somehow less worthy than donating to Open Arms or the Minnesota Food Shelf. The problem is that he doesn’t actually make a case for this. He assumes that people who give money to, say, a symphony orchestra or a theater are doing so in order to hobnob with their friends. He assumes this because he also assumes that there is no actual worth in pursuing or attending the arts. These are both mighty big assumptions to make. Donors could just as easily be giving because they feel that exposure to good music will make a difference in people’s lives. They could even be giving so that children and adults from low-income households can get free tickets.

Likewise, a person doesn’t necessarily give money to a university because they want their children to be educated there; most of the time, their children are grown by the time the money is donated. Granted, the wealthy may want their names on a building or an endowed chair. However, a donor usually has a specific interest in the area she or he donates to, whether it be cancer research, liberal arts or the business school.

Our household donations are a small part of the country’s total charitable donations, but they amount to about 5 percent of our income, split pretty evenly between arts organizations and social causes — food, shelter, fighting diseases, etc. My wife and I are proud of our record of giving, and how dare Reich tell us or anyone else who is unselfish enough to give away $10 or $100,000 that our gifts don’t count if they don’t go to the right places?