Little sympathy for poor planners

Your Christmas was ruined and it’s all the fault of UPS. Seriously? All that happened is that someone got their gift after Christmas (“UPS, FedEx delivery gap may reshape seller vows,” Dec. 27).

Christmas is the same time every year. How about planning ahead and sending your packages early?

Now you’re getting rewarded with gift cards!

Good thing I don’t own UPS. My response to all you people would be: Your lack of planning is not my emergency.

KAY RUUD, Brooklyn Park

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U.S. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., demanded that UPS provide refunds to customers who were quoted arrival dates before Christmas. Government officials meddling in private business, alone, is highly offensive to me, but the hubris and arrogance here is particularly galling. Blumenthal’s cohorts are the same folks who promised us on Oct. 1 after spending over half a billion dollars and three years on its development.


• • •

The reality is, things happen in life. Years ago, when we could not find something our children wanted for Christmas, we would put a picture in a box and a note from Santa that said so many children wanted that item that his elves could not make enough in time for Christmas and that they would get it as soon as more could be made. Our children were happy, life went on. If children learn to accept disappointments early in life, they are able to handle them better as they get older.

After this year, retailers and carriers should scale back their promises of when they can deliver, and shoppers should not procrastinate. And we should all be aware that weather can affect things. The people who were without power at Christmas faced a far more serious situation than the people whose packages did not arrive in time. Put it all in perspective.

LINDA DALEY, Bloomington



What if the man had been overbilled?

It is very interesting that a White Bear Lake man can be hailed as a hero by the newspapers and television for obtaining first-class flights to Hawaii for $86 each because of a mistake by Delta Air Lines. And we expect the airline to honor that mistaken price. What if his credit card had been billed too much for each ticket — would he pay, knowing an honest mistake was made?

Too bad the story couldn’t have been about the hero who called the mistake to the attention of the airline, paid the correct price and was upgraded to first class as a thank-you for his honesty.

JIM SHAW, Champlin



Not everything is an abuse of technology

The American Civil Liberties Union can be just a bit paranoid at times. Check comments from its executive director regarding electronic trackers used by law enforcement (“GPS is new tool to trail suspects,” Dec. 25). He opined: “My problem is, once again, it’s another case of technology driving policy.” The reverse is what’s true. The usual policy to catch bad guys is driving the use of technology. After all, the evildoers aren’t standing still, either. He goes on. “They’re not doing things to save money, they’re doing it because they can.” I’ve never worked in law enforcement, but knowing how a lack of revenue can hamper all kinds of civil servants, using funds efficiently would be a top priority. Using a GPS is not some kind of ego trip. Let’s keep in mind that human surveillance and investigation are required in addition whenever these devices are used, and a judge’s approval is necessary, too.

Later the article presents comments from a defense attorney. He said a GPS “doesn’t necessarily prove” guilt. Of course not. There can be multiple explanations why someone moves a car from place to place. But there’s no need to cloud the real issue by raising nonissues.

JIM BARTOS, Brooklyn Park



In Minnesota, it’s needed and deserved

Trekking from store to store this holiday season, I was happy to see the traditional decorations, the big markdowns, and mostly patient and civil shoppers.

After a marathon day of errands, I realized I had spent the day conversing more with retail clerks than I did with my own family. Retail workers need more than our smiles, pleasant banter and thank-yous. They need, and deserve, a raise.

Minnesota is considering raising the minimum wage to $9.50 by 2015, a proposal that has already passed in the state house. Hopefully, our senators will concur early in the 2014 legislative session.

Of the 357,000 Minnesota workers who would get a raise at $9.50, 24 percent, or 85,890 workers, are in retail. Twenty-three percent of them, or 14,200, are their family’s sole earner.

Remembering that the Christmas shopping season sprung forth from religious celebration, let’s understand that, in the end, raising the minimum wage is a moral question. Jews, Christians and Muslims all staunchly affirm the dignity of every person and believe that this dignity is protected in the way we organize our lives and our economy. Weekly wages should be adequate for a decent living and to provide for loved ones.

BRIAN A. RUSCHE, Maple Grove


The writer is executive director of the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition, an interfaith advocacy group for social justice.



Lesson once again: Follow the money

When I read about the “Big Soap” lobby (editorial, Dec. 21), I thought again about what drives the world. It’s always the bottom line, at the expense of human health and welfare; flora and fauna, and the preservation of the Earth on which our lives depend. The fatal human flaw.

NANCY DUNCAN, Minneapolis