A Texas fan responds: It's just steam-blowing
I love just about everything Texas. Most of all I enjoy the rise a tall tale gets out of Yankees, like the talk of secession has caused. Check your legs, y'all. I think you will find one just a tad longer than the other. This secession talk is a tradition, as ingrained as Lucy pulling the ball away from Charlie. Many times, following a rant against the federal government (a no-less common occurrence here in the frozen north), somebody caps it all off with a declaration that by agreement with Congress when Texas was admitted to the Union, Texas can pull out and that today it should! And you Yankees rise to the bait every time. I love it! Let me let you in on a little secret, but don't tell the folks from New York City, as it will spoil the joke. It's just a way of rallying the troops. It's only shorthand for "I'm pissed."
Texans love the United States of America passionately and have contributed mightily to its perfection: the Voting Rights Act (LBJ), the first populist environmental movement (Lady Bird Johnson), southwest rural electrification (LBJ again), the Higgins Boat that swept the beaches of Normandy and the Pacific, medical breakthroughs (Houston), energy extraction leading us to energy independence, Willie Nelson, and Pace Picante Sauce! Yeehaw! Texans enlist at a higher rate as well. These are acts of love, not hate, and I'll tell you right now that nobody is going anywhere -- but we got y'all to sit up and listen, now didn't we?
STEVE SLAIKEU, ST. PAUL
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One thing we've got is wind. Let's use it.
In Minnesota, each season is different. For example, winter is consumed by snowy days, giving Minnesota the nickname "Minnesnowta." Spring here, however, is beautiful and luscious with fresh floral and bright colors. While each season has its own characteristics, they all have one thing in common: wind. Because of this, it's important to use the wind as energy. According to Michelle Hesterberg from Environment Minnesota, wind energy provides nearly 13 percent of Minnesota's electricity, making the state the fourth-largest wind producer in the country. A study has shown that by 2016, 609,000 cars will be pulled off the road. Also, enough water will be saved to provide for another 48,100 people.
We need to utilize wind, which is provided for us everyday; it will never run out. We need U.S. Rep. Eric Paulsen to vote "yes" to use wind as energy because it will benefit our environment, making Minnesota an even more beautiful, clean place to live.
KATIE JOHNSTON, MEDINA
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Dishing out of shame does little for debate
A Nov. 30 letter writer states that the Star Tribune should be ashamed of printing a supposedly shameful letter on Nov. 29 that called the GOP out for politicizing the fallout from the attack in Benghazi, Libya.
I say instead shame on the Nov. 30 letter writer for turning his response into a personal attack on the previous writer.
This is typical of the Tea Party and ultra-right wing: First, condemn, and then attack, and if you disagree you are unpatriotic and un-American.
The original letter was very well-written and reasoned out, whether or not one agrees with it. However, the same cannot be said of the rebuttal letter, which used purely emotional inflammatory rhetoric such as "blood on their hands" (to paraphrase) and "there will be no justice for the dead Americans."
The blood is on the hands of the terrorists and no one else, and justice for the dead Americans will come when their leaders are captured/killed.
PHILIP KERLER, EAGAN
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In 2002, the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, was attacked, and 10 people were killed. In 2004, the U.S. Embassy in Uzbekistan was attacked, and two were killed; also that year, the U.S. Consulate in Saudi Arabia was stormed, and eight died. In 2006, armed men attacked the U.S. Embassy in Syria, and one person was murdered. In 2007, a grenade was thrown at the U.S. Embassy in Athens. In 2008, the U.S. Embassy in Serbia was set on fire; that same year, bombings in the U.S. Embassy in Yemen killed 10 people.
Where was the indignation and outrage and national outcry over these incidents? The only difference in the current situation would appear to be that this time around we have a party of bad losers who have leaped on politicizing the event as part of their general obstructionism.
STEVE HOFFMANN, ANOKA
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Prevention helps, but where does it stop?
I was also saddened by the recent pedestrian death on Hwy. 10. When we live with free will, there is not a good manner to "protect" all citizens. One letter writer ("Barriers would make smart decisions clear," Nov. 29) suggested a chain-link fence down the middle of highway medians. While I suppose this may help in some situations, I am uncertain where we draw the line. Shall we include all roadways? Which ones get the fence first? What about lakes and rivers -- isn't there some risk by keeping these dangerous recreational spots so accessible? Should railways also be included?
Of course this is preposterous. Unfortunately there always have been, and always will be, accidents, regardless of what is attempted to prevent them. Hopefully this recent fatality will cause others to choose differently than crossing busy roadways as a pedestrian in an inappropriate manner.
CARL PETERSON, HOPKINS