His big mistake was using work cellphone


I agree that not a lot of common sense was shown in the newly dismissed porn case against a Minnesota State University, Mankato football coach ("Mankato porn case lacked common sense," Dec. 5). But the lack of common sense first surfaced when the coach, Todd Hoffner, stored nude videos of his children on his work cellphone. If the videos were on his personal cellphone or computer, he wouldn't have had so much heartache. Even though a judge threw out the case, the coach may still face disciplinary action from his employer.


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Compassion, not finger-wagging, is needed now


In response to a letter writer's criticism of law enforcement processions for slain Cold Spring police officer Tom Decker (Letter of the Day, Dec. 6), I can think of no better way to use tax dollars than to honor a man who risked his life daily to protect his town and loved ones. I imagine that being able to take part in the processions and funeral was healing for many people, especially the officer's family and law enforcement. At a time like this, we must let our hearts rule over fiscal responsibility.


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It's time to stand up to the powerful NRA


After the tragic news that a 4-year-old had accidentally shot and killed his younger brother while playing with their father's handgun, gun advocates were quick to say "don't blame the gun" ("A horrible accident," Dec. 6). Some have even asked, hypothetically, if we would ban cars if the child had been hit by a reckless driver? Well, of course not, but the scenarios are hardly analogous. The purpose of cars, like most other things, is not to kill. Guns, however, are weapons designed to kill.


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Every day is a new chapter in gun violence -- Little Falls, Cold Spring and Kansas City, Mo., etc. ("A community vigil honors slain officer," Dec. 4).  I'm so weary. For crying out loud, we need responsible limitations on guns -- and more resources for the mentally ill. It's a matter of life and death that we stand up to the leadership of the National Rifle Association. Carry this message to your elected officials.


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It's not just lawmakers' problem; it's ours, too


We are barraged on the news every night about the impending "fiscal cliff." At the same time, we're talking about the debt limit ceiling. If we have a debt problem, won't increasing taxes and decreasing spending solve this problem? Isn't this basically what the fiscal cliff does? If not, there's even more work to do than we think. Everyone thinks this is someone else's problem. It's everyone's problem, and we should all be willing to suffer a little pain to finally get this problem solved. It's not a political problem, it's an accounting one.


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Here's a smart way the governor can save money


Every year the Legislature debates conformance questions, creating workload for the research teams, form changes for the Department of Revenue, programming updates for tax software companies, and uncertainty for Minnesotans as the debate spills into the filing season. Past examples of non-conformance are the educator expenses and the tuition and fees credit. Among the current non-conforming items are the estate tax threshold and the standard deduction for married and qualifying widow(er) taxpayers. If Gov. Mark Dayton wants to create a sense of fairness and achieve more predictability in state budgeting, eliminate the state marriage and death penalties by conforming to the federal tax laws.


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Let's crack down on carbon emissions


It's about time we have a carbon tax ("A dire warning on emissions," Dec. 3). The easiest method would be to go after the electric companies, the big users of coal. The tax revenue from this could be used to give a credit to people who purchase a high-efficiency automobile.


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Thanks for raising epilepsy awareness


I applaud the editorial describing Gophers football coach Jerry Kill's support for the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota ("In Jerry Kill's battle, life lessons emerge," Dec. 1). Epilepsy has carried a stigma through the ages, and finding someone in the public eye to champion it isn't easy. Kill has shown exceptional courage to step into the spotlight for this important cause. I believe that if more people understood epilepsy and how many people struggle with it, they would want to help more than they do. It's very hard to get this message out.


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Lawmakers and DNR failed Minnesotans


Despite what outdoors writer Dennis Anderson says, there's no justification for the wolf massacre going on in Minnesota ("Time was right," Dec. 2). Now, wolf pelts are being sold to overseas markets. I'm thoroughly disgusted with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, state Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr and U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, all of whom had a hand in enabling the deplorable wolf-killing spree. Minnesota needs respectful and humane public servants who are true defenders and protectors of our wolves and other native wildlife, and who represent the values of the American majority.