There is a hole in my newspaper. Get well, Steve Sack.

Thom Sandberg, Minneapolis


Editor’s note: The background information is that Star Tribune editorial cartoonist Steve Sack is on medical leave. He hopes to return in October. Until then, he may offer a cartoon from time to time.


Here come the scare tactics bolstering expensive mediocrity

So state Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston, wants to scare us into thinking that we cannot afford universal health care (“Minnesotans, don’t fall for the ruse on Democrats’ health care intentions,” editorial counterpoint, Aug. 29). The money is already there! We spend 18 percent of our GDP on health care, while all the other major industrialized countries do the job for an average of about 9 percent GDP. In those countries, no one goes bankrupt or dies because they cannot afford care or medications. Despite spending the most, we rank 37th in the world on outcomes.

Where does the money go? Our administrative costs are a staggering 31 percent of the health care dollar, while Medicare does the job for 2 percent to 3 percent. We also pay more for drugs, hospitalization, professional fees and devices than anywhere in the world.

The health care lobby is spending enormous amounts to maintain the high profits that it achieves in the current system. As a country, we need to insist that our legislators care for us and our well-being. We claim that we are innovative and can-do. Well it’s time that we insist our legislators work together for our good on a plan that is affordable, universal and high-quality. Are we the only nation that cannot do that?

Dr. Ron Jankowski, Anoka

The writer is a family physician and the chair of Health Care for All Minnesota.

• • •

“Let them eat cake.” Bravo to Rep. Greg Davids in clearly explaining the Republican position to Minnesotans on providing affordable access to adequate health care in his editorial counterpoint.

Peter Rainville, Minneapolis

• • •

Davids makes the point that the “costs of government-run health care are staggering.” What he fails to mention is that we are already paying those staggering costs in one form or another — reduced employee compensation, premiums for private insurance, or out-of-pocket expenses not covered by an insurance carrier. Republicans are quick to tout the benefits of choice, but what they are really selling gives you less choice. Unless you can afford the most costly health insurance plans, you are faced with fewer choices in doctors, clinics, medications and hospitals.

Or you could choose no health care at all, a staggeringly expensive alternative for hospitals and counties and of course to the taxpayers. Rep. Davids claims to be working on the fixes to health care expenses, and some may be worthwhile, like more transparency in the health care system. He failed to suggest we make good cost-analysis comparisons, and he did support the president in eliminating the mandate (originally a Republican idea) in the Affordable Care Act and allowing insurance carriers to discriminate against many with pre-existing conditions. How did that help?

Well, luckily for Davids, he need not worry. He has a premium health care plan, as do all Minnesota House members, paid for by … guess who? I do hope, however, all readers follow one piece of advice from Davids: Choose wisely!

Michael O’Donnell, Burnsville


Not the place to send message on ‘taking a knee’ to send message

An Aug. 29 letter writer rightly celebrates the Star Tribune’s “feel-good” stories from the Minnesota State Fair as a welcome break from months of sad and frustrating stories about our national politics. Because I share her affection for the fair, I found my experience last Friday at the State Fair Horse Show marred by the thoughtless remarks of the announcer.

The show opened with a presentation of the flags of Canada and the United States carried by riders as the national anthems of both countries were performed. At the end of the performance, the audience applauded and the announcer thanked the singer. She then thoughtlessly noted that “… no one took a knee,” asking the audience, “Isn’t that wonderful?”

Many of my fellow fairgoers responded with more applause. My husband and I and the few African-American people near us left.

The act of “taking a knee” is seen by many as an act of disrespect to our country and our soldiers. I have a different perspective. I see it as a peaceful act to call attention to grievous wrongs occurring in our country. In fact, I was taught by my father, a proud World War II veteran, that our freedom to engage in nonviolent dissent is exactly what our soldiers fight to protect. When I look at these strong men taking a knee, perhaps because I am a therapist, I see in their act an expression of grief. I applaud them for having the courage to publicly share their grief.

Kelly O. Finnerty, Edina


On question of ‘compromise,’ not as simple as letter suggests

I would like to take issue with the Aug. 26 letter writer who states that Christianity is actually growing due to “churches that teach the Bible without compromise.” If by that he means that there are ever-more growing numbers of Protestant denominations, upwards of 30,000 or more in existence today, I would agree with him, but I’m not sure that is evidence of all of them teaching “the Bible without compromise,” whatever that means. The fact that there are so many divisions suggests that there is indeed much disagreement in the interpretation of Holy Scripture among those denominations, so I respectfully suggest that the issue of shrinking membership is not as simple as it sounds.

Julie Packer, Coon Rapids


God will judge

To Cody Wilson, developer of the downloadable, nondetectible gun (“Company selling gun blueprints despite ban,” Aug. 29):

Enemies of our country thank you.

Terrorists and murderers sing your praises.

Those who succeed in raining chaos and suffering upon our people will owe their success to you.

You may say it is not your responsibility, that you won’t be the one pulling the trigger. You may say you have every right. This is America, after all.

But I say you do bear the responsibility for your actions, you and all who support your cause. You may not pay the price here on Earth, as you accumulate wealth on the backs of your victims, but you certainly shall be held accountable when you stand in judgment before God.

He will:

• Show you the eyes of the dead who have been killed by your plastic gun.

• Allow you to hear the wails of suffering endured by parents of massacred children.

• Make you explain to the survivors how your desire for money, attention and freedom without responsibility was much more important than the lives of their families.

Freedom often must be paid for in blood. You just want it to be someone else’s.

Marie Judd, St. Louis Park