Officers wrong to take human life for K-9 dog


After a Missouri man who had stabbed a police dog was fatally shot by an officer, the St. Paul Police Department should take a hard look at policies that call for treating dogs the same as human officers ("Police kill man after he fatally stabs St. Paul K-9," Feb. 13).

We don't know exactly what happened, but one can easily imagine behaving in self-defense when approached by a menacing German shepherd. Unfortunately, the news media has also focused on the dog's "sacrifice" rather than questioning the loss of the human life.


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I can't believe that the life of a dog is equal to that of a human being. I can't believe that a group of armed men with nightsticks and stun guns couldn't throw a blanket over the head of a man with a knife, who was trapped in the basement of a house surrounded by police. I can't believe the excuse for killing this man: He stabbed my dog! I do believe we have to speak out against this.


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Lots of blame, little action by lawmakers


During the State of the Union address, I noticed that many members of Congress stood up when President Obama called for a vote on the gun issues ("State of our union? Slowly improving," Feb. 13). Even House Speaker John Boehner stood up. Does that mean Republicans will really vote on the issue? Or will they pass the buck, pass it back and forth, or kick it down the road?


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Seeing that the shelves are empty of all popular sizes of ammunition and that gun manufacturers can't make their product fast enough, Obama and the rest of the Democrats have now become responsible for the arming of America.


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Going to the mat to save ancient sport


I completely agree that wrestling should have remained an Olympic sport (Short Takes, Feb. 13). It's true that wrestling is especially important in the Midwest. I am a Minnesota native and have a connection with wrestling. The dedication, strength and disciplinary skills needed for this sport are incredible and worthy of ongoing recognition at the Olympic Games. Thankfully, wrestling will continue at local and national levels.


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The rich yahoos who run (and profit from) the Olympics have thrown out amateur wrestling, one of the longest-standing and most traditional of Olympic sports. Wrestling pits athletes of similar physical stature against each other. It's a truly democratic sport, because it makes room for all sizes of athletes and because the price of competition is relatively low. The real problem is that the majority of people reading this letter probably don't follow high school or college wrestling. Therefore, wrestling fans can't create a large enough demographic to satisfy the TV moguls. It's absurd to eliminate a sport that is more purely amateur than most. In the name of Dan Gable, save Olympic wrestling!


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Teens who pay taxes should get to vote


Throughout the State of the Union address, making sure Americans get their vote was a popular topic. President Obama spoke about how it was very difficult for too many Americans to vote in the recent election and also how victims of gun violence deserve a vote in Congress. I am 16 years old, work, pay taxes out of my paycheck, know how to make decisions on my own and, yet, I don't get to vote. It's not right that I don't get a say in the policies that affect my life and still must contribute a portion of my paycheck to these policies. Where is my vote? Why don't I deserve one?

It is time for America to lower its voting age to 16.


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Close the loophole on selfish tax-dodgers


The article about Minnesotans packing themselves off to Florida haunts me ("Shooting ourselves in the wallet," Feb. 4). I'm inclined to send a guilt cloud to those folks who get to the highest level of the incomes but think they don't owe anything more to Minnesota for the good life they and their children experienced here. It may be tricky, but I hope the Minnesota Legislature will find a way to exact a tax on people who flee the state just long enough to avoid taxes and then return to enjoy all the benefits taxes provide.


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Sorry, but you won't get hired here


Sorry, the too-tattooed job applicant gets no sympathy from this retired human-resources professional ("A taboo on tattoos shuts doors to some jobs," Feb. 14). Discrimination laws do not cover body art. Getting hired is a competitive process. Most jobs have many well-qualified applicants. Appearance matters. Candidates who arrive in T-shirts, cutoffs and flip-flops or with purple and orange dreadlocks, tongue jewelry that makes them lisp and visible tattoos are making a statement that their personal life choices are more important than their employment options. On the bright side, there are jobs at tattoo parlors, head shops and niche retailers where tattoos and implants would be a plus. There are also factory jobs and loading docks where no one cares what you look like.


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Maybe coaches were right about playing time


I suspect the actions by Farmington senior goaltender Austin Krause -- scoring on himself and flipping off his coaches -- reaffirms the reason the coaches didn't play him more in the first place ("In defiance, goalie scores on himself," Feb. 14).