Use the funds the way voters intended

Regarding Doug Smith's Dec. 30 column, "War of words," would the voters of DFL Rep. Mary Murphy's Hermantown district please send her home? Politicians like her are the reason the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment passed in the first place. Politicians can't be trusted with our money, and she's proof.

She and her committee are a disgrace to the rest of the Legislature, and the DFL legislative leadership should correct it, with no standing behind rules and protocols.

The voters' intentions regarding the Wildlife Amendment in 2008 were crystal clear: dedicated funds to restore, protect and enhance the outdoors for the benefits of fish and game. Not ecosystems, city parks, bike trails, etc.



It's a job killer and a job repressor

A Dec. 30 letter by a former career Labor Department bureaucrat claimed the haves have had it in for the have-nots for decades because the wealthy have allegedly conspired to oppose increasing artificial wage floors (minimum wage rates).

He claimed that jobs were never killed by such measures, which is untrue. But the real issue is jobs that were never created, which he conveniently didn't mention.

By setting an artificial minimum wage by decree, those whose skills are not worth whatever wage Washington finds adequate (generally, low-skilled young people) are simply not employed. Unemployment among young adults is currently estimated to be greater than 50 percent. Essentially, our elected officials and career bureaucrats in government have told millions of young people that they are unqualified for any job.



Racial profiling will not make fliers any safer

A Dec. 29 letter on the attempted airline attack states that we won't be safe until we have intense profiling like Israel does with El Al airlines. Will profiling really help or only lead to discrimination against completely innocent people? To single out people because of religion or appearance is not the answer to stopping an evil.



The president recently stated that he would take "every possible step" to track down Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's terrorist-support network.

Yet, by charging Abdulmutallab as a common criminal who broke U.S. laws, he automatically granted this non-U.S. citizen his Miranda rights against self-incrimination, as well as immediate and full legal representation and protection.

President Obama's failure to recognize and charge Abdulmutallab as an enemy combatant or as the terrorist he clearly is denied the FBI and CIA immediate and critical access to him, resulting in the failure to take advantage of their ability to use interrogation methods designed to extract as much information as possible from him during the critical 48 hours following his failed attack.

Abdulmutallab is the living, breathing tip of a terror network, yet because Obama made the decision to instead charge this terrorist as a common criminal, his terrorist network remains completely intact. And good luck getting him to talk and divulge anything now that he's "lawyered up."



American travelers have a right to be angry and scared about how ineffective and uncommitted our government, airports and major airlines are about safeguarding passengers from terrorist attacks. The recent attempted bombing of the Amsterdam-to-Detroit Delta Airline flight is yet another example of the folly of airline security measures.

It is high time that the American free enterprise system does what our government has once again failed to do -- keep us safe from yet another preventable terrorist attack. Our free enterprise system could meet this challenge if allowed to do so. It could allow either major airlines or private charter airlines to operate with more autonomy so that they could choose who boards their airplanes and what security measures are deployed to ensure our safety. I would wager that most Americans would choose to fly on airlines with the most stringent boarding and security measures.


sports talk

The Vikings have gotten soft in the Dome

Now that the Vikings are in the midst of their latest December swoon, it is patently obvious that they have become Dome wimps. They are unable to play well in cold weather, unlike their predecessors at Met Stadium.

With all the talk of a new Vikings stadium, I can only support an open-air stadium. Then maybe the Vikings can relearn to play in all types of weather and regain their Nordic mystique.

And, by the way, an open-air stadium will be significantly less expensive to build.



Tim Brewster has two years left on a five-year contract and University of Minnesota Athletic Director Joel Maturi is talking to him -- a coach who has a 14-23 overall record and 6-18 in the Big Ten -- about a contract extension?

What am I missing here? Why extend someone's contract when you may have to fire him next year? Of course, it is only money.