The hypocrisy (or at least obliviousness) of members of the entertainment industry who loudly condemn Harvey Weinstein and his abettors but who excused (and perhaps still excuse) the documented and mostly admitted behavior of Roman Polanski is really starting to bother me. This is a guy who, in his 30s, drugged and repeatedly raped a 13-year-old girl. It really doesn’t get any lower than that (and there are allegations that she was not his only or last victim). Yet, despite full knowledge that this absolutely happened (it was not just whispered allegations), he has faced no consequences from the entertainment industry. Instead, he has been showered with decades of plaudits and has garnered unabashed praise from actors who profess an unconditional desire to work with him (including many actors who now condemn Weinstein). Every member of the entertainment industry who supported him and who now publicly bemoans the poisonous and pervading “culture” that allowed Weinstein (and others) to continue their predations really needs to take a good long look in the mirror — and isn’t that what movie stars are good at?
Tom Vollbrecht, Plymouth
This is the kind of market that Trump intends to create
I don’t have to wait for six months to know how President Donald Trump’s plan to help millions of families will work. I know because I have lived through it.
Like many Americans, I lost my job in the fall of 2008. Our first option for family health care was a COBRA plan that cost $2,000 a month for a family of five. Or, we could find much cheaper health insurance on the open private market. That seemed quite promising. While these plans were cheap, they offered very minimal coverage. But one big problem. One of our children had taken a medication that precluded our eligibility for these plans. They were cherry-pickers. They only took individuals and families who had perfect risk profiles. That made the COBRA plan the only option that we had.
So that is what Trump is creating. A market for those who have no risk factors and a second and wildly unaffordable market for everyone else. Anyone between 50 and 65 will be slammed by this order.
Michael Emerson, Eden Prairie
Criticism of Gabriel-Tomas was steeped in poor understanding
An Oct. 13 letter writer argues that fear of violence in Guatemala was not a valid reason for Jacobo Gabriel-Tomas to have come to Minnesota. Let’s look at the numbers. According to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime International Homicide Statistics database, the rate of homicides per 100,000 population in recent years in Guatemala has ranged from 31 to 45. The rate for the United States ranges from 4.9 to 5.4, and, last year in Minnesota, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension informs us that Minnesota had a homicide rate of 1.8 per 100,000. So, the writer loses. Also, he argues that north Minneapolis and Chicago can be dangerous places. Before his deportation this month, Gabriel-Tomas had chosen to live in Worthington.
James M. Dunn, Edina
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Regarding the Oct. 13 letter writer’s stance that Gabriel-Tomas “is in my country illegally — we are a nation of laws; he is breaking our laws”: We do not write laws for the sake of writing laws; they are in support of a criminal-justice system to keep us safe and benefit our nation. What justice or benefit is there in deporting a hardworking, law-abiding, taxpaying member of the community? Especially when said community fought to have him stay?
If you need to punish someone like Gabriel-Tomas, or the Dreamers, who have broken the law but pose no danger to society, then make it community service. And then grant these people citizenship, because they have clearly proven that they can be productive, vital citizens. And that, after all, is the point of immigration laws — not an impossible, ever-changing series of hoops to jump through, but a way for hardworking people to become citizens of a country that will benefit, as it always has, from their contributions.
Jennie Brandt, Minneapolis
THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY
If Kelly seemed a little sheepish, it’s because he has reason to be
I found the performance of John Kelly, President’s Donald Trump’s chief of staff, at the White House press briefing Thursday astonishing on two counts. First, while the intent seemed to be to assure us that he wasn’t leaving his job, the effect, which I suspect Kelly understood better than his boss, was to plead not guilty to the staggering incompetence of the president. He was asking us — and history, perhaps — not to judge him too harshly because it’s not his fault; he’s only the organizer of information, not an influencer. Second, Kelly’s claim to have so little influence is troubling given that his boss is constantly telling us one of his primary interests, even in his dispute with the NFL, is to respect and honor our military personnel. Yet in case after case, the president ignores the advice of both current and former military officers who are widely acclaimed to be smart and capable. His repeated disregard for the views of experienced military advisers suggests neither respect nor honor. I was embarrassed for Kelly — but will not exonerate him.
Dave Smith, Minneapolis
THE MEDIA AND THE PRESIDENCY
Trump’s words and deeds, not reporting, lead to the ‘hate’
An Oct. 13 letter writer stated that the Star Tribune and the news media in general were responsible for the “Trump hate” in Minnesota and the rest of the country. It seems that some people now believe that by reporting exactly what the president says or does, the media has either a “liberal bias” or is delivering “fake news.”
The president daily says, does or more likely tweets something that is usually newsworthy and sometimes inflammatory. That’s a fact. Some of us disagree with most of what he says or does; some agree. That’s opinion. The president’s actions, not the truthful reporting of those actions, form our opinions one way or the other. People need to stop blaming the media for reporting the facts and start looking at what the president is actually saying and doing. They need to consider that maybe the president’s words and actions are causing the increase in the “Trump hate” in Minnesota and the country. To put it simply, stop blaming the messenger.
Dave Cunningham, Oakdale
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Thank you, thank you for Steve Sack’s cartoons. He is a genius. And funny. Don’t let someone like the Oct. 13 letter writer tell you otherwise.
We need Sack to brighten our days.
Gloria Kiester, Northfield
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Thanks to the Guthrie Theater, we are reminded of one of our great writers — Lillian Hellman (“Standing ‘Watch’ as clouds gather,” Oct. 10). She was well ahead of her time as a champion of freedoms. Now, in our time — a time of so-called “fake news” — we need many to speak out clearly for facts, not lies, as she did in her book “Scoundrel Time”: “Truth made you a traitor, as it often does in a time of scoundrels.”
Robert McCollister, Edina