The Jan. 2 article “In defense of squirrel hunting” had a glaring omission. Nowhere did it mention the joys of eating squirrel meat, no jokes about the empty pot that night, etc. Instead of perceiving that hunters are bypassing squirrels (and rabbits) for turkey and deer, perhaps the writer should look at it as hunters evolving not to kill for the sake of killing — for the glorious day in the woods just to take out some of those “woodland rats” — but to a higher standard of only killing what they intend to eat.

Celeste LaMosse, Eden Prairie

CAPITALISM

Economy roars despite Obama

Ever notice when the economy is on the rise for just one quarter and the Democrats are in the White House, it’s like the second coming of the gold rush. Never mind that the Republicans control the purse strings or that the oil fields are booming, putting people back to work at good-paying jobs. Never mind that the Democratic president is anti-oil and anti-business. Finally, his anti-capitalism policies must be working. But when the Republicans hold the White House and the economy is smoking along quarter after quarter, what do we get? Crickets … lots and lots of crickets.

I’m not complaining, mind you — I hope this 5 percent growth continues ad infinitum. In fact, I don’t care who gets credit as long as the economy keeps smoking. It’s just kind of silly that the reason we’re growing is in complete contrast to the president’s ideology. But then, that’s capitalism for you — it always finds a way to thrive.

Bob Huge, Edina

 

MONEY IN POLITICS

America has an identity crisis

A Jan. 2 letter writer, noting money flowing into political parties, PACs and super PACs (“Analysis incomplete without dark money”), argues that the “real issue” to be addressed in our “democracy” is the disclosure of the “money” behind the prominent political messages.

Disclosing who is using their money to wrap politicians around their fingers may not even change things that much and isn’t the real issue for democracy. The real issue for democracy here is the disconnect between an America with an identity as a self-governing nation of equals, and the reality that the amount of money a person can throw around in politics gives them way more influence over the average person in getting politicians to go to bat for them.

Paul Rozycki, Minneapolis

 

CORPORATE ETHICS

Small employers aren’t the issue

As retirees who are well-off yet concerned about domination of our economic and political systems by large corporations, we easily agree with a Dec. 30 letter writer — “Corporate responsibility: Some exemplify it (and don’t crave recognition)” — and applaud his employer’s business. We would only point out that 1) the business is local, and the employer takes personal responsibility for running it, in many ways that contribute to the community just as he reasonably profits from it, and 2) This is the “American business” meme that corporate apologists often misleadingly invoke to argue for more social giveaways to large corporations and their millionaire “leaders,” who show no such responsibility.

John Davenport and Peter Sammond, Minneapolis

 

POST-HOLIDAY

One last vote for the Christmas market

I hope Minneapolis continues the new tradition of the Christmas market. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The vendors had high-quality gifts, the food was great and the entertainments were cute. We were a bit put off by an entrance fee until we found out it would be good for re-entry for the season.

We have visited the market in Chicago, and we feel that Minneapolis did an admirable job for its first year.

Vickie Lind, Minneapolis

 

CITRUS BOWL

Kudos to U (both team and marching band)

Congratulations to Jerry Kill and the University of Minnesota football team on a great season. It was a great time in Orlando to watch them play. I do believe the wonderful U marching band deserves our thanks though, too, since they spent much more time on the field at the Citrus Bowl than the Gophers’ offense did!

Chuck Waletzko, Bloomington

 

OUT IN PUBLIC

One more plea for fragrance restraint

Please, please help me to persuade the people who insist on wearing fragrances that it is sometimes deadly and always serious to the many people who have allergies. Is it really necessary to load up their clothing, their skin and their hair with “just a little” of the scent?

I have had to quit singing in the church choir (they said they had a “no-fragrance policy” when I joined, but they didn’t enforce it). I had to leave many times in the middle of the services to use my inhaler and try to keep from going to the emergency room just in order to keep breathing.

Statements like the following really are annoying:

 

• “I just put a little on …”

• “Go and sit over there …”

• “All I used was scented hand lotion …”

• “It isn’t me — I never wear perfume very often.”

 

I always ask people in a nice way, saying: “It is not a whim; it is a serious health problem.” Yet too many people still think they can put on “just a little” and I won’t be affected. Once someone who has allergies (and there are more than people realize) takes a few breaths of perfumed air, the damage is done. It is in the lungs and the rest is very serious.

Many doctors’ offices, real estate offices and other public places have signs saying: “This is a fragrance-free workplace.” And they enforce it, because many of those employees can’t tolerate fragrances, either.

Remember when smoking was allowed in public places? After thousands of people died from that, here we are polluting the air with chemical fragrances that too many people find deadly. Thanks for listening!

Donna Hawkinson, Plymouth