As a follower of the Prior Lake Mudcats, I enjoyed the recent article on small-town baseball (“Town-ball territory,” July 6). When I first started following the Mudcats, I was amazed to find the kinds of fields they played at.

Two-dollar hotdogs — nothing tastes better than at a ballgame. The sad part is the attendance. Most of the players are high school or college level or more — this is not sandlot baseball. It’s a great way to see Minnesota, going to towns like Veseli,Webster, New Market or Union Hill.

If you want to see good baseball and not have to go in debt for it, see some local ballgames. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Francis Taranto, Minneapolis


Ignition interlock devices are flawed

A July 8 letter writer states that MADD is lobbying for ignition interlock devices for first-time drunken driving offenders. I would invite those lobbyists to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicles before they suggest that someone else should be required to have one.

One of our family cars had such a system. It was the worst piece of technology I have ever encountered. The thing is designed to keep the car from starting; therefore, any malfunction will ensure that the car does not start. Many, many times we dealt with system lockouts, a dead car battery or the need for a tow, even with no alcohol on the breath.

Maybe after having an ignition interlock system, the MADD lobbyists will realize that sober drivers can’t start these cars, either.

Paula Evensen, St. Louis Park



Speaking for men, speaking for women

Absolutely incredible what I read from other men regarding women’s reproductive rights. Gentlemen, your opinions are noted and welcome, but one thing: We don’t get pregnant. Our wives, sisters and daughters do. The absolute arrogance with which we men deign to speak to our women about their reproductive choices is, well, stunning.

Simple solution, guys: Let’s stop approaching our women with a gleam in our eye.

Absolute fundamental courtesy to our women demands that we accord them the respect due their bodies. A woman in this 21st century should have all necessary medical means to plan a family in the best manner she chooses. Anything less is uncivilized.

Charles Krumrie, Minneapolis

• • •

A recent letter writer (“Criticisms of ruling are overwrought,” July 3) notes that the current Supreme Court has a 5-4 split favoring conservative philosophy. I could argue that Justice Anthony Kennedy is really a swing vote who could come down on either side, but for purposes of this letter I will concede his point.

To address this issue, the writer implores women of “all political stripes” to be active in the 2016 election. I can only assume that he would prefer they vote Democratic so the balance in the court can be altered in case a suitable opening arises.

The writer may think that women are a monolithic voting block. I guess he must have been influenced by the constant drumbeat of the “war on women” and the belief that “access to contraceptives” is being eliminated. One only needs to listen to organizations like NOW, NARAL, Planned Parenthood and Emily’s List, as well as a number of senators and representatives who show up on certain cable networks to continue this type of accusatory dialog.

Millions of women and men applaud the decision by the Supreme Court. We do not see this case as an issue involving contraception but as a reaffirmation of religious liberty. We may not be as vocal as other groups as noted above, but we are out here, and we vote. We thank Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood for their pledge to apply their religious tenets in their business operations.

Gary Dreyer, Bloomington



Another common cause: The era of oil

The July 3 commenary about tireless protesters at the Lake Street bridge caught my eye (“Get up! Stand up! For a cause. In perpetuity …”). At a recent Sierra Club and MN350 rally at the same bridge to oppose the expansion of tar sands oil pipelines, I was one of 130 people joining hands across the river. There appeared to be almost universal support, with honking and friendly waves.

A neighbor commented that she had not seen that many people on the bridge since the Iraq war, and indeed, we are in another war to save the planet from destruction by greenhouse gases and burning of fossil fuels. From proposals to increase the flow of Canadian tar sands across Minnesota via the Alberta Clipper pipeline to threats to communities and pristine waters along the new proposed Sandpiper crude pipeline from the Bakken — we’re in an era of extreme oil, with mounting risks and costs.

Much of this oil would be exported, increasing the world’s emissions as we try to reduce ours. Meanwhile, we face water shortages, record heat, severe storms, flooding, and the list goes on.

When will we say “enough,” decide to leave the most polluting fossil fuels in the ground, and look to renewables, conservation and efficiency?

Terry R. Houle, Bloomington



The ‘worst’ Oval Office occupant? Think twice

The news lately has been hard on President Obama, and this is complicated by those “deciding” that he is the worst of modern-day presidents. Let’s look back farther in presidential history and see if there are any comparisons.

One president rated at or near the bottom of the list is James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln’s predecessor. Buchanan had every chance to prevent or at least delay the Civil War, leaving Lincoln to start his march to greatness. Although Lincoln never got to finish his second term, there are some interesting parallels between him and his fellow Illinoisan, Obama. Lincoln did some things that made him quick enemies with the radicals in Congress: abolishing habeas corpus, shutting down newspapers that were anti-administration, jailing opponents without due process among them. He stretched the Constitution as far as possible. I realize that the Civil War basically cannot compare with Afghanistan or other places in Europe also engaged in war, but the idea is still there.

It’s true that many second-term presidents have it rough, but could any of you do any better? I doubt it.

Peter Clark, Roseville