Congratulations, Gov. Ventura. By successfully suing a widow, you have not only restored the honor of your name, but have managed to keep your name in the papers of your beloved “media jackals.”

Now that your reputation shines once again, and opportunities in the entertainment industry come racing back to your door, perhaps you might set a portion of that new income aside to help the family of your brother SEAL, Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle. After all, we would have forgotten all about you had it not been for the story (whether true or false) that Kyle included in his memoir.

Jeff Roemhildt, Eagan

WORK-ZONE SPEED LIMITS

Drivers will respond if the reason is apparent

There is a large issue not addressed by changes to the rules for drivers in construction zones (“New law reduces speed limits, clarifies signs near work zones,” July 29). In my observation, the credibility of speed limits in construction zones is severely compromised by how they are used; it is common to drive for miles without seeing any construction activity, and sometimes no activity is seen, especially on weekends and evenings.

Where construction workers are present, I observe that speed zone compliance is very high. I observe that drivers who do slow down will speed up again after about a quarter-mile if they see no construction activity. Therefore, for the signs that protect workers to have credibility, they should be displayed only when and where people are working. Having signs up where nobody is working is an extremely effective method of teaching drivers not to bother slowing down.

Note that the above refers only to the extreme speed restrictions that are for road worker safety. In some cases, the general speed limit also needs to be reduced due to roadway changes in the construction zone; those changes certainly should be in effect full time, and in these cases, drivers can see that there is a reason for a reduced limit.

Ted R. Larson, Chaska

 

AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

From polling, it looks like love/hate, actually

A July 26 letter writer, responding to the July 25 editorial (“2 judges, 6 words and millions at risk”), chastised the Star Tribune for not pointing out polling showing that the majority of Americans oppose the Affordable Care Act.

If you look at the detail of the very poll he cited, yes, only 40 percent of those surveyed support the act. But of those who are opposed, 17 percent take that position because they believe the law is not strong enough. It’s a safe presumption that most or all of the 17 percent would prefer a single-payer system or similar.

This is consistent with other poll findings, most recently CNN’s.

So, in fact, the majority of Americans support either the Affordable Care Act or something stronger.

Politicians who run wanting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and who are comforted by polls showing most Americans feel the same way, may get a nasty surprise on Election Day.

David Therkelsen, Minneapolis

• • •

Polls have shown:

• That most Americans are against Obamacare (RealClearPolitics).

• That most Americans are in favor of the provisions in Obamacare (ObamaCare Facts).

• That Americans like the Affordable Care Act more than they do Obamacare (Fox News poll).

• That many Americans don’t realize the Affordable Care Act and Obamacare are the same thing (“Jimmy Kimmel Live,” 2013).

The polling about Obamacare that I’ve seen clearly shows one thing: Americans are confused.

Stephen Monson, Golden Valley

 

CAMPAIGN ADS

Candidates, make them all about you

That was an interesting Hot Dish Politics entry about pending political ads (“With friends’ help, candidates heat up airwaves,” July 29). Here’s one tired voter with a plea and a hope: Make your ads positive. Enough with the lies and distortions about your opponent. I don’t even care about funny. Bashing the president or your opponent doesn’t cut it with me. What are you going to try to do to make this country better? How will you vote on immigration? What’s your stand on gun control? On Minnesota property taxes? How will you vote (if elected) on the debt ceiling and on the federal budget? Why are you running for office?

Carl Brookins, Roseville

 

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

Even criminals deserve a degree of empathy

It is unfortunate that a July 28 letter writer believes that all suffering that occurs in an execution except that of a murder victim and their family is irrelevant and not worthy of empathy, and that once the murderer is executed, the story has ended.

Mental-health troubles and addiction commonly haunt executioners. People convicted of murder have people whom they loved and who love them — children, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers. They all suffer. Then there’s the murder victim’s family. The murder of their loved one was traumatizing. To go through watching the execution can make them relive the trauma.

The belief that we can kill our way out of our suffering is a dangerous illusion both murderers and those who believe in execution often share.

Paul Rozycki, Minneapolis

 

POLICE MISCONDUCT

Their inherent power justifies high scrutiny

Our presidents have had mistresses; our priests have fathered children; our lawyers have been justly incarcerated, and our businessmen are often only one step ahead of the taxmen and the accountants, but we expect our cops to be perfect (“Use external probe in Mpls. police case,” July 29). This is as it should be. None of the fore listed are capable of summary execution for illegal cigarette sales or violent abuse of our persons and our civil rights. All police misconduct should be investigated by people outside their department and be made public.

John Crivits, St. Paul

 

VIKINGS STADIUM

Why is bird safety the team’s problem?

The fact that the Vikings decided to not contribute extra money to install glass that is designed to be less hazardous to birds has many people concerned. For those people, I suggest a grass-roots movement to convince the Legislature to kick in the additional funds. If this issue is about the birds and only the birds, then what difference does it make where the money comes from?

Don Mussell, Eden Prairie

 

GREETINGS

Here’s how to show respect — no cooties

Regarding the study on handshakes (“Here’s a bump for fist-bumps over handshakes for hygiene,” July 29), an even more hygienic greeting is the good old Indian greeting of “Namaste,” with hands folded and head bowed — no touching, no germ transfer.

Abhishek Chandra, Roseville