Too much focus on economic differences

As a kid growing up in a small town, I was amazed at the sport facilities that the city kids enjoyed ("Cash floods prep sports," May 26). No big deal. The arena or field wasn't the issue; we just liked playing the game. Would we have wanted bigger or better? Probably, but the issue never gained any traction. We had parents and other adults who refused to buy into the whining and envy. Their philosophy? Get over yourselves; if you want to play, just go play. Today's consistent drumbeat to the theme of the haves vs. the have-nots is destructive on every front. Get over it and play ball.

JAN MOE, Lake Shore, Minn.

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Some schools have better equipment, uniforms and facilities because their programs are better at fundraising. Many parents and staff take it upon themselves to solicit funds and items to benefit the band, sports and any department in the school that might need extra things. Maybe the parents of children in schools wanting to grow their fundraising could tap the expertise of parents who've helped other schools with successful fundraising programs. The issue isn't who has the most, but who does the most.


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Wayzata's pro-sports-type billboard is a laughable, over-the-top sign of excess. High school sports can create great friendships and memories and help many kids grow into mature and successful adults. That should be the focus.

VIRGINIA PETERSON, Inver Grove Heights


Official merchandise should be made in U.S.

Much of the official clothing of the professional sports teams we all love is being made in third-world countries where labor costs are cheaper. At the prices charged for this merchandise, we must either expect the expert craftsmanship of the United States or much lower prices. Frankly, I would like to see people use Twitter and Facebook to contact the NFL, media outlets, sports teams, lawmakers and anyone who will listen. Tell them we want our textile companies to manufacture our multibillion-dollar sports clothing and merchandise. These are jobs we never had, but jobs we badly need now.

SCOTT MONIGAL, Green Bay, Wis.


Some will be happy for the wrong reasons

The story on the new tobacco tax didn't stress that it will create jobs and income ("Tobacco tax hike raises cash, concerns," May 26). Unfortunately, Minnesota will see neither on its books. In my opinion, a new industry will spring up overnight in which you place your order and, once your supplier has enough business, he'll travel to Missouri or North Dakota for his happy customers and make some big bucks himself. If he gets caught, he'll get a slap on the wrist, a small fine and probation. It will be interesting to see what impact this will have on the millions of dollars a year the governor estimates this new tax will generate for the Vikings stadium.

TOM CARLSON, New Brighton

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Advice for the three-pack-a-week cigarette smoking Packer fan not happy about having to contribute $19.20 a month toward the new Vikings stadium because of the increase in tobacco tax: Quit smoking, move to Wisconsin or, if you choose, do neither. As a Viking fan, I thank you for your generous contribution.



Fatigue compromises everyone's safety

Thank you for the front-page article about the impact of sleep deprivation and fatigue on flight attendants ("Many flight attendants dangerously exhausted," May 26). I was a flight attendant for more than 22 years when I decided to retire early and take a buyout for many reasons, one of them being fatigue and my dependence on the sleep medication Ambien on layovers. I was exhausted from long days of work and anxious about being away from home and staying in dirty hotel rooms. Sadly, flight attendants aren't recognized as safety professionals, even though they are the first line of defense in an in-flight emergency. Mandates are needed to protect them from making mistakes that could put passengers and themselves in harm's way. I loved being a flight attendant, but being in control of how much sleep I receive has made me a happier and healthier person.

TERRI HERBST, Eden Prairie


Assessing her legacy in the U.S. Congress

Michele Bachmann has defended the unborn and the institution of marriage. She has fought for all taxpayers by fighting against bailouts of institutions that failed largely due to government intervention in the marketplace. She fought against trillion-dollar deficit spending that will confiscate the earnings of wage earners for many years to come. She's fought against ever expanding government programs that, under the guise of "helping" people, create an enervating and enslaving dependency on government.

To the enlightened left, who see ever-lowering moral standards and ever-increasing dependency on government as an increase in freedom, these actions make her a failure. But to us unenlightened rubes who think that there actually is a connection between truth and freedom, and a role for following the rule of law as established by our Constitution, she is a heroine. Thank you, Michele! Carry on!

Michael Bird, St. Anthony

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This one statement from New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow sums up what we need to know about Michele Bachmann: "According to PolitiFact, of the 59 statements by Bachmann that the site has checked since 2009, 44 (a whopping 75 percent) were mostly false or worse."

JIM BARTOS, Brooklyn Park