I appreciate a June 3 letter writer’s helpful advice to women regarding our safety; however, he misunderstands the scope of the issue. Women are not camping in bear-infested areas; we are living in bear-infested communities. Women are not wandering aimlessly in foreign countries vulnerable to strangers; we are walking down our own streets, and we are in the company of men we know and trust. Sobriety, companions, sprays and whistles are not enough to keep women safe. No precautions we take can protect us from catcalls, “compliments” on our appearance that men never receive, and myriad other social and professional slights — but I admit I am curious to see if sprays and whistles would help us achieve equal pay.
Men and women need to understand that we are facing a cultural epidemic of misogyny. Continuing the June 3 letter writer’s theme of analogies, taking vitamin C is not going to protect me from the aggressive cancer of entitled men.
Lauren Ciechanowski, Minneapolis
At long last, action to fight climate change
Thank you, Mr. President, for taking aggressive, effective action to curtail climate change (“Obama to slash carbon pollution,” June 2). The new EPA regulations on greenhouse gas emissions are a major step forward. You deserve our appreciation and respect for taking difficult but essential measures to protect the future for our children and grandchildren.
Bruce D. Snyder, Mendota Heights
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I really love this planet, and the impending realities of climate change trouble me deeply every day. The new EPA standards give me a glimpse of hope that we as humans can behave with conscience and consciousness and care for our home, and I am grateful.
Julie Madden, Minneapolis
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Go to Minnehaha Falls to see the beauty of the raging waters. Then go upstream to see the water lapping at the basements of houses along the banks. This is the cost of global warming. As the atmosphere heats, it holds more moisture. More moisture means heavier downpours like we experienced last weekend. Insurance will pay for the homes; your insurance rates will go up. Someone has to pay for larger flood plains; your taxes will go up. The giant coal companies are warning that any action to halt carbon emissions will hurt the economy. What they really mean is that it will hurt their profits. Short-term profits may be beautiful to some, but the long-term costs are frightening. Which will we choose?
Richard Crose, Bloomington
Really, it’s working for those who use it
I’m a frequent Lyft user, and I was excited to see ride-sharing come to Minneapolis. Contrary to claims made by taxi cab operators (“No special treatment for UberX and Lyft,” June 3), I have never felt unsafe as a Lyft passenger. In fact, I feel safer because the mobile platform means I can see the name, picture and user rating of the driver who is picking me up. It also removes any need for me (or the drivers) to carry cash.
All of the drivers I’ve ridden with work other jobs in addition to driving for Lyft when they have spare time. They have been knowledgeable about the city and have made me feel comfortable and welcome in their cars. There is no doubt in my mind that this is not a taxi service and that it should not be forced into rules or regulations that were created before smartphones existed.
Andrew Wagner, Minneapolis
Nagging problem: Trucks at rush hour
Many years ago, the Legislature was considering a law that would have forbidden semitrailer trucks to drive during rush hour. The trucking industry promised that if that law was not passed, truckers would not drive during rush hour. At first this worked well. But truckers have gradually taken over the roads during rush hour. Consider an accident this winter on Interstate 394 in which both lanes were blocked by accidents involving semis. Semis: Stay off the roads during rush hour so that those of us that are trying to get to work can do so in a timely manner.
Barbara Boyce, Blaine
You may not like it, but war is an answer
President Theodore Roosevelt and I nearly gagged as we read the June 2 letter “Military intervention: Those who are skeptical deserve more credit.” The author conveniently omitted examples for both of his two main arguments: that the U.S. government’s “professed aims are rarely achieved by force” and that economic restraints, as made famous by President Obama, are the more reliable option in terms of foreign policy.
Now, for my next trick, I will cite examples using a word that sanctions-lovers despise: the Mexican-American war, Latin American operations in the 1920s, the Persian Gulf War and, finally, the war on terror that has successfully decentralized Al-Qaida. Not to mention nearly every war from 1775 to the present, save Vietnam. In all of these conflicts, our military has successfully protected both U.S. and human interests.
Have economic sanctions deterred Vladimir Putin and Russia? Or Bashar Assad and Syria? I defer to the judgment of the thousands of pro-Ukrainians in Crimea or maybe to the schoolchildren killed by chemical weapons in Syria.
Coming from a teen with hopes of becoming a military officer and an understanding of the phrase “freedom is not free”: Let’s not back down in the face of danger, oppression and tyranny; let’s rise back up and remind the world who we are — Americans.
Sam Pahl, Eden Prairie
Let’s be rid of one common argument
The June 2 article “Students dig deep on mine question” quoted Bruce Richardson, a Polymet executive, as follows: “The question is should they be mined in Minnesota, a place of strong environmental responsibility to stakeholders, or leave the mining to somewhere else in the world where regulations are lax?” How, pray tell, is mining in Minnesota going to prevent mining elsewhere where standards are lax?
William K. Dustin, Stillwater
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Congratulations to six University of Minnesota students for their award-winner paper arguing that Polymet should not be allowed to proceed with its proposed mine. A special thanks to Richardson, who pointed out that the students were “in over their heads.” Pity the poor kids who simply do not realize that executives are the ones who fully understand these issues. In Richardson’s words, “the real questions have been answered.” Of course they have! However, much of the world knows that Mark Twain really answered all the questions when he said: “A mine is a hole in the ground with a liar standing beside it.”
Richard Robertson, Vadnais Heights