It’s possible to be both young and informed

The Star Tribune recently published a satirical article about how this year’s college graduates may be the most ignorant of any due to a lack of openness toward discussion (“Class of 2014, may you enjoy a most ignorant bliss,” May 18). The author, Stephen L. Carter, mentioned the undercover drone warfare policy of the U.S. military. As a high school graduate of 2014 who had to write a paper on the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, I took offense at the assumption that students my age are not informed. After writing a 10-page paper analyzing the social and economic advantages and disadvantages, I am well-informed on the problem, and I had great discussion with my peers.

Although there was debate and disagreement, I came to the conclusion that the U.S. drone policy must be changed to be more transparent and stricter regarding the use of UAVs. I decided to enact this change by starting a petition on Change.org. If you are interested, please look up my petition and help me to influence the bloated federal government.

Meanwhile, thank you to the Star Tribune for publishing articles I disagree with, because as Carter said, it is through disagreement that we learn.

Maxwell Anderson, Plymouth

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Sixty years ago I took Journalism 101, a class in which some time was spent discussing “yellow journalism,” about which students were cautioned. D.J. Tice’s May 18 article “America: Tough enough” was an opinion piece, but does that mean the same caution need not apply? Phrases stating that Vladimir Putin is “slobbering ravenously,” that Osama bin Laden “sleeps with the fishes” and that America has been battling “ragtag military midgets” were not informative but certainly were bright yellow.

Patricia Calvert, Rochester



Another highlight: The breeder bill

The May editorial “2014 session: More hits than misses” listed highlights of the recent legislative session. Under the subtitle of “compassion and justice,” it mentioned the medical marijuana bill, the antibullying bill and background checks for nursing licensure.

It would have been inclusive to also mention the passage of the Dog and Cat Breeder Regulation Bill, which finally will codify the breeding conditions for dogs and cats in Minnesota. This bill will require annual inspections of these businesses plus twice-daily human interaction with the animals (rather than their being in a cage 24/7 for the duration of their breeding lifetimes), as well as physical play with compatible animals.

Kudos to the authors of this bill, Rep. John Lesch and Sen. John Marty, to our legislators (who could comprehend human and animal suffering), to Gov. Mark Dayton (who adamantly spoke up for this bill) and to those thousands of Minnesota citizens who advocated for animal welfare.

Bonnie Anderson, New Brighton



Socialistic propaganda on Opinion Exchange

Steve Berg’s May 18 commentary (“Roads won’t fix themselves. Transit won’t just materialize.”) was a rant that would make über-liberals and central planners smile. Mr. Berg could hardly contain his visceral disdain for private automobile ownership. Yet the gas tax, which funds much of present-day “transit,” is on the wane due to more efficient vehicles and fewer miles driven. Berg would impose drastically high taxes on all manner of gasoline usage coming from “dirty fossil fuels.” Much of that, we know, historically has been diverted to costly and inefficient mass transit. Berg’s ramrod approach belongs in countries which operate on “five-year plans” and little personal freedom. The author even heaps criticism on the Democrats in office because New Urbanism hasn’t been forced on the citizens — fast enough.

The author claims that quality roads and transit draw investment, jobs and prosperity. It is the reverse. The reality is that states with competitive tax structures spur both new and expanded growth. That trickles down to a more robust job market and greater income. That new prosperity will fund new roads and repair. We can only hope that people like Steve Berg never get beyond their socialist pipe dreams wafting from their computers.

Joe Polunc, Cologne

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Liked the article, but why didn’t Berg also comment on the increase in license fees that accompanied that 8.5-cent gas tax increase? What happened to that money? It was a larger increase than the gas tax, but no one ever writes or says anything about the entire law that was put in effect. The license fees more than doubled, and this was retroactive, so that we had to pay more as soon as our license tab renewal came up.

Would be interested in how much that is bringing in and what is being done with it.

Joe Nesser, New Brighton



… think door-locking can happen silently

The guy who invented the car that honks just because you lock the door should be hunted down and sentenced to life with a car horn hung around his neck on a chain.

I can’t be the only person who’s stood on a sidewalk, or walked through a lot, minding his own business, only to be jump-startled by a car horn because the driver can’t be bothered to push the button on the door, or put the key in the hole.

It’s a ridiculously lazy waste of noise, that honking button in your pocket. I hope your batteries wear out and leave you stuck in the rain.

Phil Norcross, Roseville