Vikings must be careful not to alienate fan base


The Minnesota Vikings are playing with fire ("Seat licenses should not come as a shock," editorial, Nov. 15). A good many spectator sports are suffering declining attendance, including NFL football since 2007. And the sport has recently given us bounty payments for injuring opponents, the referee lockout that climaxed with the Green Bay Packers end-zone disaster and, of course, the whole subject of concussions.

Many fans choose to watch games on TV. I don't know what happens to ratings when fans record the games, but many of us do that and fast-forward through the commercials

Most families can't afford to attend games, and charging for seat licenses just adds insult to young folks who might have looked forward to buying season tickets in the past.

Gov. Mark Dayton is right-on.


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Holiday retail

Time for all of us to ponder our priorities


The time has come for American corporations to begin the essential task of reorientation toward a triple bottom line, a strategy that considers a reasonable profit margin but also incorporates working for the common good, including a greater consideration for the well-being of employees ("Thanks-buying? Stores start shopping season on the holiday," Nov. 14). Accepting responsibility to protect and sustain our earthly ecosystem would also be an essential element of a new ethical capitalism. Businesses and corporations need to begin this journey by allowing employees to rest, reflect and enjoy Thanksgiving.


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As you wander the aisle or surf the Web this holiday season, be conscious about your purchasing.

Studies say that $68 of every $100 stay in your community when you shop at independent local stores, vs. $43 when you shop with a national chain. If you're concerned about the economy, shopping local is putting the money where your mouth is.

Die-hard online shoppers and chain-store junkies, I hear your heart palpitating. A small gasp and thoughts of, "What about Target? What about Amazon?!?" I love my Amazon and Target, too. Take it easy. No need to go into withdrawal, you can just opt to buy a few of your gifts locally.

Americans are expected to spend an average of $646 on gifts this holiday season. Shop at an independent local business, and $439.38 will be injected back into your community. Shop at a national chain, and $277.78 -- that's $161.60 less -- will recirculate locally.

Now, as much as I believe in supporting local shops, did anyone else do a double-take that $646 is what the average American spends on the holidays? We've got a bigger issue than shopping local here, folks. Consumerism. This holiday season, think before you buy.


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Bonding bills

Projects should benefit the entire state


The Star Tribune's Nov. 12 editorial ("DFL needs GOP on state bonding") calls for GOP support of bonding bills that include projects that are high on the Editorial Board's list of unfinished business, including center upgrades in Rochester, Mankato and St. Cloud, and improvements to Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. The editorial goes on to state that these projects "stand to benefit much more than their immediate locales." Just saying it doesn't make it so.

An upgrade to a civic center in St. Cloud or Rochester or Mankato is not going to improve my quality of life in Prior Lake. Bonding-bill dollars should be used for the benefit of all state residents, for projects that we all use. Hopefully, in its new role as the minority party, the GOP can still have some impact by insisting that bonding dollars be used to respond to citizen needs, and not to political wants. If the GOP fails in this regard, the party will become irrelevant to Minnesota politics.


A con man's story

Our military uses similar fear tactics


What an interesting news story about the shady character who mesmerized and gained control of an entire family of some nobility and prominence in France ("A modern day Rasputin?" Nov. 14).

The Rasputin-like con man was apparently able to insidiously gain the trust of the family by convincing them they had enemies who wanted to kill them but that he could and would protect them. Through that ingenious deception based on fear, the guy was able to totally manipulate their minds and control all of the members of the entire extended family for more than a decade, draining away every bit of their wealth in the process.

He came to so fully control his victims' contacts with the outside world that they had little way of learning how they were being victimized until one of the younger family members finally got wise to what was going on.

Did anyone else make the connection between this Rasputin story and what President Eisenhower warned us about a long time ago -- our U.S. military-industrial complex?


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Jason Lewis

Right to vote prevailed over suppression push


If buying Sudafed, cashing a check or flying on an airplane were constitutional rights, like voting, I could understand the rage of ID proponents like Jason Lewis ("Voter ID foes fought dirty to get a win," Nov. 11).

Instead I am proud to be in Minnesota, where the right to vote -- and register on election day -- prevailed against the pack of lies and scurrilous attacks promoted by those who hope to reduce voting.