On longer retail hours and the meaning of life


So, now we can buy more stuff before we even finish the pumpkin pie ("Thanks-buying? Stores start shopping season on the holiday," Nov. 14). Retailers, it would seem, trust that our need to gather more things is far stronger than our need to say "thank you." We're reminded that we can leave the table and walk off the meal right away in most every big-box store or mall.

After we do that, I wonder if we won't return home to our essential hunger, that desire in each of us to experience gratitude.


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I was very disappointed to learn that Target will be opening its doors on Thanksgiving night to allow customers a more "convenient" time to shop for "Black Thursday" deals. I've grown up learning that Thanksgiving is about giving thanks (thus the name) for the things you have and the things you cherish in life. Now, by opening on Thanksgiving night, the whole concept of the holiday turns from what we give thanks for to what we need. I hope most Minnesotans understand the meaning of Thanksgiving and do not give in to the large corporations' twisted definition of the holiday.


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Thanksgiving preaches the importance of family, love and thankfulness. Is it not ironic that Americans line up for hours to shop that night?



Jason Lewis

Bitter taste of defeat lingers on photo ID


The people have spoken on the Minnesota voter ID amendment, and they've done so resoundingly: "No!"

Jason Lewis just can't let go ("Voter ID foes fought dirty to get a win," Nov. 11). He trots out the usual specious argument that if you have to produce an ID to buy Sudafed, then surely something as important as voting should also require an ID. And if it's not buying Sudafed, it's buying booze, paying for gas, getting on a plane or cashing a check.

We're all smart enough, Lewis included, to know that none of these activities is guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. The right to vote is.

Lewis cites the U.S. Supreme Court's 2008 ruling supporting Indiana's voter ID law as a compelling legal reason for photo ID. Let's not forget that this is the same Supreme Court that told us corporations are people.


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Maybe Minnesota voters are smarter than Lewis, who's still surprised they saw through the Republican ruse of the voter ID amendment.

Not only did it fail despite grossly distorted statistics, much to the Republican's chagrin, it backfired, driving Minnesota citizens concerned about voter disenfranchisement, artfully wrought by the Republican Legislature, to overwhelmingly trust Democrats to preserve Minnesota's well-earned integrity.


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One wonders if Lewis is as upset about "big outside money and big lies" helping Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann get re-elected as he is about them helping defeat the voter ID amendment.



Electoral college

It's one of the reasons the country is divided


The Electoral College did not serve us well, as the Nov. 11 column by D.J. Tice would have us believe ("The good ol' Electoral College comes through for us again"). It only serves to divide the country and delegitimize elections. What do all the TV networks and other news media show on election eve? A big map with the country divided into red and blue states. The states that neither side can claim yet are of course called battlegrounds.

If we were to abolish the Electoral College, we would create a new paradigm. We would have no reason to show red and blue states on a map and no reason to fight over battlegrounds. Why pit the coasts and the Upper Midwest against the South and the West? Why keep the divisions of the Civil War on our TV screens every four years?

Tice writes that "this narrow victory [of about 2 percentage points] was transformed into a clear, decisive and unassailable majority in the Electoral College." Really? We shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking that 2 percent is a clear, decisive majority anymore than Mitt Romney should have fooled himself into believing right-wing pundits who predicted a landslide for him. The right will not respect this victory any more than they respected President Obama's election in 2008. We live in a rigidly divided country, and the Electoral College is part of the problem.



Prison health care

Unanswered questions about apparent lapses


The stories on lapses in prison medical care left out important pieces of information that may have been available ("I felt like they were trying to kill me," Nov. 11) It is not uncommon for a patient to be less than totally honest with his doctor, sometimes withholding information that could lead to correct diagnosis and relief. We learned of an inmate in pain, but judged to be a "faker" by a nurse who visited him in his cell. The article did not reveal the probable cause of the blood clot in the neck.

What could cause a blood clot that presses on the nerves atop the spine? A blow from a fist or club in a fight? A knife wound? Would a prisoner fail to reveal the cause of an injury even at the risk of his own life?

Other cases that were mentioned involved seizures, pulmonary embolism and brain hemorrhage. The causes of these conditions were not discussed.

If we are to use the story as evidence to bring about reforms in prison medical care, we first must have specifics about causes and the degree of openness on the part of the prisoners.