BUSINESS AND TAXES
Pity the seekers of class warfare
What a refreshing, uplifting article ("Thankful grocer shares his success") during Thanksgiving! And yet, what a glaring contrast between the joyous front-page story about Joe Lueken and the three downer inputs on fiscal policy (Readers Write, Nov. 23).
Lueken's is an American story of vision, hard work, success and self-directed generosity benefiting himself and so many in his community. Then come the dark conspiratorial voices of small, envious minds: the class warfare foghorns who challenge the wealthy to give increasingly more to a government that supposedly "invests" taxpayer money more wisely than earners would.
I, for one, am thankful for the vigor, inspiration and exercise of freedom Mr. Lueken has had to make business and charitable choices for himself. He did what he thought was best, and he and his community benefited. What a stark contrast between his attitude and those who covet from the sidelines of industry.
ARNE SKAALURE, PLYMOUTH
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Regarding "High earners, make your specific case" (Readers Write, Nov. 23): We continue to be bombarded with the concept that raising taxes on the top 1 percent of wage earners in the United States will harm the economy by stalling job creation, as many of the "wealthy" are business owners.
I look at this from a different angle. Some of the "wealthy" (like me) are not business owners. I'm not the CEO of Target or 3M. But I do fuel the economy as a consumer. If my taxes are increased, it's not as if my life will suffer (I make no apologies for my income, which I have worked very hard to obtain), but what of the effect on the economy if consumers like me have less money to spend on material purchases?
PAUL JOHNSON, EDEN PRAIRIE
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Audience is snubbed along with musicians
We're among those season-ticket holders "locked out" of the 2012-13 season by the Board of the Minnesota Orchestra. Oh, we get lots of options, and mail that would pretend that life goes on, business as usual. The fact remains, we're locked out, just like the orchestra.
I found particularly interesting a Nov. 23 letter to the editor that stated: "We must recognize the size of our market." Goodness, if we are a small market, then we better reassess having those Twins and Vikings and T-Wolves et al.
I happened to look at the roster of board members of the orchestra before writing this letter. It is a who's-who of the financial heavyweights of the Twin Cities, best as I can see, including the publisher and CEO of the Star Tribune. It has to be vexing for them to be interfered with by a union of musicians.
But bear in mind that we buy tickets to hear the Minnesota Orchestra, not listen to the lament of faceless, likely very wealthy, board members.
Count me as one of those who's had tickets for a long time and won't forget this year's power play.
DICK BERNARD, WOODBURY
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It's not just bees absorbing them
The recent articles on the problems associated with bees and their demise due to overuse of pesticides and insecticides on genetically modified seeds left one element of the problem unsaid -- the amount of these chemicals in our bodies. As chemicals are atomized and sprayed over vast areas, a large amount drifts where it may and is absorbed into the atmosphere. When it rains, we all get a chemical shower. Most of us test positive for one or more dangerous chemicals.
Germany and France have banned pesticides that are proven to kill bees and wildflowers. With bees providing pollination to a third of our crops and 75 percent of all vegetation, this is of major importance. At issue is the neurological problems we will have as more and more of these lethal chemicals are absorbed into our bodies.
As a beekeeper, I find the head-in-the-sand response by our government to be intolerable. The big companies have billions to invest to chase further profits at the expense of our food chain and our health. Guess who's winning.
DARRELL BRANDT, GOLDEN VALLEY
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As a science teacher, I want to thank the writers for so clearly laying out the cycle of cause and effect evident with genetically modified seeds, pesticides and vanishing pollinators. An understanding of ecology makes these kinds of unintended consequences predictable, even in the case of the biggest unintended consequence of all, climate change. More and more scientists are finding that the only way to advance is to work with nature, not against it. This new direction is very encouraging, and I hope in the near future we will all be reading more about it.
BRONWEN LU, ST. PAUL
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Expect their use to spread widely
The Nov. 25 article "Obama rushed to codify drone strikes" ends with a gross understatement about the new remote-controlled drone wars: "The president expressed wariness of the powerful temptation drones pose to policymakers. 'There's a remoteness to it that makes it tempting to think that somehow we can, without any mess on our hands, solve vexing security problems,'" he said.
Stupid us, in our Exceptional Nation; we think we're the only ones capable of building relatively cheap drones, which will undoubtedly follow Moore's law, becoming smaller and cheaper each year. Technical devices do not remain secretive, or too complicated to replicate, for very long.
We try to justify drone assassinations, claiming we need them to fight terrorism around the world. Heck ... we're showing them the way.
RICHARD SEGERS, SAVAGE
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A Nov. 25 editorial incorrectly stated that the Louisville Orchestra was no longer operating. The orchestra filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010 and later shut down temporarily because of a contract dispute, but it resumed operations in 2012.