On free markets, debate style, finance

Many Republicans take the position that free markets are the route to prosperity. They say: "Get government out of the way, and free markets will do the rest."

Yet I have observed Mitt Romney (in a sentiment expressed by many Republicans) repeatedly state that he will sanction China the moment he becomes president for its "unfair" trade practices.

Is Gov. Romney for free markets, or is he ready to admit that governments are absolutely necessary to a smoothly functioning international business environment?


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At Tuesday's debate, had Romney taken one more aggressive step into President Obama's personal space and face, the Secret Service would have been obliged to tackle and cuff him.


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After watching Candy Crowley help Obama get through the debate, it makes me wonder who will be the moderator for next week's debate. I have a feeling it will be a toss-up between Barbara Walters and Michael Moore.


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With all the money in the campaign, much of it unacknowledged, we are feeling the impact of the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United that equated the unlimited spending of money on election campaigns as speech.

But has anyone asked: Is lack of money the denial of speech?


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It still seems to be all about the Catholic faith

I am 74 and personally responsible for whatever loss of brain cells has occurred during my life, but the fact remains that I am totally perplexed by commentaries such as those of Prof. Stephen J. Heaney ("Marriage vote: For the children?" Oct. 17).

It seems to me that every paragraph or even most sentences within those paragraphs could have ended with the words "within the tenets of the Catholic Church" or "to those of true Catholic faith." That would have been a meaningful defense of Archbishop John Nienstedt's speaking to his flock about the tradition of marriage within the Catholic faith.

My perplexity lies in trying to understand how the marriage of any loving couple, regardless of gender, shreds the secular fabric of a community composed of many faiths or, as recently written about, the "Nones" (Oct. 15).

In my seemingly clouded brain, I cannot see why we need a constitutional amendment that forces upon all of society obedience to one religion's tenets.

Now I see why, so many years ago, I pretty much failed Philosophy 101 in college. I didn't get St. Anselm then and don't now.


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I wish to correct an error of fact in Heaney's commentary. "If sex did not lead to children," he writes, "no one would ever have thought up the institution of marriage." This is incorrect. In its earliest form, "marriage" was invented to declare to the community that a specific woman was the exclusive sexual property of the man.

Hence, we have Solomon's "thousand wives," such phrases as "man and wife," the tradition of allowing a man to divorce his wife but not the reverse, the automatic transfer of the wife's property to the man, and so on. It seems pretty obvious that none of this has anything to do with children or works to the benefit of children. (Quick -- how many children did Solomon have?) The Catholic Church may, of course, say whatever it wants to about the purpose of marriage between Catholics, but distorting history goes a bit far.


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GMO opposition can be quite reasonable

Brandon Ferdig wrote an interesting commentary about how people let emotion overrule science, irrespective of their political beliefs ("How deep have you dug in your heels?" Oct. 16).

However, he, too, ignored some science in implying the safety of genetically modified foods. One GMO soybean has a Brazil nut gene added to it. Some who are allergic to Brazil nuts are also allergic to these GMO soybeans. The next question is how many other GMO foods contain genes that somebody somewhere is allergic to. And the next question is how will this somebody react to an unsuspected allergen -- with a mild irritation, or fatally?

Many of us survived lead paint, lead in gasoline and asbestos in ceilings. But many others did not. What we didn't know did hurt these people.

Even if there is no physical harm from food or other substances in our environment, we have a right to know. After all, a true free market means that both buyer and seller have all the information they need to make an informed decision.


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London game betrays taxpayers' generosity

Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf has incredible chutzpah. He persuaded Minneapolis and Minnesota to build a $1 billion stadium for the team on the premise that home games confer a substantial economic benefit on the city and state.

Now comes the bait-and-switch: Zygi has decided that the Vikings will play a home game overseas next season and confer the economic benefit on London instead of Minnesota. Using the Vikings' numbers, this decision will cost the city and the state at least $3 million in tax revenue and at least $18 million in economic spending.

Stadium opponents knew, from the beginning, that taxpayers were being hoodwinked. The stadium supporters will realize it eventually.