It seems we are bombarded daily with fraudulent spam e-mail and purposely deceptive social-media posts designed to gather information about our likes and dislikes. One might think we no longer need worry about old-style fraudulent mail, but a nefarious piece of snail mail received this week says otherwise.
On Tuesday I received an official-looking 10-by-12-inch envelope titled “2018 Voter Registration Confirmation Survey.” Addressed to me by name, the envelope was designed to look like it came from U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum and U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith. It boldly stated: “Survey Due By: Within 5 Days of Receipt.”
The envelope and the material inside were designed to look a lot like an official Internal Revenue Service document. The enclosed survey was labeled “Form 420” and “Minnesota 2018” in an IRS-style font. At the bottom of the first page of the survey form, it stated: “Continue Official Ballot Inside.”
Now, if I read the cover material carefully, I learn that the survey is from the “Faith & Freedom Coalition.” You can read about this organization at www.ffcoalition.com. The survey asks if I voted for President Donald Trump, whether I am registered to vote and (in red, bold caps) if I will “solemnly pledge right now to vote in 2018.”
It doesn’t take long to figure out that this is a political-action survey. I strongly disagree with the coalition’s agenda, but I don’t deny its right to political action. What I do strongly object to is its methods. The envelope and the survey material inside are designed to intimidate and confuse postal customers. It is the kind of fraudulent junk I expect to find on social media. Surely, the coalition has crossed the line by sending material designed to look like an official government form through the U.S. Postal Service.
J. H. Fonkert, Roseville
Say what you mean, do what you feel, worry less about offending
An April 4 letter was titled “Why I don’t ‘like’ Facebook.” The writer was concerned that if she “liked” something using the social-media network’s feedback tools, even a puppy picture, that for some that might be offensive, as you should adopt an older rescue dog.
How on earth are we going to make changes in our society if we’re afraid to stand up for certain issues because we’re worried someone might be offended?
Gene Nelson, St. Cloud
Trump riles passions while others consider practical effects
As a university professor, I am concerned chiefly with the broadening of minds, not isolation of them. It is ironic, then, as a full-time professor in the United States and as a visiting professor in Mexico each summer, to witness our president promote the tragic idea of a military presence on the border between the two countries. After all, Mexicans, too, are receiving migrants fleeing unfathomable violence in Central America. Many of my Mexican and American students, thankfully, are unwilling to accept the militant rejection of those seeking basic safety. What about the rest of us?
Kristi Rendahl, Minneapolis
• • •
Companion articles April 4 highlighted that U.S. border authorities reported a 26 percent decline in the number of people detained or stopped at the southern border in 2017 compared with 2016 (“In Mexico, in limbo”) and that “the numbers of people being apprehended crossing illegally are down to their lowest level since 1971” (“Trump wants military on the border”). Most politicians concerned about illegal entry to the U.S. would be touting these numbers as a “win,” but our president ignores the truth in order to sell a fiction — that we need still more egregious border security measures, his most recent idea being deployment of the military.
We repeatedly hear that Trump tweets policy ideas after viewing Fox News and/or conferring with some of that networks’ commentators. Question: If Fox reports that the sky is falling, will Trump send the military with tarps and trampolines to catch it?
Louis Asher, Vadnais Heights
• • •
Hooray! Trump finally read the first 13 words of the Second Amendment. The “Militia” has morphed into the National Guard. It should have patrolled the border from day one, pursuing the “security of a free State” to keep out the rapists, drug dealers, killers, torturers, illegal immigrants, Muslims and all bad people in general. Send the troops we have in Syria to our borders?
Jack Mertes Sr., Edina
• • •
Send in the troops, Mr. President! We have no immigration policy anymore, nor the legislative balls to enact one. We have your back, Mr. President!
James Farrell, Bloomington
Editor’s note: Readers may wish to also consider “Key facts about U.S. immigration policies and proposed changes,” published by the Pew Research Center in February. See tinyurl.com/us-imm-pol.
• • •
No matter how people feel about immigration laws, I assume we can all agree that for the president to deal with DACA in a series of tweets is not only inappropriate, but cruel (“Trump says ‘NO’ to any Dreamer deal,” April 2). Behind the DACA label are young people with hopes and dreams and fears for the future. While they are living here, he is their president as well. Whatever ends up being decided about them, they deserve to be treated in a serious manner, with dignity and compassion. Angry tweets are an insult to them, and to those of us who take our legal process seriously.
Lenore Millibergity, Minneapolis
The writer is an immigration attorney.
‘Young lady’ references offend in other age brackets as well
A senior citizen writing in the April 4 letters comments that she is referred to as “young lady” by her doctor. The condescension irritates her. I have heard Alex Trebek on the television game show “Jeopardy” address many young but mature women as “young lady.” It makes me cringe. Never have I heard him address any young man as “young man.” The double standard applies many places.
Jo Brinda, Crystal
TWINS HOME OPENER
For those of us who never wanted to pay for Target Field …
It’s now been more than a decade since the Hennepin County Board approved an additional sales tax to finance a baseball stadium despite polls that showed that the majority of people were against it. During those years, those of us who never go to Target Field have gotten nothing in return for our tax dollars. Given the weather forecast for this year’s home opener on Thursday, I think that it would be appropriate if Mike Opat and the other three commissioners who voted for this tax would attend the game wearing nothing but Speedos and flip-flops. That way, we would at least get some entertainment in exchange for our tax dollars.
William Glass, Edina