Young man's courage helped others be safe


Kudos to the brave 17-year-old man who told his parents about being sexually abused by longtime pedophile William Jacobs ("The pedophile no one stopped," Sept. 9). His actions allowed police to arrest a man who had been molesting boys for decades and protected others from a similar fate.

I wish this young man well. In contrast, individuals entrusted to the care and safety of children -- educators, administrators, camp counselors and others -- allowed Jacobs to continue his molestation over decades by not reporting him. Their lack of action is shocking and shameful.


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It means standing up to public employee unions


Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel seems to understand a basic principle with which so many in his party struggle: When it comes to contract negotiations with public employee unions, elected executives -- be they mayors, governors or the president of the United States -- do not represent the interests of labor. They represent the interests of management.

These negotiations require a process of give-and-take, but when the chief executive is so beholden to organized labor that he or she is unwilling to bargain from a position of strength, government ends up doing all the giving, while the unions just take and take.

And why wouldn't they? Unions are in the business of securing the best possible contracts for their members. Management (in this case the executive branch) is charged with the responsibility of acting in the best interests of the shareholders (in this case the citizens who elected them).

I don't believe that public employees are the problem. (I happen to be one myself.) And public-employee unions aren't necessarily the problem, either. But government officials who won't stand up for their constituents, for fear of alienating the support of organized labor, are a very real and significant problem.


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There's no point to this new Minnesota 'sport'


The Sports section coverage on wolf hunting makes no sense ("The chase will be complicated, the kill rare," Sept. 12). Are you going to eat the wolf or wear its pelt to help you survive the winter? There is no sport in killing an animal that isn't armed equally with the wits of a human and a gun.

JENNI Charrier, Wayzata

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According to writer, everything is relative

Let me get this straight: commentary writer Greg Breining says scientists stand to lose their credibility if they offer opinions based on the latest scientific evidence ("Oh, no -- they've said too much," Sept. 9). On the other hand, politicians and radio talk-show hosts can offer opinions based on no evidence at all, or even opinions that are contradicted by the evidence, and they are somehow more credible?


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Religions guided the way on statesmanship


I have to hand it to columnist Lori Sturdevant for announcing another agreement between Lutherans and Catholics in Minnesota -- this time on the proposed photo ID amendment ("Look who's talking about a big state decision," Sept. 9).

The agreement is between the Catholic Charities and the Lutheran Social Services on the difficulty this amendment would pose for many homeless and disadvantaged clients of both social-service agencies, preventing many of them from exercising their constitutional right to vote in Minnesota.

Both the Lutheran and Catholic agencies mentioned oppose passage of this amendment, which bypassed Gov. Mark Dayton's sure veto. I want to remind you of another agreement between Lutherans and Catholics 13 years ago.

It covers even more than just Minnesota -- the whole world, in fact. It is the Joint Lutheran and Catholic Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification by Faith. This historic agreement ending over four centuries of sometimes bloody warfare between us was signed on Oct. 31, 1999, by then-Pope John Paul II and the member churches of the Lutheran World Federation. Why can't our politicians and legislators learn to make statesmanlike agreements today?


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Foreign policy

Romney shows a lack of international expertise


To divert attention from Mitt Romney's misguided and misleading criticism of our embassy staff in Cairo, Republicans argue that President Obama is to blame for not doing more to guide the transition to democracy in the Middle East. Sounds like a call for more adventures in nation-building. So, how did that work out for you in Iraq during the Bush presidency?