It seems that a video put out by Vanity Fair has advised Hillary Clinton to take up knitting, among other suggestions, to help her get over her election loss to Donald Trump. But why not encourage President Trump to start knitting as well? In fact, I have long maintained that Trump should learn to knit, but specifically using the “in-the-round” style (as opposed to regular “flat” knitting). That way, he would always be working on the right side! He has already mastered the going-around-in-circles part of it.
Sharon Aaseng, Hastings
WHY GOVERNMENT IS MISTRUSTED
Exhibit A: Instant pay raises. Exhibit B: Apologism for same.
Commenting on the Dec. 28 letter about the Minneapolis City Council pay hike (“Pay hike was realistic thing to do,” commenting on “Council pay hike needlessly sneaky,” editorial, Dec. 27). Oh, please. The whole position from the Star Tribune was not the pay hike but how it was done. The reader’s comments give the old position of many politicians when they take the old woe-is-me attitude. This is why most people have a less-than-high opinion of politicians. The reader stated that transparency is not always fair or practical. What a bunch of hooey. What is so impractical in stating a resolution?
And they wonder why they are not trusted.
Barry Jorgenson, Stillwater
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The Star Tribune Editorial Board seems upset that Minneapolis City Council members gave themselves “sneaky” pay raises. Well, at least some of them will keep working while being paid at the higher rate. Compare this with U.S. Sen. Al Franken’s “sneaky” raise he gave himself, by resigning on Jan. 2 instead of Dec. 31. His raise will last for a lifetime, and he will not work a single day while “enjoying” it! (He will get paid an extra $3,000 a year in pension money by waiting to retire in 2018 instead of 2017).
Richard Trickel, Crosslake, Minn.
‘War of words’ at the U? Is that all? My donation depends on it.
The recent University of Minnesota controversy (“War of words, not ‘war on Christmas,’ at the U,” Dec. 27) is being called “ill-advised” by school officials. I suspect the real reason they are red-faced is because a memo about holiday parties in the agricultural college got far too much public exposure. Yet I am sure that U officials agree that we should “value our diversity” and “all are welcome” slogans. Yet this mentality exists? Obviously, there is a special dislike for traditions of American culture and religion. But how will the graduates cope when they leave that enclave of “safe spaces”? I’ll remember this when I receive the U’s alumni donation letter.
Joe Polunc, Cologne
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The recommendations cited in the Dec. 27 article are largely reasonable ones for a public university. The line between “winter-themed” and “Christmas-themed” may seem blurry in some cases, but I suggest the following gauge: If the decoration would seem out of place at the beginning of February, then it’s probably related to a religious holiday and should not be promoted by a public institution. The end of a semester and beginning of a break are reason enough for a campus to celebrate.
Malka Key, Minneapolis
Freeman must explain delay in deciding whether to charge
Because Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman is a public servant, he owes the public a detailed timeline of his investigation into the fatal police shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond (“Freeman puts off decision in Justine Damond’s death,” Dec. 29). All of this talk only goes so far; the public wants answers. He had better come up with some kind of discovery that merits the amount of time he’s taken. We, the public, pay prosecutors well and have expectations. We don’t want to hear any excuses. Murder like this has no excuses.
Jim Goudy, Austin, Minn.
GREAT BOOKS, CONTINUED
What else was missing
English Prof. Geri Giebel Chavis (counterpoint, Dec. 28) contended that law Profs. Robert Delahunty and John Radsan excluded women from their “40 greatest books we all should read” (Opinion Exchange, Dec. 23). I agree, but the list is even more “sorely lacking” culturally. Their Western classics, limited to fiction, include only about 20 percent of the planet’s people.
China is home to one-fourth of the human family, and its contributions to the “world bank of knowledge” are immense. Huston Smith, in his book “The World’s Religions,” declares that Confucianism influenced “more people over a longer period and a larger area than any world philosophy.” But the Confucian Analects are not mentioned.
China brought the world four innovations that changed history: printing, paper, gunpowder and the compass. They are not mentioned.
Hinduism is practiced by about one-fifth of the world community, but its “Iliad” and “Odyssey,” the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, are excluded. Similarly, India is credited with originating the essential component of our computer world: the decimal system. The reader of the 40 books will never learn this.
The Western world fares little better. John Locke’s principal role in shaping Western values receives only a cursory glance. Similarly, the bedrocks of Western ethics receive scant attention: the Twelve Tables of Rome (law), the Magna Carta (trial by jury) and the religious Toleration Act of 17th-century England are absent.
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. declared that unless we learn to live together, as brothers and sisters, we will die together as fools. To develop awareness of our commonalities, we must teach that the world community is composed of a range of different — and equally valid — accomplishments. Claiming limited exclusivity exacerbates an already volatile world.
Mark Welter, Ramsey
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Please add the three most essential African-American books: “Native Son,” by Richard Wright, “Invisible Man,” by Ralph Ellison, and “Cry, the Beloved Country,” by Alan Paton.
Please leave Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” since it, along with “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” by Harriet Beecher Stowe, were the most influential books written by whites about slavery.
Yvonne B. Moore, Minneapolis
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Here’s yet another thought on the “40 greatest books” from yet another English teacher. Several of the books listed in this interesting but always futile effort to objectify opinions are books written in a language other than English. Translation was mentioned in passing, but I think it’s a big deal.
English is the only language I know, therefore I will never be able to read Dostoyevsky or Cervantes or Dante or Homer or Proust or Tolstoy or any other book ever written in Russian or Greek or Spanish or Portuguese or Farsi or Vietnamese or any language other than English. Unless, of course, I learn another language. But I am aging and lazy, and I still struggle mightily with even the Middle English of Chaucer. So all I can ever read when it comes to a dozen or so of the 39 books listed is somebody’s translation of that book, which, of course, is not the book. I can get the story and the characters and perhaps even the message, but I will never be able to read the book as written, just some translator’s version which, however brilliant, will never be the original. So for me, the movie might do just fine and I can spend my reading time either learning another language or reading any one of thousands of other truly great books written in the language that I do I know. I think I might start by rereading William Golding’s “The Lord of the Flies.” How did that not make the list? And away we go.
Mark Storry, Monticello, Minn.