As I typed the subject of my letter just now, the phrase “compassionate conservative” popped into my head, a political term from the era of President George W. Bush and not heard these days. However, this letter has nothing to do with politics, but regards an employee accommodation that could be made by corporate owners and small businesses alike in our country. Certainly a perk along with this change is that there are no additional costs. Well, other than for a chair.
In the May 1 issue of the Star Tribune, on the back page of the Business section in the lower-right corner, is a photo accompanying the article pertaining to British supermarkets. Bravo to the Brits, and to other countries in Europe that I have visited, for the picture shows what is allowed and provided to cashiers in those countries working in supermarkets or similar stores. The worker is seated while helping customers pay for items being purchased. While it’s not a CEO’s spacious corner office, a more comfortable workspace is created in which to perform a repetitive, low-paying job without standing for an entire shift. What a novel idea in contrast to what we all see when shopping here.
Susan Downing, St. Paul
Debating the location and content of comedy routine
Regarding the whole brouhaha surrounding comedian Michelle Wolf at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner: I think Ms. Wolf’s supporters are missing the point of her critics, I being one of them. It’s not that I disagree with what she said; I disagree with where she said it (“Comedian’s jokes at journalists’ Washington dinner set off furor,” April 30). Roasts are typically for taking lighthearted jabs at the person being roasted. They’re done for laughs without any go-for-the-jugular mean-spiritedness. Wolf made a lot of important points in clever ways, but they would have been more effectively shared on social media or in a stand-up routine. Not only would those be more appropriate venues, but her points would be more likely to cause the kind of shake-up and discussion she was looking for. Instead, they have been overshadowed by where and how she chose to share them.
Caryn Schall, Minnetonka
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Maggie Hennefeld’s May 1 commentary (“Michelle Wolf’s stellar feminist killjoy roast”) hailed Wolf’s Correspondents’ Dinner address almost like it was from a female reincarnation of Will Rogers. While Wolf did make some good points and illuminate some hypocrisies, the vulgar and personal-attacking tone of her message was beyond cringeworthy. Some jabs at, let’s say, the Iran nuclear deal/threat to Israel, MS-13 illegal immigrants and radical jihadists would have been edgy and probably respected as opposed to the rants that were delivered. One wonders how Wolf’s parents, wherever they are, felt about her attempted abortion jokes — proud of their daughter, or puzzled at her feelings about the gift of life?
John Sherack, Thief River Falls, Minn.
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The jokes made by Wolf do little to help mend our broken fences. The guy in Washington started these personal attacks during those so-called debates in 2016. And he continues to do so — disgracefully. We should not stoop to his level by doing the same. Basically, her comments are simply giving “his side” more ammunition. Her over-the-line “jokes” were embarrassing.
Jon Nordstrom, Minneapolis
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Cheer up, White House correspondents! You have nothing to fear but a woman’s scorn, which is what you’ve been getting from White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders all along.
It’s hard to know what the “high road” is anymore, but “making nice” isn’t it. Kudos to Michelle Wolf for her courageous and fiery roast.
Her line about Sanders burning facts and using the ashes to create the perfect smoky eye hit the bull’s-eye with surgical wit.
I try to reconcile this with “which Wolf do you feed,” the old wise tale about the Native American grandfather, deciding whether to give in to hate or love when confronted with injustice. The truth shouldn’t give rise to either, but we need it so we can choose how to act. We must protect our First Amendment rights.
Sherry Machen, Plymouth
One point to expand on: Parents should support school discipline
I was extremely pleased to read Eddie Ryshavy’s April 27 commentary “When I was a kid, corporal punishment wasn’t an ‘issue,’ ” following news of a lawsuit over spanking (“Parents sue state, cite right to spank,” April 25). My experience as a child was almost exactly like his, so there is little to add, but one point to amplify: My parents strongly believed that there could not be a ray of light between them and the schoolteachers and administrators concerning discipline. The idea of disputing school discipline, let alone suing, never crossed their minds, even though my father was an attorney. I think there were a couple of my many transgressions that were reported by the school that my parents may have thought insignificant. Nevertheless, an appropriate spanking was administered, lest there be any doubt in my mind.
Reflecting on current child disciplinary practices, I guess I am old school. I never felt unjustly disciplined, at least not after a few minutes of reflection. Justice was swift and then it was over, and my parents’ love was never in doubt. I think that I developed a good sense of right and wrong, and of common consideration for others (like “signal your turns” and “don’t block the supermarket aisle”). I think that a quick spanking is more effective and more merciful than many of the mind games that today’s parents feel obligated to administer.
Jeffrey Loesch, Minneapolis
EXPLOITATION OF ELDERS
Recent case is another reason of many for Legislature to act
I read with horror and disbelief about the elder abuse that John Nasseff, respected St. Paul business leader (West Publishing) and Minnesota philanthropic icon was subjected to before his recent death (“Caregiver gets prison for stealing over $1M,” April 25). We should all feel shame and grief over the criminal victimization this vulnerable senior experienced at the hands of a caregiver entrusted with the management of his financial affairs. Luckily, the perpetrator was caught, investigated and now is going to prison for his predatory misdeeds. Every month, more than 500 new cases of elderly abuse are reported to the Department of Human Services. Many go uninvestigated or unresolved. The system is broken. It needs to be systemically reformed. The Legislature is debating the issue. Don’t let the session end without a solution!
Bob Worthington, Minnetonka
PATRICK HENRY HIGH
Change the name, even though it’s not what defines a school
As a gratified graduate of Minneapolis’ Henry High School, class of 1961, I have been actively participating in the #changethename controversy (“Patrick Henry may get the boot,” April 27). I had six wonderful years there but never remember any information in our history books about Patrick Henry’s slaves.
For me, the most important issue is what’s inside. For a person, for a building, looks, size or name are not the most important concerns. Whether the name change choice is Unity, Victory, Liberty, etc., there are good things going on inside Henry. Yes, it will always be Henry to me, but I believe a name change is important and should be made with the backing of the student body, neighbors and staff.
Elaine M. Teige Zimmer, Brooklyn Park