I was excited to see the article “Company markets meat raised to improve land” about the Audubon Conservation Ranching Initiative in the Nov. 25 issue of Star Tribune.

As a rancher, I appreciate this acknowledgment of the very positive link between grazing animals, healthy soil and carbon sequestration. And there is another important link between holistic range management and native grassland birds. America’s grassland bird populations have declined more than any other bird group on the North American continent in the last 50 years.

When I first heard the Audubon Society had developed a Conservation Ranching Initiative to help reverse this trend, I expected it would recommend removing cattle from the land in order to enhance habitat for prairie birds. I was amazed to learn that well-managed grazing is necessary to create optimum habitat for prairie species whose ancestors thrived where bison herds grazed as they roamed.

To a South Dakota rancher who delights in sharing space with thousands of busy little grassland birds, which bring so much pleasure on a daily basis, this came as the best possible news. It motivates me to do all that I can to make life better for them and for other wildlife, understanding that our future and theirs are inseparably linked. As I develop grazing practices to replicate grazing habits of the bison herds of old, I am seeing that wildlife thrives, livestock thrives and I thrive.

Audubon is taking conservation to the next level with an innovative marketing plan that connects conservation-minded consumers with beef produced by conservation-minded ranchers. Consumers can quickly and conveniently find beef from Audubon-certified bird-friendly ranches like mine and other participating ranches online.

I am proud of our Audubon certification, appreciate their guidance and am excited to learn more as they guide us in our management plan.

Jeannie Franceus, Wessington Springs, S.D.


Trump pretends to support Jews

I don’t know if President Donald Trump’s executive order to combat anti-Semitism is irony, parody or karma (“Trump signs controversial order on anti-Semitism,” Dec. 12).

The executive order uses the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism. The IHRA includes contemporary examples, such as “making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.”


During the 2016 campaign, Trump ran an ad that included images of three Jews (financier George Soros, then-Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and then-Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein) while warning that secretive “global special interests” were to blame for harmful economic policies.

He asked a Republican Jewish Coalition audience, “Is there anyone in this room who doesn’t renegotiate deals? Probably 99% of you. Probably more than any room I’ve ever spoken in.”

Recently, Trump continued the trope that Jews are shrewd businessmen: “A lot of you are in the real estate business because I know you very well. You’re brutal killers, not nice people at all,” he said. Another time he added the trope about dual loyalties: “I stood with your prime minister at the White House to recognize Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights.”

Trump has said that he’s the least anti-Semitic person. Not according to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

Howard Schneider, Lakeville


Teach men to manage their anger

Thanks to Star Tribune Opinion for publishing Pamela Hill Nettleton’s piece on the male role in domestic violence (“We are asking the wrong questions,” Dec. 12). While the Star Tribune is likely to get responses that women also commit domestic violence, and that same-sex violence is not uncommon (both are true), more than 98% of partners who committed domestic homicide were men, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study from 2017. Men also commit 98% of mass shootings. We often talk about the “violence problem,” but what we need to talk about is that we have a “male violence problem.”

I got extremely angry at my spouse today. A full-fledged rage. I’ve been lied to repeatedly, and I’m done. Fed up. End of the road. Honestly, I wanted to do something extremely violent. Instead, I shoveled the sidewalk and then I did laundry. Am I happy? No. But I have a clean sidewalk and laundry, and no cops at the door.

It’s called sublimation: channeling anger into physical activity. Chopping down a tree would be the best — whack! But shoveling snow is good, running is good, pulling weeds, pruning raspberries, even doing dishes (but a bit later in the anger stage).

Nettleton speaks to the need for men to stop themselves before they hit (or kill), and I think sublimation is a crucial missing link in the male persona.

Yes, you’re really angry. Take it out on the snow on your sidewalk, your driveway, your neighbor’s sidewalk, the alley. Run. A mile, two miles, 10 miles — run out of town if you must.

Extreme anger can be diverted from violence. Women are often socialized in this. Men can be, too.

Elizabeth A. Peterson, Minneapolis

• • •

As a therapist for many years in mental health clinics, I find it very interesting that Nettleton, an instructor in gender and media studies, never used the word “therapy” in her article.

I spend a great deal of my time, as do my fellow therapists, working with men on their symptoms of anger, rage, paranoia, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression in an attempt to help them deal with their violent impulses before they escalate to an even greater level of potential violence. This is part of what therapy is about — holding men responsible for their actions and helping them to not repeat their previous, dangerous actions and to learn to deal with past developmental losses in their own lives.

This type of therapy is a long-term process and is often court-enforced.

Many of us live in the world of this type of therapy. Sometimes we are able to see progress. But we very seldom give up. Nettleton appears to have taken a simplistic view of cause and effect on a very serious matter. Our cases are too complicated to consider using something like media targeted at men as a resource.



I pay more. That’s more affordable?

Can the Star Tribune please publish a tutorial explaining how a large Hennepin County property tax increase makes for the more affordable housing that the county and City Council desire? (“Hennepin OKs 4.75% levy increase,” Dec. 13.) Am I confused in believing that this is an oxymoron?

Signed, a perplexed Minneapolis homeowner and taxpayer.

David Kluth, Minneapolis