It's Molnau's job

A Nov. 29 letter writer ("Right to trust experts") does not seem to understand how responsibility works.

The state bridge engineer can only make a recommendation to the transportation commissioner, and then the commissioner makes the decision.

Two people, Lt. Gov/Transportation Commissioner Carol Molnau and her assistant, Bob McFarlin, are treating this like this engineer is responsible. This is not even close to the truth.

I would like to hear from the engineer, but if he told the truth, I suspect he would lose his job.

It is time for the commissioner and her assistant to lose their jobs for the irresponsible way they are leading MnDOT.



No special rules

I've known Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan for years. As a civil rights attorney, I have been impressed with his sensitivity to racial and gender issues and his commitment to doing the "right thing," regardless of political fallout.

Chief Dolan's transfer of Sgt. Charlie Adams predictably provoked the ire of Adams' pals, Spike Moss and Ron Edwards. Despite the fact that Adams is known to have repeatedly shown disrespect and outright insubordination toward his supervisor, his activist friends immediately labeled his transfer "racism." Just recently, they also complained about a black inspector's discipline for driving a squad car under the influence.

News flash: There is no "pass" for black officers to drive drunk, engage in insubordination or commit other misconduct on the job. All officers, regardless of race, must be subject to the same repercussions for misconduct.



Her favorite boogeymen

According to Katherine Kersten ("Is there hope for Minnesota conservatives? There is now," Nov. 29), conservative activist Annette Meeks is optimistic about the conservative movement's ability to transcend the "liberal media."

I wonder which media Meeks is referring to -- the 50 percent owned by Rupert Murdoch or the 50 percent owned by major conservative conglomerates that have been allowed, under years of Republican control of the Federal Communications Commission, to buy up all the locally owned newspapers, and radio and TV stations in the country.

But I suppose Meeks et al still need their boogeymen -- it's simply amazing how conservatives have been able to overcome liberal bias in the media to win the presidency in 20 of the last 28 years. You really have to admire these folks for their ability to overcome incredible odds.



This is a win?

"Iraq is now winnable," Charles Krauthammer said in a Nov. 27 commentary.

But I say no one wins, with nearly 4,000 American deaths and the countless injuries and, of course, the Iraqi deaths and injured.

We continue to occupy the Iraqis' land, creating terrorists. Having built the American embassy out of one of Saddam Hussein's palaces and 14 permanent bases, no one can imagine, we don't plan to be in Iraq for a very long time to protect our "interests" (the oil under their sand).



DFL shouldn't be

In Lori Sturdevant's Nov. 25 column, Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman states, "I'm with Ciresi because I want to win this." Dorfman seems to be speaking for other Ciresi supporters whom Sturdevant describes as "seasoned DFL pols" and the "voices of experience."

Given the context of Dorfman's statement, which falls on the heels of U.S. Senate candidate Al Franken's endorsement by the AFSCME Council 5, these DFL pols must regard the endorsement as injudicious: Apparently, they believe that were Franken to be nominated, his career as a social and political satirist would leave the DFL too vulnerable to GOP attacks.

The GOP could not be any happier by the DFLers' beliefs: Attack their most formidable candidate as weak, and the Democrats fall for it. In recent years, cowed by the GOP's inflammatory characterization of Democrats, timidity constrains and colors many seasoned Democratic insiders' political actions. Their retreat leaves their constituency clamoring for authentic leadership; experience seems of little value without it.

Sturdevant cautions these Ciresi supporters not to underestimate the effectiveness of Franken's celebrity drawing power, his "leave-'em-laughing personal appearances."

However, that hardly explains Franken's AFSCME endorsement, along with those from 45 DFL legislators. Sure, Franken is a good draw. However, it is his authenticity, passion, hard work and commitment that turns heads and earns endorsements.



Let students decide

This week in biology class we started learning about evolution. While I am open to learning about new and different things, it bothers me how we don't learn about the counterpoint: creationism. I think that as long as we are learning about one thing we should learn about the opposing theory, right? Even though I go to a public school, I wish that I could learn both sides to the story, so that I may be well informed, and base my ideas and morals off of that.