Like America, he's been living beyond his means
Here's why Sen. Norm Coleman's home equity problem is newsworthy: It shows us exactly how we landed in our current predicament.
We loaned ourselves into a thriving economy. Trillions in home equity and credit cards, handed out by banks as fast as people could fill out the applications. Not just individuals, but small businesses and corporations as well. Now the bill is due.
Another important thing about Coleman's negative equity is that he is supposed to be representing conservatives, including fiscal conservatives. I think of elderly veterans in my neighborhood who own 100 percent of their small houses and pay for everything in cash. Is Norm Coleman their "man in Washington"?
JOSEPH CARUSO, MINNEAPOLIS
I am not sure exactly what Ron Carey was trying to say or defend in his Counterpoint ("Paper's article on Coleman was shameful," Jan. 14), but having 12 mortgages in 14 years is called Living Beyond Your Means. Norm Coleman should be the poster boy for the mortgage crisis.
NATALIE BONFIG, MAPLEWOOD
This year, let them get out of Minnesota's way
This year's displays at the Detroit Auto Show highlight more fuel-efficient models ("The Detroit buzz: Going electric," Jan. 11). While heartening, the next step auto manufacturers should take is to drop their opposition to Minnesota taking the needed steps to protect our health, environment and economy.
Last spring, the Legislature considered bringing clean cars, light-duty trucks and SUVs to Minnesota. It was disappointing to see automakers work so hard to oppose it.
Clean vehicles are a win-win for all Minnesotans. Half of the smog and soot-forming pollutants that can lead to asthma, and a quarter of the pollutants that cause global warming, come from the transportation sector. The Governor's Climate Change Advisory Group estimated that bringing clean vehicles to Minnesota would cut global warming and other pollutants by 13 million metric tons by 2025.
And, as the automakers themselves seem to be saying, clean vehicles can also be good for business.
This spring, Minnesota will have another chance to decide if we should give the industry the nudge it needs to bring more clean vehicles to our state. We should take it.
MONIQUE SULLIVAN, MINNEAPOLIS;
ADVOCATE, ENVIRONMENT MINNESOTA
AS IT IS WRITTEN
Israel and Palestine must share the land
"Woe to those who add house to house and join field to field until everything belongs to them and they are the sole inhabitants of the land." (Isaiah 5:8)
CHIPPEWA FALLS, WIS.
Many thanks for printing the long, excellent "Palestinian Perspective" (Opinion Exchange, Jan. 12). Sadly, too many Americans do not take time to learn and consider the Palestinian history and current grave situation. As a retired professor (teaching world geography for 35 years) and with a wife who taught world history, I now feel that our country has been wrong to give full support and great financial aid to Israel (for 50 years) without enforcing restrictions. Only when a majority of U.S. citizens "speak up" will there be any change.
JOHN V. BERGEN, OWATONNA, MINN.
SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH CARE
Morality aside, it's the best prescription
A Jan. 12 letter writer who happens to be the executive director of an organization dedicated to the "moral" defense of capitalism argued against mandating that health insurance be purchased by all. He said it will be misused and costs will go up for all. As a single-payer advocate, I agree with him on that. But I don't agree that "morality" has anything to do with ensuring that the free market must be kept pure and unregulated when it comes to people's need for health care.
In fact, I see the most "moral" path is to just let go of ideology and be sure that all people get health care in a way that covers the most people for the best cost and gives the best results. It's time to pass the Minnesota Health Act in Minnesota.
PAUL ROZYCKI, MINNEAPOLIS
SKIING THEIR HEARTS OUT
Even though the Star Tribune didn't notice
After spending all day Saturday on the chilly but spectacularly beautiful trails of Biwabik's Giants Ridge Ski Resort -- cheering nearly 1,200 high school skiers in North America's largest prep Nordic ski race -- I opened Sunday's Sports section. What did I find? Page after page devoted to the Minnesota Mild, the Timber-woes and, of course, the daily "Who wants to be the next Vikings quarterback?" article.
The vast majority of kids I saw might not match the strength of Matt Birk or the vertical leap of Al Jefferson, but they are just as committed to their sport and determined to excel. A paragraph or two acknowledging their efforts might have been nice.
So here it is, kids. Great job up there!
MATT CALLAHAN, MINNEAPOLIS