Another way to ensure execs don't keep money

The issue of "distasteful" bonuses paid to AIG execs could be resolved by those individuals giving the money to charities of their choice. I'm surprised that I haven't seen or heard this suggestion up to now.



Now that the government has an 80 percent stake in AIG, it can take steps to assure that AIG is never again "too big to fail" by breaking it up into several smaller companies. This formula should also apply to all other financial institutions that are also deemed too big to fail. It is the best way to assure that the government won't be called on to bail out these companies a second or third time in the future.



You have to hand it to AIG. Unintentionally it actually figured out a way to get Democrats and Republicans to agree on something: Greed is bad.



Somebody please help me understand why it is OK that Sen. Barack Obama received a $101,332 bonus from American International Group in the form of political contributions, according to

Does this mean that President Obama has joined the cronies at AIG and is stealing money from the taxpayers of America?



Don't assume people of faith are of one mind

State Rep. Warren Limmer is way off base in claiming that marriage equality would be "an assault on all religious beliefs in the state of Minnesota" ("Gay marriage ban back at Capitol," March 18). Clearly he has not talked to the many clergy and lay people within the Minnesota congregations of the United Church of Christ, Unitarian Universalism, or Reform Judaism, to name a few.

Just this past weekend, a major conference in Duluth drew 300 participants from diverse faiths, all seeking equality for LGBT citizens. Episcopal priests, UCC and Methodist ministers, a rabbi and other clergy and laity spoke out for same-sex marriage during the ninth annual "Opening Our Doors" event coordinated by 10 Twin Ports congregations.

And, the 26 Unitarian Universalist congregations in Minnesota -- in Minneapolis, Rochester, Grand Rapids and many other communities -- stand ready to officiate same-sex weddings should the law catch up to our faith tradition. Our communities find our religious freedom is at best ignored, and at worst, directly threatened by the actions of legislators such as Limmer.

To claim some sort of monolithic faith voice opposed to equal treatment for our GLBT neighbors shows that he is well out of tune with the wishes and beliefs of many religious Minnesotans.





It is unfortunate that Minnesotans will yet again be debating whether to amend the state Constitution to prohibit gay marriage in the name of family values. Centering the concept of family on whom we include, and not whom we exclude, seems more consistent with traditional Minnesotan values.


Sara Jane Olson

Like it or not, she's Minnesota-bound

I am embarrassed by the uproar and posturing by the St. Paul Police Federation and Gov. Tim ("keep your eye on the prize") Pawlenty to keep Sara Jane Olson from serving her parole in Minnesota. She has paid her court-determined debt to society. I do not know Olson, but I recall she did not pose a threat to Minnesota when she lived here before her capture. In fact, it seemed as though she was valued for her volunteer efforts and work in her community. Sounds like she is pretty low-risk to me.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is letting his Department of Corrections make the determination on this issue. Perhaps our governor should do the same.



A March 17 letter writer asks: "Who gives it [the St. Paul Police Federation] the authority to question a decision of the California courts regarding the parole of Sara Jane Olson?"

The answer: The First Amendment.



Sara Jane Olson is ready to come home? Some writers suggests that Olson has paid her debt to society. Has she compensated the family whose mother was killed? How about the pregnant woman who lost her baby after the bank robbery? Has she reimbursed the police for their losses?



The question is whether a person should serve her parole in the state where the crimes were committed or in a state of her choice. With some feelings of ambivalence, I think Kathleen Soliah should stay in California and Sara Jane Olson should come to Minnesota.



Elite athletes, they're also well treated

It appears that the writer of your March 17 Letter of the Day has neither been to the Iditarod Dog Sled Race nor worked with the dogs. I was an Iditarod volunteer for two years, helping to take teams to the start line, among other duties.

I have trained dogs for over 20 years, and I can tell you that no dogs can be "forced to run 1,150 miles" if they don't want to do it. The best way to achieve zero performance is to beat your dogs. My job in helping to take teams to the start line was to keep the enthusiastic, excited dogs from taking off before they should. For many teams of 16 dogs, it takes 16 people to keep them from starting too soon. These dogs have already run thousands of miles in training, and are super-fit athletes. Running is what they love to do.

Another of my tasks was to help care for dogs that were flown back off the trail because of fatigue or injury. The veterinarians at each checkpoint won't let any dog proceed if it shows signs of any problems. Of all the dogs that came in to us, the problems were minor -- a sore foot, a sprain or fatigue. Many of them were completely fine; it was their mushers who had been injured. Where the letter writer found that statement about lung damage is beyond me. We saw none of that. It would be interesting to know his sources. Mine are my eyes and ears.