If true, perpetrators need help, forgiveness

As one who has a father in a memory care facility, I pray that there is a special place in heaven for those that are caregivers. They surely deserve it. I've seen their work first hand, and they are truly angels for our loved ones.

As for those who choose the caregiving profession but end up physically, mentally and/or sexually abusing our loved ones (Star Tribune, Dec. 2): I pray that they seek the help and forgiveness they need before they too end up where they deserve.



The official start of the war on Christmas

A big-box retailer is once again not allowing its employees to wish customers a "Merry Christmas," and if employees make a mistake and do so, they may even receive a reprimand.

It would seem the reason for this action is not to displease those who do not hold Christmas as a long observed traditional holiday.

The retailer's stores are filled with merchandise, yet the owners seem to hope that believers as well as nonbelievers will somehow find a way to convert their inventory into Christmas gifts for someone.

Would the retailer will feel more comfortable if Christmas were replaced by a day of worship and gift giving called "Celebration of the Winter Solstice?



"Ma'am, it's my sad duty to inform you that your loved one was trampled to death this morning as he was attempting to unlock the doors of the local Wal-Mart. We realize that he was trying to dodge the rush of shoppers, but he at least was out of the way when the doors were broken off of their hinges. We tried to reach him while he could still breathe, but there were too many people around. When the officers finally reached him, they attempted to render aid, but were repeatedly knocked aside by frenzied shoppers. Sorry. Happy holidays!"

This year's "Black Friday" madness has, more than ever, exemplified how society has been cheapened by the commercialization of the holidays. One man lost his life due to senseless greed. How many have lost their sense of compassion? And how many more have sold their souls for a few dollars?



For weeks we've seen dire predictions of poor holiday weekend sales all over the Star Tribune's front page, along with other dire predictions of gloom and doom. Then, when sales are actually up over last year, the story is relegated to a tiny column on page seven. Come on, can't you be part of the solution and finally start highlighting some good economic news?



I couldn't agree more with Nick Coleman's Dec. 2 column. I think Black Friday has become a spectacle and a clear picture of what is wrong in our society. I am so tired of the materialistic "got to have first mentality." The man who was trampled to death -- was that in the spirit of Christmas?



We're teaching kids that violence is an answer

Why is it that I was not shocked that a handgun was found in a locker at my child's school (Star Tribune, Nov. 27)?

Consider all the violence in the world that our children inhabit. A country in two wars and mere teenagers shipped home maimed or in body bags. Terrorist attacks replaying on television news. Video games simulating mass annihilation.

It's a miracle that more of our children don't look to weapons and violence as a way to solve dispute. It's a miracle that guns aren't found every day in every school.

Especially in the world right now, peace is the most important lesson we can teach.



Why would anyone want to keep an AK-47? A Nov. 28 letter writer asked this very question. However, I believe that is the wrong question. A better question would be, "Why should it be illegal, and what gives the government the power to make it illegal?"

I am not against reasonable regulation of guns to keep them away from felons or making sure people who do want guns have some basic training in the handling of them. However, the right to own a gun is not only for self-defense. To paraphrase an old saying, the Second Amendment is there for when all the other amendments fail. One would hope that the need never arises, but we should always have that right, just in case.



It's time for a playoff to pick a champion

The college football postseason has become such a mess. The Bowl Championship Series system seems to create turmoil rather than a national champion. President-elect Barack Obama is right -- it's time for a playoff. All other sports have playoffs, so why not college football?

The answer is simple: money. Corporations are willing to spend lots of money to have their names attached to a bowl game with big bucks going to participating teams' schools. Consequently, bowl games have been created only for that purpose.

I can remember when there were only four football bowl games: Rose, Cotton, Orange, and Sugar, all played on Jan. 1. That day was the highlight and culmination of the season, and it managed to be done without a corporate handout.

Today, there are 34 bowl games spread out over 19 days. That means that 68 out of the 119 major college teams (57 percent) get to play in the postseason. The prestige of playing in a bowl game has become watered down.

It's time to have a true playoff. Limit participants to conference champions with the NCAA as the sole sponsor. It can pay teams' expenses from gate receipts and eliminate the payouts for participating. Get rid of the corporate greed, and the games can be played for the pure love of the sport, as it should be, and not for the dollars. A true national champion could then be crowned without controversy attached.