Good politics, bad policy

Sound bite or sound policy? Gov. Tim Pawlenty's insistence on a property tax cap is no more than a gimmick designed to push the hard decisions about cutting government services back onto hundreds of local governments. Real tax reform means that the state needs to acknowledge that cuts in local government aid drove the property tax run-up in the first place.

As a voter, I would rather see no deal than a bad deal.



Protect our bullies

Indeed, Katherine Kersten, Minneapolis Public Schools should support those families who want their children to be judgmental, rude or worse toward those families not like their own ("The real agenda behind schools' anti-bullying curriculum," May 5). And while she's at it, why doesn't Kersten speak out in defense of those who also want to continue their racist or sexist practices and beliefs?

How dare our public schools want kids and their parents, all kinds, to feel safe and welcomed. Unbelievable.


Reality-based education

Once again faced with an institutional effort to address negative social consequences of intolerance, Kersten falsely claims victimhood for defenders of the status quo.

I am also a Hale Elementary School parent, and I am with the large majority of students' parents who support this curriculum. We like our children's education based in reality, not in religious or political ideology.

We know that two-mom and two-dad families exist. We know that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered children have been and continue to be bullied -- and even murdered -- by schoolmates.

The truth is that this curriculum only presents facts and only encourages tolerance and acceptance for all people.


A hidden agenda

Thank you, Katherine Kersten, for exposing the hidden agenda in the Welcoming Schools curriculum. I encourage readers to visit the Human Rights Campaign website ( and decide for themselves if this is the type of organization we want crafting curriculum for our students.

Imagine the outcry if a conservative political action committee had input in public education.


Fostering tolerance

Counter to what Kersten would have us believe, Welcoming Schools is a program to promote a respectful learning environment for all students.

My daughter is a student at Hale, one of the schools scheduled to pilot the program, and I have read the curriculum in its entirety. Its tone and subject matter fill me with hope for the next generation. It helps students respect the broad diversity of our families, including mixed race, single parents, adoptive parents, gay or lesbian parents, immigrants, foster parents and grandparents.

I think everyone can agree that all families and students deserve to be treated with respect. As a parent, I would hope that all schools in the district would adopt a program that focuses on these values.



Let her decide

It's Sen. Hillary Clinton's defining moment. Let her have it. She got it the old-fashioned way -- she earned it.

Although I have regularly criticized Clinton and her campaign, I believe the decision as to when to quit the race is hers alone.

We are all defined by what we do, what we don't do, when we do it or when we don't do it. Most likely she will remain in politics, and how she handles her campaign from this point forward will define her way beyond anything she has said or done to this point.

I pray she handles this decision with grace and an eye toward her future. She has run a hard race. Love her or hate her, she showed us she has endurance that is almost beyond comprehension. She is one tough cookie. She has also showed us she is not merely a part of the whole of the Clinton political mystique -- a mere reflection of her husband's political aura. She radiates her own light. That's much more than she had when she started the campaign -- way more.

She earned the right to make this decision.



Stopping bad habits

The new voter ID law in Indiana is already proving its worth. The 12 elderly nuns who were denied the right to vote in last week's primary because they had no ID should have known better than to try and be a part of the democratic process. Thank goodness that such untrustworthy people like these were stopped.

At last, all those lawmakers who claimed voter fraud is a big issue but had no proven examples of it have something to show to the world. They should be proud.



Use common sense

The Minnesota House's rejection of the seat belt bill that would have allowed a primary seat belt ticket is the right move.

Yes, it makes sense to wear a seat belt or wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle, but do we need a law mandating it? No! Citizens need to apply common sense and rational thought when doing things, and government should not be in the business of restricting personal freedoms or hampering business with unfair restrictions.

I applaud the House for having enough common sense to reject this useless bill and sending the message to Minnesotans to use common sense.