Start the chant

Thank you to the Star Tribune's John Millea for reporting on the meeting last month in Ottertail of civic leaders throughout the state to address our funding crisis of public high school sports. Thank you to Fred Sailer, president of the state's athletic directors association for gathering this group. Thank you to the civic leaders in attendance for committing their time and interest in this very important topic.

High school athletics in our public schools needs to muster up all it has inside of it and avoid being pinned and sent home. And while wrestling is undeniably one of the most individual of sports, one cannot ignore the power of a cheering crowd, a fan base that can give the performer that just enough to reach inside and bridge out of a choking hold. Please, continue to build the chant. Clap. Clap. Clap. In unison. Clap. Clap. Clap. Attract more of a crowd. Clap. Clap. Clap.

We need to keep our sports from being pinned by the anti-tax, anti-public education howlers. Sure it will cost money. But let's be clear. The money has been taken from our schools. The Association of Metropolitan School Districts reports that for the past 17 years, the state's funding of local school districts has grown at rates that were half of rate of inflation. We need to stop starving our public schools and their programs including what takes place inside and outside the classroom.

STEPHEN KOTVIS, MINNEAPOLIS

'Self-defense' carries huge dangers

A June 28 letter writer conveys a story about his daughter and her husband being robbed at gun point several weeks ago in Washington, D.C., where, prior to the Supreme Court's recent decision on the Second Amendment, handguns were illegal; he wonders if the trite old cliche, "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns" is correct.

Let's suppose that this incident happened a couple of weeks after the court's decision and the couple was legally carrying concealed handguns. Instead of just being robbed, they drew their guns, fired and killed the robber while the thief got off several shots and killed one of the victims, and in the gun fight, an innocent bystander was shot and paralyzed for life.

For me, it would be better to just be robbed, lose whatever money and possessions I was carrying, which could be replaced, than to try to protect myself and my possessions with a gun fight that killed two people and crippled another all in the name of self defense.

BRUCE FISHER, ST. LOUIS PARK

Pakistani victims on both ends

My heart goes out for the families of 28 Pakistani peace committee members brutally executed by the Taliban.

I just want to express my frustration when it is asserted by the American government and media that in this war on terrorism Pakistan is not doing enough. Thousands of Pakistani soldiers and civilians have lost their lives in this war; many Pakistanis are harassed at American airports and somehow made to suffer humiliation after long hours of interrogation. It seems that in this war on terrorism we are victims on both ends.

SHEHNAZ HUSSAIN, PLYMOUTH

Seeing the light, some of it

While consistency may not be among the seven virtues, it is interesting to compare the comments by auto dealers today supporting the possible continuation of the Ford plant to their intensive lobbying against the clean car legislation earlier this year. Too bad they didn't they see that a fuel-efficient pickup was in their future.

RAY SCHMITZ, ROCHESTER

Kevin Love: a great addition to Timberwolves

I wonder how many T-wolves fans crying about the loss of O.J. Mayo actually watched Kevin Love play last year. Being a Bruin fan, I watched as many games as FSN showed. He plays tough inside, hits the 3-pointer and has the softest hands I have ever seen on a big man. Good move, Kevin McHale!

SUSAN MCPHERSON, MINNEAPOLIS