With regard to the tragic shooting of the little boy who was turkey hunting with his father, I too, was raised by a hunting father. I raised my son in the same tradition.
Some of the fundamental rules that have passed from generation to generation in my family are that you never shoot your prey until it is in full, unobstructed view. A twig or a leaf blocking your line of sight to your prey disqualifies the shot. Neither do we shoot at sounds.
Children have no place in a hunting party until they have taken a gun safety training class and are licensed to hunt, and finally alcohol and hunting never mix. While we have passed up shots that others might have taken, bringing game home is only fun if your entire hunting party returns home safely.
MARK PUPEZA, NEW HOPE
Neoconservative agenda threatens world peace
Charles Krauthammer, eminent neoconservative, stated in his April 19 column that rogue states would inevitably acquire nuclear weapons. If this is true, Americans need to ask why it is true.
Historically, the United States imperial design is in opposition to our talk: namely, the pursuit of democracy, liberty for all and economic freedom. In the 1950s, the CIA through Operation Ajax in Iran was responsible for overturning Prime Minister Mossadegh. In the 1980s Donald Rumsfeld was shaking hands with Saddam Hussein because he was our oil puppet. Central and South America are littered with United States corporate interests which diminish indigenous well-being.
We sell weapons to our friends in the Middle East, South America and elsewhere as part of our imperial design. George W. Bush's preemptive "shock and awe" war on Iraq was morally repugnant and the cause of perhaps 400,000 Iraqi deaths. If we want a peaceful world, saber-rattling and threatening must give way to negotiation with all nations. Consequently, Krauthammer and his neoconservatives' world view are immoral and counterproductive to world peace and human dignity.
Now, the neoconservatives' agenda proposes bombing Iran. Enough! Bush and Dick Cheney should have been impeached. And the United States must pay for the destruction of Iraq because we are morally responsible. Lastly, the neoconservatives have no moral compass, and hopefully they will soon be run out of Dodge!
SHERYL J. PALMER, STILLWATER
Yes, adopt a roadway
The author of your April 20 "Letter of the Day" wrote about picking up litter from roadways, mentioning an area along Roseville's highways as being the worst.
We believe there are many areas that are equally littered and we adopted a clover-leaf along the 62 Crosstown. We are in our mid-70s and often our granddaughters help us. It is wonderful exercise and as the writer mentioned, this is the time of year to see the litter before it is covered with grass and weeds. It is advisable to contact your highway district office for necessary permission.
Making sure that plastics and aluminum cans are recycled is an extra "Greening Project."
PAUL AND RUTH HAUGE, EDINA
TCF Bank and the U of M: For shame!
Apparently no reporter as yet has connected two dots from TCF Bank, so here goes:
What do the university stadium and university student loans have in common? Well, not very much after recent banking decisions by TCF Bank.
I can remember when the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul (or St. Paul and Minneapolis depending on your side of the river) used to be the national leaders in organizing our region for urban challenges like airport service and sanitary engineering.
I can remember when business executives planted their headquarters downtown on Nicollet Avenue, or Portland Avenue, in the Mill City, yes the "Mill" City. And on Wabasha Street, Robert Street and Kellogg Boulevard in the Capitol City.
Graduates of our state university excelled in many fields and invested themselves and their proceeds in business, industry and education in this state. We were the North Star State, the leader of the Upper Midwest.
And I was much younger then, learning from some pretty good public school teachers and professors in Morris, St. Paul and Minneapolis.
We cheered our All-Americans on campus, stellar athletes like Nagurski, Bruce Smith, John Mayasich and Paul Giel. Thrilled to the likes of Bud Grant, Fortune Gordien and Vern Gagne. Watched coaches like Bernie Bierman, John Mariucci, Neils Thorpe and Jim Kelly bring athletes to their full potential and to championships in Memorial Stadium, in Williams Arena, and Cooke Hall.
I was a lot younger then, and The Cities have changed in the years since. But we still have St. Anthony Falls, a Capitol, a Cathedral, a University, an Airport and the Foshay Tower.
Lots of names have changed. Corporations have merged, dissolved and gone away. And the pace of such change is accelerating in 2008.
What prompts this rant is the item in the news this past month that TCF Bank, the very banking corporation that is paying some $30 plus million over dozens of years to inscribe its current name onto the campus football stadium that opens in 2009, is no longer offering federally guaranteed loans to Minnesota's college students!
Shame on those bankers! What price the U of M?
GORDON O. PRICKETT, AITKIN, MINN.
School critics take cheap shots at teachers
Like so many conservatives, George Will blames the public schools' problems on teachers and their organizations (Opinion Exchange, April 24). Teachers formed unions because their pay and working conditions were poor. They still are paid less than comparably skilled professionals, and they still are society's front line for dealing the problems that beset our children.
The big corporations that first broke up their employees' organizations and then exported their jobs to Mexico and China never admit to their role own in the break-up of low-income families. We need living-wage jobs for people with lower skills. Such people always will be part of our society. Without those jobs, families tend to expel their men, and women become the heads of their households. Teachers are the first to deal with their children who essentially have raised themselves, the result of their mothers having to work two or three jobs.
These children often are the least prepared to succeed in school. There is no mystery as to why so many of these children fail in school and ultimately drop out. Smaller class size is the best way to help them. Teachers did not cause the break-up of American families or the fact that so many children come to school without the support they need to succeed.
Teachers did not enter their profession to become rich or famous or even for recognition. Their motive is to serve others. They work very hard, sometimes in the most difficult and frustrating conditions, and they come back to do it again year after year. It is time for the critics of public education to take a serious look at what's really wrong in our schools and quit taking cheap shots at teachers.
WILLIAM J. GRAHAM. BURNSVILLE