Now she's made herself clear

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann has done a great service by clarifying the far-right-wing position: If you do not agree with us, you are "anti-American." Or, as her idol George W. Bush put it, "If you are not with us, you are the enemy."

Will she and her ilk ever understand that self-righteousness is not a tenet of democracy? It is a tenet of totalitarianism! Apparently, tolerance for other points of view is not one of the freedoms that she believes our soldiers are fighting for.

We can only hope that this is the last great service that she does for her country.

LEN ZIMNEY, MINNEAPOLIS

The eye-rolling has to stop

It's getting harder and harder to use the words politician and integrity in the same sentence. I am embarrassed by one Minnesota politician who questioned the Americanism of Barack Obama during a recent TV interview. Will you say anything just to get reelected?

Stop the lies and negative ads! The American people are sick and tired of this political strategy. Be honest -- don't manipulate the truth. And please -- don't roll your eyes at another candidate during a debate. It is unbecoming of an officer.

RUTH MEYER, STILLWATER

Give us the sun and the moon

Ben Bova's column ("Energy from where the sun never sets," Oct. 20) points to a way of finding virtually unlimited amounts of energy and raw materials. An article in the July 1976 issue of National Geographic proves the idea of orbital solar collectors is far from new.

After a demonstration project, a more economical approach would be to mine the raw materials of the moon. Orbital solar power stations would jump-start the industrialization of space. Japan is working on a pilot orbital solar satellite now. Other nations are looking at establishing a permanent human presence on the moon

We need to get back to the moon and stay there. When we get there, other nations will be there to. We can't afford to let this potential slip through our fingers.

R. BAYDEN CHADFIELD, ST. LOUIS PARK

Early learners will meet the challenge

One of the most important roles for Minnesota government, especially in difficult economic times, is to invest in our state's human capital. The legacy of our state's investment in education in the '60s and '70s was our economic innovation and prosperity in the '80s and '90s. Rep. Margaret Anderson Kelliher, interviewed by Lori Sturdevant (Opinion Exchange, Oct. 19), is a forward-thinking yet practical leader -- and she's right: One of the best investments government and the private sector can make now is in quality early learning programs.

With 50 percent of kindergartners in our state coming to school not fully ready, we need every parent to be able to choose and afford a quality program for their child. Kids ready for kindergarten should be a fundamental strategy for reducing our state's education achievement gap, along with reducing future taxes and ensuring a competent workforce and capable civic leaders down the road. With the economic challenges and world competition they'll face, there's no time to lose in investing for all of our children's success in school and life.

NANCY JOHNSON, MINNEAPOLIS

Water safety is No. 1

The story and photos in the Oct. 18 Homes section of Craig Timm and his family with their house by the lake in Center City was very inviting for potential buyers in that area, with many benefits of the locality.

As far as making it picture-perfect, I would have had all those in the photos wearing life vests while in the boat, as well as the children at the edge of the dock while fishing. Neither parent wore a vest while in the boat, nor did the toddler, from what I could discern. Whenever living around water, I recommend safety is always at the top of the list.

JOHN SPLETTSTOESSER, WACONIA