I am going to try to put into a few words my feelings about last night’s debate (“Rivals take aim at Bloomberg, Sanders,” front page, Feb. 20). In brief, I found it somewhat sad and discouraging. Why, I thought, isn’t this platform used to do much more than to listen to put-downs, scoldings, disparagements? Why can’t it be used to educate the millions of us who are listening? Why, for example when Sen. Amy Klobuchar said she was a capitalist, didn’t she say what that meant to her? For some of us, being a capitalist can be a slanderous term. For her it is not, but why isn’t it?

And Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-declared democratic socialist. Why not a straightforward explanation of socialistic ideas, which have done much for our country? Not what they have emotionally done, but the facts and history — such as how the state bank of North Dakota didn’t fail during the past recession.

Or why scold Klobuchar for a common “whoops” by many of us, e.g., forgetting a name? Instead, focus on the highlights of our relationship with Mexico.

“Inform and educate,” I hope, will be a focus of the next debate, especially regarding climate change. And if you want to get into explaining why the Electoral College is, or is not, necessary, it could be a turning point in its existence.

Of course, I realize I am asking too much, but perhaps you all might try, at least, consider the possibility.

I will support the Democratic candidate and do all I can to help her/him win the election.

Ruth Agar, Minneapolis.

• • •

Klobuchar is saying how she is the only one who can draw people together.

How does the left like that she has sided with fracking, pipelines and taking wolves off the endangered species list so they could be hunted? The environmental Center Action Fund has Klobuchar ranked lowest of those running.

As a conservative, I love it, but how does Klobuchar get my vote when she is a strong advocate for abortions? I am for the Second Amendment and my rights, and she is for gun control. There is no way Klobuchar can get any support from those of us who are pro-life. No way.

Remember, Amy — when you straddle the fence, sooner or later you will fall.

Anthony Sheda, Wrenshall, Minn.

• • •

Amy and Pete, stop it!

In all the previous Democratic debates, Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg showed themselves as the adults in the room. On Wednesday night’s debate they reverted to children snarking at each other on the playground. Stop it! The two of you together are the only political centrists who can beat President Donald Trump in November.

Please, once again show yourselves as the adults in the room, stop the petty bickering and inform us on how the two of you will work together to defeat DJT. Our country needs both of you.

Roger W. Sinclair, Minnetonka

• • •

I was all in for Klobuchar. She was the “down-home girl” with Midwestern values combined with a keen intellect and an easygoing style. I watched her, impressed, as she came into her own during the early debates. After her performance at the Las Vegas Town Hall with Anderson Cooper, I even considered donating to her campaign.

But that all changed after Wednesday night’s debate. I saw another side of Klobuchar. When attacked on her experience and record — whether justified or not — she lost it. Visibly angry, devoid of her typical amused smile or shake of her head when disagreeing with a fellow candidate, she responded with snarky remarks, talked over those who had the floor and demanded a chance to rebut.

Throughout her campaign, Klobuchar has referred to her grit as something that sets her apart from the other candidates. But grit isn’t enough. She should have thick skin so she can keep her emotions in check and maintain her high moral ground.

Sorry, Amy. I am out.

Patti Hareid, Albert Lea, Minn.

• • •

There are three big reasons why Klobuchar can win in November.

First, she is a moderate and can get the independent vote. She does not scare Republicans who dislike Trump but are opposed to some of the proposals of Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. So she could win some GOP support.

Second, she is not Hillary Clinton, who won by nearly 3 million votes but not the Electoral College vote, because she neglected to campaign in important states: Florida, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Klobuchar would not make that mistake and would not take any voters for granted. If Clinton got more votes than Trump, with all her baggage, then Klobuchar, with virtually none, can get more votes than Clinton did in 2016 and would likely win the Electoral College vote. (Which is outmoded and needs to be thrown in the trash heap of history. Otherwise, many voters are disenfranchised when the popular vote is overridden by the Electoral College.)

Third, she is not too old, as are Trump, Joe Biden, Sanders, Warren and Michael Bloomberg.

Likely Democratic and independent voters are increasingly disgusted with the current occupant of the White House, and turnout is expected to be greater than in 2016, which favors the Democratic candidate, no matter who that turns out to be.

The Democratic Party is not perfect, but a party that allows someone with the ethics and morals of a Donald Trump to be their standard-bearer deserves to be soundly defeated in any election. Klobuchar can get this done.

Carol Larsen, Plymouth


Ancient jar doesn’t belong to you

I was dismayed after reading the “Collecting” column in the Variety section of the Feb. 19 paper — the article titled “Minnesota jar may be from Oneota culture.”

</URL>The authors, who answer a question about a piece of pottery, do not mention the ethics of keeping an artifact “found while hiking in Minnesota.” In a “finders keepers” culture such as what the United States supports, this is how people react: Pick it up and take it home. It is difficult to leave something so splendid in place, rather than contact a museum, university or local tribe for advice.

But finding and collecting cultural material like this takes it out of context. Where was it found? On public lands? Or private land? How was it found? On the surface? Eroding out of a lake or riverbank? Dug out a rock shelter? Once out of context, it has no meaning other than as a cool-looking pot and “something of a rarity.” Indeed. Much knowledge can be learned from artifacts in situ; but much less with no frame of reference.

The article’s authors could have created a learning moment here. But they did not.

Chances are a Native American ceramic pot in fine, whole condition could have been a burial good. If that were the case, 2019 Minnesota Statutes spell out what the law is, concerning intentionally disturbing burial grounds and goods — in short, you can’t do it.

Looks like the peoples of Minnesota have lost another part of their heritage to a pot-hunter (“private collector”).

Susan D. Freiberg, Wenatchee, Wash.

The writer is a retired archaeologist.



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