The left's idea is that of a common purpose
This may come as a surprise to Gregg J. Cavanagh ("The left's idea of justice is corrupt," April 11), but there are many communities who vote for people who will (wait for it) spend tax dollars to fulfill common needs and wishes.
That Cavanagh does not like what a majority has voted for makes neither the community nor its elected officials corrupt. It makes them democratic.
Getting things done is, after all, why we hold elections. The disdain many conservatives have for a democratic process is truly stunning -- but completely understandable. Right-wing reactionaries have a great disdain for people getting together to achieve things.
For Cavanagh to suggest that communities should not vote for their interests is truly a corruption of the democratic process.
BRYAN HAUGEN, MAYER
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Is Cavanagh suggesting that nonprogressives are innocent of offering "direct financial benefits" to their constituents, or that they do not have a "direct financial stake in a governmental decision?"
How many millions of dollars do corporate lobbyists donate to candidates who promise them corporate tax breaks in return?
The problem Cavanagh does not completely address is that of the American political system in general: Candidates speak for the dollars that support them.
REMI BOUDREAU, MINNEAPOLIS
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Cavanagh confuses politics with justice. He accuses people who don't share his view of taxes with being undemocratic, unjust and corrupt. Un-American, too. His opposition to sharing his wealth is a valid view.
I think it's a selfish opinion, and to me it sounds jaded. But I don't think he is un-American. Every political agenda seeks to promote a point of view; there's nothing wrong with advocating.
At least so-called progressives name why and how we should spend taxes. These are policy decisions worthy of debates.
But pretending that massive imbalances between haves and have-nots aren't real, refusing to understand that tax policies have consequences beyond one's own bank account and damning other people because their view is different from yours has nothing to do with justice.
MILES B. CANNING, EXCELSIOR
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TREATMENT OF ANIMALS
What's the real motive for banning videos?
I was distressed to read the Minnesota Agri-Growth Council wants to make it a felony to document animal abuse and pollution, and that legislators are even considering it ("Bill would ban video of farming operations," April 9).
Domestic and farm animals are the least of us, and as such should be protected from unjust treatment. Gone are the days when it was acceptable to beat the horses, set dogs on one another and torture cats.
Why? Because when these acts are exposed to the light of day, the perpetrators are ashamed. Just because these animals are in our power and we can abuse them doesn't give us the right to make their lives living hell.
After all, they give their all for us. Can't we treat them with respect?
BETTY ANN ADDISON, FRIDLEY
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I assume the bill was introduced because these farming operations have something to hide.
MEGAN KEENAN, EDEN PRAIRIE
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If it's a requirement, it should be enforced
The list of excuses for unlicensed and unqualified teachers was stunning ("State ignores teacher licensing violations," April 10), and there doesn't seem to be an urgency of need to correct the problem.
It's simpler to ask for a variance or ignore the requirement completely. Apparently that's the course that Superintendant Patty Phillips of North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale has chosen.
She is quoted as saying, "There was good education going on in those classrooms." Let's apply the same logic to other circumstances.
There's some good driving going on in Minnesota. Who needs to take the time to get a license? In responding to another violation, Pat Pratt-Cook, the chief human-resources officer in the Minneapolis school district, claims that "it did not affect [the teacher's] ability to do his job."
Wonderful. Why spend money to train our police officers? If you know right from wrong, grab your gun and hit the streets.
If, by its own admission, the state Board of Teaching does nothing to enforce licensing violations ... is the board really necessary?
TIM KNEEFE, ANOKA
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The problem exists for less than 1 percent of teachers. There are other things to worry about.
MIKE MCDONALD, ST. PAUL
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Two interpretations of cell tower proposal
AT&T argues that a proposed cell phone tower adjacent to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is vital for providing public safety to residents and visitors ("A cell tower near the BWCA," April 11).
Rather, it may be vital to profits.
If AT&T truly wants to address public safety, then corporate resources should be devoted to outlawing cell phone use while driving.
BRAD JOHNSON, CHAMPLIN
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The Friends of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness don't want to allow a cell phone tower outside the BWCA. What's next? A no-fly zone?
PATRICK J. FOLEY, NORTHFIELD, MINN.
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