Thank you for covering the story of Malcolm “Mac” McDonald (“Terminally ill man wants the end to be of his own making,” Dec 11). This issue of aid in dying is so important, and unfortunately I see a lack of awareness and understanding surrounding it.
I testified at the Minnesota Senate hearing this year in support of Sen. Chris Eaton’s bill, because my mother could have avoided an excruciating end if aid in dying was an option. I was disappointed to see the legislation dropped because of a) lack of awareness and mobilization from would-be supporters and b) a small, but vocal opposition that denounced the bill based on misunderstandings of it.
According to a survey at the State Fair last summer, 68 percent support medical aid in dying. When I talk with friends and family (admittedly unscientifically), they say they’d support this, too. Despite this supportive majority, the people I talked to had no idea there was legislation proposed around this issue. When Eaton withdrew the Compassionate Care Act, it was because she saw a clear lack of understanding about the bill, even among legislators.
We may have an uphill battle in getting the bill passed, but the challenge is not insurmountable. By giving voices to “Mac” and others, we can generate awareness of the issue and for the facts surrounding the legislation rather than the misconceptions. We have to. Lives — and deaths — are depending on it.
Kim Horton, Minneapolis
THE TRUMP TRANSITION
His opponents, as seen in letters, are all emotion, no reason
Recent letters to the editor consistently label President-elect Donald Trump a demagogue. This is a common cliché among the left. A demagogue is “a political leader who tries to get support by making false claims and promises and using arguments based on emotion rather than reason,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Fine, but let’s call out the goose and the gander.
Many writers, who obviously don’t like Trump, are doing that exact same thing — making claims of what will happen to this fair country of ours by making false claims and using emotions rather than reason in order to sway opinion to their way of thinking.
For example, this latest alleged Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee. Fact is, we don’t know if the Russians really did it or not, but even if they did it merely showed how corrupt the DNC was. They did not rig voting machines, and they didn’t pay people to vote for Trump, so what is the point?
I certainly don’t feel we’ll lose our freedoms, or our sovereignty, so why do those on the left think they’re the only ones with the right viewpoint? Seems to me the road we were going down would lead us in the end to a very bad place, one full of lies and corruption. Demagogues indeed!
Mark Daniels, Apple Valley
• • •
I am trying to see the difference between Donald Trump’s appointment of Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state and John Kennedy’s appointment of Robert McNamara as defense secretary. Neither had prior government experience, and both had run one of the world’s largest corporations. While I am not a fan of either man, or Mr. Trump, I am outraged by the hypocritical treatment the media have made of this uncomfortable transition. Having a secretary of state who has actually negotiated with world leaders can only be beneficial in future negotiations. The tone of transition articles has all been negative, positing a world of winners and losers. We are all on the same team. Isn’t it about time to recognize that synergy is much stronger than division? It’s obvious that we cannot be guided by what Mr. Trump says. Can we just keep our negativity within ourselves and let the new administration actually do something before calling foul?
Carl Berdie, Minneapolis
Resignations are in order
It’s not a perk to invite your family and friends to the stadium suites; it is a breach of fiduciary responsibility. The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority’s leaders’ have from the onset failed to grasp that they are not entitled to this part of the public trough.
Only when they raised their finger and found the wind blowing against their perceived self-worth did they “agree” to change the suite policy (“Stadium suite perk to end,” Dec. 13), and like way too many politicians not only did they fail to publicly apologize but they heaped praise upon themselves for the creation of a “new” policy.
The proper thing for the MSFA folks to do is to resign. Doing so today would be just fine, before they further contaminate our air and their legacies.
Roger Nunn, Edina
Keep those connections
The Dec. 11 article about the “Expand Your Circles” campaign to combat isolation in older adults is a great reminder to us all. By the age of 75, more than half are living alone. We all can be a part of the solution. Nonprofit agencies can provide housecleaning or transportation, as well as conversation and community for the older adult. Volunteers raking yards are often greeted by the older homeowner, creating connections for everyone.
Think twice about completely dropping the holiday-card tradition in favor of social media. A greeting card saying “thinking of you” or a personal visit reminds an older adult they are still relevant in today’s society. Your small acts will make a big difference.
Ann Bailey, Apple Valley
The writer is president of DARTS, a nonprofit organization serving older adults.
It’s not all fun and games
The Star Tribune publishes a wide range of letters, some of which are very much astray. That alerts us to the kind of thinking that does really exist. A case in point was the letter on Dec. 13 that included the comment that last Saturday’s snowstorm “wasn’t that bad.” Those three words can be labeled — as kindly as possible — as insensitive. The bottom line is that people suffer significant damage from storms like that — physically, financially, emotionally. Snowstorms can even lead to death. Go ahead, sir, have fun in the snow, but please don’t make light of its serious consequences.
Jim Bartos, Brooklyn Park
It’s not the cows
The Star Tribune let a particularly sloppy bit of journalism slip by in its front-page promo to the Dec. 12 article “Methane levels are spiking.” “Blame the cows,” the promo read. No, cows are not the reason. Yes, cows burp up methane. They were doing so 20 years ago as well (the time it takes for methane to be naturally broken down in the atmosphere). So the methane that cows burp up today replaces the methane that cows burped up 20 years ago. There is no net increase in methane in the atmosphere from cows. It is cute and convenient to use a catchy quip; a bit of careful investigation could have prevented rehashing an oft-repeated and easily debunked falsehood.
John Fetrow, St. Paul
The writer is a professor of dairy medicine at the University of Minnesota.