As the mother of a son who was listed as “female” on his birth certificate, and witnessed him living through an agonizing childhood and adolescence trying to figure out why he felt different, I felt compelled to respond to “Reversing stance, Boy Scouts to allow transgender kids” (Jan. 31). While making a change after 100-plus years of deferring to birth certificates is significant, it will be critically important for leaders to recognize that a transgender boy is no different than a cisgender boy (meaning a child’s gender identity and assigned body parts at birth match up). Unless these young men can be treated the same way by the significant adults involved as well as the other scouts in the troop, this will not be progress. Inclusion means “treated the same as.” I hope this decision will be carried out responsibly and troop leaders will be provided education if needed to learn how to be culturally sensitive. If these young men are considered “trans boys” and regarded differently by anyone in the troop, the Boy Scouts will have accomplished nothing.

Marsha Partington, Hopkins


Editorial Board seems oblivious to the risks Trump understands

The Editorial Board of this paper continues to demonstrate illogical thinking, as witness (“Bungled ban may aid extremist recruitment,” Jan. 30). For the very reason we had numerous Somali prosecutions stemming from a federal sting operation, our vetting process must be revisited. American “values” begin with a safe homeland, and that cannot be ensured unless we constantly evaluate the thoroughness of our methods.

Does the board really mean to imply that we should back off any renewed safety measures for fear of aiding terrorist recruitment? News flash: Terrorists are going to use any means available to recruit and brainwash their followers. There can be no doubt that the Democrats and their mainstream media allies will continue to criticize President Trump on all his actions. Next up will be his Supreme Court pick. I’m sure the protesters are getting their new batch of signs prepared for their next tantrum.

Joseph Polunc, Cologne

• • •

“It is an approved maxim of war never to do what the enemy wishes you to do.” — Napoleon. Trump needs to review his battle plan on terror.

Ron Jacobson, Rosemount

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I am asking the press to publish the names of the congressional staffers who reportedly signed nondisclosure agreements with Trump policy adviser Stephen Miller for the purpose of drafting and signing statements/agreements in secret from the elected senators and representatives who hired them and who pay them with taxpayer dollars. This type of betrayal of elected offices is unacceptable.

Mary Loftus, Edina

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Defense Secretary James Mattis is said to be “particularly incensed” over President Trump’s travel ban (“Discord over travel ban grows as Trump fires acting AG,” Jan. 31). Rex Tillerson, Trump’s pick for secretary of state, is said to be “baffled over not being consulted on the substance of the order.” Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly — the very department that is charged with carrying out the policy — was not aware of details of the directive until Trump signed it.

As Maya Angelou has said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” This is exactly how Trump will govern every day. If these men had any sense of decency, they would withdraw their names or resign rather than work under this truly un-American regime. I will not hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

Maggie Passmore, St. Paul

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You think the Women’s March was big? This past November, 22 million people marched together defying threats from and challenging the ideology of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. There was no coverage of this in the Star Tribune or other mainstream media.

These 22 million people happened to be mostly Muslims, in Iraq, honoring the holy day of Arbaeen. In addition to a religious occasion, in recent years this event has come to be a protest against ISIL. To read more about this, go to

This is an example of the mainstream media being complicit in Trump’s propagandizing: We repetitively hear about “Muslim terrorists” or “Muslim extremists,” but hear nothing about Muslims resisting ISIL.

Come on, Star Tribune! Do your job and give us balanced information.

Sue Johnston, Minneapolis

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With regard to President Trump’s immigration ban, the Jan. 30 front page says “White House works on damage control as opposition, rage spreads.” According to a Rasmussen poll, 57 percent of Americans polled support the ban. Why is damage control needed? I fully support the ban, along with the majority of Americans.

Bill Martin, Anoka

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In response to the lead letter of Jan. 31 (“Left wing, there you go again”): So, if you support lawful due process, consultation between the executive, his own Cabinet, and the legislative branch; if you protest a religious test or preference for travel or immigration; if you care about families and careers and futures being torn asunder; if you honor our national values and traditions as an immigrant nation; if you do not support the firing of the acting attorney general; if you do not organize a march in protest of every foul and despicable action of ISIL or its sympathizers — then you are a “left-winger.” A “shameful, divisive and hypocritical” left-winger. Well. It is at least good to know where we stand.

Douglas Wood, Sartell, Minn.

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I can’t believe I’m typing these words: Trump may be great for the United States. The irony is that it’s not because people get behind him and his policies, but because people band together to oppose them. Perhaps this is the impetus to break the deadlock in Congress, for people to wake up to the realities of others’ lives, to see the realities of class and economic divides. The Women’s March, the protests at airports, demonstrations against the proposed wall and the support for the many parts of the Affordable Care Act are all inspiring. Let’s hope that we can band together and make America function greatly again.

Ellen Lawless, Minneapolis

• • •

The first two weeks of the new Trump administration have been, to say the least, provocative. In particular, the executive order on immigration has stirred very powerful reactions in this country and around the world. Protests, by and large peaceful, are drawing thousands to city centers, airports, and other sites, denouncing the ban as unconstitutional and against traditional American values. Heads of state across the globe are questioning the U.S. decision and the impact it will have. Members of Congress, from both sides of the aisle, are aligning themselves against the new president and his policy. And perhaps all of this is warranted.

Yet, the problems that this executive order attempts to address persist. ISIL is alive and well. Terror attacks, many (but by no means all) perpetrated by radicalized Muslims occur seemingly weekly, both here and abroad. Undocumented and unvetted individuals continue to pour into the U.S., no matter whether they are classified as refugees, immigrants or illegal aliens. “NBC Nightly News” just this weekend interviewed a young woman who several years ago entered the U.S. on a tourist visa from Central America and remains to this day, long after the visa has expired.

I heartily agree that President Trump has likely overreached with the ban. But through eight years of the Obama administration (and quite likely longer in many cases), neither the president nor Congress has offered any viable or practical solutions to these problems. Amnesty for those already here illegally is merely an attempt to distract attention, not solve a problem.

Please continue to raise your voices in protest, but aim, too, at those who have completely dropped this ball for years, not just a president on the job for two weeks.

Richard Rivett, Chaska