OBAMA AND VEGAS

Gambling provides real jobs for real people

President Obama suggested to citizens in a recent town hall meeting that "you don't blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you're trying to save for college." If this is his solution to the more pressing demands, such as the economy, he needs to do a 180-degree turn. Think of all the people who would be put out of work if everyone stopped gambling -- casino and track workers, entertainers, pull tab operators and ad infinitum.

For my part, Canterbury is on my agenda for today, and barring an executive order to prevent my doing so, I will be there.

ELWOOD NARUM, BURNSVILLE

PRIUS RECALL

Don't blame the drivers;

blame the car's brakes

I must apologize to all Prius owners for the unkind words and road rage I have directed at you as you crept up freeway on ramps and coasted to traffic lights. All the time you were afraid the Prius would not stop because of a brake design flaw. Take advantage of the recall and join the rest of us in the traffic flow.

JAMES M. BECKER, LAKEVILLE

•••

I have leased a Toyota Prius for three years. No problems, great performance, great service from the dealer.

American car dealers have had so much trouble catching up with Toyota that I question whether there has been any investigation into possible sabotage? I have also heard the complaint that the brakes don't work on frozen ground. If you live in Minnesota, you know there are some weather situations when no brakes work. You need to drive according to weather conditions and become familiar with antilock-brakes.

Negative reporting is a real problem in the media. I guess it sells papers and gets viewers and everybody needs to make a buck, but, please, can we get back to the facts?

MARTHA GORSKY, NEW HOPE

ONE SMALL WIGGLE ...

Iran sends its best and brightest into space

So the Iranians were able to send a rat, two turkeys and a bunch of worms into space. What a wonderful representation of the current regime. Congratulations are in order for this stupendous feat!

JIM KERTZMAN, EDEN PRAIRIE

BACK PAY FOR RED BULLS

Washington should be ashamed of the situation

The 34th Red Bull Infantry Division served in Iraq longer than any other U.S. military unit, and three years later, it is still waiting for its due pay.

So this is what it's come to? I know I saw a lot of yellow "Support Our Troops" ribbons on cars during the "glory" days of the Iraq war. I feel like doing what my friend, Andy, did at a Wisconsin VFW in order to raise money for wounded warriors. He walked around the bar holding out a hat and took up a collection. He approached each patron one by one. If they didn't put anything in the hat, Andy stood there stoically staring at them until they finally reached into their pockets. I expect our Reps. John Kline and Tim Walz -- both veterans themselves -- to be just as relentless in shaking down the Pentagon to pay the Red Bulls.

Meanwhile, Minnesotans should pass around a hat and take up a collection to help out our loyal soldiers. Shame on you if you can't cough up a couple bucks to support our troops.

CHRIS MAIDA, MINNEAPOLIS

ROYCE WHITE LEAVES U

Young man needs to learn a valuable lesson

I feel for Royce White. The adults in his life have really let him down by never holding him accountable. This young man is incapable of accepting any responsibility for his actions. And then, why should he when he has never had to before?

When he got in trouble in high school, rather than face the issue and deal with the consequences, he transferred away from his problems -- much as he is doing now.

At some point, White is going to realize that things don't just happen. You are an active participant in your life. And the consequences of your actions only get more serious as you get older.

Good luck to you.

C.K. PETERSON, MINNEAPOLIS