Sustainability and personal responsibility

I was so pleased to see Katherine Kersten's column ("Sustainability: The latest indoctrination," April 25). Prior to reading it, I had no idea that supporting sustainability, like eating tilapia instead of tuna, could lead to world totalitarian domination, apparently at the hands of the Norwegians.

After all, let us not forget that the last time the Norwegians ran about unchecked, they brutally conquered exotic and faraway lands. Several dozen of them eventually owned estates on highly desirable coastal real estate in Newfoundland. It's reputed that a few of them even made it as far as Minnesota and rudely defaced a 500-million-year-old piece of sandstone.

It's ironic that often those who so proudly raise the banner of personal responsibility in the name of freedom are loathe to embrace acts of personal responsibility, such as supporting sustainability in its various forms. Supporting their argument by conflating well-intended, sound practices with radical politics, they create a fearful and apocalyptic vision of the future.

My advice? If you're offered coffee in a recycled cup, run, my friend. Herring and aquavit? You'll wake up shackled to an oar on a slave ship. Be very afraid.

BOB LAbree, Stillwater

Pearlstein's view

Set a goal, and things just might happen

Mitch Pearlstein does not like deadlines ("To save the world, set a deadline. Easy!,'' April 26). I agree with him in many ways. Setting deadlines to do good things, such as end poverty or homelessness, can cause cynicism in some and hopelessness in others. Deadlines can seem utopian and unrealistic. However, without deadlines we would not have the Civil Rights Act of 1964 nor the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Nor would we have landed on the moon, a seemingly impossible goal when President John Kennedy first made it in 1961.

Those of us participating in A Minnesota Without Poverty, a statewide movement to end poverty in Minnesota by 2020 (yes, that is the deadline) support the recommendations of the Legislative Commission to End Poverty in Minnesota by 2020 (there it is again). We even think that with public and political will, as well as public leadership from all sectors of society, this 2020 vision can become a reality.



We need to invent, create and take risks

Much has been said about creating jobs in this economy. Frankly, the issue has been talked about enough. It's time for us to do what Minnesota has done exceptionally well in its 152-year history as a state: invent, create and work our way to the top.

This isn't a call to action for the Legislature or state government, although they have an important role to play. It's a call to action for the citizens of Minnesota. We need to take action as individuals to change our destiny and keep Minnesota "above average." It means doing things that are often uncomfortable for Minnesotans, such as promoting ourselves, taking risks and getting involved.

Minnesotans are good at being humble, but in a global age, humility does us a major disservice. Rather than trying to tear down successful Minnesota people and companies, we need to support and champion them. Minnesotans can continue to lead the world. We have done it before and can do it again. However, being "above average" takes action.


vikings stadium

Another pro/con on public financing option

Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, had an excellent opinion piece on the Vikings stadium ("Should the public pay for a new Vikings stadium, too?'', April 25). He only missed the solution for paying for the stadium. Add a $64 tax on each ticket, and if the stadium is not full, the Vikings can pick up the difference. Those who use it pay for it. Problem solved.

BILL MCMahon, Norwood Young America

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Sen. Marty states that public financing for a new Vikings stadium would subsidize the 65,000 seats in the new stadium at $64 per game, per seat, for 30 years.

Do the math: 65,000 seats times $64 each divided by 5 million residents in the state of Minnesota equals $0.832 per game per citizen. Marty thinks this is a lot of money to watch a Vikings game on your home TV. I don't think so.


immigration idea

Balance deportation with legal citizenship

Each time an illegal immigrant is deported, admit a legal immigrant applicant to the United States as a replacement. The suffering of the lawbreaker will be balanced by the joy of the law-abider.