The hypocrisy of the Trump administration and, sadly, Duluth Pack were on full view during Ivanka Trump’s campaign stops in Minnesota on Monday (“Trump talks Native issues, training,” July 28). On the part of Ivanka, feigning concern for missing and Indigenous women, she failed to recognize that the projects her father’s administration champions (Enbridge Line 3 and the Twin Metals and PolyMet mining projects) create “man camps” that lead to spikes in the disappearance, abuse and murder of Indigenous women. On the part of Duluth Pack, a company that manufactures products to enjoy our natural resources, hosting this visit showed support for the very projects that endanger those natural resources.
Our environment is under attack by the Trump administration, and Line 3, PolyMet and Twin Metals bring that attack to our backyard. These projects will result in the degradation and destruction of wetlands, animal habitat, air and water quality in northern Minnesota, the Boundary Waters and Lake Superior. What’s more, Indigenous people of our state have objected to all of these projects and are fighting to stop them. If the Trump administration really wants to do something to support Indigenous women, it would be to stop its push for these polluting and destructive projects.
Mary Vrabel, Minneapolis
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An article in Tuesday’s Star Tribune highlighted Ivanka Trump’s visit to Minnesota for the opening of a Bloomington office charged with investigating cold cases against American Indians and to pledge education and training to workers.
With the presidential election arriving in just a few months, it’s obvious that the Trump administration is performing acts of kindness for the sake of winning over Minnesota. Trump has had four years to establish such programs. How convenient is it that he is now doing so with the upcoming election? He clearly has a political motive. Moreover, the new Bloomington office does not appear to consider the perspectives of American Indian people. In order to establish culturally responsible care for vulnerable Native women, the creation of this office should’ve included guidance from experienced professionals and from the Native population itself. This office is a hoax. In fact, it’s another case of “white man saves poor person of color.” In actuality, the white man is doing it for personal gain.
We need a leader who is going to help all people from the beginning and not just at the time of re-election. Trump is not the leader for our country.
Yer Lee, Maplewood
I’m confused. Isn’t comparison to Kim Jong Un a compliment?
Minnesota GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan, who is campaigning for the re-election of President Donald Trump, said of Gov. Tim Walz and his mask mandate, “This is not North Korea, and you are not Kim Jong Un ... or are you?” (“Foes seek strategies to evade mask rule,” front page, July 29.)
Well, let’s look at what Trump has said about Kim Jong Un: “Chairman Kim has a great and beautiful vision for his country,” “he will do the right thing because he is far too smart not to,” and “he’s very smart. He’s sharp as you can be, and he’s a real leader.”
So, I suppose I am unclear whether Carnahan believes Walz “has a great and beautiful vision,” “will do the right thing because he is far too smart not to” and is “a real leader.”
Or, is Carnahan taking guidance on the pandemic from a president incapable of making sound judgments on something as simple as the leadership in North Korea?
Bryan Legrand, Minneapolis
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I applaud the governor’s mandate for wearing cloth face masks in public. However, the mandate to wear face masks did not come with a proper narrative. Instead, mask opponents have cast the issue as a matter of personal freedom. The real issue is: People who do not wear face masks in public are potentially spreading a deadly virus to people around them and are indifferent to the harm they may be causing.
Minnesota (and the nation) needs a public campaign emphasizing:
1. Cloth face masks do well in capturing the relatively large virus-laden droplets as they leave your mouth — preventing them from getting to other people.
2. Cloth face masks are not as effective at protecting the wearer from getting infected by maskless people around them. The droplets that leave a maskless face keep subdividing into smaller droplets. By the time they reach a nearby person, some of the droplets are small enough to get through a cloth mask.
3. In May, 75% of the people who tested positive for coronavirus in the New Orleans region showed no symptoms. So some maskless people will certainly be spreading the virus to others.
4. People with medical conditions that make wearing a cloth mask difficult can still wear a face shield, though according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shield efficacy is still unknown. Some of the “don’t limit my freedom” people are abusing this exemption by lying about their condition. Face shields are an alternative and the exemption clause should mention that.
People who refuse to wear cloth face masks are showing a callous, indifferent attitude toward the possibility that they are infecting people around them with a potentially deadly virus.
The government and the media should be making people aware of this if we hope to achieve full compliance with the mandate.
Eric Gossett, Coon Rapids
Don’t blame us. Do your research.
Before the Star Tribune Editorial Board reprinted a liberal editorial (“Most of the blame falls on state House Republicans,” Mankato Free Press, July 28), the board, and DFL lawmakers, should have read the full 183-page bonding bill and understand how it’s funded and constructed.
1. To fund the included schedule 179 tax conformity, this bill would increase private health insurance premiums for private insurance patients by robbing $100 million from the reinsurance account, which currently reduces private insurance rates by 25%.
2. Health care, taxes and bonding in one bill violates our state Constitution’s single-subject requirement.
3. The state has a $2 billion deficit to make up in 11 months. Typically, $200 million in “discretionary funds” are used to “secure votes” for the bill. These nonessential projects handed to lawmakers in swing districts look great on campaign mailers. When complaining about a bonding bill not garnering the needed three-fifths majority votes in each chamber, you are supporting this process.
4. Gov. Tim Walz can reissue any executive orders the second he signs the bonding bill. Negotiating a bill in exchange to end any orders is dumb. We filed a lawsuit to address his abuse of powers.
5. The 183-page, $2 billion bill was finished 60 minutes before the vote. Four legislators, including one employee of a lobbying firm, are making all the decisions behind closed doors. If you want a yes vote, legislators need time to read, research and discuss the impacts with constituents. We should support legislators who want transparency, honesty and accountability in government.
Rep. Jeremy Munson, Lake Crystal, Minn.
The writer is a Republican in the Minnesota House.
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