An ad for the new crime movie “Live by Night” has played on my TV in recent days. The film clips in the commercial for this latest affliction from Ben Affleck featured guns in six scene excerpts, plus a fiery explosion.
So I wonder: Has the time come for an investigation of the nexus among Hollywood, the NRA and the gun industry, which seem to be working together to instill fear in American moviegoers? It’s quite the scam — getting film fans to pay for promoting the fear that drives gun sales, profits and death in American homes and on our streets.
Years ago, I felt nervous walking through unfamiliar big-city streets when I attended trade meetings and conventions. Then I realized that my fear came from crime shows and movies, so I stopped watching them. Despite never having owned a gun, I’ve felt much safer and at peace ever since, no matter where I’ve been. Don’t buy into the fear, America!
Steve R. Marquardt, Lake Lillian, Minn.
THE TRUMP TRANSITION
President-elect is the beneficiary of a steady double standard
It is alleged that Russia has compromising and salacious personal information on President-elect Donald Trump that was not corroborated, but was considered possibly explosive and worth alerting the president and president-elect. If true, would anyone be shocked? Very few. Substitute “Hillary Clinton” for “Donald Trump” in that first sentence. Would anyone be shocked? Everyone would be. And that spells out the difference in the two candidates.
Gary Thomsen, Eden Prairie
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I have a good imagination, but I can’t begin to imagine the blowback we would be experiencing from every nook and cranny of the right wing sound machine if President-elect Hillary Clinton had announced that she was appointing her son-in-law, Marc Mezvinsky, to be a White House senior adviser.
Theresa J. Lippert, St. Paul
Fears, hopes in commentary, president’s farewell address
Thank you, Dr. Gary Fifield, for your impassioned and thoughtful commentary on democracy (“Is Russia really the top threat? Look inward,” Jan. 10). Among other things, your concerns regarding the corrosive influence of gerrymandering were well-stated.
Dr. Fifield, you are in excellent company with outgoing President Obama, who in a parallel address (his last one in public) implored his audience to accept the call asked by the Constitution’s framers to be engaged in civic action to protect our democracy. Obama’s hope appears to rest with the next generation who are not billionaires or military generals. It is the young who tend to hold strongly to values of inclusion, justice and sustainability. You are not at all alone, Dr. Fifield. Many of us are working beside you to carry Obama’s and the framers’ vision forward.
Julie F. Holmen, St. Paul
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President Obama’s farewell address was deeply moving (“Obama’s valediction: ‘Yes we can, yes we did’,” Jan. 11). I expected to feel sad about all the things he had accomplished that now might be undone by the incoming president. But instead I felt hopeful, largely because he pointed out that we are moving inexorably in the right direction, due to the upcoming generation. And so he reminded me that the millennial generation, the generation of my children, will literally save the world.
I see that in my own three sons. Our oldest son, Zack, got his master’s degree in city planning, and is deeply committed to creating sustainable communities with excellent public transportation. Our middle son, Devin, is passionate about health, both of the individual body and of the planet. So he works for a health promotion start-up, and passionately promotes plant-based eating and biking. (He has gotten most of our family to go vegan, much to our benefit.) Our youngest son, Alex, is passionate about public activism. He has hit the streets for Black Lives Matter and other important causes. I expect him to work on the campaigns of progressive politicians like U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison in the future.
For all of them, like their millennial friends, they grew up in a multicultural world, so this is just normal for them. They know and care about all people — black, white, brown, gay, whatever. They care about the Earth. They are passionate and committed, and they give me hope for the future.
Deb Ellsworth, St. Louis Park
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The president’s farewell did not resonate with me, but I now have an idea of what he might be doing on Jan. 21.
I’m guessing he’ll be auditioning with Dos Equis cerveza as the “Most Interesting Man in the World.”
And why did we spend millions to send him to Chicago? Isn’t Washington good enough for television?
John A. Ehlert, Minneapolis
Land exchange with PolyMet is a travesty for wolves, lynx
It is better to have 6,650 acres as a single contiguous area rather than 6,690 acres scattered across northeast Minnesota (“PolyMet land deal under threat of lawsuit,” Jan. 11). You can’t give the wolves and lynx a map of our state and expect them to survive on separate parcels of land. These animals are already listed as threatened. It’s like having all the rooms in your house scattered around Minneapolis rather than together as a normal home.
Norman Holen, Richfield
Favoring housing inspections, editorial misses bigger threat
Tenants have a right to privacy in their home. The Jan. 10 editorial (“Balancing privacy in housing inspections”) demonstrated a fundamental misunderstanding of this right. The Star Tribune Editorial Board argues that “renters with nothing to hide … shouldn’t object to checks that prove their units are in good shape.” This terminology should give readers chills, because it implies that the right to privacy only protects us when we do have something to hide.
The right to privacy protects everyone. If the government can come into our homes against our will, and with no evidence that there’s anything wrong, to check on housing code compliance, then there’s nothing in principle preventing the government from inspecting our homes without probable cause for evidence of drugs or burglary tools, or our bank accounts for laundered money. After all, law-abiding Minnesotans wouldn’t mind, as they’d have nothing to hide?
I’m certain the Editorial Board would object to those practices, and for the same reason we should not treat tenants as children who can’t be trusted with their own privacy choices.
Anthony Sanders, Minneapolis
The writer is a senior attorney in the Minnesota office of the Institute for Justice.