Now this is a party I can attend (“Democrats’ rocky start unifies against Trump,” July 26). A celebration of diversity and respect for all citizens in this country, coming together for the good of all, even while feelings are passionate and conflicted as to who we want to head up the party or to lead our country. Still, Democrats are in Philadelphia together with lots of different ideas and plans for helping to make this country strong for our children’s and grandchildren’s sake. Coming together with passionate plans for preserving not just the integrity of our country and this planet, but with a global perspective for change and growth, “we the people” are electing candidates with the full expectation they will lead us on the cutting edge of progress for all. They will be creative. They will be colorful. They will be authentic. They will be Americans with a vision for the future that gives all of us the opportunity to make our voices heard.
Randee LaSalle, Bigfork, Minn.
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As a review, Hillary Clinton sent and received classified documents on a private, unsecured server. Her server was described as not having even the security usually provided by public servers, such as Gmail. While it was denied by Hillary, the FBI discovered 110 e-mails, in 52 chains, containing material that was classified at the time it was sent or received. Eight of these chains contained information that was “top secret.” Thus, whatever this information was, it was made available to hostile elements by virtue of using multiple private servers in an “extremely careless” manner. This was the summary of FBI findings, recently corroborated by a State Department announcement. While we don’t know, and FBI Director James Comey says we probably wouldn’t be able to tell due to the hostile element’s sophistication, this information may well have been hacked. Hillary continues to say that it wasn’t hacked.
Now we have 20,000 e-mails, written by members of the Democratic National Committee and dating from January 2015, which have been released to the public by WikiLeaks. Since these contain comments concerning the funding of Hillary’s campaign, some obvious biases relating to Bernie Sanders, some racial slurs and demeaning ethnic comments, Hillary’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, has posited that this release was fomented by the Russians. The motivation for the release was to help Donald Trump. Whether or not this is true, Mook is stating that the DNC communications were hacked and released — all done by Russians. These e-mails were sent on servers more secure than Hillary’s, but the Russians were able to overcome that obstacle. We only know that they were hacked because they have been released.
Now, back to the top-secret stuff. Is it just possible that these same Russians hacked Hillary’s unsecured server? Will we have to wait to read the e-mails until the Russians decide to release them? Do we have any idea as to our lack of security caused by Hillary’s “extreme carelessness”? When Hillary was questioned about the DNC e-mails on “60 Minutes” (they contained her campaign information as well as the Bernie comments), she denied any knowledge of them or any participation in them by anyone from her campaign. Here we go again.
Paul Kemmy, Minnetonka
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To the young Bernie Sanders supporters, including my two twenty-something kids, I ask: How many lives is it worth to briefly feel good by booing Hillary Clinton? The reason I ask is that I, and others of my generation, lived through a comparable situation 48 years ago. In 1968, I and many others were just as passionate for Sen. Eugene McCarthy and against the Vietnam War. McCarthy lost the Democratic Party nomination for president to Hubert Humphrey, and he refused to endorse Humphrey until October 1968. McCarthy’s lack of support had the predictable impact; many of his passionate young supporters stayed home on Election Day. And so Richard Nixon was elected, by a tiny margin. There is no doubt that McCarthy and his angry followers cost Humphrey the election.
And the result? Nixon’s cynical continuation of the Vietnam War cost the lives of 25,000 Americans. His extension of the war into Cambodia led to one of the worst genocides in history by the Khmer Rouge. How many lives are at risk in some Trumpian misadventure if he is elected? Given Trump’s demonstrated ignorance and his volatile temperament, if he becomes president, who knows? So, Bernie supporters, ask yourselves: Is that risk worth a few minutes of feeling good and damaging the election prospects for Clinton by booing her or by staying home on Election Day? I think that risk is far too great, which Bernie recognized in endorsing her last night.
K. Craig Wildfang, Eden Prairie
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Did I hear my old friend, my senator, Al Franken, correctly? Did he really tell the Democrats they should go out when the convention is over and work hard for Hillary? And that they shouldn’t hesitate or worry because an 8-year-old can teach a 4-year-old to press a microwave button? Was he talking to the civilized section of our society? Really?
Roy O’Connor, Hopkins
If one pipeline (Line 3) is unsafe, deal with that; don’t add more
Pipeline company Enbridge’s latest attempt to rush the approval of the Line 3 tar-sands pipeline, and the complicity of federal regulators (“Enbridge hopes settlement will speed up action on pipelines,” July 21), feels a little too much like holding northern Minnesota communities hostage for the company’s own needs. Enbridge says the existing Line 3 is unsafe — if so, it should deal with that immediately, shutting the line down if needed. It shouldn’t be given a pass to build another line just because it’s currently operating an unsafe one. This puts tribal communities, landowners and our waters (including the Mississippi River) at extended risk and isn’t the action a responsible company would take. Federal and state regulators should make sure this harmful trade-off is removed from the final settlement.
Andy Pearson, Minneapolis
If we need a learned workforce, and we do, we must support it
Economist Roger Feldman argues that Hillary Clinton’s “free college” proposal is poor policy, and he lists several reasons in support of that (“Three reasons why a plan for free tuition won’t work,” July 25). But he fails to address two of the most important aspects of this discussion. First is that economists continue to tell us that our nation’s way of life in the 21st century is contingent on our having a highly educated workforce. If that is the case, and it surely is, why would we not do everything in our power to make certain that our future way of life is secured by assuring that higher education is affordable? What is amazing is that we don’t, and the cost of higher education continues to increase every single year.
The second point missed is that Minnesota (like some other states) already has in place a system that provides up to two years of tuition-free postsecondary education for students who wish to access it while they are still in high school. Gov. Rudy Perpich started this 30 years ago with the Postsecondary Enrollment Options law (PSEO), which has been significantly expanded with College in the Schools programs in high schools all over the state. In fairness to Feldman, the Clinton proposal is the 20th-century model, which is “buy what we have now.” What is needed is to redesign our grades 10-14 system so that tuition-free higher education is provided to all, primarily with current revenue.
Robert Wedl, Edina
The writer was deputy commissioner of education in the administration of Gov. Rudy Perpich and education commissioner in the administration of Gov. Arne Carlson.