Where, oh, where are our Minnesota values? Gov. Mark Dayton intends to call a special session of the Legislature in order to save our economy from the dwindling of the walleye harvest.

Clearly, walleye are of greater importance than the following:

• Half of our jail inmates are in need of mental-health treatment, not jail time. And we lack necessary beds.

• Minority children are in need of closing the gap in their skills.

• Poverty and crime are kept within institutionally constructed boundaries.

• We fund money-making projects for the wealthy, but not affordable housing for the working poor.

When will we have special sessions for these issues?

Douglas Hadden, Minnetonka

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Out of all the important topics in Minnesota right now, walleye on Lake Mille Lacs and the businesses there may get a special session. Yet the issues with Minnesota’s Sex Offender Program or the state hospital in St. Peter don’t. I guess Dayton has his priorities, and they apparently aren’t helping people treated illegally by the state — just businesses being affected. Yes, Gov. Dayton, let’s treat the symptom, not the problems, and see how this fares.

Jeff White, St. Paul

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Regarding a special session to rescue resorts on Mille Lacs:

1) Resorts are a private business. People starting a business assume certain risks. Among them is that the business may fail due to many reasons, including lack of business.

2) The state has no business bailing out private enterprise, especially for a reason like too few fish to catch. Which businesses are we going to bail out next, and for what reason?

3) How about the mom-and-pop stores, bars, restaurants, etc. Are we going to bail them out also if the fishermen don’t come?

4) If the business owners feel that the state has been the cause of their problems because of fishing regulations, let them get an attorney and sue the state. I’d much rather lose my tax dollars in that manner. At least it would be determined in a legal manner, rather than by a group of politicians with a vested interest deciding whom to bail out and how much to give them.

Jerry Bich, Wayzata

 

KILLING OF CECIL THE LION

As usual, the protests say as much about the protesters

There is an interesting irony in the Cecil-the-lion event. On the one hand, there is outrage over the spilling of Cecil’s blood and on the other hand the protesters want Bloomington dentist Walter Palmer’s blood. They want to ruin him based on their beliefs, rather than his behavior. The outcry is unbelievable and disappointing. Most of the protesters don’t like hunting or guns or the way Palmer spends his money. They have little interest in addressing his guilt of a crime or the responsibility of his behavior. As is generally the case, the protesting is more about those doing the protesting than those being protested against. It is also saddening to see parents teaching their children how to overreact in public.

Charles C. Wanous, Minneapolis

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Don’t get me wrong. I strongly disapprove of the killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe. It’s tragic and senseless. However, that tragedy pales in comparison to the beheading of countless Christians (and others, too) in the Middle East by ISIL or the sale of body parts of aborted babies by Planned Parenthood. Yet judging by the coverage in this newspaper and reaction nationwide, it’s clear that many people view the life of one animal as far more important than any number of human lives. That, in itself, is a tragedy.

It does make me wonder: If we could travel back in time to the heyday of the Roman Colosseum, how many in today’s society would be rooting for the lions instead of the Christians?

Michael Barg, Bloomington

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I am stunned by the worldwide magnitude of the outrage at the killing of Cecil, compared with the small pockets of protest at the killing of humans by guns. Perhaps we should use this unhappy situation to recognize the value of all life.

Betty Olson, Bloomington

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Cecil was killed. Wonder how many human lives were lost the same day by abortion?

K.M. Gallagher, Minneapolis

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With the tidal wave of emotion this week over the death of Cecil, it was inevitable there would come the complaints that there is not enough backlash for other worthy issues in this world. Why needlessly pit one tragedy against another? This is not a competition. The truth is, they all matter. While many issues are personal and carry special meaning to some, announcing that a shooting is more important than an endangered animal being tortured and killed is completely missing the point. Instead of complaining and ranting and raving about it, put your money where your mouth is. Take a stand; support different organizations tailored to your special causes in this world. Get out there and walk the talk. If all of the energy social media generated this week for Cecil the lion was harnessed and blasted to the politicians, countries and “trophy” hunters of this world, maybe, just maybe, a difference could be made. Wait, I think it did.

Lisa Ross, Cottage Grove

 

FETAL RESEARCH

Critics’ ideologies leave them stuck in a contradiction

Those who are exercised about donation of fetal remains for scientific purposes apparently put a higher value on fetal remains than on deceased victims of accidents or bodies willed to universities and other scientific institutions. We laud those donations, publicize them and promote such uses, including the transplanting of “body parts” to living donees. What’s the difference, exactly?

Of course, the only real difference is that the former come through clinics that perform abortions, and those clinics are hated. Therefore, anything the clinics choose to do must be suspect and vilified. The critics’ real motivations are transparent and regrettable.

My mother willed her body to a local university that wished to study an unusual, benign tumor in her ear. In return, the university paid for her cremation. (She was a daughter of the Depression, and thrifty to the last.) How does that differ from donating fetal remains in return for payment of the actual costs of removing the tissue, storing it and transporting it?

Mary McLeod, St. Paul

 

PUBLIC RADIO

I can live without ‘Wits’

I’m both a sustaining member and Leadership Circle donor to Minnesota Public Radio. As such, I was surprised at a July 30 letter writer’s rather extreme reaction to the cancellation of “Wits.” I don’t know if the cancellation of the program was related to making money or not. To my knowledge, the only way MPR’s parent company, American Public Media, could make money on the show would be to “sell” it to other public radio stations (I may be missing something). Whatever the case, as a person who has MPR on in my car and home office 24/7, I was pleased with the cancellation. Why? Because when it came on, I changed the station, something that I almost never do except during pledge drives. The reason is simple. For me, the program utterly lacked the “wit” promised by the title. Most of the time, I couldn’t understand why the audience was laughing. Perhaps that’s why it never “made money”?

John F. Hetterick, Plymouth