The reference to the F-35 aircraft as an example of misplaced optimism in military technology (“Be it ever so humble, floppy disk still has a vital role in the military”) was a little untrue. The F-35 was never built to be just a true dogfighter. It was a multimission plane.
Every new military plane takes years to test and get the bugs out. The F/A-18 and the V-22 tiltroter are examples. I remember that in 1988 they were having trouble with the V-22, and it finally entered service two or three years ago.
The June 1 article said that, according to some reports, the F-35 “doesn’t even work.” What reports? From the spring issue of Association of Naval Aviation is this: “The first flight hour was achieved by an F-35B aircraft, FF-1, June 1, 2008. The 25,000-flight-hour milestone occurred in December 2014, six years and six months later. A sign of program growth and maturity, the second 25,000 hours were reached only one year and two months later.” And from the U.S. Naval Institute’s May issue of “Proceedings” comes this: “Underpinning the capability of the F-35’s advanced systems — everything from the AN/AAQ-37 Distributed Aperture System and AN/APG-81 active electronically scanned array radar to sensor fusion and battle-management capabilities. Spanning more than 8 million lines of code, four times as many as the F-22 Raptor … .”
So, you see, everything isn’t going to work right away.
Jack Christopher, Bloomington
THE 2016 ELECTION
Donald Trump and this year’s down-the-rabbit-hole campaign
The courts ultimately will decide whether Trump University was fraud or just a group of overzealous sales staff who took advantage of the unemployed in the same way that timeshare sales folks sell to tourists in the tropics.
But Trump University shows something much bigger about Donald Trump and his brand. It has failed miserably outside of his core success in real estate developments. The pattern is the same — a lot of bluster up front with promises of greatness followed by poor execution. Whether it is education, steaks, water or airlines, his promise of making an industry great again has been followed by failure. It seems that Americans will find that the Trump brand will come up far short of delivering jobs and economic growth that he has promised to many others and failed.
Michael Emerson, Eden Prairie
• • •
After watching one Republican after another express concerns or even revile Donald Trump during the primaries, then endorse him, such as House Speaker Paul Ryan, I suggest a motto for the GOP: We have principles! If you don’t like them, we’ve got others.
Greg Wright, Edina
• • •
I was so startled by the June 1 letter writer’s conclusion that the high degree of incivility in today’s culture was due to people taking Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” to heart, I had to look into it further. Since I have never read Alinsky but hear his name come up in tirades, I researched what his rules are. It turns out that a current presidential candidate is following Alinsky’s teachings quite closely. Here are four rules that seem quite relevant:
• “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point … .
• “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more.
• “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it.” … Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.
• “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist.
So I applaud the social analyst for finding this correlation, although it’s a whopping error to have confused the sinistral with the dextral.
David Paulson, Minnetonka
• • •
It was hard to pick just a few to keep this short:
Donald Trump says “you mean Pocahontas,” referring to U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and “he’s not a war hero,” referring to U.S. Sen. John McCain and “if Hillary Clinton cannot satisfy her husband, what makes her think she can satisfy America”?
Hillary Clinton speaking about Donald Trump: “They’re not really ideas, just a series of bizarre rants, personal feuds and outright lies” and “his ideas aren’t just different — they are dangerously incoherent.”
Let me see if I understand this: Clinton, according to the Star Tribune’s front-page story (June 3) “unleashed a caustic attack on Donald Trump”?
Liz Strom Knutson, Minneapolis
• • •
The Lottery Party — that is what I am proposing for this year’s presidential election. People love lotteries, and the winner in this case will get to be president. Nice payoff.
Just like jury duty, the winner will have to be a citizen of sound mind, possibly cleared by the Lottery Party members.
The process will be simple: I will head the ticket with another Lottery Party member as vice president. When I win, I will resign and the VP will then become president, at which time he or she will appoint the Lottery Party winner as VP. Then the Lottery Party winner will become president when the second president resigns.
Think about it. A real American citizen with common sense will run the country. No political paybacks, no windbag candidates, just a regular citizen like you and me.
Kevin Wendland, Chaska
Much complaint, little action
There was a walk on Thursday over the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis to decry gun violence. On Friday, there was a picture and minuscule article about the event in the Minnesota/state/local section of the Star Tribune — on the very last page.
I attended the event and walked. The number of people there was underwhelming. We decry gun violence and gun deaths, but only 200 or so people attended the event to voice outrage and concern.
Black Lives Matter gets a lot of news coverage. Where were its representatives Thursday night? They were noticeably absent.
What can I, as an older white guy from south Minneapolis, do about the situation in north Minneapolis? I suppose I could do more. For now, I volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, and every house I’ve help build has been in north Minneapolis.
Ronald Hopfensperger, Minneapolis
Two sides of humanity
A Memorial Day cycling outing on a quadricycle (four-wheeled, side-by-side) turned into an alarming and also gratifying experience. After some careless bikers forced us too close to the edge of the trail along Minnehaha Creek, we ended up in the creek, with the cycle on top of Camille. Strangers stopped to help us, lifting the quadricycle out of the water and muck up onto the trail. Then they helped us back to the trail, cleaned us up and called 911. The Hennepin County paramedics and Minneapolis police officers responded quickly with thorough and sensitive care. One of the officers made sure the cycle was in order for us to complete the ride home.
We regret that we did not get the names of anyone, so we use this letter to say thanks to all of them for their time, their care and their wonderful support.
Camille and Paul Rogers, Minneapolis