Ever since the Lands’ End spring catalog landed in my mailbox, I’ve been mulling over the colossal blunder initiated when Lands’ End big shots decided to dress up the usual array of boatneck tees and crop pants with CEO Federica Marchionni’s lengthy, gushing interview with feminist icon Gloria Steinem. The mega-kerfuffle began with the appearance of that same interview on the Lands’ End website, which was promptly “scrubbed” of the offending material and replaced by an apology to those customers who were seriously miffed. Best as I can make it out, those customers would be those of us residing in flyover country, looking to Lands’ End for school uniforms and swimsuits that cover what we don’t care to display.

As any person aware of the current political and cultural divide would have predicted, Lands’ End’s apology — which likely soothed no ruffled feathers anyway — provoked rancor in the other half of the customer base. Suffice to say, the executive team will have a dickens of a time trying to keep the ship from sinking and taking with it the livelihoods of scores — perhaps hundreds — of our Wisconsin neighbors.

This is, in part, the sad outcome of an inexplicable hiring choice. Marchionni was hired a year ago, announcing immediately that she wouldn’t be spending any more time than necessary in Dodgeville, Wis., thank you very much. Her compensation — $950,000 annually plus a $1 million signing bonus and $2.75 million in stock (vested after a three-year tenure, which is admittedly in doubt at this point) was sufficient inducement, however, and would indeed seem to be enough to permit Marchionni to promote her pet political and social causes on her own dime.

I do not myself possess an MBA from a tony institution of higher learning. Nonetheless, I offer for consideration by corporate boards the following principle: Just sell good stuff for a fair price.

Debra L. Kaczmarek, Rosemount


Editorial Board is wrong: Vote Sanders for head and heart

The Star Tribune’s Feb. 28 endorsement of Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders because “Clinton is the clear choice … for head and heart alike” is completely upside down in light of the Iraq war.

Sanders stood firmly against the invasion, while Clinton stood firmly for the invasion. No heart in good health supports an unnecessary war fought to maintain oil flow and profits. The clearer mind, that of Sanders, saw that the war would destabilize the region and come back to bite us. Sanders also questioned the flimsy claims that the George W. Bush team gave to justify the invasion. Clinton’s vaunted mind failed us on both accounts.

Clinton may have wanted to further the progressive cause as she went with the flow. This is called incrementalism — make compromises to further your cause. If so, support for a murderous and politically foolish war as a way to do good is not a quality of a good heart.

Bernie Sanders, not Hillary Clinton, demonstrates the superior head and heart and deserves our vote.

Paul Rozycki, Minneapolis

• • •

When I was a child, my parents taped a U.S. presidents’ portrait poster to our bathroom wall so that the six of us kids could see and memorize them for school. It emblazoned in my young, female consciousness the notion that the leader of the free world was only for men, by men and about men.

The times they are a changin’. This paper just endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president. Let’s recognize the historic significance — when the most-qualified, consensus-building, capable candidate in the race is a woman.

Hillary is the revolutionary, anti-establishment candidate in this race. Just take a look beyond your head and your heart to what your eyes and guts are telling you: Hillary will effectively move America to a more safe, fair, just and equal society.

Please attend your neighborhood caucus and help Hillary change U.S. history to finally include herstory.

Betty Folliard, Minneapolis

The writer is a former member of the Minnesota House.


Editorial Board seems to like Kasich. Why not endorse him?

I was very disappointed with the Star Tribune Editorial Board endorsement of Marco Rubio for the Republican nomination for president (“Marco Rubio: Optimistic and electable,” Feb. 28). The editorial staff devoted half of its print to expressing its dislike for the Republican field of candidates, including Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Ben Carson. Then it stated that “Ohio Gov. John Kasich is “clearly presidential material, with a record of accomplishments unequaled among either party’s candidates.” Then it endorsed Rubio for president because he is young and optimistic. Wow! Those are great credentials for being president of the United States! The board might have mentioned that he’s cute, too!

Don Haberman, Orono

• • •

The Republican Party is facing an uprising of seismic proportions and will be forever changed as we remove individuals who are only too willing to acquiesce in the degradation of a culture that has been a shining beacon for millions. Their unwillingness to protect our borders and properly vet immigrants places all of us at physical risk and will Balkanize our country.

What’s not recognized is the exceptional level of courage it takes for someone outside the political establishment to challenge it. The physical risk aside, as a businessman, Donald Trump certainly knew that the IRS and any individuals aligned with the progressives/liberals in a position to damage Trump would make every effort to do so.

In an unsettling similarity to the prelude to World War II, we have enemies describing exactly what they intend to do to us while our political leadership refuses to believe they mean it, and our press refuses to examine and discuss information that is readily available regarding this threat.

Fortunately, Trump is a candidate who is not intimidated by the predictable liberal litany of “racist,” “homophobe,” “Islamophobe,” misogynist,” etc., while the media makes every effort to stifle honest discussion of the issues.

Vernon Clobes, New Ulm, Minn.


If you work the math this way, I don’t see the problem

First a disclaimer: I rarely go to movies and I certainly don’t watch awards shows. But I can do math. So when I saw the giant graphic accompanying the Feb. 28 Variety story “Whitewashing the Oscars,” which showed 41 blacks nominated for acting Oscars out of a total of 300 acting nominees since 2002, I did a quick calculation. That adds up to 13.67 percent of the nominations. According to quickfacts.census.gov, in 2014 blacks made up 13.2 percent of the population. Is there some greater representation that Hollywood needs to meet? Or maybe this is just another case of much ado about nothing?

John F. Devereaux, Edina