“Thank Martin Luther for our modern world,” by Stephen B. Young (Oct. 28), was a lengthy post hoc fallacy. “Post hoc ergo prompter hoc” is Latin for “after this, therefore, because of this.” Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, etc., followed Luther, therefore, Luther empowered science and understanding of natural law.

Science has been built by inquiring minds standing on the shoulders of giants who have made discoveries through the ages. Scientific inquiry reaches back at least to Aristotle, 2,000 years before Luther. Democracy, equality before the law and elements of individualism were practiced to a limited extent by the ancient Greeks. Muslim scholars kept alive the spirit of learning and discovery of natural phenomenon while much of Europe was asleep in the Middle Ages. Luther’s contribution is significant, but he is not the fount of open minds.

Adam Smith, founder of capitalism, published “The Theory of Moral Sentiments” in 1759 and “The Wealth of Nations” in 1776. Mercantilism dominated economic thought from the 1500s to the 1700s. National power and wealth (gold and silver) were accrued by exporting more than importing to outdo rivals, which led to numerous wars, exploration and colonialism.

Gold, greed, guns, goods and God drove the age of invasion, conquest and occupation of North America. Genocidal wars against indigenous people, slavery and, ultimately, stolen lands of Manifest Destiny were originally triggered by Protestant England. Does Young’s giant leap of faith include these facts that follow Martin Luther?

Harold Honkola, Tower, Minn.


For Ellison, Pessenda, Noor in Fifth, First and Sixth Wards

I was sorry to see the Star Tribune Editorial Board endorsing more of the same (Oct. 26) when a change is needed for Minneapolis’ Fifth Ward. I supported Blong Yang in his first term; he is accessible and friendly, but I feel he lacks the leadership and creativity needed in our community. I believe that leadership and creativity is found in Jeremiah Ellison.

I find it curious that some raise concerns about Jeremiah’s lack of experience. I’ve known him for years and he is wise beyond his years; he surrounds himself with great people; and his values, passion and connections will lead him to find the best solutions for all North Siders.

After the shooting of Jamar Clark and the subsequent protest, Yang’s leadership and presence were lacking. We need someone who will bridge the relationship between police and community, who also understands that police are not the whole of public safety. Someone who will propose new and creative solutions, not the same old stuff. That’s Jeremiah Ellison. He has my vote on Nov. 7, and I hope my fellow North Siders will join me.

Marque Jensen, Minneapolis

• • •

I was disappointed to see the Star Tribune’s endorsement for First Ward Minneapolis City Council Member Kevin Reich (Oct. 25). I am excited to support Jillia Pessenda because I believe she represents the future of the ward.

I take pride in having lived in Northeast all of my life. As a former Minneapolis school board member, community activist and DFL activist, and as a 30-year social-service professional, I understand the history of the First Ward and the challenges we face. Jillia has the courage and the capacity to face head-on the complex issues connected to racial, cultural and economic disparities.

Jillia understands that unstable housing impacts children’s ability to function at school. She understands that if you don’t have accessible public transportation, it’s challenging to maintain steady employment or get to school or college. She knows that if we don’t invest in sustainable environmental practices and safe neighborhoods, the very health of our community is negatively affected. She understands the importance of investing in small businesses so that our community can thrive. And she also knows that in her role as a council member, the greatest alliance and obligation she will have is to First Ward residents, not developers or downtown businesses.

Jillia is the 21st-century leader we need. The fact that she is a female candidate is icing on the cake. Let’s make history and elect our first woman to the Minneapolis City Council here in the First Ward.

Jill Davis, Minneapolis

• • •

As two of the state representatives for the districts covering Minneapolis’ Sixth Ward, we ask our neighbors to consider our endorsement of Mohamud Noor, a progressive leader with integrity who will represent all of our neighborhoods.

We have known Noor personally for decades and have witnessed his advocacy firsthand as he has championed affordable housing, employment, racial equity, a $15 wage and making Minneapolis a sanctuary city in every sense of the word for everyone who lives here. He is ready to take on the challenge of resisting President Donald Trump and ensuring that Minneapolis is the first and strongest line of defense for our residents.

The Star Tribune Editorial Board has endorsed Council Member Abdi Warsame (Oct. 27). Warsame has failed to engage the diverse constituencies of the Sixth Ward, aligning himself with big-business interests over the needs of working families. We need a leader who can build bridges across communities. Warsame has not been the champion our ward needs on issues of income inequality, police reform, LGBT equality and climate change. The Sixth Ward needs a change.

We look forward to partnering with Mohamud Noor at the State Capitol to resolve the impasse with the Brian Coyle Community Center expansion and to give voice to the urgent issues facing our communities. He is a collaborative leader who listens to others to find common ground toward a shared goal of improving people’s lives. Our communities can’t afford to wait for racial, economic and environmental justice. We need a council member who will represent all residents of the Sixth Ward and their values.

State Reps. Ilhan Omar and Karen Clark, DFL-Minneapolis


A personal and public memory

Although I didn’t know the brave Dennis Banks, a bold American Indian leader who died Oct. 29 at the age of 80 (“He fought for Indian rights,” Oct. 31), his appearance some 50 years ago at an antiwar rally is fixed in my memory. At the time, the United States was intent on stopping communism everywhere in the world and had treaties for that purpose, including one known as SEATO with the countries of Southeast Asia. That was one of the factors that led to the tragic war in Vietnam.

The rally was held at the Macalester College football stadium, open to the public. Various speakers ranted justifiably about the war and its effects. Then Dennis Banks was introduced. He stood on the platform in full Indian regalia — feather headdress, leather vest, moccasins and all — and waited for silence. Then he said: “President Johnson says our country must defend its ally, South Vietnam, because the United States respects treaties.” He gave a concluding look over the audience and then sat down. Brilliant theater. An enduring memory.

Donald M. Hall, Minneapolis