I completely disagree with the United Nations secretary-general and the Star Tribune Editorial Board (Sept. 7) when it comes to having diplomacy as our only way of dealing with the dangerous North Korea situation.

It is dire, no doubt, but be aware that if Kim Jong Un manages to obtain the tools to attack the U.S., he will.

So, what to do?

Play to win — not like we did when I was serving in the Korean War, which was frustrating to all Korean veterans.

We should quietly figure out a way to make a pre-emptive strike.

Risky, yes — but the alternative is even more so.

Dick Brown, Excelsior

• • •

The Sept. 6 commentary "Americans are a little too relaxed about using nukes" uses such phrases as "blowing up 2 million," "kill at least 600 million," "massive fires," "sky-darkening smoke," "change the climate." Never once is the word "radiation" used (even though there is a reference to a "Fukushima-type contamination"). Also, other descriptions of the horror of nuclear conflict could be added, such as the horrible effect of radiation poisoning long after the blast; how long before humans can inhabit the radiation-affected area; how the winds can blow radiation to other areas on the planet. Indeed, the point of the article is correct: Too many Americans believe that a nuclear bomb is just a really big regular bomb.

Eugene Woelfel, Edina

Franken and Osmek are among the perpetrators of the month

Regarding the nomination of Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras to the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and U.S. Sen. Al Franken's role in the process ("Franken blocks judicial nominee," Sept. 6):

To paraphrase Franken, if everybody agreed with me, we'd be united.

It's true, but it's un-American.

David Wrase, Brooklyn Park

• • •

I was disappointed by the comments from state Sen. David Osmek, a gubernatorial candidate, as quoted in the Sept. 1 article "Milking the fair for all it's worth": " 'I had a liberal here that I lit up. It's good practice,' he says with a broad grin. The subject: global warming. He's a skeptic. 'I'm sorry, I'm not going along with it, and the majority of Minnesotans agree with me.' "

The first comment suggests a very polarized stance, and the second, on global warming, resembles those we have heard from our president, in which the opinions of his base electorate are thought to reflect the entire population.

Pursuing an agenda on just the right or left will not move Minnesota forward. Our next governor needs to recognize this and work toward acknowledging and utilizing good ideas on either side of a debate to solve problems. I will vote for someone who illustrates these traits and who I believe can move this great state forward in the areas of environment, education and business.

Bruce Walcheck, Lino Lakes

It's not a slippery slope; it's easy to locate the foothold

We've all heard the claim that the removal of statues memorializing Confederate leaders requires similar treatment of any historical figure who owned slaves (Washington, Jefferson, Jackson and so on). If slavery were the core issue here, then three Sept. 5 letter writers would be correct. Of course, they and President Donald Trump and so many others miss an important point. Yes, these historical figures and so many others were guilty of owning slaves. How many were guilty of treason? We're talking about people who turned their backs on their country. They took up arms against it, sought to destroy it, killed its citizens and invaded its territory. We're not talking about remembering heroes or patriots here. We're talking about honoring traitors.

John Holden, Plymouth

Syndicated cartoon's star was not that of David; it was a weapon

Regarding the Sept. 6 letter "Did syndicated cartoonist intend to send an encoded message?": The short answer is "no." The long-winded answer is: not an anti-Semitic one, at least. What the overactive imagination of the letter writer sees as a Star of David attached to an "antifa" sign was actually a shuriken, a particularly lethal weapon when sharpened and thrown accurately. It's pretty popular in violent video games and is, supposedly, a Japanese ninja weapon. Is Lisa Benson (the cartoonist) trying to send an encoded anti-ninja message? Anti-Asian? Or maybe she's merely pointing out that the self-described anti-fascists of antifa do not shy away from using tactics favored by fascist hooligans against Jews and others, including homosexuals and the handicapped, in pre-World War II Germany, Italy, Austria and elsewhere.

Russell Last, Golden Valley

Is this an opportune time to fill spots to these specifications?

Help wanted: Senate majority leader and speaker of the House. Qualifications: ability to work with others, knowledge of how to repair screwed-up health care system, understanding of tax code to lower corporate and individual rates and simplify to jump-start economy, save citizens money and bring us out of current recession. Complete understanding of U.S. Constitution is a must. Apply at ballot box, soon.

Jeff Carlson, St. Louis Park

'Moderation' of responses is for whose benefit exactly?

I could not help perceiving an omission in the Sept. 5 article "After Castile's death, he turned anguish into action," about Castile's friend John Thompson. The article reads: "But over the past 14 months, his message has evolved, if not moderated." I believe the newspaper meant it to read: "But over the past 14 months, his rightfully outraged message on the injustices people of color have faced at the hands of police has evolved, if not moderated to a point of being palatable to those who were previously uncomfortable at the honesty and pain he conveyed." I understand that when writing, being concise is important, but I feel at that point it is important to elaborate on what is truly meant by "moderated."

Maria White, Minneapolis

Contour map suggests there's peace in areas where there isn't

The Sept. 5 article "Noise concerns travel farther from airport," and the corresponding noise map, deserve comment, as they imply that other than Inver Grove Heights, the southern suburbs have minimal noise. First of all, the departure direction is totally based on wind direction. According to the Metropolitan Airports Commission website, Runways 12L/12R (parallel) are the first priority when wind speed and direction require a southward departure and overfly industrial-use areas. Runway 17 is also used for southerly departures and overflies the residential areas of eastern Burnsville, all of Eagan and western Inver Grove. Runway 17 is often used as the primary departure when runways 30/30R (parallel) are being used for arrivals. The picture shown with the article could have been taken from our front yard. So, on your quiet days, guess who gets the noise?

Wayne Lundquist, Eagan