The front-page picture of political leaders, a turkey and the hand of a farmer is a classic display of Minnesota economic reality (“Hard-hit turkey growers can still find reason to be thankful,” Nov. 24). As one who was involved in farming, including turkey production, in earlier years of life, I find that attention to farmers and others who do the hard labor of economic production is encouraging.

The hand of the farmer, Robert Orsten, says to me that the faces of farmers and laborers are often invisible to the general public. His hand speaks to me of how work gets done by real people. Faces and full-body pictures of farmers, daily laborers and production specialists of all races are needed to inform the general public.

A democratic society needs media presentations that keep informing the public about realities of all kinds. Pictures are desired for transparency.

This remarkable photo has served the public good in terms of what it does and does not include.

Delton Krueger, Bloomington


When you grab a cop’s gun, what happens next is on you

I am a cop. When I was hired, I realized that part of my job might be to risk my life for the greater good. However, I did not agree that it would be part of my job to die without a fight. When you try to grab my lethal-force firearm, it triggers a life-or-death struggle. Don’t believe the activists, who know nothing about police procedures, who tell you I should respond by grabbing a non-lethal-force tool such as a Taser or pepper spray. I won’t put my life at risk in a life-or-death situation by relying on a tool that many times does not work.

The activists will say that this had something to do with your ethnicity, age or mental state and use the term “unarmed.” If you grab my firearm, I cannot and will not consider these factors. What I will consider is my family’s faces flashing through my mind, my wish to live and the memory of a fellow Minnesota peace officer who was recently shot by his own weapon after he was disarmed. I know that you are “unarmed” only until you are armed with my firearm.

If you die in this struggle, you are the one who did something wrong, not me. I was doing my job the best I could. I will regret this tragic incident ever took place, but I will not be ashamed or intimidated.

State Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Vernon Center, Minn.

The writer, a retired law enforcement officer, is chairman of the House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee.

• • •

Now that the “counter-demonstrators” suspected in shooting five North Side protesters have been rounded up, we can look forward to their trial.

Despite their being armed and reportedly wearing bullet-proof vests, I’m relatively certain they will claim 1) that they feared for their lives, 2) that the more they fired, the stronger their victims became, and 3) that their victims reached or lunged for their guns.

In short, they’ll mimic the coded excuses of cops in Milwaukee; Charleston, S.C.; Chicago, and, most unfortunately, Minneapolis.

Martin Demgen, Minneapolis



Litmus test for immigrants could open a can of worms

A Syrian refugee Loyalty Litmus Test? Great idea; however, some clarification, please (“ Readers Write, Nov. 20).

1) Will single- or no-parent families be admitted?

2) Will vetting prior to the mandatory 2.5-year military service take longer than the current 18 to 24 months? Will maximum enlistment ages be waived?

3) If refugees already speak English and know “about the U.S. and what we stand for,” can they “test out” of this six-month “learning” requirement?

4) Regarding requirements for citizenship five years after military service — that is, having a job and showing exemplary behavior — will any job suffice, or will it require a living wage? What constitutes “exemplary behavior” — and who will judge?

5) Regarding the opportunity given each Minnesota community to sponsor families, can sponsorship be offered by an individual or must it be offered by the collective community, perhaps decided by special election? Will families just need to “be able to” or must they attend a church in the community?

Will this test also achieve the refugees’ almost certain goal of becoming exceptional Americans — vs. simply acceptable ones?

Wait, No. 2 will disqualify roughly 90 percent of voting-age Americans. Now I’m really confused.

Ronn Seim, Plymouth

• • •

I had thought that the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act (SAFE) of 2015, passed last week by the U.S. House amid concerns about terrorists entering the country, was a sad commentary on our political environment.

Then it got worse — I read the bill!

It’s very short: just five pages long. The bill presents two new elements for our refugee process: a) the FBI director “shall take all actions” to ensure that “covered aliens” from Syria or Iraq receive a “thorough background investigation” prior to admission as a refugee, and b) a refugee may be admitted only after the secretary of homeland security “certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that the covered alien is not a threat to the United States.” The bill then lists 12 congressional committees. I’m not kidding.

That’s it folks, other than some reporting requirements.

Now do you feel more safe, scared or bewildered?

Howard Schneider, Lakeville



One bright spot this week: happy ending for many families

In the midst of a tense week in our city and across the globe, a small group gathered at the Hennepin County Juvenile Justice Center to celebrate National Adoption Day last Saturday (“Giving kids a fighting chance,” Nov. 23)

My husband and I, along with 19 other families, adopted children out of the foster-care system. This wouldn’t have been possible without the care, concern, perseverance and integrity of the Hennepin County child protection workers, adoption placement workers, judges and other staff members who assisted us throughout our process and at the celebration on Saturday. They were there to cheer us on, answer our questions and, most important, advocate for kids at risk.

We were delighted with the ending to our story and the great blessing our two newly adopted guys are to our family.

However, beyond our personal happiness, National Adoption Day illustrates that redemption is possible in the midst of difficult circumstances and the ability of joy to triumph over tragedy. May this same spirit penetrate our community this Thanksgiving week.

Erika Ruch, Coon Rapids