I was gobsmacked by two items in the May 23 issue of the Star Tribune. One was a letter from a woman reporting how her nephew was abusively “woman-handled” by drunken females as he tried to do his job serving them their afternoon drink-a-lunch.
The other tells us that in Edina there are those who believe a school policy of “All For All” is a cause for murderous rage — rage that causes citizens to emerge from the darkness and make monstrous threats against teachers and board members (“Edina teachers report threats amid ideological tensions”). Rage leading to an expensively disseminated magazine from the Center of the American Experiment calling equity for all a move to “indoctrinate students in left-wing political orthodoxies.”
These behaviors are so far from the social graces impressed upon many of us as a way of living peacefully with one another. They are so far from the teachings of religions so many profess to follow. Kindness and manners are the first things we teach our children. I didn’t know there was an expiration date.
Kathleen Wedl, Edina
• • •
No matter your political affiliation, it is wrong to threaten teachers with violence. It is wrong to threaten school board members with violence. Let’s do better.
Carolyn Jackson, Edina
• • •
Minnesota nice? I don’t think so. The person who threw water at Tomi Lahren of Fox News when Lahren was dining at a Minneapolis restaurant on Sunday is not at all classy and is ignorant and dumb (“Trump praises Fox News’ Tomi Lahren after Minneapolis confrontation,” StarTribune.com, May 23). The customer who threw the water should have been removed from the restaurant immediately. Shame on her and the restaurant. I think that is a form of assault.
Lorraine Nelson, Minneapolis
PEOPLE BEHAVING WELL
A town steps up for troubled kids
We owe a debt of gratitude to you, East Bethel, for welcoming the Hills Youth and Family Services into your community (“Town offers troubled kids a welcome embrace,” May 23). With your warmth and generosity, you remind us that every child is one of our own, and that all children deserve the opportunity to be all they can be. Again, many thanks for your long-term commitment to this important work. You make Minnesotans proud!
Judith Monson, St. Paul
MEANWHILE, BACK TO EDINA
To schools: Stick to educating; leave your worldview out of it
Edina teachers should be transmitting knowledge. Edina students should be learning calculus and reading Dickens.
Any classroom time spent on “social justice” issues takes away from academics. The tremendous opportunity cost imposed on American students by this “equity” nonsense — repeated over and over in school districts throughout our country — merely makes it easier for China to eat our lunch.
Sarah Patzloff’s worldview is the proper one. (Patzloff, the school board’s vice chairwoman, came under fire for a social media post criticizing a teacher’s blog about teaching students about racial and social justice issues.) Any teacher at Edina more committed to social transformation than academic fundamentals should be let go. The root cause of most deficient student performance is a lack of two parents in the home. There’s little that the Edina public schools can do about that.
Chris Schons, Wayzata
• • •
I’m wondering what is meant by “indoctrinate students in left-wing political orthodoxies” and why it would elicit a threat. I could be considered a “left-wing” person, and the “orthodoxies” I believe in are:
1) Freedom of speech with reasonable limits.
2) Freedom of religion with reasonable limits.
3) Freedom of gun ownership with reasonable limits.
4) Etc. In other words, my “orthodoxy” is the Constitution of the United States.
I’m curious what orthodoxy is followed by someone who is not a “left-wing” person.
David Brandt, Minnetonka
MINNESOTA’S BUSINESS CLIMATE
Ex-CEO’s complaint about the state’s tax system was misleading
Retired Mosaic CEO Fritz Corrigan apparently did not use his accountant to provide data for his attack on the Minnesota tax system (“Mosaic’s departure is a wake-up call for Minnesota,” May 23). He calculated the taxes for his average executive’s salary of $175,000 at 9.85 percent on the entire amount. In fact, that marginal tax rate applies only to joint incomes over $260,000, and the next lower rate of 7.85 percent would apply to the amount of a joint tax filer’s income between $147,000 and $260,000, with even lower rates below $147,000, and lower yet below $37,000. Nothing in a $175,000 income would be taxed at 9.85 percent unless the person were unmarried without dependents, but even then a similar marginal structure would apply.
Corrigan also did not allow for the legal tax dodges that the wealthy use to keep their total effective tax rates below those of working stiffs in this state.
Why do otherwise smart people keep mixing up marginal tax rates with total tax rates (unless they are intentionally trying to muddy the waters)? Corrigan further estimated annual property taxes of $20,000 for that executive, when, if her home were in its headquarters city of Plymouth and valued at $500,000, the property tax would be $6,725. Even a million-dollar home in Edina would be taxed about $13,000, not the $20,000 he claimed. Furthermore, this would not be a tax loss for Hennepin County, because the next person to buy the house would pay the same tax.
James Grimmer, Bloomington
• • •
Florida has a population of more than 20 million. Minnesota’s population is less than 6 million, and we have more Fortune 500 companies than Florida. And, Mr. Snowbird Corrigan, have you been in either Florida or Arizona in the offseason (most of the year)? I have, and the humidity and heat are miserable.
Deb Myers, Plymouth
‘Runner’ or ‘jogger’ — really?
The writer of the May 21 letter “Long may we, ahem, run” states that one thing “runners” have in common is the desire and spirit to attempt something physically challenging. So am I to assume “joggers” do not have the same spirit to attempt something physically challenging?
I am a casual “runner/jogger,” and do I get offended when someone asks “how was your jog today” when in fact I was actually running? Of course not. I am more concerned about gun violence, affordable health care and education funding, just to name a few. Issues that really matter!
Keven Henslin, Champlin