In his commentary, “Ending the Allina nurses’ strike in a classroom,” (Opinion Exchange, Sept. 14), Prof. Roger Feldman simplifies the current Minnesota Nurses Association R.N. strike to two sticking points: health insurance and staffing issues. I am so unimpressed with this classroom exercise because the professor knows nothing about working the job of an R.N. Feldman forgot to cite the fact that an R.N.’s license is on the line every hour of every day worked. He forgot to mention that we are dealing with people’s lives and potential injury to patients and/or R.N.s. He forgot to mention that a nurse working short-staffed could cause a medication error that could harm or kill a patient. In the real world of being a nurse, we deal with abuse from family members and patients — physically, emotionally and sometimes sexually. If we work short, we have less time to de-escalate a potentially volatile situation, less time to even know what is transpiring down the hall. We also have less time to attend to the patient and family members who have just gotten devastating news, besides all of the teaching that is imperative to excellent patient care. We even have little time for self-care: think hydration and bathroom breaks, never mind a meal break.
This strike is not simply about a half-hour exercise that college students who are not vested in any way, shape or form get to weigh in on. Regarding the details of the negotiations, there is so much information that the public has no idea about. Unless the public hears all sides fairly, please don’t simplify and judge the folks working for you and your loved ones, who will probably be our patient one day.
Julie Lentz, St. Paul
CLINTON AND DEPLORABILITY
Don’t be so sure Democrat’s tongue “slip” was not planned
I found one letter to the editor interesting (“Clinton and deplorability: sensibility and semantics,” Sept. 14). I agree that our political discourse is pathetically uncivilized, disrespectful and counterproductive. And I respect Hillary Clinton for not indulging for the most part. That said, she and many other classes of people and individuals have been trashed by Donald Trump throughout this bizarre campaign without substance. Her “basket of deplorables” comment has been characterized as an unfortunate slip of the tongue. I don’t believe that for a minute. She is scripted and precise, so those words were on the page. As Trump would say, “Believe me!”
Let’s look at the aftermath. Trump has dominated the news cycle countless times when he’s made outrageous comments, and I believe that was fully his intent. He’s a master at manipulating the press. Clinton just gave him back some of his own. His response? Something to the effect that no one who shows such disrespect for the American people is fit to be president. Enter Clinton’s new commercial. It features Trump’s comment up front, followed by clip after clip of his comments bashing one group or individual or another. The ad concludes with his response again, followed by a screen shot that simply says “Exactly.” How can anyone think this wasn’t planned? And if I’m right, good on her.
John F. Hetterick, Plymouth
DFL BALLOT LAWSUIT
Keeping Trump off ballot was just a ploy to hurt GOP races
I think it is only logical that the reasoning behind the DFL Party’s failed attempt to keep Donald Trump’s name off the ballot was to discourage traditional GOP voters from showing up at the polls — thus possibly influencing the outcome of other tight state races (“Bid to keep Trump off ballot fails,” Sept. 13). There certainly is no concern in the DFL leadership that Hillary Clinton will carry Minnesota. I think this ploy will backfire with a few loyal DFL Party members and is a net plus for the GOP. I would support taking both sets of candidates’ names off the ballot.
Tom Crouch, Minnetonka
CATHOLICS FOR CHOICE AD
Letters on abortion raise issues of separation of church, state
Two recent letters criticizing Catholics for Choice (“On abortion, the church is clear; there can be no two ways about it,” Readers Write, Sept. 13) raise very troubling questions. Are the president and other leaders beholden to his or her religion? John F. Kennedy answered that on Sept. 12, l960: “I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute — where no Catholic prelate would tell the president — should he be Catholic — how to act and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote ...” For 40 years, this wisdom has been cynically violated by politicians seeking election. The result is a deeply polarized America. The further result is visible throughout the Middle East, the ultimate end of this continuum.
Sincere people have a right to express their beliefs. They do not have a constitutional right to demand those beliefs be enacted into laws — as they have been for 40 years. We either follow the founding fathers’ wisdom, or we end up where we are now, or worse, killing each other. We now have both domestic and foreign policy controlled by religion. We can’t rationally discuss overpopulation, evolution and personal sexual behavior because some religious advocates demand a veto — their religious beliefs. This plainly, tragically, violates the Constitution and the First Amendment. In the Middle East, religious fanatics kill people physically. In America, they injure people with laws. The purpose of the First Amendment is that religion be a personal comfort. Some want it to be a club, forcing all Americans to believe as they do. We’ve seen the result. We live it.
Tom Dolen, Shoreview
• • •
Minnesota Catholics have a long history of being at the forefront of local and national social justice causes. It was great to see Heather Hirsch standing up for those values in the Star Tribune ad for the “Abortion in Good Faith” campaign (Sept. 12). Catholics can, and do, support abortion access in good faith, and I am proud to be one of them. We are called by our Catholic faith to advocate most strongly for policies that protect and lift up all people, particularly the poorest and most vulnerable. Restrictions on public funding for abortion do nothing but punish women for being poor, and Catholics do not support that — no matter what members of the Catholic hierarchy may say.
John Wexler, Minneapolis
MINNEAPOLIS PUBLIC SAFETY
Uh, do we need this explanation?
The Sept. 13 article “Police try to rein in gangs as bloodshed mounts” stated that 245 people were shot citywide through Sept. 5, roughly the same number as were shot across the city as last year.
While fewer people have been killed this year than last, police say the drop is as much “a testimony to bad marksmanship than anything else.”
It sounds as if the police are encouraging gang members to spend more time at the gun range to improve their accuracy. Sometimes, it’s better to leave some things unsaid.
Sanford “Sandy” Resig, Minnetonka