A legal strategy focused on the deepest pocket


With all due respect for the Schwebel law firm, I for one am a little exhausted over how the firm is pursuing the truth about the Phanthavong/Senser case ("Amy Senser is charged with felony in hit-run,'' Sept. 16).

In Senser's world, the law of the Constitution applies, and the family is exercising those rights at least for now. In the world of personal-injury lawyers, the law apparently demands suing spouses (who may well have been at home watering plants at the time), in search of deep pockets or overcoming spousal confidences.

Clearly freedom and money sometimes take on diverging legal strategies. I think the Schwebel team may want to recognize that fact instead of attempting to sway public sentiment in the pursuit of the very best compensation money can buy.


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It is rare that something I read in this paper brings tears to my eyes. However, that's what happened after I read "The other side of the Senser story" (Sept. 16).

How sad that there is any pity for the Sensers. Shame on the media! Hopefully the courts will agree. I will be quite disillusioned if they don't.


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Paying too much to oust school superintendent


It just keeps getting more outrageous. Eden Prairie's school board is paying its superintendent $100,000 to leave with several months still on her contract ("Eden Prairie school chief is leaving nine months early," Sept. 15).

I hope the residents remember this the next time the school floats a referendum for more money. Employment contracts that allow taxpayer dollars to be used like this should be made illegal statewide.


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They're really just political show-and-tell


The so-called political debates that we've seen over the years should be called what they really are: uncontrolled discussion. It's clearly not a debate, or at least the kind of debates I remember from school.

What I've seen from the political "debates" on national TV are potential candidates interrupting each other, not waiting their turns and not answering the questions. Half the time the candidates presume to tell the moderator what "the real question is."

So let's not confuse a well-thought-out debate with what Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and the others try to pass off as a debate.


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GOP's talk of cutting taxes is merely talk


The Republicans did a lot of damage to me and everyone who was counting on the money we were supposed to get from the Market Value Homestead Credit. I planned to use the money to help pay for a new driveway at my house.

Why is it that the GOP is always talking about cutting taxes but had no problem with raising my property taxes? In the eight years of the Pawlenty administration, my property taxes went up more than 50 percent. I will get over the loss of the money, because I'm still working full-time.

For people on a fixed income, it will be hard to make up the money they would have gotten.

The only way to change the situation is to vote against Republicans in 2012.


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9/11 was no time for partisan politics


On a day when most of the public discourse about the 10th anniversary of 9/11 had noble thoughts of love and remembrance, Katherine Kersten wrote that moral relativism is to blame ("The day that evil announced its presence," Sept. 11).

She told us that adhering to her particular brand of religious belief has overcome Al-Qaida's brand and has justified abandoning our core principles of legal due process. We are left to wonder how 3,000 dead people and the unfortunate foreign policy that followed can lead to Kersten's conclusion.

Most Americans who supported the extensive military actions after 9/11 did so because of a perceived threat to their safety. Many who now regret that support didn't change their minds because they reverted to a previous moral compass.

It's alarming when any of our leaders of thought promote rigid religious views and discourage dialogue and understanding to combat existential threats. History shows us that at best this is not helpful, and at worst it leads to humanitarian disasters that dwarf the events of 9/11.


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With a serious and long-term budget crisis facing America and Minnesota, the Star Tribune's opinion editors invite readers to join a discussion about what's to be done -- and about the need for shared sacrifice. The question, recently posed to public policy experts by a local think tank, is this:

What governmental services and benefits are you personally willing to give up to help balance the public books? Could you live with lower Social Security or Medicare benefits? A later retirement age? Fewer national or state parks? Reduced school funding? Less highway or mass transit construction and maintenance? Higher taxes -- for yourself?

These are just examples to get your thinking started. But readers will have the best chance of publication online and/or in the print newspaper if they sincerely try to identify personal sacrifices they are willing to make.

Send responses of no more than 250 words to by Tuesday, Sept. 20. We'll publish the best of them soon thereafter.