Make it a flat rate and we'll all be happy


I am against raising the taxes of billionaires from 17 percent (the rate that Warren Buffett claims he pays) to the higher rate that the middle class pays. A better solution would be to levy a 17 percent income tax on all of us and end the class war before it starts.


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I want my trash picked up. I want police and firefighters on the job to protect me, my home, businesses, etc. I want parks and recreation areas maintained and staffed.

I want better education for children. I want health care basics for everyone. And, I expect my country to take care of those most vulnerable.

To all those ends and more, I guess that I expect my taxes will go up. It is the price we pay to live in the society we have created -- a society of many perks and pleasantries that we take for granted.

When asked what would I cut for taxes to go down, it is hard to find something I am willing to do without. So, taxes it is.

My question is -- what is wrong with a flat tax? Sounds fair. No deductions, no loopholes -- just a straight percentage of whatever you make. Can we talk about that?


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It might keep up, but it can't beat the classroom


I couldn't disagree more with the recent counterpoint article about online education ("Online education offers as much (if not more)," Sept. 19. Just because "the modern world has become heavily virtualized" does not mean that the benefits of sitting in a classroom should be ignored.

The writer argues that everyone has ample time to compose their arguments online. It's the same in an everyday classroom. Being surrounded by peers encourages students to actively participate in a classroom.

In addition, the point that professors can lecture students around the world bypasses the fact that the Internet is not easily accessible everywhere. All we hear about today is how these future generations are growing further and further away from personal interaction. Why give today's youths excuses for unneeded screen time?


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Two views on push for Palestinian statehood


The Palestinian people are making a bid at the United Nations this week to become a fully recognized country. The United States, as a permanent member of the Security Council, will likely veto this bid.

We will ignore our doctrine of spreading self-determination and prevent a legitimate nation from having its own recognized state. We simply cannot continue this pattern of hypocrisy and expect our relations with any foreign entity to improve.


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The only way to create a lasting and successful Palestinian state is through negotiations with Israel. A U.N. end run around mutual agreements cannot bring a better future for the Middle East.

The Palestinians continue to violate many existing agreements, including this Palestinian move at the U.N. The proposal cannot deliver the Palestinians a state, but it could set off more violence and threaten the economy of the West Bank.

Israel is the only homeland of the Jewish people. The Palestinian "right of return" is a recipe for the destruction of Israel. At this time when extremists are fomenting violence throughout the Middle East, this is no time for irresponsible moves that could destabilize the region further.


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Some appreciate the debate; others don't


Kudos to a recent letter writer who called for a return to first principles in the same-sex marriage debate, and to two others who answered the call. We're not on the same page, but we're closer.

One responder misunderstands the use of the term "nature" in "natural law." As any physician can tell you, many things occur (infections, functional failure) that violate the nature of the thing affected. It happens in nature that human beings are born without hands, but this violates the proper nature of the human being.

This is how doctors tell the difference between health and disease. Same-sex desires and acts literally make no sense given our embodiment as sexual creatures. The fact that they happen does not make them fitting to our nature, fully understood.

The other responder claims that the fundamental issue is equal rights. The Catholic Church is second to none in championing equal rights. But the recognition of rights must be based on the truth.

Any man who is capable can marry any woman who is capable. The letter writer is not asking for equal rights; he is asking for a redefinition of the nature of marriage, and thus for repudiation of our human nature, properly understood.

This is akin to saying that I have a right to fly, but I want to fly in my car. Calling a car a plane won't make it fly, and neither society nor the state have any reason to get on board.


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Hardly a day goes by that someone on the Star Tribune's editorial pages isn't writing something in defense of homosexuality. Enough, geeze! We get the picture. You people champion homosexuality and defend it against anyone who disagrees with that opinion.

But in a world filled with terrorists, high unemployment, natural disasters and other serious problems, surely you could give your heavy coverage of homosexuality a little rest.