Here we go again. An Islamic State terrorist uses a vehicle to run over and kill people. This time in Barcelona, Spain, leaving 13 people dead and dozens more injured. [One person was killed and five were wounded in a related attack in the seaside town of Cambrils.]
Since this seems to be the terrorists’ preferred method of killing, what can people do, worldwide, to be safe in public?
Be constantly aware of your surroundings, always. Translation: Keep your smartphone off and in your pocket. And keep your head up at all times. That way, you might be able to see and hear that car, van or truck rapidly approaching you, and get out of the way. And live another day.
I think the film director James Cameron has some good advice: “Live in the moment.”
That song you are listening to, the e-mail, the text, the posting you are reading and replying to, just can’t be more important than your life.
Neil F. Anderson, Richfield
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Given the attack in Barcelona, does it make sense for Minneapolis to rethink the Nicollet Mall in terms of vehicle traffic? Seems like the new mall, if successful, could be a great target for terrorists.
Steven Hillestad, Minneapolis
TRUMP AND THE GENERAL
I won’t stand for fake news about my cousin, Gen. John Pershing
I don’t normally express my political opinions in public, which may or may not be a good thing. But now it’s personal. When a sitting president tries to spread fake news about my relative, Gen. John J. Pershing, I take it personally (“Under siege, Trump turns fire on GOP,” front page, Aug. 18).
Cousin John was an exemplary general, most notably because of the humane and respectful way he treated the African-American soldiers under his command. To even suggest that the general displayed hate behavior is, at best, ill-informed or, at worst, vicious and ignorant.
In this case, President Donald Trump is propagating fake facts to make a fine, upstanding historical figure look like a white supremacist. Totally not true, as historian after historian has repeatedly said. The events that the president is using to make a point simply did not happen.
This is just another example of the bullying behavior Trump has shown over and over. If he can’t get his way, he finds someone else to put down or uses fake news to make his point — even if the point has no merit.
Melania Trump has said she wants to fight bullying while she is First Lady. I suggest that she start at home.
Susan Wiesler Dean, Northfield
The writer is a fourth cousin of Gen. John J. Pershing
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Long story short.
Trump has defamed and slandered the good name of Gen. John “Black Jack” Pershing.
Short story longer.
He and George Washington are the only two people to be named General of the Armies. As a young man, Pershing taught at an all-black school. He was given the nickname “Black Jack” as a pejorative because he treated the black students fairly, and he wore the “insult” proudly. When he arrived in the Philippines, he gave a copy of the Qur’an to the local leaders and offered to assist in building mosques. During World War I, he had the command of the segregated 369th and was respected and admired by the black troops.
While Pershing was apolitical, the treatment that blacks received from him and their fellow French troops gave hope to the civil rights struggle of returning black vets between the wars. He was never an Islamaphobe.
Ernie Neve, Minneapolis
CHARLOTTESVILLE AND STATUES
There’s an easy alternative to Confederate statues
People who are legitimately concerned that removing Confederate statues will whitewash (ironically) and deny our racist past must be delighted to learn of the existence of “books,” and the schools, libraries and museums they fill.
Inside these mythical vessels, people write things down to capture meaning and significance — things we should learn from. Like history. Unlike a statue, you don’t even have to travel to see them in order to get what they’re saying! They’re incredible!
It’s past time to complete the Union’s victory in the Civil War (or “the War for States’ Rights to Slavery”), and stop pandering to the racist, treasonous “culture” that was the Confederacy.
You lost. Get over it.
Paul Pirner, Minneapolis
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Curiously, no one seems to have pointed out that every one of these statues of Confederate leaders is a statue of a “loser.” The president has made a point of not liking “losers,” including war heroes who get captured by the enemy, like Sen. John McCain. How come he is so enamored of this group of generals and politicians who lost a war, lost a cultural battle, espoused an indefensible moral position and plunged their region (research the Reconstruction era) into chaos and disrepute? What country builds monuments to losers? The president has made it clear in the past that he believes only losers like losers. Birds of a feather.
Robert Veitch, Richfield
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Friday’s commentary on the afterlife of the Civil War (“Confederacy’s weary afterlife may be nearing an end,” Aug. 18) referred to Robert E. Lee’s statement that we should not “keep open the sores of war.” But what this commentary failed to mention was that Lee expressed this specific concern in a note he wrote where he opposed the building of monuments honoring Civil War generals. If President Donald Trump were to show true moral leadership, he would consider honoring the request of Lee, rather than ranting about preserving Civil War statues that often honor instead the legacy of Jim Crow.
John Clark, Minneapolis
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After reading Thursday’s letters to the editor referencing the Charlottesville hate group incident (Readers Write, Aug. 17), I would propose that there is another hate group that is evident. That is the one that hates Donald Trump.
Bill Martin, Anoka
Paulsen ‘touts plan’? Where are the details?
Re: Friday’s subhead “Minnesota Republican touts plan ...” — that is, a plan to lower and simplify taxes. What? Where’s the plan? I read the article twice and saw absolutely no detail, none. Sure, there were some vague suggestions, but no plan (“Paulsen pitches lowering, simplifying taxes,” Aug. 18).
What I saw was the Star Tribune running a PR piece for Paulsen. Where are the details? Where is the plan the subhead promised?
We end up with nothing. Come back with a real story when he tells us specifically what he’ll do. Stop being a shill for our elected officials with notions, wishes, slogans, and bumper-sticker sayings.
Without breaking a sweat or doing what the headline implied, Paulsen got what he wanted: a headline someone can place on a piece of campaign literature.
Tom Krueger, Crystal