There is an old saying: “When you are on a plane, root for the pilot.” Good advice for the members of Congress, the media in general and the stream of Trump haters such as those letter writers in the Oct. 26 Star Tribune (“Honor and dishonor”). You may not like the pilot because of his or her religion, race or gender; you may think he or she is an uncaring, unfeeling egotist or a self-centered, loud boaster. Regardless, you root for the pilot because he is the one flying the plane, and you need the plane to land safely.

Ronald Haskvitz, St. Louis Park

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Niccolo Machiavelli is often credited for the phrase “the end justifies the means.” That philosophy is a slippery slope that can lead humans to such horrific undertakings as the Inquisition and the Holocaust. It seems that many of today’s Republicans are embracing that same principle in dealing with President Donald Trump. With a few honorable exceptions, they are not speaking out against the infantile ravings and dangerously boorish behavior of our commander in chief.

They keep silent because of their eagerness to implement the current hard-right Republican agenda, which includes recriminalizing abortion, slashing regulations on the environment and Wall Street, and pushing back against the hard-earned civil rights of minorities, women and LGBTQ folk.

Choosing to be silent in the face of ongoing outrage by the White House can only lead to disastrous results. The famous 20th-century preacher Harry Emerson Fosdick wrote: “He who chooses the beginning of a road chooses the place it leads to. It is the means that determine the end.” Food for thought!

Curt Oliver, Brooklyn Park


Sack is on a roll, but his bit on the first lady was dishonorable

Whoever added some extra protein to Steve Sack’s breakfast cereal — I hope they keep it up. Sack’s cartoons in general have reached new heights of editorial commentary and satire. The guy is firing on all cylinders every day. After reading the headlines in the morning paper, I head right to the opinion page to see what jewel Sack has for us that day.

Richard Portnoy, Minneapolis

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Sack’s Oct. 26 cartoon lampooning First Lady Melania Trump’s ethnicity is a good example of the double standard and lack of credibility in today’s mainstream media. Had he used colloquialisms used by other minorities, the outrage from the Star Tribune editorial writers would have been audible all the way to Arlington.

Larry A. Sorenson, Arlington, Minn.

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President Trump asks for, and deserves to get, cartoonist Sack’s scorn, but his wife doesn’t. His usually clever cartoon was sexist, racist and — in that she can’t defend herself — a kind of bullying.

Red Lyons, Bloomington


For Hodges, Levy-Pounds

Having worked with people experiencing homelessness in Minneapolis for many years, I want a mayor committed to the well-being of all constituents, no matter where they lay their heads at night. As a homeowner in the city, I want a mayor who fights for safer, more livable streets, and where I see fewer people seeking income from a cardboard sign because employment isn’t only for those with a four-year degree.

Improving lives with a disparate group of citizens is like training for a marathon: It takes resilience, patience and a willingness to work hard when nobody’s cheering you on. My choice for mayor? Betsy Hodges. I’ve watched her set and accomplish many goals — in city administration and running 26.2 miles. I look forward to making the beautiful place we call home even better with Mayor Hodges continuing her work.

Monica Nilsson, Minneapolis

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I was surprised by the Rev. Jerry McAfee’s insinuation in a recent Star Tribune mayoral candidate profile (“Tenacious voice for reform,” Oct. 14) that Nekima Levy-Pounds doesn’t walk the talk. Perhaps he didn’t know that Levy-Pounds opened a civil-rights legal clinic in his community more than 10 years ago where she and her volunteer staff served hundreds of people living on the margins. Or maybe he wasn’t aware that as a tenured university professor, she and her students researched, petitioned and successfully influenced important policy change at Minneapolis City Hall on more than one occasion. And maybe he forgot that as president of the Minneapolis NAACP, she stood shoulder to shoulder with frustrated and distraught citizens and with acting Precinct Commander Medaria Arradondo during the 18-day occupation of the Fourth Precinct. Levy-Pounds has been on the front lines, in the courtroom and at the table in this community for more than 15 years, not only speaking truth to power but sharing that power with others who have no voice — people of color, immigrants and refugees, indigenous people, LGBTQ people, and people living in poverty. As a white, progressive citizen, I’m grateful for her “walk” and her “talk.” Over and over again, she has demonstrated her ability to bring people together to make real change. She is a leader for these times.

Cheryl Persigehl, Minneapolis


For Pree-Stinson, Yang

Ironic that the Oct. 25 front page highlights the racial dialogue in Minneapolis and that on the opinion pages the Star Tribune Editorial Board leads its Third Ward election endorsement by highlighting economic diversity, but that the Editorial Board yet misses an opportunity to endorse the most committed, diverse candidate in the Third Ward — Samantha Pree-Stinson.

Focus on commitment. A resident for 20 years, mostly in the ward, Samantha is a mom. She and her husband chose to actively raise their three sons here, in Minneapolis Public Schools, long before she decided to run for the City Council. Surprisingly, the Third Ward includes not just condos but families committed to making this city and ward the best for their kids (just like we did in the suburbs many years ago). Noting that Sam is the (only) veteran, the Star Tribune neglected to mention that she is also the (only) medic, the (only) mom and the (only) candidate “of color.” She has a unique perspective on diversity. Furthermore, Samantha’s common business sense is obvious in her thoughtful budget proposal and her compelling positions on small business, housing, police issues and even property taxes. Please look beyond the endorsement and vote for the candidate most committed to the future of our city and the Third Ward. Vote Samantha Pree-Stinson.

Rachael Scherer, Minneapolis

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I was happy to read the Editorial Board’s Oct. 26 endorsement of Fifth Ward Minneapolis City Council Member Blong Yang. But I was also perplexed about the perception of some constituents that he’s “aloof and disengaged.”

When my wife and I moved to our home in Minneapolis in May 2016, there was flooding at the end of our neighborhood. When I reached out to Yang’s office about the issue, both Yang and his staff were responsive and sent city crews to clear out leaves and other debris blocking the sewer drain, and the flood disappeared.

Furthermore, Yang has been the only candidate who bothered to stop by and ask for our vote — something I regrettably can’t say about his other opponents. He wants another term and is willing to campaign for it.

Jeff Cagle, Minneapolis


One apology is not enough

While most readers likely welcome the St. Paul Police Federation’s apology for its public letter about mayoral candidate Melvin Carter, and can even accept that the letter may not have arisen from a “racial motive” (local section, Oct. 24), it is much more difficult to accept that the letter was written and publicized without a political motive. May we have a second apology please — perhaps time it for the weekend before the election?

James McKenzie, St. Paul