As an alumnus of the University of Minnesota and former member of the University Athletic Advisory Committee, I am amazed at the level of outrage exhibited by the university president and regents at the leak of another serious sexual harassment investigation (“New sex scandal strikes U athletics // School is investigating the leak of harassment claim against department official”; May 12). Each regent was pressured to sign an affidavit verifying that he or she did not leak the information about the investigation to the public. One would have thought that the leak was more important to these leaders than the real issue of another sexual harassment allegation reported against an individual in a powerful position. I don’t understand the leadership at the U that acts in public like it is more concerned with a coverup than ridding itself of alleged sexual misconduct. Right out of the Trump playbook. We need more people leading the university who have the courage to stand up to abuse. We can and should do better.
Priscilla A. Lord, St. Louis Park
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Patrick Reusse’s independence of thought is again on display in his May 13 column (“U appears to have misplaced its outrage”). He raises the plausible notion that the U’s Board of Regents takes more seriously its ability to manage and control the information it presents to the public than the possible unlawful conduct of one of its top officials. He’s also right to suggest that the board should be concerned about its cynically inconsistent use of privacy laws as a means of cover in attempting to manage a story. Such tactics have a limited shelf life and, in the end, undermine public trust.
It’s a pleasure seeing the words of a real newsman gracing the pages of the sports section.
John L. Ibele, Minneapolis
THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION
Two views: Be more aggressive on the ‘tapes’; left carps too much
Why isn’t there a more aggressive congressional pursuit of possible “Trump tapes”? Saying we will subpoena them if they exist is an exceedingly passive response. I would hope their inaction is not based on doubt that that tapes actually exist. That is, that only a president ignorant of history who sees himself above the law would be stupid enough to use a secret recording system? The Washington Post, among other sources, has reported on the likelihood that Trump may, in fact, have secret recordings. Congressional committees should be subpoenaing the equivalent of Alexander Butterfield, John Dean and Rosemary Woods.
Steven M. Pine, Hopkins
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A word of advice for the 24/7/365 anti-President Trump pundits and their supporters.
The constant anti-Trump rhetoric and vitriol will come back to haunt the left. The words no longer have meaning and are just white noise at this point in time. The anti-Trump crowd, including Congress, is preaching to itself and alienating the rest of the country, including some of their own former supporters who are tired of the left’s strategy to demonize everything Trump every day. They are the party that cries wolf every day, the sky is falling, etc., etc.
This strikes a lot of us as very similar to the run-up before the presidential election, Hillary in a landslide by 95 percent of the media. Now the media is demonizing President Trump and predicting an impeachment and huge losses for the right.
It makes you think how out of touch the mainstream media is with the citizens of the United States.
Mark these words: The actions on the left will cost them big time in the next elections.
Martin Evans, Bloomington
Two more views: Concerns are legitimate; opposition isn’t valid
A letter writer was horrified by the description of circumcision (“A ‘double standard’ on genital mutilation? Please.”; May 13). Has she seen them performed, here or overseas? Is she aware of the damage that it causes not only to nerve tissue, but sexual function? Is she aware of the studies that this “health practice” is based on, which are done in third-world countries that have limited access to condoms and other protections? Is she aware of where this practice started, and why it became mainstream?
I was circumcised as a child. I will never understand why a perfectly healthy part of my body was cut off to make me healthy, and I will never support the erroneous claim in the medical community that it has sound basis for improving health. The risks — and yes there are risks, such as deformity, infection and, in some cases, the need for a complete amputation and even death — do not justify making this procedure routine. But above all of that, a perfectly healthy part of my body was removed without my permission. If a girl has a right to unhindered sexual pleasure and the right to their body, then so do boys.
Jeff White, St. Paul
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The May 12 commentary “Male circumcision: A gender double standard on genital mutilation” was written by a person who has a pathologic opposition to circumcision from a severely biased viewpoint. It is total malarkey. It should not have been published before first obtaining the opinion of an expert. As a pediatric urologist I feel comfortable addressing this concern.
As reassurance for the public, routine postnatal circumcision performed within the first few weeks after birth has been performed for over 3,500 years, but particularly over the last 30 years or so with minimal discomfort and excellent outcomes. Those performing neonatal circumcision include pediatricians, family practitioners and pediatric urologists.
As with any procedure, the risks and expectations are discussed beforehand. A small amount of pain medication is placed at the base of the penis (1 cc 1 percent lidocaine). During the procedure, the neonate sucks on a sugar-filled cloth pacifier dipped in water. The legs are gently secured while the arms are free to move about. If the parents desire, they may stand next to their son. One of a variety of circumcision devices is used that results in adequate removal of the foreskin and prevents bleeding as well as skin separation. The procedure lasts about three to five minutes. Mild oral pain medication is provided off and on for the next two or three days.
Parents should feel comfortable that their son will have a safe and comfortable circumcision performed by one of the above specialties for religious or personal reasons. The risks are minimal and the result is almost uniformly excellent.
Dr. Michael Pergament, St. Paul
MINNESOTA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Pay heed to public’s concerns about the environment
There is more to be said regarding the recent exchange of opinions relative to the MN Chamber of Commerce. A statewide public opinion survey completed jointly by two firms, each of which has traditionally either supported survey work by the GOP or DFL, was completed this past February. Three-quarters of Minnesota voters surveyed indicated that they were either very (45 percent) or somewhat (29 percent) concerned about a rollback in environmental protections. Further, a majority of voters polled indicated that environmental regulations need to be tougher (20 percent) or that existing laws need better enforcement (42 percent). Only 12 percent of those polled felt that current regulations are too tough. And contrary to popular perception, the differences between urban and rural voters only vary by a few percentage points.
These data suggest that there is no mandate for reversing the progress that has been made in protecting Minnesota‘s environment — quite to the contrary. The chamber’s member companies would be wise to consider the interest of their customers. Perhaps we should vote with our wallets? That, after all, would simply be a case of the invisible hand of the free market shaping policy.
John Goodfellow, Marine on St Croix