I don't hate winter. Actually, I embrace it — but for very different reasons than the writer shared in "The cold truth about loving winter" (Jan. 13). For my husband and me, it's a time to regroup and move inside where there's always much to be done.

Most days we build a fire in our fireplace (yes, a real wood-burning one), which becomes the focal point for all of our activity, whether it's reading, sorting tax documents, watching football or catching up on the shows we've DVR'd.

We burn candles with scents like "mountain breeze," "winter pine" and "weathered woods." We bring out the wool and fleece blankets to wrap up in on cold nights. We work on a jigsaw puzzle (or two) on the coffee table.

I cook up batches of hearty stews, soups and chili, make potpies and pot roast — stick-to-your-ribs kinds of foods that smell as good as they taste. He tackles projects like refinishing cabinets, replacing tile grout and painting walls. I rearrange closets and drawers and dust light fixtures and baseboards.

We do annual decluttering of the basement (a never-ending chore).

Because for us, 'tis the season for getting stuff done. And come April or May, certainly by June, we'll be outside in our yard planting flowers, mowing the lawn or comfortably ensconced in our Adirondack chairs on the front porch, savoring the breeze and sun on our faces, secure in the knowledge that our chores are done for now ... and that we can truly enjoy all that a warm weather season has to offer.

Connie Savitt Sandler, Golden Valley

So much for values and principles

I read with amusement the phrase "values and principles of the Republican Party" in Jan. 16 letters to the editor. I never thought I'd see those words in the same sentence again.

I was raised and passed along to my children the quaint notions that lying, name-calling and cowardice were not principles a decent human being embraced. Republicans in Congress are as terrified of the president and his base as he is terrified of people of color, journalists, intelligent people, women, and of course the truth.

Standing cowardly behind a wall with white supremacy, misogyny, lying and childish name-calling is standing on the wrong side of American history.

The senators took an oath of impartiality in the impeachment trial ("Trump's trial begins in solemnity, derision," Jan. 17), but we all know the Republican majority was crossing its fingers behind its back because the senators have essentially stated how they will vote. The same can be said for the evangelicals who stand with the president. Suggesting they are somehow moral will forever be taken as a joke.

An intelligent species wouldn't put up with this. Honk if you see one.

Greg Oasheim, Minnetonka
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats are going to new depths with their impeachment plans to eliminate Trump from the upcoming 2020 presidential election. They have abandoned the real issues facing our nation: jobs, foreign affairs, education, immigration, military and global warming and are wasting millions of taxpayer dollars in their effort to win by eliminating Trump. Party interests have forsaken us and are destroying us as a nation. Perhaps it's time to clean house and limit our elected officials to two four-year terms.

Rod Bernu, Brooklyn Center
• • •

The question senators will be asked: Is Trump guilty? Yes or no.

The question Republican senators will hear: Do you want to lose your job? Yes or no.

Bruce Hinrichs, Minneapolis
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How else do we as Americans extend an invitation to the world to create democracies, "a more perfect union," unless we prove its value by preserving, protecting and defending our Constitution? Building and executing military might will not illustrate our true power and influence. Our true power and influence lies in our ability to critically review actions of our leaders and apply the checks and balances inherent in our Constitution.

This document speaks louder than any rocket ever could. The world is watching us. Are we who we say we are?

Christina Peterson, Edina

He's a less-than-believable advocate

I wonder if the president understands the irony of his comment to the Iranian government, "Turn your internet back on and let reporters roam free"? ("The Iranian people are not the enemy," editorial, Jan. 14.)

At every opportunity, he denigrates the press in this country by calling out "fake news," or more ominously by referring to them as the "enemy of the people." I think he sees a free press as the biggest hindrance to his agenda.

Paralleling this dichotomy is his praising of our intelligence services to bolster his ever-changing reasons for the recent action against the Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. For years he has denigrated this country's intelligence services at every opportunity, including calling out various people in those services by name. Now all of a sudden, they are the greatest intelligence service in the world? It appears that if intelligence information benefits him personally, it's great, if not, it's bogus, and he has no idea what damage he is doing to those services and the people serving in those agencies.

Ron Bender, Richfield
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The Editorial Board is right on the mark by stressing that the Iranian people are not the enemy of the United States. They have in fact suffered the most at the hands of the ruling clerics. A prime example of this is the bloody crackdown of November 2019 in which 1,500 protesters were gunned down by the security forces, and thousands more arrested and still languish in regime's prisons. Our focus should be on helping Iranian people achieve their long-awaited aspirations: Freedom and democracy.

Parham Alaei, Eagan

Can we ask the obvious questions?

A recent commentary regarding issues that the writer believes all candidates should address during the 2020 election campaigns is very shortsighted ("Let's get serious: Here's what I'd like to hear from candidates," Opinion Exchange, Jan. 15). The author totally ignores one of the most important political and moral issues that mankind has to face. And that is climate change.

One certainly doesn't have to look too far to see what lies ahead for a much larger area of our planet if little or no abatement is done. Take, for example, the unprecedented "fire-nadoes" in Australia, the devastating wildfires in California, the record-setting flooding in Venice, etc. So, the most critically important question all candidates should be asked is: "What direct actions are you going to take to immediately reduce the imminent threat of this out-of-control, primarily man-made monster?"

Personal responsibility (and, one should also add, corporate responsibility) is important, as the author suggests. But this alone will not solve this immense problem. It will take coordinated actions by governments in all major industrial countries, especially our own federal government. And these joint efforts can result in a safer, more sustainable planet, with more flourishing economies to boot. What's wrong with this picture?

J.R. Clark, Minneapolis

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