Readers respond to RNC coverage

Pleased to beat you

Our brave men in blue assembled in St. Paul from every corner of the metro and beyond. Bravely they donned their riot gear, stiff and unused, the fruit of homeland security funding spent freely (and yes, bravely) to keep this the home/land of the brave/free. Bravely brave, our courageously burly officers converged at Sixth and Jackson. And kicked the living shit out of skinny protesters and plainly credentialed reporters. But wait, go back a sentence. This was a function of homeland security? Are we, the people, the enemy? We are the threat that strikes our government with terror? Just maybe, here on out, we ought to be. Nancy Pelosi, derelict to her Constitutional duty, is the reason Bush and Cheney are not swinging from a gallows. But it's our own damn fault they aren't swinging from a lamppost!

M. Warner Minneapolis

Literally the least they could do

How, exactly, does changing the Republican convention to "business only" on Monday help the people affected by the hurricane? Here are some things that do help: Donate to the Red Cross. Volunteer to go and help in shelters or to rebuild. Send water, food, or money when asked. But changing your convention? Superficial window dressing. If you want to help, help. But don't pretend to help.

Dave Walbridge St. Paul

Tears of a clown

If you want to see a circus, I think you need to go watch your readership at the convention! These protestors are truly a bunch of clowns!

Thomas Alt Apple Valley

Baked Alaskan

While I can certainly see John McCain's strategy in picking a conservative female running mate, I'm seriously underwhelmed by Sarah Palin's thin résumé ("The Other Woman," 9/3/08). Being a mayor for a town of 5,000 people consists largely of emceeing pancake breakfasts and Fourth of July parades—hardly executive experience. Add to this an uneventful year-plus stint as the governor of a largely rural, white state with a population 1/5th the size of Chicago's, and a rather frightening picture of inexperience emerges.

Christian conservatives are always ready to embrace anyone who toes their party line, but Palin is obviously and woefully unprepared to step into the shoes of a major world leader (even more troubling when you consider McCain's age and health history). As if that weren't enough, she is also embroiled in an ethics scandal in her own state, and appears to have some bizarre political affiliations from her past. Team McCain clearly dropped the ball on this one, and picking Sarah Palin for veep forces one to recall another GOP VP misstep that occurred some 20 years ago, involving one Sen. Danforth Quayle!

Jeff Robertson Yellow Springs, Ohio

It's raining cats and dogs

This is a societal problem, not a problem with the Animal Humane Society ("Rescue Me!" 8/20/08). Dogs and cats are living creatures that require investments of time, training, and tenderness as well as money. They are not fashion accessories or status symbols or conversation pieces. It would blow your mind to learn the reasons pets are surrendered. Surely many of the workers and staff get burnt out quickly with the difficult work they do! As your article states, the AHS takes in every single animal and then does the very best they can do for each one. I will continue to enthusiastically support the Animal Humane Society.

Catherine Smegal Minneapolis

Money over animals

Beth Walton's article on the Animal Humane Society's killing atrocities was right on! What bugs me, too, is director Janelle Dixon's smug and arrogant attitude toward the whole issue, her saying there is "no such thing as a kill-free shelter." Her two predecessors at AHS were better than she is. At least they had compassion and were interested in saving animals and not constantly fundraising to build things like animal boarding facilities for the rich and famous. She is a businesswoman first, animal advocate second...maybe third or fourth. They raise a lot of money every year, but hardly any goes to direct animal care, adoption, and advocacy.

Lon Seifert Minneapolis

Confusion over autism

"State of confusion" should be used to describe author Bradley Campbell's reporting in "State of Confusion: Why does Minnesota have the highest rate of autism in the nation?" (8/20/08). He calls Tim Kasemodel's statistics and scientific information on autism and vaccination "tirades" and fails to connect this information to the primary question of Minnesota's leading autism rate. Campbell wastes space on irrelevant information and calls on pharmaceutical-funded lobbying front Voices for Vaccines for an opposing view. Minnesota has one of the most aggressive childhood vaccination programs in the nation. Campbell should investigate how early and multiple vaccinations have increased complications. Minnesota infants and pregnant women are still injected with mercury-containing flu vaccines since over 90 percent of our annual supply contains mercury. Start your research, Mr. Campbell, and you'll be on your way to a "state of understanding" on Minnesota's 1 in 81 children diagnosed with autism.

Heather O'Brien White Bear Lake

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