Letters: Sept. 8, 2022

End of the war in Finland

When Finland joined Germany in the war against Russia in 1941, it had merely wanted to regain the territory it had lost to Russia during the “winter war” of 1940-41. Once they had done that, the Finns held a line north of Leningrad and then stopped active operations.

In 1942, with the help of Britain and America, the Finns had tried to make peace with Russia. Stalin had refused, and in June of 1944 he made another big attack on Finland. As they had three years earlier, the Finns fought bravely and well; the powerful armies advanced very slowly. Meanwhile, both sides began to negotiate to make peace. The war in Finland ended on Sept. 4, 1944, on almost exactly the same terms as had been established at the end of the winter war, though this time Finland was forced to pay an indemnity to Russia and to give up some additional territory.

Gerald Norrgard
Duluth, Minnesota

Jon Eggleston’s further attempts to minimize the importance of mass shootings
I have also criticized Mr. Eggleston’s attempts to marginalize the importance of mass shootings in the gun regulation debate, and his message in the Aug. 18 edition of the Reader, does not successfully rebut my views. Here are some quick facts.

In 2022 there have already been more than 300 mass shootings, a number that rises with each passing year. In 2021 there were 692, 610 in 2020 and 417 in 2019 – adding up to 1,719 mass shootings in those 3 years alone – more than three times Eggleston’s hypothetical number of 500 in the last five decades. He needs to understand that continuing to play (ANY) numbers game, is not the real concern, rather it is that mass shootings are happening more and more with each passing year, and we are the nation with the highest numbers of them.

 May I suggest that since all of us are already very aware that many other kinds of American shootings are not mass shootings, (a fact used in virtually every current comment made by gun advocates), which means that Eggleston continues to miss the point! What is so upsetting about mass shootings, is not whether only 4 or more people die in them, or that media outlets might have made many Americans believe that mass shootings are much more frequent than they are, but rather, that Eggleston’s focus on the latter argument is really the same argument expressed in different terms, both of which conclude that the public is misled by a press or by a government with partisan interests, and which therefore places too much importance on mass shootings. However, he fails to realize that most pro-regulation advocates desire (ALL) guns to be (SENSIBLY) regulated – so that men with histories of violence, such as wife abusers for instance, are not able to purchase guns – especially AR-15s which (TRULY ARE) the favorite choice of many mass shooters!

Like me, many Americans do not want all guns to be banned – including some semiautomatic handguns, as well as possession of some extra 15-round magazines. But I also think the law should permit professional people such as psychotherapists and clergymen to raise red flags about any patient who worries them! The name of the person involved could be kept private and used only to research a disturbed individual’s background. I also see nothing wrong with having armed, plain-clothed policemen present in schools to ward off attackers. Eventually Kids will adjust. If we can have air marshals on commercial jets, we can also have similar protections in our schools!

 About Eggleston’s preference for founding-era documents and well-regulated militias – here’s what was originally required of members in such groups:

“Only white males between 18 and 45” must be outfitted with, “a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare clips and a knapsack, a pouch, with a bag therein, to contain not less than twenty cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch, and powder horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder.” – According to the two Militia Acts of 1792 exactly as they were written.

Oops! Maybe a literal interpretation of the constitution is not such a great idea after all!

Peter W. Johnson
Superior, Wisconsin

When the ice caps are gone

The global climate is warming even as our melting ice caps are slowing down the rate of temperature increase. What happens to us when the ice is all gone and the warming accelerates?

What happens when the ice cubes are all melted? We all know that melting ice slows down warming (like the ice cubes in our iced tea, or ice packs in our camp coolers). When one cubic meter of ice melts, the phase-change from solid to liquid absorbs more than 300,000 BTUs of energy while holding the temperature constant at 32° F. Warming atmospheric temperatures are melting Earth’s polar ice caps (billions upon billions upon billions of cubic meters of ice). The increasing concentrations of carbon-dioxide and methane in the Earth’s atmosphere make it work more and more like a greenhouse (keeping more heat in, than allowing out). Thus, the average temperature of the planet is warming. So, I put the question again: if the global climate is warming even as our melting ice caps are slowing down the rate of temperature increase, what happens to us when the ice is all gone and the warming accelerates? Isn’t that just scary enough to move even oil executives to urgent action on climate change? Their families live here too.

We can’t vote climate change away. We can only vote to start doing something about it. If it gets to the point where all of our resources are taken up in repairing climate disasters, then we won’t have resources to invest in fixing the problem. Please vote to start fixing the problem now, before it’s too late. We need to vote the climate-change deniers out of office.

George Einar Busséy
Ashland, Wisconsin

Conditions of employment

An issue today concerns the former president (TFP) taking White House papers and classified documents home.  He claims it’s his stuff. “They’re mine,” he said.

Compare our government to a large corporation. Each citizen who votes is a member of the board of directors.  The presidency is a top-level job in our government. Through voting, we hire and pay people to do this job, so they’re our employees. We provide the employee a work place, materials, information and tools. Just like working for any business corporation, the facilities, papers, manuals and tools remain company property. Secret or private things, such as the company’s trade secrets, procedures or customer lists are confidential. The employee leaves the job with only their final paycheck.  Taking anything else is plainly stealing, whether from our government or a business.

After a previous Republican president, Nixon, tried to destroy and cover up records, a law was passed making that a federal crime. Various witnesses allege TFP destroyed many “company documents” while on the job. They were burned, shredded or flushed down the toilet. TFP corroborates this latter act, complaining water-saving toilets made it hard to flush things!

I’ve had two top secret clearances, one military and one civilian. We were trained how to handle top secret information. If I had done what TFP had done, I’d expect to be in prison.

We must assume secrets he took home with him could’ve been compromised, if not sold, to our enemies, exposing many U.S. allies to death. It will cost us taxpayers billions mitigating the damage.
Anyone we “hire” for this job in the future must, at minimum, be capable of passing a security clearance first.  Many of the TFP family and assistants who became government employees were not able to pass this test back in 2017.

A. Martin
Merrifield, Minnesota