Letters: May 18, 2023

A bullying quest for power  

Fascists and religious fundamentalists go hand-in-hand. For the true believers there is only one correct way to live, and diversity is a threat to their quest for absolute power. Social justice movements are a threat. The press is a threat. Fair elections are a threat. The judicial system (where their myths and magical thinking don’t cut it) is a threat. Libraries, schools and universities (where one might learn history and critical thinking) are threats. Intellectualism is a threat. Science (as it relates to COVID, global warming or evolution, etc.) is a threat. People of different races, religions, gender-identities or sexual preferences are a threat, and (as is the fascist way) are portrayed as the dangerous “Other” to incite fear, the most useful emotion in fascist politics. Misidentified “socialism” is a threat. Our world is overflowing with misplaced grievances. The idea of the “staunch individualist” has been used to discredit collective action, such as unions, but wasn’t it also considered a live-and-let-live philosophy? Respect for individuality is not useful for politicians like Florida governor Ron DeSantis. He requires fear and divisiveness in his bullying quest for power. In their hateful propaganda, fascists prey on the most vulnerable, and anyone different from themselves, all the while talking about “freedom.” But their goal is not freedom, it’s totalitarianism, and we need all hands on deck to protect our fragile democracy. David A Sorensen Duluth, Minnesota  

About fishing  

People who just like being out there in the boat. on the dock, beside the stream might consider trading fishing in on bobbering.  It's just like fishing except there is nothing much below the bobber.  You're not there as a predator and it's more relaxing. 

Karen Moore Duluth, Minnesota  

The vibrant Duluth arts scene  

Duluth arts scene is kicking this slow spring into gear. HomeGrown ratcheted me up with a couple concerts last week. Zen Eye Care hosted 9 or 10 short, happy performances including Mississippi Mike accompanied by my water class instructor, Shannan, on drums. Talk about music to treat your heart. The duo pulled other musicians onstage later in the week at Zeitgeist, with Shannan and Mike rockin' The Cure- got me to my feet. Turns out my younger son just caught The Cure in NOLA, causing older son to pick  up June Cure tix in the Cities! HomeGrown was just the beginning of my renaissance. Saturday was the last DSSO concert for the year, ending with the huge DSSO/UWS chorus overwhelming the DECC Concert Hall with Beethoven's Ode to Joy from his 9th Symphony. Talk about a rush. This past Tuesday, I was lucky to be invited to a rendition of the very first extant epic, written in cuneiform, Sumer's Gilgamesh.Three Waldorf 5th graders with the help of one older brother engagingly portrayed 17 roles: god-man, man-beast, gods, goddesses, animals. Can you imagine the costume changes? This ancient story was choreographed to life by their teacher/director who accompanied on kantala.  Rounding out this past week of music and stage, a friend and I saw the Looney Lutherans perform to a packed audience at The West Theatre. First of all, the theatre itself is a delight, Second, the "Lutherans" pulled members of the audience onstage and involved us all to create this very funny production. Again 3 singing, dancing performers making up the show.  How spirit-lifting such artists are in a late-coming spring when I have at last planted potatoes. Music all over the city, with DylanFest's beaucoup varied events around the corner and The Lyric Opera performing Cavalleria Rusticana at Marshall in June. Thank you so much, Duluth's performing arts scene. You've kick-started my heart.

Kristine Osbakken Duluth, Minnesota  

It’s not the phones!  

I heard on a local broadcast that Minnesota is considering passage of a restrictive law banning the use of cell phones in a motor vehicle. Outrageous! They refuse on moral grounds to place any restrictions on firearms, yet, our rights as phone-owners are threatened. It is unconscionable that these elected representatives would single-out phones! Phones don't kill people! CARS kill people. Why should the rights of responsible phone owners be trampled on because of a few bad apples? Ask ANY politician what the real problem is, and almost half of them will tell you, "the REAL problem isn't phones, it's a mental health issue.   could not agree more.

Dan Bartick Bayfield, Wisconsin   

2024?   Report Card – “F”

If you are a patriotic American citizen you must agree that President Biden’s performance as our commander-in-chief is and has been since day #1 a “F”! Polls have shown that over 70% of Americans do not want him to run in 2024. He is supposed to announce on April 25th, 2023 which he did. Wow. His approval rating is now at 36%! What is equally as disturbing is that every Biden Administration agency secretary also deserves a “F”! I will try to list the main ones: DHS – Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas; AG – Merrick Garland; Secretary of State – Antony Blinken; Treasury Secretary – Janet Yellen; Transportation Secretary – Pete Buttigieg; Department of Education – Miguel Cardona; WH Press Secretary – Karine Jean Pierre; FBI Director – Christopher Wray; CIA Director – William Burns; DOJ Director – Merrick Garland; and last but not least, Vice President – Kamala Harris. I would like to give you the details why each of these dysfunctional partisan figure heads deserve a “F” but the word limit on letters does not allow that. In business and industry the “gold star” for an excellent leader is one who has installed an excellent staff. You also know my feelings about the Minnesota Governor Walz and it was obvious that the DNC had input on Walz’s State of the State speech on April 22nd, 2023. I only saw a clip on the evening news when he said…”Florida is banning books while I am banning hunger in schools”. So, Governor Walz, you feel pornography is ok in public schools? You have also earned a “F”. Those who have earned a “F” should not be rewarded by being re-elected!

Chuck Bracken, Cannon Falls, Minnesota