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Letters to the Editor for July 8

Heartfelt thanks

My husband, sons and I would like to extend a thank you to everyone who helped us after our car accident on Highway 95 in Lake Elmo on July 3rd.

Words cannot express the gratitude we feel for the three young men and young woman who stopped right away, called for help, then stayed and talked to my husband until the paramedics arrived. Thanks also to the Richards family for giving us their friendly, familiar faces to focus on in our shock.

I still can't believe how many caring policemen and paramedics came to help us! Thank you all! We feel truly blessed to live in such a wonderful community!

Although my husband suffered many broken bones, and we are still waiting to find out the cause of his seizure, I believe he will be okay.

Thanks again and God bless you all!

Amy Freyberger

Cottage Grove

Kudos to Gelbmann

Kudos to Mr. Jim Gelbmann for his informative response (July 1) to Mr. Tatreau's letter of June 24. I would like to add that it's pretty incredible Mr. Tatreau tried to draw a comparison between our Coleman-Franken contest and what has been going on in Iran. In Iran election results were announced immediately after the polls closed, and even though it seemed that the entire country disagreed with the results, they had no legal recourse. Protestors were beaten and shot in the street; students' dorms were raided. Now there is talk of purges and executions. In comparison, what we in Minnesota had to endure was eight months of painstaking recounts and dueling court filings in order to finally resolve this Senate race. Although the losing side is never happy about it, I think (obviously with some exceptions) Minnesotans realize that those involved in the recount did the best job humanly possible. Here we have the right to peacefully protest, and to file lawsuits ad nauseum, without fear of being killed because of our actions. (Some Iranian footage did look eerily like the Republican National Convention, however.) Mr. Tatreau ought to be proud that in our state such time and effort was given to resolving an election dispute fairly instead of quickly, even if he doesn't like the outcome.

Carol Turnbull


Lagoon was off the mark on Bush

This is a response to Steve Lagoon's June 17 Viewpoint column.

We don't agree with Lagoon's positions but do respect his right to have them. Here is our side of the story in response to the disappointments he expressed a couple of weeks ago.

• If George W. Bush's policy on Iraq was so bad, then why has President Barack Obama had such a difficult time dismantling it? Obama seems to have made a 180-degree turn compared to his campaign pledges. Hmm...just makes one wonder what we don't know that could hurt us? Maybe when we are under such a threat we need to realize we can't tell our enemy what we know.

• And then there is Osama Bin Laden. I recall reports that when Sudan expelled Bin Laden in 1996 they offered him to the US but then President Bill Clinton turned them down and he was let go. No, the 1993 World Trade Center bombing didn't wake us up, but you would have us, along with John Kerry chase Bin Laden into the Tora Bora region near nuclear armed Pakistan threatening our delicate relationship with that country?

• Saddam Hussein: the fact that he ignored 17 UN resolutions? That only makes you think we needed to get more resolutions? He refused inspections. In the six-month run up to the war, while Pres. Bush was negotiating with the UN, he had plenty of time to hide weapons. This also gave the Islamo-fascists time to plan the insurgency.

• All of the negotiating and United Nations resolutions in the world will not stop a dictator from his goal. The fact that Saddam gave the impression of having nuclear weapons while sitting on billions of barrels of oil, gave him power. It was force that stopped him and has made our country safer. George Bush gave Saddam fair warning.

• Don't forget that some people, especially Europeans, didn't want us to go to war. The exposure of the "oil for food" scandal by the United Nations showed the corruption involving many of our so-called allies with Iraq. They were being bought off by Saddam as he violated the agreement after the first Gulf war.

Instead of a steady diet of Democrat talking points provided daily in the main stream media, consider the other side for a moment. Isn't it great we live in a country where we can agree to disagree?

Linda Stanton and Brian Marum


"Health care for all" or profits for few?

I was born in 1940, which means I don't have bragging rights as part of the "greatest generation" nor am I a "baby boomer". At the same time, due to the time of my birth in rural North Dakota, I grew up immersed in the residue of both the Great Depression and World War II. They impact every day on who I am.

To my elders (and colleagues) from the days of the greatest generation, I think we need to think about what it is we think we want, or don't want, from government. One current issue: Health Care for All.

I have lots of health care stories, but the one that seems most pertinent occurred three years ago in a Fargo, N.D. hospital. My uncle, then 81, was in open-heart surgery. In the waiting room were his brother and sister, his brothers wife, and three of his nephews, including myself. I knew these people, most of them life-long. I'm pretty certain I was the only "liberal" in the room. Five of us were on Medicare, a sixth, in his 50s, was and is fully disabled under Social Security and receiving government benefits.

I am guessing, excluding myself, that every one in the group that day, including my uncle in the operating room, had plenty of complaints about government-this, or government-that. Some of it came up in that waiting room. No one was ridiculing that government paid heart operation.

Three years later all are still living, and if asked, all would still rail about government waste, individual responsibility and against "free lunch." But none of them would say, "here, take my Medicare benefit. I'll do this on my own." Such is the paradox we face: do we defend profit for a few against a benefit for the many? The temptation will be to serve profit for the very few, while the rest of us are encouraged to reject for others the very government programs we depend on, like efficient care which nurture a healthy society. It is an interesting paradox.

Dick Bernard