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Letters to the editor: Kerry remarks, border crisis, more ...

Presidential words touched on basic human rights

James Grinols is incensed that John Kerry will “work hard to appoint” LGBT people as U.S. ambassadors.

First, the secretary of state does not appoint ambassadors, the president does, and those appointments must be confirmed by the Senate. Second, Grinols misquotes Secretary Kerry. In fact, Kerry spoke at a celebration of LGBT pride, where he lauded courageous foreign service officers who have come out of the closet despite serious risk to their lives in nations where LGBT men and women are imprisoned and even executed. Secretary Kerry spoke out against the violence and discrimination many LGBT people face around the world and he called on the United States to be a leader in opposing discrimination, declaring, “LGBT rights are human rights and human rights are LGBT rights, so we will protect them, period.”

As for the Thomas Jefferson quotation Grinols cites in support of his opposition to LGBT equality, Jefferson wrote those words in opposition to slavery; Jefferson’s statement had nothing to do with religious beliefs and everything to do with a belief in basic human rights for all. It seems to me that Jefferson, the man who declared, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” would, were he alive now, fully support Secretary of State Kerry and President Obama in their recognition of equal rights for LGBT Americans.

 Joyce Denn - Woodbury

Don’t buy liberals’ storyline

Many Americans are well aware of the crisis at the southern border. The strain on local communities near the border has become overwhelming.

As we learn more and more about this crisis, it is becoming abundantly clear that this is an orchestrated attempt to flood our country with illegals by promoting the prospects of amnesty and education for dreamers: those of whom most will never accomplish any dreams, but instead take advantage of our generous welfare system or simply and illegally take jobs from hard-working American citizens. 

A new report came out last week from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) revealing native-born Americans had 127,000 fewer jobs since 2000 even though they represented two-thirds of the growth of the working population since that time, while working-age immigrants (illegal and legal) saw an increase of 5.7 million jobs.

One wonders what liberals in the Minnesota corporate board rooms and the nonprofit world have done to encourage and engage in the fraud of telling the world that we have a labor shortage of Americans and are unable to fill jobs, thus flooding our country with immigrants (illegal and legal). One might surmise that a reason to engage in this hoax would be to purposely keep wages low for the bottom line since so many of the new arrivals have little or no job skills, while at the same time demanding minimum wage increases and blaming business owners such as WalMart for low paying jobs.

So when the liberal class of Minnesota’s corporate, nonprofit, or political world show such concern for the middle class, remember it is not the American middle class they are concerned about. It is the immigrant class. It is the next group for which they can exploit.

Brian Marum - Woodbury

Oversimplified narrative doesn’t tell whole story

Ours is a politically polarized society: or so we’re told.

At the same time, I know my family pretty well. Similarly, I know my neighborhood, my town, my church, my state, my nation, and my world, and I don’t believe the narrative.

In recent days, a friend sent a letter to the editor to the Whitewater (Wis.) Register about the matter of a flag. The writer boiled Americans down into warring camps: those with a “utopian” world-view” (“cooperative dialog can bring good results”); those with a “tragic” world view” (“ ... bad human traits ... [like] “fear, ambition, honor, revenge, religious etc., fervor, greed for wealth and territory ... “)

Of course, it’s not all that simple. If one simply looks at his or her own person and sphere, somewhere between one end and the other are each of us, neither “utopian” nor “tragic.”

Our actions as a society have serious implications: for example, who we elect to lead us at all levels is a very serious matter.

Mid-April through mid-June, I had the honor of working with a civil servant from a south Asian country, a U.S. ally. He was in his last months of a year in Minnesota.

One of his first and most enduring messages to me was this: in his country (remember, a U.S. ally) U.S. motives were justifiably suspect, and U.S. actions often very damaging.

Arriving here, he had a negative perception of us as a country. The subsequent year, he saw the other face of America, the people he met, worked with and saw day to day: the people I describe in the second paragraph.

His perceptions will always stick with me. As the oft-quoted Native American proverb goes, which wolf do we feed: The tragic or the utopian?

It makes a big difference.

 Dick Bernard - Woodbury