Readers' views for Oct. 9

Whatever happened to respect for the anthem? Has anyone been to a high school or college sporting event lately? There's one very discerning -- no, make that disgusting -- element to every game. When the national anthem is played, far too many peo...

Whatever happened to respect for the anthem?

Has anyone been to a high school or college sporting event lately? There's one very discerning -- no, make that disgusting -- element to every game. When the national anthem is played, far too many people don't seem to know, or don't seem to care, about the respect they should be proud to show.

It probably comes as no great surprise that older people snap to when the anthem is played. With their shining example, one might think the practice would be observed and carried on by subsequent generations. Not so. It seems the younger the group, the more common the disrespect for the national anthem.

Somewhere along the line, schools and families failed miserably in teaching youngsters what kind of respect the national anthem should command. What a pity. I sure would like to see an effort made by both schools and families to see to it that youngsters are taught that the national anthem deserves respect: The least that a person should do while it's played is to stand at attention and either salute the flag or place one's hand over his or her heart.

Perhaps schools and families no longer are concerned about the respect youngsters should be taught. It is respect: respect for the national anthem and respect for others. Sad to say, but both schools and families get failing grades in this important subject. If the trend continues, there will be nothing worth respecting in the country.


Raymond E. Maki

Two Harbors

Councilors should reconsider housing vote

About half of American Indians live on reservations in conditions decades behind those enjoyed by many Americans. Thirty percent of American Indian housing is overcrowded and less than half is connected to public sewer service. Unemployment, a lack of opportunities, and federal Indian policy have contributed to American Indians fleeing ancestral lands to urban neighborhoods to seek better lives.

Unfortunately, without affordable housing and programs that provide time and resources, living in an urban area doesn't necessarily translate into a better life.

Native people in Duluth suffer extremely high rates of homelessness and violence. The American Indian Community Housing Organization has worked hard to develop a concrete, tangible and feasible plan to address this ("Backers persist on funding," Oct. 6). The importance of the plan to create supportive housing in the YWCA building cannot be overstated. It's a fabulous opportunity for the city of Duluth and Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe, as well as many others, to work together to secure something that truly can help people in the city -- not only Indian people, but everyone.

On Sept. 24, the City Council voted to pass up this opportunity. Some councilors voted in opposition based upon a false assumption that this project would create a concentration of people with chemical dependency issues. Nothing in the project alludes to chemical dependency. I can only assume this response arises from a stereotype of American Indian people. I'd urge councilors to reconsider.

Miigwech to councilors Don Ness, Russ Stover, Laurie Johnson and Greg Gilbert for their votes of support. There still is time for councilors Roger Reinert, Tim Little, Jim Stauber, Garry Krause and Russ Stewart to change their minds and to do the right thing.


Rebecca St. George


The writer is on the board of directors of the American Indian Community Housing Organization and works for Mending the Sacred Hoop, an American Indian program.

Project promotes humane treatment of animals

Thanks to the News Tribune for drawing attention to PETA's support for the development of non-animal tests (Our View: "PETA and ExxonMobil see the future -- in Duluth," Sept. 26).

The cutting-edge science described in the editorial, of which Duluth's Gil Veith is a leader, has the potential to spare millions of animals from terrible lives and deaths in laboratories. Since these modern technologies also are more accurate and less expensive than animal tests, they will benefit humans as well.

PETA is proud to have donated more than $760,000 in recent years to researchers at the forefront of developing non-animal test methods.

Jessica Sandler


Norfolk, Va.

The writer is a director in the Regulatory Testing Division for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Inflate fuel taxes and the fine for speeders

Isn't it about time fines for speeding in Minnesota were tripled or quadrupled as they are in Canada and in states across the country? Speeders put the lives of everyone on the road in danger, and they pour excessive amounts of cancerous filth and greenhouse gases into the air.

The state also could be and should be increasing the taxes on fossil and nuclear fuels, which would allow the taxes on homes and incomes to be reduced.

Minnesota produces zero fossil and nuclear fuels, meaning billions of dollars flow out of the state year after year after year.

Don Johnson


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