A few things don’t make sense

Luther Dorr

Why does the American Civil Liberties Union have to go around sticking its nose in places where it doesn’t belong? And don’t tell me they’re looking out for my rights.

Dzhokar Tsarnaev, the accused Boston Marathon bomber, deserves a fair trial. I think authorities, state and federal, will fall all over themselves to make sure that happens.

But let’s not let the ACLU get in the way of justice. ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero is making noise about the Miranda rights of the accused. I think Romero should just quiet down and go away.

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Lori Sturdevant, longtime columnist for the editorial page of the StarTribune, writes columns that are often thought-provoking in the Sunday edition. And, most often, she comes down on the left side of things. That’s okay – it’s an opinion column, just like this is.

In last Sunday’s paper the headline of her column was, “Tax cuts of yesteryear are home to roost.”

She wrote about tax cuts taking place in the 1999 session of the Minnesota Legislature, the first year of 14  in a row in which Republicans controlled the Minnesota House.  And she took a shot at Gov. Jesse Ventura for pushing through a discount on license tabs, noting that he had a 1990 Porsche. I thought that was a deserved  criticism.

But, because of those tax reductions, she wrote, the state was soon in serious deficit trouble. And she obviously didn’t like the “no new taxes” pledge. She writes that tax hikes are overdue.

We can agree or disagree on whether or not a tax hike is needed, or if tax cuts were inappropriate.

But what Sturdevant and all the others who think taxes should be increased don’t mention is the monumental waste in government spending. If we didn’t have all that waste, we wouldn’t have the large deficits there have been. And the beat goes on.

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The Minnesota Twins tried to pull themselves out of a PR nightmare recently by announcing they were rescinding a $15 fee for people who wanted to get in the park early to watch batting practice.

They’re so corporate today they don’t remember, or care about, all of us fans who used to go to Met Stadium well before the games to watch both teams hit, as well as watch infield practice. It was part of the deal. And they sold hot dogs and beer to us and made money.

Even worse, the games are now on an unheard-of FM station that is impossible to get on some radios where I live. It was bad enough that they switched from WCCO to KSTP a few years ago and put the games on a station that was scratchy at best some nights, just 50 miles away from the stadium. If you got 100 miles away it was impossible at times.

A couple weeks ago, as I drove back from Florida, I listened to WCCO in Kentucky and Tennessee. It came in clear as a bell, as it used to when I was driving back in April and listening to Twins regular-season games. This year I could barely get a game a few miles over the Wisconsin border on that FM station.

The games should still be on WCCO. That would prove that the Twins care about their long-standing fans. It doesn’t appear that they do.

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“Cameras everywhere, and maybe not such a bad thing” read the headline on the StarTribune editorial page.

Again, it was an opinion and it talked about the fact that surveillance cameras played a big part in the “two persons of interest” (that’s how the story read) in the Boston Marathon bombing.

“We should see this as a sign of the virtues of video surveillance,” wrote Farhad Manjoo of Slate, a magazine with which I am not familiar.

Granted, surveillance photos and phone cameras played a big part in finding the two suspects.

But do you really want cameras to play such a big part in your lives? Do you want your every move covered, everywhere you go? Big Brother can watch you easily these days.

Manjoo wrote (and I don’t agree) that in recent times “you and I and everyone we know went out and bought smartphones and began snapping photos incessantly.”

I don’t have such a phone, nor do lots of others.

Do you want a speeding ticket because a camera caught you? “Combine cameras with facial-recognition technology and you’ve got a recipe for governmental intrusion,” wrote Manjoo.

I guess it’s the new world we live in. That doesn’t make it right.