The American-News welcomes letters of opinion from our readers.

The American-News welcomes letters of opinion from our readers. Letters regarding current local and national news items are encouraged. All letters are subject to editing for length and style. Letters containing potentially libelous or obscene statements will not be published. Letters must contain name, address and phone number for verification and in case of questions. E-mail letters to: Letters may also be mailed to:  Editor, Montevideo Publishing, P.O. Box 99, Montevideo, MN 56265


Did you watch the now Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh’s performance before the Senate Judiciary Committee? What you saw was a theatrical performance right out of the Trump playbook, and Trump for all of his human deficiencies is a master performer and con artist. In his theatrical act Kavanaugh alternated between sniveling self-pity and face twisted rage. Step right up folks and watch the performance. A lot of people, particularly older white men, were taken in. So it worked very well to stack the Supreme Court with hard conservatives for many decades, long after the Trump presidency is seen as a historical aberration.

  Now why would I think it was all an act? People of his social and educational class never behave that way. Maybe in private, among close friends, and after a few beers; but they would never do it in public before the whole nation. Kavanaugh by reason of his background is a full member of the American aristocracy, which has its natural counterpart in the stiff-upper-lip British aristocracy. Gentleman who behave as he did are ostracized by their peers.

  You may think that loading the high court up with young arch conservatives is all about the hot button issues, such as abortion and guns. In fact those justices will have a negative influence on your pay, your health benefits, your employment rights, your disability and Social Security benefits, etc. Where did the Supreme Court get the power to declare unconstitutional and strike down laws duly passed by Congress and the state legislatures and by the people in state referenda? It is not explicitly found in Article III or elsewhere in the Constitution or its amendments. Answer: Starting with Chief Justice John Marshall in Marbury v. Madison, they just took it.

—John H. Burns


Teal pumpkins

When our grandson Jack was seven months old he was diagnosed with several food allergies including eggs, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, and wheat.  At times even exposure to a tiny amount of allergen can set off a deadly attack. Our whole world turned up side down. Jack has separate dishes, towels, and food. We carry epipens and benedril everywhere we go.

When Jack was younger we  swept several times a day so that he didn’t pick up an allergen piece of food. Needless to say, this presents constant vigilance to ensure he isn’t exposed to any allergens accidentally. Holidays are challenging, especially Halloween. To make Halloween safer for kids with food allergies, FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) has developed the Teal Pumpkin project. Houses who display a teal pumpkin are offering non-food items to help make Halloween fun and safe for kids with allergies. Last year I offered Trick-or-Treaters a choice between candy and Halloween-themed items such as Halloween pencils and erasers. As expected, most kids chose candy but quite a few chose the non-food items. I would encourage people who are planning to give out treats at Halloween to consider painting a pumpkin teal (Walmart has a small sample container in teal) and offer non-food items. Not only will it make Halloween more fun for kids with allergens, it’s healthier too!

—Barbara Knutsen


Paid Political Letters to the Editor


After starting my 28th year of teaching at Benson High School  I am of a very strong belief that we could solve a lot of problems by  developing a healthy respect for one another. This can happen if we continue to make public educational funding a priority.

I urge citizens  to actively participate in local, state, and national politics by using the power of the ballot.  I urge people to consider the issues that they deem important and vote accordingly. I believe that our school system and our community are connected socially and economically.  

I am voting for Lyle Koenen as MN state representative.  His commitment to focus on public education and adequately fund  it at the level needed to continue to help small towns grow is what will help Greater MN. We need to provide jobs that will attract our students as well as others to make their home here, and strong public education is the key to making this happen.  

—Steve Ricard