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End of session, name changes (or not) attract comments

Analyses of the legislative session and married women keeping their birth names were among recent MinnPost topics drawing reader comments. Here is a sampling:

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Robert Whereatt’s May 19 story, “If you are … a tunnel rat or a Hannah Montana fan, this legislative session will interest you,” spurred these comments:

John Olson
said:

If you are a Minnesotan: You can be thankful that the rascals have gone home for another year! 🙂

And Mike Keliher said:

Isn’t the window-tint restriction only applicable to the front-door windows? I always thought back windows and the rear windshield were exempt.

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Steve Berg’s May 22 analysis, “How well did the Legislature prepare Minnesotans to deal with big global challenges?” drew several responses, including these:

Grace Kelly said:

Your heading again shows bias: How well did the LEGISLATURE prepare Minnesotans to deal with big global challenges?

How about this heading? How well did the GOVERNOR prepare Minnesotans to deal with big global challenges?

Or does the governor not have veto power and the willingness to to go into extra sessions if he does not get what he wants?

So why are you giving the governor a free pass yet again?

Bob Spaulding added:

Thank you Steve for a terrific, accurate, and comprehensive analysis of climate change and the legislature.

This issue is different than almost all others — it cuts to our future, and across party lines. When it comes right down to it, legislators need to hear from us [that] climate change is as or more important that most of the other traditional considerations that the legislature is faced with.

The climate doesn’t care that auto dealers bought power and influence among legislators in 2008, stopping passage of emissions standards. The climate doesn’t care that the building trades were vociferous in their support of the Mall of America expansion in 2008, which even without a ramp will have clear climate impacts.

On this one issue — climate change — an issue which has profound implications for my generation, all legislators need to focus intently on one urgent goal: slowing climate change. Pawlenty certainly has room for improvement — and starting to implement the recommendations of his own study group might be a good start.

But the DFL has plenty of room for improvement as well. For example, the California auto emissions standards came to the Senate Business, Industry and Jobs Committee, on which 11 of the 17 members are DFLers. However, the emissions standards — which have passed 13 states — failed to garner more than a 7-10 vote, even with DFLers occupying 11 of the 17 slots.

As Erkel notes, the time for action was yesterday, and legislators of all stripes need to hear that message loud and clear, again and again.

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Nina Petersen-Perlman wrote in response to “What if ‘Hillary Rodham’ had been on the ballot? (And what’s become of the keep-your-own-name trend?),” by Casey Selix, May 21:

I’m the feminist daughter of a feminist who made the decision to hyphenate when she married my father. He remains Jim Perlman, but my mother, my three siblings and I all have the last name Petersen-Perlman. My 16-character last name has posed all sorts of problems in my life — I often have to drop the Petersen to make my work email address spell-able over the phone — but it’s also part of my identity. The question is: what are my siblings and I supposed to do when we get married? We can’t very well compromise as my mother did and add a third name to the mix. And I don’t want to curse my children with a hyphenated name, so I won’t be able to share my name with my progeny. I’m pretty much stuck with either taking the mister’s name or being the lone PP of my clan. Le sigh.

John Olson said:

Personally, I do not think it a big deal with respect to Sen. Clinton. Given that she is married to a former President, if she chose to change back to “Rodham,” it would make them no different than any of a gazillion Hollywood couples.

Back in the 80’s we also had the episode of then-Governor Perpich insisting that he be referred to as “Rudolph” instead of “Rudy.” At the end of it all, he was still the same person and his opponents still referred to him as “Governor Goofy.”

And Grace McGarvie commented:

I am not using names to protect the guilty, but — I have 5 sisters, all of whom married and changed their names to their husband’s name. I did too, with my first husband. After the divorce I decided to pick a new name, rather than retain my ex’s name. I picked my mother’s maiden name, because I liked the sound of it with my first name. My maiden name, which I had not had for almost 29 years, was almost like a new name in my brain, and was also difficult for people to pronounce. It was not rejection in my mind, but embracing a different family name — matriarchally.

My brother found a case of antique jars that had my maiden name on it. He gave each one of my married sisters one jar, and told each of them he was not giving me one, because I must not like my maiden name.

What did I do? Went to antique shop and bought my own!!!!

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