Readers Write (May 30): Edward Snowden, animal testing, fiscal disparities, cemeteries

  • Updated: May 29, 2014 - 6:31 PM

“Man up”? Secretary of State Kerry must know it’s not that simple.

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EDWARD SNOWDEN

Whistleblowers are at a distinct disadvantage

Secretary of State John Kerry’s assertion that Edward Snowden should just “man up” and submit himself to the U.S. system of justice was absurd (May 29). It’s well-documented that the U.S. intelligence community will go to any lengths to destroy the lives of any whistleblower, even those who first try to work through channels. Ask Bill Binney, Kirk Wiebe or Tom Drake, whose lives and careers were destroyed even though they had been senior intelligence analysts who attempted to report wrongdoing. Rather than accepting their assertions and making needed changes, the NSA completely suppressed them and attacked the messengers. This is standard operating procedure within the U.S. intelligence apparatus with any reports of waste, fraud or abuse, even though the duty to report such abuses is an integral part of every government employment contract.

Kerry’s statement was a perfect example of the hypocrisy of our government today.

William Thompson, Minnetonka

 

ANIMAL TESTING

It’s time to move past this barbaric practice

The May 27 Letter of the Day (“We tend to think only of the dark side of animal testing”) gives animal testing a lot more credit than is due, telling of all the cures and vaccines it has produced, while overlooking that nine out of 10 drugs tested on animals do not succeed in clinical trials. The truth is, animals’ reactions to drugs are completely different from human reactions, and colossal amounts of time and money are wasted on the fruitless endeavors of testing on animals. Tamoxifen, one of today’s most effective drugs against breast cancer, was originally tested on rats, and its study was almost abandoned due to the liver problems it caused in the rodents that do not carry over to humans. Imagine how many cures have been missed and abandoned due to the costly and wasteful practice of animal testing. The question is not, as the letter writer asked, what lenses are you wearing, but rather: Will you open your eyes to this ongoing problem or bury your head in the sand?

Lexie Michel, Edina

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Arguments regarding vivisection date back centuries, and as I understand it even the Mayo brothers didn’t agree with each other on the issue of torturing and killing animals in the name of medicine. Much of medicine is highly technical, but the basics of research still include killing creatures in some of the most barbaric fashions possible. In most cases, if animals are lucky enough to survive the procedures, they are killed anyway or used for other vile experiments. There is seldom a release.

There is one thing all of these creatures have in common. They are innocent and do not deserve to be sacrificed on the alter of grant studies and financial gain. Should the practice of animal testing and research be outlawed, I suspect that humans are creative and capitalistic enough to garner the information they seek through new paradigms. If one road closes, you find a new way of thinking — and it is way past that time.

Colleen Meyer, Minneapolis

 

FISCAL DISPARITIES LAW

Remembering the idea’s originator

Thank you for the May 28 obituary on F. Warren Preeshl. While state Rep. Charlie Weaver was the author of the metropolitan tax base sharing law (popularly known as the fiscal disparities law), it was Preeshl who originated the idea and modestly submitted his draft proposal to the Citizens League Fiscal Disparities committee in December 1968.

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