Readers Write: (Aug. 10): Smoking, Catholic Church, corporations, the primary election, Jeff Johnson and Scott Honour

  • Updated: August 8, 2014 - 6:02 PM

You should factor not just the graveyard, but the path there, into your equation.

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“[T]the benefits from reducing smoking have to be weighed against the loss in pleasure that smokers suffer when they give up their habit” — from “Smokers’ pleasure factored into rules,” front page, Aug. 7.

As one who ended up with a 2-inch-long carcinoma in his right kidney, most likely from a 20-year exposure to smoke, I can only say this to a smoker: For every minute of pleasure smoking gives you, cancer will reward you with an hour of sheer, utter, unmitigated terror. The pleasure can’t possibly be worth it. The cost of these hours should be entered into any equation quantifying the cost of a smoker’s “happiness loss.”

Dean C. Hansen, Stillwater

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If the loss of smoking pleasure is factored into public policy, how about the pleasures that come with a longer life or greater health? What is the value of seeing a child graduate? The birth of a grandchild? The ability to breathe deeply and smell the lilacs in spring? To climb a hill and see the sun break over the horizon? And what about the pleasure of nonsmokers to have cleaner air? Who is measuring all of this?

Karen Karls, Grand Rapids, Minn.

CATHOLIC CHURCH

There is a time for righteous anger

This is a letter I didn’t want to have to write. I have been trying to stay somewhat detached from the ongoing priest sex abuse scandal and coverup in Minnesota. (I left my parish and the church — at least for now — about four months ago.) However, at this time I feel compelled to speak out again as I did about 12 years ago.

I have extensive experience both professionally and personally with the long-term effects of child abuse on its survivors. I worked as a social worker in child protection for many years. At times, the damage to real people can seem almost irreparable.

I know we live in Minnesota, and we are supposed to be nice. But there really is a time and place for righteous anger.

In two recent articles in the newspapers, Archbishop John Nienstedt insists that the church hierarchy has learned from its mistakes and that all kinds of positive changes have been made. However, I heard a similar speech by another church leader about 12 years ago, and most of the information given has turned out to be false.

Change will not come until a critical mass of Catholic people (including priests) publicly insist on change. Some things Catholics and others can do is to publicly speak, write and take other action — for example, petitions, picketing and, yes, even leaving the pews and collection plates empty.

Sandy Harrigan, Falcon Heights

 

CORPORATIONS

What Karl Marx foresaw about capital

With all the discussion of the role of corporations in society (“Corporate obligations: What’s a nonperson to do?” D.J. Tice column, Aug. 3), it might be worthwhile to point out that Karl Marx, back in the 19th century, believed that joint stock companies were an economic invention that would revolutionize the world.

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