AP, Associated Press
Readers Write (April 25): Teen births, war images, dumb voters, developers, U athletic director
- April 24, 2012 - 8:53 PM
Morning-after pill has helped lower numbers
In response to Gail Rosenblum's April 19 column ("Surprisingly sharp decline in teen birthrates worth cheering"): One likely reason for the decline that she and others fail to mention is the availability of the morning-after pill beginning in 2009 to people age 17 and older, both women and men. (Before that you had to be 18.)
As a pharmacist at a major chain, I know that a "Plan B" has come to the rescue for many a couple, both young and old, over the past few years. Although the package says it's effective up to three days after unprotected sex, some studies show that it can be effective up to five days -- but the sooner it's used, the better the results, most likely by delaying ovulation.
With the presence in the Twin Cities area of many 24-hour pharmacies, one doesn't even have to wait until the morning to use. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently considered, but declined, making it available out front and not just behind the pharmacy counter, but at $44.99 for one course, it'd likely be in a locked container on the shelf anyway, with a storewide announcement of assistance needed to obtain.
Although there are likely multiple factors, it's remarkable how a simple, overdue change in the law has allowed so many couples, especially young ones, to keep an "oops" from becoming a major, life-changing event, and future opportunities to implement a better plan A.
NANCY RUHLAND, ROSEVILLE
* * *
IMAGES OF WAR
We know it's hell, but we expect decency
An April 20 letter writer says the idea that we can't stand to see images of enemy dead in a picture "speaks volumes about the level of deception and denial we engage to pretend this grisly business isn't happening."
The American public has been exposed to grisly images of enemy dead since the Vietnam War. We know what is going on. Yes, we train soldiers "to think and act as professional killers," as the letter writer states.
But what the public is confused about is why an American soldier would think it OK to be filmed laughing as he urinates on the face of an enemy. The letter writer says of our soldiers, "We honor their service as defenders of freedom and loyal supporters of American values."
Since when is a man urinating on the face of another man an American value?
We need to support and honor our troops, and this incident involves only a few men, but look at the damage to America's image it has caused.
DENNIS YELKIN, HOPKINS
* * *
Voter: 'I really haven't been paying attention'
Steve Chapman's recent column ("Ignorance is bliss for voters in America," April 23) rang true for me. In 2010, I campaigned door to door for several days on behalf of Tarryl Clark, hoping to defeat Michele Bachmann in the Sixth District.
One response I often received was, "I really haven't been paying attention." It was depressing. With such a contrast between the two candidates, how could someone not be paying attention?
Chapman's article explains clearly why Michele Bachmann has been elected three times -- ignorance and lack of interest. I keep hoping the next time will be different. I wish I could be more optimistic. The article does not give me hope.
PETER SETHRE, CIRCLE PINES
• • •
One need only look to Utah to get a clear understanding of how congressional paralysis has become par for the course.
Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah is in a fight for the GOP nomination because of the Tea Party's anger at his willingness to occasionally compromise to pass legislation. Hatch has nearly perfect grades from some of the most influential conservative groups in the country.
We elect our representatives not only to represent us, but to govern. The struggle between left and right should make it arduous to pass laws, but not impossible.
Critical debate and principled positions are essential in determining the national direction. If Washington is unable or unwilling to set aside disagreements and occasionally stand together, our country will become directionless and fall apart.
Hatch is the proverbial canary in the coal mine, a warning that acting as a statesman and supporting our crumbling government will be met by the Tea Party, gleefully chipping away at the foundation.
SUSAN BARRETT, SOUTH ST. PAUL
* * *
Developers can't build unless landowners sell
While I appreciate those who are passionate about organically grown food and enjoyed reading the profile of Atina Diffley ("Soil sister," April 18), I think it does a disservice to those who build our homes when a reporter writes that "bulldozers are the villians" and that the Diffleys "lost" their farm to suburban development as bulldozers "strafed the land."
Bulldozers don't just come over the horizon and take people's farms. Somebody has to willingly sell their land to a developer. Then that developer (provided the property is zoned for housing) builds the homes we live in.
I don't know the particulars of this family's decision, but I do know that no developer, no city, no bulldozer made them sell.
MARY ALICE DIVINE, WHITE BEAR LAKE
* * *
New Gopher AD should introduce men's soccer
For a moment I thought I was reading about Revlon's new CEO ("The mandate to sell hope," April 24). Then reality set in. It's not about giving undergraduates a broad exposure to athletic participation; it's about money, money and more money.
But when the football stadium is affectionately known as "The Bank," what else can we expect? Perhaps we could at least be honest enough not to call the position "athletic director."
A true athletic director would do his best to put Gopher athletics on the world map by introducing into men's athletics what is arguably the most popular sport in the world: soccer (and perhaps rowing). Our perennial competitor in Madison, Wis., has both sports.
CLIFF ERICKSON, MINNETONKA
© 2013 Star Tribune