In reading the Aug. 26 commentary “The problem with peace,” I was stunned by the author’s conclusion in the first paragraph, that the “goal of peace is morally reprehensible.” If, in our endless negotiations, interventions and compromises with other nations of the world, we are not striving for peace (setting aside those involved with trade, climate, etc.), what is the ultimate goal? The article’s author would presumably substitute righteousness, moral conviction and the diminishment of evil for the peace goal. But there’s the rub — who determines what is and isn’t evil? There is much in our history that suggests we should not be the final arbiter of what is evil. And what constitutes righteousness, and whose moral convictions?
Either we are at peace or we are at war. It’s an easily discernible fact, and if peace is reprehensible, what adjective can we apply to its antonym, war?
Robert M. Howard, Edina
Cologuard test isn’t just a Mayo product
The Star Tribune’s front page (Aug. 26) trumpeted that Mayo Clinic will be “first in the nation” to offer a self-screening cancer test with a product called Cologuard, which, the story said, is available through Mayo’s primary-care doctors by prescription.
However, those a of cancer-vulnerable age need not travel to Rochester for the test, as the story implies; Cologuard’s website says the kit is available through “any doctor” enrolled by the company’s lab in a process that’s “very simple and easy.”
The story also reported that a Mayo doctor is co-inventor of Cologuard. But it didn’t report that under a license agreement with Exact Sciences in Madison, Wis., the doctor and Mayo “share in equity and royalties” for the test kit.
Mayo is a fine and respected clinic, but there are many quality primary-care doctors and centers far closer to interested patients that, unlike Mayo, don’t have a direct revenue motive for prescribing Cologuard.
Ron Way, Edina
ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE
Thank goodness many folks see the value in it
The Boston Globe’s Tom Keane has expressed his dim view of the Ice Bucket Challenge phenomenon as being the opposite of charitable (Opinion Exchange, Aug. 26). My son was stricken with this devastating disease when he was just 39. Fifteen years later, he is still here, but his movement is restricted to his legs and feet. He is fully dependent on his wife for his daily care.
He and his sister did the Ice Bucket Challenge on Sunday. Their video is cute, sincere and inspiring. I plan to do it myself with other family members.
ALS has long been known as an orphan disease. Although there has been research, the cause has not been found. More research requires lots of money.
I say bravo, Ice Bucketeers! And thank you very much for your donations and your enthusiasm.
Jean Ohland, Minnetonka
It is a scourge, and the Internet doesn’t help
I am a senior, and I am working very hard with other individuals and organizations to stop human trafficking, especially sex trafficking. It is very good news that our government officials are trying hard to do the same and that Minnesota is a leader in this effort.
Why on earth did the commentary editors print that disgusting article from the Economist stating that the government should stay out of trying to control prostitution because it is good for the economy (“Tech opens up possibilities for prostitution,” Aug. 24)? What a horrible attitude. I am outraged!
A.K. Allen, Woodbury
• • •
I guess I am, in the Economist’s view, a “moralizer.” I work with adolescents in St. Paul and recently attended a workshop where I learned that prostitutes have the highest murder rate of any job in America (lots worse than cabdrivers); the average age they start is 13; on average they are beaten 12 times a year; about half have HIV, and they are expected by their pimps to have sex on demand with 10 strangers a night.
“Pretty Woman” is a Hollywood fantasy, not reality. Most of the ads on Backpage.com are by underage girls who are instructed by their pimps to lie about their age. Get the facts from women who lived it. The Internet is not helping.
Susan Armstrong, St. Paul
There are quicker solutions to inequity
I was struck by this statement in the Aug. 25 editorial on Southwest light rail: “Nothing will address [transit] inequities quicker and more effectively than connecting people with jobs in growth industries.”
If the Southwest light-rail line were really intended to address those inequities, transportation officials would be ordering additional buses tomorrow and creating bus routes that meet those transit needs in the next few months, rather making people wait until 2019, when the rail line is expected to be completed. And the bus shelters that are being demanded as part of the equity commitments related to SWLRT? They would have been built years ago.
Patty Schmitz, Minneapolis
California county offers a good example
If transportation is on of this state’s “biggest challenges” (editorial, Aug. 24), we may want to look at Orange County in California as an example on how to fund it.
In 1990, the voters of one of the most conservative, tax-averse counties approved a local 20-year, half-cent sales tax. The funds of this program were divided among freeways, major arterial streets, and bus and rail services. Cities fixed potholes, coordinated traffic signals, and repaired and maintained streets.
Cities received these funds through a formula based on population, sales tax and street miles, and through a competitive process when they submitted proposals.
Most important, the program included more than a dozen safeguards to ensure that the funds were delivered as promised.
Personally, I’d rather have my tax money spent on transportation than on sport stadiums.
Hanna Hill, Plymouth