I am responding to the article by Sheryl McCarthy in last Sunday's (July 10) paper that ripped into the policy of abstinence. I, as a teen who is abstaining, felt attacked and just wanted to put in a word for abstinence.
First off, the article claimed that abstinence-based sex education doesn't reduce sexual activity in teens. However, in recent years (where an abstinence message has been promoted), the number of sexually active teens has gone from about 54 percent to around 45 percent. That looks like a sign of improvement to me.
Mrs. McCarthy promoted more birth-control-based sex education. But she didn't mention that birth control pills harm women's immune systems and make them more likely to get an STD. The pills are a factor as to why one in four sexually active teenagers will get an STD each year.
You might suggest using a condom to protect from STDs. Well, you may want to think twice.
The National institute of Health released a study on condom effectiveness. They were unable to prove that condoms even slightly reduce the risk of a host of STDs including HPV, Chlamydia, and syphilis.
Beyond that, I detest people treating myself and other teens like animals in heat, saying things like: "They're kids, they don't have any self-control. It's stupid to tell them not to, just make sure they wear a condom."
We are not uncontrolled animals. We are living, functioning human beings, capable of making important choices. Treat us like it!
Finally, there are mental scars left be sexual activity as well. Studies show that sexually active teens are more likely to be depressed and attempt suicide than teens that are not.
Maybe we all need to look into abstinence, because, if we don't, the effects will eventually reach us all.
Help the less fortunate
In a recent article titled "Federal officials struggle with Indian suicides," I would like to ask them what would they do if they were in their shoes?
Have they forgotten what the white man did to the Indians (who happened to be here before we were) when this country was being founded?
We more or less took over their land and shoved them on to bleak and desolate reservations and expected them to survive on what may I ask?
So now we're seeing an increase in suicides among some tribes. I'm not surprised.
Not much has changed for a large number of these people.
Those who are still living on these desolate reservations do not have much to do and really no future. What kind of a life is that?
There is a series on TNT Television titled, "Into the West." It's very interesting and it gives the viewer a better understanding of how the armies back then treated the Indians. Both sides suffered and lost many of their people.
I do not have a solution to this problem, but I think America as a whole should and could do more to improve the lives of all those less fortunate individuals who live in this great country of ours.
We're a country that wastes a lot of money on things that to me are not necessary and one of these is the space program. There are other areas of wasteful spending but I will not mention them now.
There are some children who are getting an education but that's not going to stop some from killing themselves. We must take some responsibility for this terrible tragedy. A young mind is a terrible thing to waste.
Teachers are welcome at reunion
The class of 1985 is celebrating its 20th class reunion on Saturday, July 23, at Timbermist at 6 p.m. We would like to invite any teachers who would be interested in reminiscing with some of there old students. Hope to see you there!
Don't forget about Samuelson's help
It was Sen. Don Samuelson who used his skill and influence to pass the special legislation that was needed for the state of the art visitor center on highway 371. During the grand opening, and the open house, neither the Brainerd Dispatch, or the Chamber of Commerce recognized Don for his efforts. It will be the resorts and the business community that will benefit the most, members of the chamber. I guess that's the way it is, get what you want and forget who did it for you. Well, hats off to Sen. Don Samuelson for his hard work in making this one of a kind facility available to central Minnesota.
Are we slaves to our automobiles?
As gasoline costs more and more who's becoming the slave, your car or you?
Jerrold C. Turnquist
'Something's Afoot' was brilliant
Mom and Dad have been talking about "Something's Afoot" for about two months now. All Mom would say is that it was a musical mystery-comedy, kind of a spoof. She refused to tell me whodunit. Dad said they practiced four days a week, up to and including the Fourth of July. Mom was tired, but having a blast and said that the cast was wonderful.
Then Dad started sending reviews and I knew I had to see this for myself. So... I packed up my 13-year old daughter, who has never seen her grandma perform. Leaving Daddy and brother behind, we made it from Chicago to Brainerd in eight hours flat.
"Something's Afoot" was worth every hour of the trip. I knew Mom wouldn't let me down, she never has in my 42 years, but I've never seen her in such an element! Mom made "Miss Tweed" sparkle.
Everything worked in "Something's Afoot." The stage design was awesome, the cast talented and professional, the musical score delicious, the humor hit just the right note and the irony of the conclusion very satisfying.
My daughter, Rachel, was stunned. She was so very proud to see Grandma up on stage like that. She said, "I didn't know grandma was so good," and agreed that half the fun was watching the reaction of the audience as they roared with laughter.
Kudos to director Dennis Lamberson for a brilliant production. A huge "well done" to the musicians and to the cast, well, what more can be said than, "Encore! Encore!"
Georgiann Camacho (Nee Witham)
Addressing the issue of courage
It sometimes takes more courage to try to settle disputes peacefully, than with violence.
No place for fluoridation
Dr. Chester Douglass is being investigated because he did not reveal scientific test results which indicated water fluoridation can cause osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in young boys. (Brainerd Dispatch, July 15). The Harvard professor's actions should cause readers to question the entire process of forcing mass medication on U.S. citizens via water fluoridation.
The American Dental Association and the American Medical Association vigorously warned of the dangers of water fluoridation in editorials during the early 1940s.
In view of those professional warnings, why has the United States government pushed fluoridation since then? When the U.S. manufactured nuclear bombs in the 1940s, farmers near the bomb-making facilities sustained severe losses from fluoride air pollution. Likewise, a number of weapons makers were fatally injured because of fluoride involved in their work. The U.S. Manhattan Atomic Bomb Project military leaders and bomb-making corporations feared bad publicity and lawsuits.
To counteract this probability, propaganda was put out by project leaders that water fluoridation was good for children's teeth. There was not proof that this was true. The pronouncement appears to have been an attempt to make fluoride seem "warm and fuzzy," not a dangerous pollutant.
Taxpayer dollars spent on public relations successfully sold a naive public on the idea that water fluoridation was safe and worthwhile. The government's PR campaign has continued into the 21st century. (Investigative reporter Christopher Bryson's book, "The Fluoride Deception," is a great help in understanding the PR campaign.)
There is no ethical reason for young American boys or anyone else in the U.S. to be put at risk in 2005 to suffer the horrors of osteosarcoma (bone cancer) and numerous other diseases because they drink fluoridated water. Act today to stop this travesty. Fluoridation has no place in a democracy!
Elaine Jensen Chesley
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