I read the beautifully written short article by Jessica Schrader on Kids & the truth about sex ed. This particular subject is especially important to me. I am a child of a teen pregnancy and have a broad understanding of the struggles a teen can have raising a child. I also have witnessed many of my teen friends growing up dealing with STD and abortion issues. This is a personal and very public issue.
To provide some factual insight to Jessicas point; the Advocates for youth website provides the following profound information:
Each year, U.S. teens experience as many as 850,000 pregnancies, and youth under age 25 experience about 9.1 million sexually transmitted infections (STIs). By age 18, 70 percent of U.S. females and 62 percent of U.S. males have initiated vaginal sex.
Comprehensive sex education is effective at assisting young people to make healthy decisions about sex and to adopt healthy sexual behaviors.No abstinence-only-until-marriage program has been shown to help teens delay the initiation of sex or to protect themselves when they do initiate sex.Yet, the U.S. government has spent over one billion dollars supporting abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. Although the U.S. government ignores it, adolescents have a fundamental human right to accurate and comprehensive sexual health information.
I feel that this subject could use some dedicated coverage for the health of our society. I would encourage the Northern Express to do so.
Jenn Craven Lake Ann
Teens & responsibility
This is a response to Jessica Schraders article favoring teaching junior and senior high school students the how tos of birth control. There are several reasons why this is a bad idea.
To understand these reasons, you may want to consider something else we tell teens to abstain from with less than ideal results: consuming alcohol. Im guessing that in their health classes teens are not instructed in how to drink responsibly. If we did teach that, we would be sending the message that we expect them to break the law and drink alcohol before age 21. We would also be wasting our breath because research has shown that due to biological and developmental factors, teens are not generally capable of applying the self-restraint that would allow them to drink responsibly.
In the case of teen sex, the responsible and self-disciplined teens will wait. The less responsible and self-disciplined will have sex, but be the least likely to successfully use birth control even if educated in the greatest of detail.
Every variation on sex education has been tried in different parts of the country and different times, including handing out free condoms to students. Theres no clear evidence that unwed pregnancy or disease rates are lower where sex education has been most explicit.
The people of Michigan have decided through the political process that they want to send an unequivocal message to young people that they are not mature enough for sex. Those who decide otherwise have easy access to birth control information on the internet in the unlikely event they are inclined to be responsible.
Nancy Brimhall, RN Alden
Say no to sock puppets!
They Photoshopped his head onto a tiny body, lied about his position on taxes, and printed it on a cheap and sleazy postcard. Then spent a fortune mailing it to every household in Grand Traverse and Kalkaska counties. They made robo calls rife with lies to every home in both counties -- our phones rang and rang again until we finally answered. Your caller ID showed all zeros for a good reason...they are ashamed of their behavior. As they should be.
They are the Republican Party. Once again nauseating us with their tiresome old games here in the 104th House race. They know that their candidate is weak, a mere sock puppet for their embarrassingly self-serving and idiotic arguments and outdated thinking.
But who threatens them so much? Who is it that has the courage to speak the truth in the face of this truly enormous and well funded assault on our sensibilities and intelligence? Who is the true leader?
Its Roman Grucz. A man of thoughtfulness and integrity who is not beholden to special interests, lobbyists, and political action committees. Northern Michigan needs a new direction. We need Roman Grucz.
Amy K. Hardin Williamsburg
Stem cell research, is already legal in Michigan. The University of Michigan has one of the largest stem cell facilities in our nation.
Proposal 2 authorizes science/research on human embryos, subject only to federal restrictions. The feds stance is anything goes for embryos, An embryo is defined as the period between conception and about seven-eight weeks. This measure would allow unrestricted science during this timeframe on the embryo. This could include the radical gene splicing research, mixing human and animal DNA to create hybrids. This proposal would create one human race to serve another human race havent we already been there in history?
Michigan currently has a law prohibiting human embryo research. This law was led by a Democratic legislature and signed by the governor to declare that human embryos would not be reduced to laboratory rats.
Proposal 2 does not authorize immediate funding. But, in states where this initiative has passed, it has resulted in increased taxes. The Yes campaign chairman has stated that this research must be publically funded. So if this passes, they will be in line next year for a line item in the state budget.
Embryonic stem cell research is dead end science. Even the pioneer of stem cell research is abandoning embryonic research
Leftover cmbryos from fertility clinics do not have to be thrown out. Check out Embryo Adoption: www.bethany.org.
Proposal 2 would allow researchers to ignore any State or local law they feel prevents, obstructs, restricts or even discourages stem cell research. We would turn all control over to the Feds, our Congress, Senate and president, and the lobbyists who influence their decisions. Do we really want to turn control of Michigans laws over to the feds?
Pete VanBerlo TC
Support Proposal 2
After passing the many 2 goes 2 far signs along our roadways, I decided to read the proposed constitutional amendment language myself and encourage everyone to do so.
Proposal 2 would:
1. continue the existing prohibition on human cloning,
2. restrict research activity to that allowed under federal law,
3. ban the purchase or sale of human embryos,
4. restrict the use of human embryos for stem cell research to those from fertility clinics that are not suitable for implantation or would otherwise be discarded, and,
5. the person who sought the fertility treatment must provide voluntary and informed consent, documented in writing, that she chose to donate the embryos for research.
In light of Proposal 2s carefully crafted safeguards, 2 goes 2 far is really code for absolute unbending opposition to any form of embryonic stem cell research. Suppose for a moment that you have a child suffering from a currently incurable and untreatable fatal condition or severe disability. If an effective cure or treatment were developed through research allowed under Proposal 2, would you choose death or permanent severe impairment for your child over the new treatment?
The fact is that this research will move forward, but Michigans fine research institutions will be sidelined if Proposal 2 is defeated. Michigan should be attracting scientists, not sending them packing. Michigans top-notch universities and research institutions should participate in and lead this promising medical frontier. A yes vote on Proposal 2 maps out a responsible way to proceed.
James A. Bransky TC
The fascist alternative
Read with amusement your article on alternative candidates. No unbiased journalism here! Thats okay, journalism has never been unbiased, in spite of the high-minded ideals we learned in high school journalism class.
Actually, I was a candidate in the 04 elections, not the current elections. The American Fascist Party never drew its programs, or anything else, from Mein Kampf. If anyones the least bit interested in the truth, read The New Fascism: An Idea Whose Time Has Come, from Lulu.com. Most people are surprised to learn that real fascism has nothing to do with heavy-handed dictatorships, police states, racism, or imperialist war-mongering.
I would disagree with your final analysis: Vote for a candidate that has a chance of winning. Rather than explain all the political realities to you, let me just say, the only wasted vote is the one you give to the RepubliCrat system, to keep them in power.
Seth Tyrssen TC
Who can fix it?
Theres plenty of blame to go around in Washington for the mess were in. The focus should be on who will fix it. This November we need to elect the person who will address our problems, and tell us the truth. Many regulations need to be put back in place, some programs need to be cut, spending curtailed, and probably some taxes need to be raised. We are borrowing the money from China, and Saudi Araba to support our two wars, among other things. The bill will come due, and if we dont pay it, our children and grandchildren will.
Barack Obama is giving us some ideas, while John McCain seems stuck on William Ayers and Joe the Plumber. McCains answer is more of the same, and making the Bush tax cuts permanant.
We need wisdom, calm temprement, and a clear level head that Obama will bring to Washington. He will help heal our relationships, and give us back the respect of the world once again. Im taking Colin Powell‘s lead, and giving my vote to Barack Obama, and I hope you will also. Lets help heal this country, and get it back on the right track.
S. Kay Rose Empire
A candidates campaign speaks volumes about character. Recently, the committee to elect Ray Franz mailed out a postcard promoting fear and hatred of gays and full of misleading statements.
Dan Scripps campaign received no money from Jon Stryker and has no control over the statewide TV ads run by The Michigan Coalition for Progress, funded by Mr. Stryker, whose far-from-fringe progressive agenda can be found at miprogresscoalition.org. Mr. Franz is well aware of these facts and his intentionally misleading postcard is politics at its worst.
Dans Scripps campaign is funded by small donations from more than 1,000 citizens who want someone that represents working folks in Lansing, not corporate interests. Dan Scripps runs his campaign on issues and believes in the democratic process of giving the voter a real choice based on accurate information. I will vote for him because of his intelligence, integrity, dedication to protecting our natural environment and his understanding that investing in people, education and clean energy will create the jobs of the 21st century.
Judy Cunningham Bear Lake
Republican smear and fear campaign tactics are alive and slithering in our area in Ray Franzs poisonous flier. His mailer insidiously warns voters that Scripps is supported by a BILLIONAIRE HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVIST.
Exactly which does he believe needs exposing? It cant be billionaire; the wealthy typically support Republicans. It cant be activist; activism is simply promotion of ones beliefs conservative or liberal. Obviously the term Franz feels will galvanize his base is the label homosexual. Does Franz really believe that many voters share his pseudo-Christian bigotry, that we are living in Neo-Salem and clamoring to burn his witches - homosexuals?
Jack Lee Interlochen
When Ray Franz personally signed off on a campaign of fear and smear he traded away the one thing he had going for him: his veneer of decency. His recent decision to take the low road with a despicable and dishonest mailing cant be rationalized as a case of the end justifying the means.
As weve learned to our sorrow, candidates dont get born again when theyre elected. A dirty campaign produces a dirty politician. Fortunately, theres another candidate whos running a clean and open campaign and who will be a clean and open state representative when hes elected: Dan Scripps.
Porter Abbott Northport
Black eye for Onekama
Friday morning we received a flyer the color of gutter mud from Ray Franz, state rep candidate in the 101st district.
The flyers theme is that dirty money is buying Dan Scripps campaign because a billionaire homosexual is supporting him. I called Mr. Scripps office and was told Dan Scripps has never met the person Franz refers to. I doubt that Mr. Franz has ever met him either, so Ive wondered how he knows so much about his sexual preference?
The man Franz is speaking about has donated a large portion of his wealth to the Kalamazoo Promise, an organization that pays the first year of college for young people in his community. He doesnt sound like a bad guy to me.
Mr. Franz other literature tells me about the wonderful things hes done for the town of Onekama, but not a lot about his position on state issues. The flyer contains nothing about issues; only his apparent hate for someone based solely on lifestyle. Mr. Franz, your flyer has insulted the people of the 101st district, shamed the Republican Party and given your Onekama community a black eye.
Jill Baxter Maple City
The friends you hang with matter. Dont listen otherwise. If your friends are socialists, it matters. If the person who started your political career in Illinois was a certified terrorist, it matters. If your pastor for 20 years preached hate and hoped for the damning of AMERICA while you stood and did nothing, it matters.
Ill admit that Barack Hussein Obama is smooth. Too smooth, and someone who does not represent what has made America the greatest country on earth. No white flags of defeat. No additional socialist programs. No more higher taxes. Did I forget ACORN? Vote McCain.
Brian Spencer TC
He‘s no terrorist
The attack ads distort perceptions of the candidates. The Obama I have listened to is not a terrorist, nor does he agree with terrorism.
He is not taking away guns from responsible owners of guns. He is not a socialist who is going to make us pay for programs we cant afford. He is not going to raise taxes that hurt our economy.
He does care about the common good and the ones who are left behind. I find that is worth my vote after years of a government benefiting those who have much so that they can keep more.
Robert McQuilkin Frankfort
Save our nation
When you vote on November 4, think from a historical perspective a bigger picture if you will, and most importantly, a lesson for humanity.
The young and innocent United States of America forcefully brought an unwillingly population of African slaves to their country.
Vote Barak Obama a representative of all people who have been oppressed.
Mr. Obama will turn our great nation from collapse, and in turn save this beautiful and fragile planet.
Your fellow American citizen of European descent:
A Dem for Casperson
As someone with a long tradition with the Democratic Party in this state, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that our incumbent U.S Rep. Bart Stupak is clearly out of touch with the issues facing northern lower Michigan.
After 16 years as our representative, Bart is beginning to show his arrogance. What do I mean? Well it‘s called constituent service. With the exception of large trial lawyers or a major campaign contributor, Bart seems not to be available for any type of conference.
Anyone with a desire to seek the congressmans help on a particular issue likely will wait months for a response. Phone calls will go unreturned. Emails will be ignored, and heaven forbid if you meet the congressman in person, like I did recently at a social event. He comes across as highly arrogant and will give at most 15 seconds of his time for a one or two sentence conversation.
Whats truly troubling is his lack of candor concerning his campaign‘s finances. In a recent letter to the editor, Mr. Stupak berated someone for questioning his campaign‘s financial integrity. He mentions those who give him only two dollars at a time. However the vast majority of his contributors undoubtedly are very well connected, with deep pockets. Where can people go to see the details? Are your financial reporting statements in full compliance with the Federal Election Commissions requirements?
Compare and contrast this with his opponent, state legislator Tom Casperson, who not only has transparency in all of his affairs, but who has a good track record in being fully accessible to his constituents. Most of all, he will return a phone call or an email. I know.
Its hard for me to support a Republican, but given Bart‘s highly arrogant conduct, and given the type of highly honorable man that Tom Casperson is, it‘s time in this particular race to put partisanship aside and vote for the better man. That better man is clearly Tom Casperson.
Brian R Morgan Gaylord