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More Letters to the Editor: Sex ed and pregnant Az teens

Comprehensive sex ed vital for Arizona teens

Are you aware that Arizona has been listed as second in the nation for the number of teen pregnancies in a recent study by the Guttmacher Institute?

Did you know that a recent study released by the Center for Disease Control, shows that nationally, 1 in 4 teen girls aged 14-19 have a sexually transmitted disease?

These statistics and others like them prove that a program for comprehensive sexuality education is vital for informing Arizona teens about the risks they face from unprotected sex and ways in which they can protect themselves.

Arizona teens are currently learning in school that they should remain abstinent until they are married. Nothing could be more true than that abstinence is the best way for anyone to be protected against sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies.

Nonetheless, the fact remains that a recent CDC online survey showed that 46 percent of Arizona teens are sexually active.

In addition to encouraging teens to wait to have sex, Arizona schools need to provide teenagers with accurate information on how they can protect themselves against sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancy.

They need the right information to make responsible decisions. We all want our teens to be safe. Providing them with truthful and accurate information is an urgently needed step in that direction.

I write to encourage our leaders in Arizona and your paper to work to provide comprehensive, accurate sexual education in Arizona schools so that our teens will have the knowledge and resources they need to stay healthy for successful, bright futures.

Elizabeth C. Walker


Stop wasting our taxes on animal testing

President Obama has said that he wants to reduce the national deficit by half by the end of his first term. A good place to start would be the money wasted on federal funding for animal testing.

In 1998, Congress created the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods to encourage the development of non-animal testing methods. Ten years later, they have approved only one.

Even the National Academy of Sciences has reported that many animal tests are useless and should be replaced by more reliable and less-expensive testing methods. But unfortunately, our outdated laws require that all drugs be tested on animals, even though many of the drugs approved by the FDA have been recalled due to side effects that didn’t show up during those tests and they report that 92 out of 100 drugs that successfully pass animal tests fail human clinical trials.

At least 50 drugs on the market caused cancer in lab animals but are allowed because it is admitted that the animal tests were not relevant.

Animal medical research is done mostly in conjunction with university research labs or medical facilities. Before they can attempt to study a disease or condition, they must artificially induce that disease or condition in the animal even though the dilemma is that they are never identical to those that occur in humans.

We already know that alcohol, tobacco, cocaine and heroin is bad for us – yet at least five universities continue to receive grants to study the effects. They do this by forcing primates to ingest or inhale these substances, then, in some cases, perform surgery to study the various body organs or dissecting fetuses.

Other studies include infants taken away from their mothers to study fear and anxiety, pipes implanted into monkey skulls to study stress, induced strokes by removing an eyeball to clamp a critical blood vessel, removing or sewing eyes shut to study blindness or study other artificially created abnormalities.

Since the war on cancer began in 1971, we have spent $200 billion for research. However, 500,000 Americans die from cancer every year, a 73 percent increase. That’s because clinical studies, not animal research, have proved that smoking and consuming high fat food or animal protein are the leading causes.

The greatest advance in understanding heart disease was the discovery that it can be virtually eliminated by controlling smoking, cholesterol and blood pressure, which came from studies of human patients.

But it doesn’t stop there. The EPA required all companies that produce or import High Production Volume chemicals to perform toxicity tests on animals. The purpose of these tests are to establish “acceptable” exposure levels – yet the EPA has yet to ban a single toxic chemical despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of the animals died.

And if a chemical is shown to cause cancer in the animals, companies have argued that the cancers that develop in animals would not occur in humans because the animals are given highly concentrated doses that a human would never be exposed to.

Even the Department of Transportation gets in on the act by sanctioning skin-corrosive experiments on rabbits even though there is a federal approved non-animal test available. And the Department of Justice awarded a grant to study the effects of stun guns on pigs even though there was ample human data available.

And the Department of Defense performs various tests on animals including burns, blasts, radiation, diseases and gunshot wounds. I don’t understand why the military can’t send their corpsmen to hospitals to observe how to treat humans.

Scientists are certainly capable of discovering and inventing many alternatives to animal research. While some medical researchers agree that an exhaustive search for alternatives is the future direction for medical research, the profession in general shows little enthusiasm and drags its feet.

Harold R. Wilson

Corydon, Ind.

Socialism a form of economic slavery

Princeton University’s WordNet 3.0 gives the primary definition of the term “slavery” as follows: “the state of being under the control of another person.”

Socialism is the state of being under the economic control of the people running the government.

Folks who claim to be anti-slavery should therefore be fervently against the Obama/Pelosi creeping enslavement of peaceful, economically productive people – whom leftists pejoratively describe as “the rich.”

Mark Kalinowski

New York, N.Y.

Bailout bucks end up back with speculators

Now we see that AIG’s financial situation has not stabilized with more than $150 billion of taxpayer money and they want another $30 billion because of ongoing loan default payments.

I’m wondering what default payments have given AIG a $61 billion deficit? Are they payments for the Credit Default Swaps (CDS) that were sold as loan default insurance?

I understand that lots of CDSs were sold to buyers who were not even carrying the loans being insured. In fact, such phony CDSs account for far more debt than the actual loan debt that is being insured ($54.6 trillion according to Fortune http://money.cnn.com/2008/09/29/magazines/fortune/varchaver_derivatives.fortune/index.htm).

So payment to CDS holders is actually transferring taxpayer bailout money into the hands of the very speculators who caused our economy to collapse.

Bruce Joffe

Piedmont, Calif.

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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