Letters to the Editor for March 10

Fact checking in order

To the Editor:

I would like to comment on Kathy Stachowski’s Feb. 17 letter to the editor where she criticizes Marge Miller’s letter. In “Writer’s screed short on facts,” Ms. Stachowski concluded with a comment directed to Ms. Miller by saying, “In the future you would be wise to get any fact correct before you put your foot in it again.”

Hold on. A little fact checking is in order here. Kathy Stachowski herself made a non-factual statement by repeating the long discredited myth regarding the number of homosexuals in this country. Ten percent? Not so. The more accurate figure is 2-3 percent. The 10 percent number comes from the discredited, and obsolete junk science of Dr. Alfred Kinsey. Now what about that foot?

Pat Schreifels
Coon Rapids

Immigrants should learn English for their safety

To the Editor:

I agree with Jody Shank’s letter in the Feb. 24 newspaper about the dog bite of Choua Xiong was not discrimination. One thing wrong in her letter is that English is the official language of the U.S. There is no official language of the U.S.

Thirty two states have made English their official language. Two organizations (ProEnglish and U.S. English, Inc) are lobbying our federal legislators to make English the official language of the United States. They also assist states that are trying to make English their official language. Mauro E. Mujica chairman of U.S. English was an immigrant and knows the value of immigrants learning English.

If Ms. Xiong could understand English she could have responded to the police and the dog wouldn’t have been sent into the shed. I think immigrants should learn English their safety and getting employment.

Ray McKenzie
Coon Rapids

Bills could jeopardize environment

To the Editor:

There are many bills in this Legislature that would reduce environmental protections for Minnesotans. One egregious example is SF1087/HF1291, one provision of which would eliminate the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board. The EQB is an uber-agency in Minnesota, made up of the commissioners of state agencies with responsibility for environmental decisions – DNR, Health, Agriculture, Pollution Control, Transportation, Employment and Development, Commerce, BWSR, Met Council and Administration as well as five citizen members. It brings these agencies together for multi-jurisdictional environmental decisions that require coordination.

Two examples of this work were the generic environmental impact statements that described the impact animal agriculture (2002) and timber harvest (1994). These documents established, with extensive public input, a consistent framework for evaluating new projects as they came before individual agencies in subsequent years. The EQB also serves as a public forum for developing long-range strategies to protect and enhance environmental quality, such as the current work developing model standards and criteria for silica sand mining. The EQB fills a critical role in protecting Minnesota’s environment and our quality of life – bills that would eliminate it or weaken its authority are short-sighted, wrong-headed and are just plain wrong for Minnesota.

Gretchen Sabel

Andover for

League of Women Voters Minnesota

Name

City of Residence

  • RodKuehn

    Pat Schreifels, Kinsey’s work wasn’t junk science. It was pioneering work and suffered many of the problems that initial studies entail. One great disadvantage of Kinsey’s work is that the sampling was necessarily defective. It was a product of a time when sex was still difficult to talk about.

    But yes, 10% is generally acknowledged as being high. It’s unfortunate that it is still bandied about.

    That’s not the point, however. Whether 3.8% or 10%, it adds up to a lot of people in a country of 350 millions. It is not possible or desirable to suppress the sexuality / orientation and civil liberties of that many people in a country that values personal freedom and the role of science in understanding the world.

    Now that it has been established that gays/lesbians neither eat their children nor plot the overthrow of our country (actual claim), we can look at them in a calmer light. We find that their greatest problem is societal attitudes, not inherent mental instability. The same is true of bi- and trans people. This is the reason why all of the legitimate sex researchers are dropping sexual minorities from the list of mental health conditions.

    In other words, the mental health problems are societal, not personal.

    The bell curve is true of sex as with most other biological issues. The large majority of people fall into the traditional binary male or female. However, there is a small minority who are gay and a very small minority who are trans. That’s how biology works for every other trait as well.

    There is no legitimate reason for not accepting, supporting and accommodating these folks. Religious bias does not qualify.