Disappointed on ‘Juno’

Reading the review of “Juno” (PWW 1/26-2/1) I was disappointed to see a couple major issues not addressed.

This movie seems to prove that “well-received and cute” have little to do with the reality of teen pregnancy. The movie itself did not deal with much of the not-so-cute side of teen sex.

First of all, 29 percent of pregnant teens have abortions, 14 percent miscarry, and of the 57 percent who carry to term, less than 1 percent give up the baby.

While Juno may have the baby and get on with life like nothing happened, few women find it that easy. More than 35 percent of women who plan to give up their babies change their mind after the baby is born. Going through nine months of pregnancy, giving birth and then giving up the baby can be the most traumatic experience of a woman’s life.

Another reality missed is that being a pregnant teen stills holds an incredible stigma. It’s not cool to get pregnant, and while most girls aren’t “sent away” anymore, it might be easier on their self-esteem if they were. Look no further than your grocery store checkout to see the criticisms of Jamie Lynn Spears’ pregnancy and some of the words being used to describe her.

My last disappointment is that Juno got pregnant at all, and that she did so simply because she decided to have sex. She and her boyfriend forgot to bring birth control, but had sex anyway. I guess the movie makes a good point, that pregnancy is what happens when you don’t use a condom, not to mention the risks of a variety of STDs.

This movie is a sign of the times, and to me, a perfect representation of the trends of a country with a Roberts-led Supreme Court.

Melissa O’Rourke

Chicago IL


I’m writing to have my name added to the prisoner mailing list to receive a free subscription to your newspaper. Having read it thoroughly, I agree with the political line of your paper. I recently wrote two essays and would like for you to engage in a dialogue around the issues.

I’m convinced that there has to be an infusion of new blood and a practical vision for what we see as the needed change for us as the misrepresented and oppressed.

Don’t hesitate to initiate the dialogue.

Khalfani Malik Khaldun

(Leonard McQuay)

Carlisle IN

Editor’s note: We invite readers to donate to our prisoners’ subscription fund. For more information, contact subs@pww.org.

Goodbye to Utah as we know it?

Utah is home to some of the most gorgeous, remote and serene rocky landscapes in the country. But, right now, 11 million acres of public land in Utah’s red rock canyon country are at immediate risk. A sharp increase in off-road vehicle use, and sprawling oil and gas development, threaten some of our nation’s most stunning wilderness and wildlife.

The Bush administration is practically tripping over itself to push forward development plans before Congress acts to protect these areas for good.

Unless we act now to protect its legacy, vast areas of our country’s natural treasure will be lost forever. I took a moment to send an important message, and I hope you will, too!

Just go to action.wilderness.org to take action.

Gary De Santis

Via e-mail

More on ‘Charlie Wilson’s War’

In his review of this film (PWW 1/12-18), Paul Hill makes several good points. I saw an additional and predominating factor. We are given a picture of all-pervading sleaze in Washington, but it is all justified by the atrocities allegedly committed by the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, specifically, mass bombings of civilians. Elsewhere in the same PWW issue, Norman Markowitz points out that the recent assassination of Benazir Bhutto is related to events in Afghanistan, consequences of overall U.S. government Cold War policy.

What I feel needs more emphasis is that for decades our government supported, with our tax money, anything and everything in the world which was anti-Soviet, no matter how degenerate. Who created the Hussein monster, the Bin Laden monster and numerous others? Who overthrew numerous democracies and replaced them with fascist regimes?

Such Frankenstein monsters have a tendency to run amok and turn against their creators. Instances include Sept. 11, as Hill indicates. In an earlier era, it included those in high places in this country who supported the Third Reich, for the same reason — anti-Sovietism — and we know what that led to. (Meanwhile, there’s “no money” for things we desperately need.)

We have paid, are paying and will continue to pay, in lives and resources, a heavy price for anti-Sovietism. A basic policy change is needed.

John Vago

Philadelphia PA

What’s happened to nursing?

I am an LPN [licensed practical nurse] of 22 years and am truly discouraged about the heavy assignments and shortage of help. I have mainly worked in nursing homes. When our staff is cut in half we can’t complain or we will lose our jobs. We have no one to represent us. State would come in and cite us, then we get yelled at. If we go past the end of our shift to finish a task, we are reprimanded for unauthorized overtime.

Several times over my career the nurses in our facility have tried to get a union to represent us. The company would find out and we would lose our jobs. We do without raises or get our pay cut, then the company would say, we are losing money. We get our staff cut and they build a new wing.

We are not taking care of potted plants, we are taking care of people. I have no time to have a short conversation with a resident — I give them a pill and move on. Nursing is a calling for me. Now I feel very guilty for what little I do for my patients.

I wrote all this to say, What has happened to nursing?

Sheila McClung

Via e-mail

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