Here's a sexy idea: How about offering real solutions that deal with the root cause of climate change ["Break Out the Mosquito Nets!" News, July 21, regarding the possible effects of climate change on human health and disease]? This includes ending imperialist war and making industry pay for their massive waste of energy and pollution of the environment. It's not enough to ask individuals to turn off lights.

-posted by serendipity


Thanks for having me when you were 16 ["Mother of the Year," I, Anonymous, July 21, in which the author praises an anonymous mother for taking them out for a wild night on the town]. Thanks for taking me to parties when I was two years old. Thanks for letting me almost drown in the pool while you were too busy getting wasted. Thanks for having your drunken friends play catch with me off the balcony. Thanks for getting behind the wheel when you were smashed and rolling the car on that gravel road with me in the backseat without a seat belt—let alone a car seat. Thanks for dropping me off at the movies by myself when I was five so you could drive across town to get laid. Thanks for leaving me with a total stranger that made me drink orange MD 20/20 until I puked. And a big thank you for driving my father away because you were too selfish to grow up and be a responsible adult.

-posted by disastronaut


Under careful and compassionate consideration, Catholic moral thinking does allow for disconnecting life-support systems, for example when it is obviously not doing the patient any good ["Terminal Religion," News, July 21, regarding the Catholic Church's lobbying against Oregon's Death with Dignity Act]. When Catholic thinking approves such life-ending decisions, it is never called "suicide." So there might be ways in which even faithful Catholics can make wise end-of-life medical decisions. Perhaps the bishops would do more good if they clarified the conditions under which even a Catholic might decide to end futile medical treatment and/or life support.

-posted by James Leonard Park

What Death with Dignity proponents don't get, and probably never will until it's too late, is the dangerous climate they're creating ["Terminal Religion," News, July 21]. Sure, we all know someone who offed themselves because they were in pain and have compassion for that, but wait until our economy really starts tanking, and pressure is put on "burdensome" people to end their lives. We already routinely abort fetuses with Down syndrome and other conditions because they're considered "burdensome" and studies from the Netherlands and other countries, which have long had euthanasia, show subtle and not-so-subtle pressure have been put on sick and elderly folks by families and doctors to kill themselves. You can celebrate Oregon's suicide-friendly environment all you want, just don't be surprised when it becomes a wider instrument of population and social control and is used against the poor and the weak and, eventually, anyone else society considers burdensome or lacking "quality of life."

-posted by Youvebeenwarned

How a person lives out his/her last days on this planet is nobody's business but their own ["Terminal Religion," News, July 21]. It's as simple as that. Any tangential verbosity is a waste of my time.

-posted by mcf


HEY MERCURY—You guys seem like the ones to ask following your July 21 cover featuring tattoo girl [cover photo by Brenton Salo of heavily tattooed young woman]. SO, here's the question: WHAT'S WITH all the vegan, organic, gluten-free, GMO-hatin', shade-coffee-lovin', healthy bike-ridin', filtered water-suckin' gang VOLUNTARILY injecting themselves with permanent, toxic chemical, metallic ink (originally meant for automotive paint) poisons full of, like, formaldehyde, antifreeze, carcinogenic selenides, adelhydes and plastics deep under their skin for "fun"? Been tryin' to fathom this for years. Cracks me up and down. 

-Hoola Girl

WELL HOOLA GIRL, we can't speak for every tattooed person who fits your description, but what we can do is print your letter and let the tattooed vegans tell you themselves (we only have pierced pescetarians at the Merc). What we can also do is give you two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and lunch at the People's Sandwich of Portland, where pretty much all of the abstentions you mentioned can be accommodated.