RE: "Confessions of a Teenage Prostitute" [Feature, Sept 3, 2009], profiling a former victim of human trafficking and Portland's struggle against becoming a hub for such activities.

DEAR RACHAEL MARCUS—I wanted to write and say thank you for the fabulous article you wrote about underage prostitution—human trafficking—in Portland, my hometown. I realize that the article is from 2009 but it is still completely relevant. Human trafficking is a horrific global issue and unfortunately, I feel that the problem isn't considered as seriously within the United States because we are a developed country.

-Sydney Skov 


RE: "Altered State of the City" [News, March 8], regarding the mayor's recent State of the City address.

DEAR MERCURY—So the city budget has a $17 million hole and the police and fire departments are going to have to make some pretty drastic cuts. It's been a long time coming. I appreciate the work they do as much as the next guy, but the pension and health care benefits public workers get is just unsustainable. The unions negotiated themselves healthy benefits packages in happier times but now that belts need tightening, instead of reducing their benefits, we, the tax-paying public, get our services cut.



RE: "I Was a Child Anti-Abortion Protester" [Feature, March 8], in which the author recalls her early days on the picket line in Detroit.

DEAR SUZETTE SMITH—Were you a child anti-abortion protester involved in a "chain of life" along Woodward Avenue in Detroit between 1997-2003, I likely was one of the motorists honking and giving you and yours the thumbs up. Granted: As a male, I will never have to decide whether to carry a child to term; my thinking as a middle-aged male contemplating mortality is different from my thinking as a young man contemplating being yoked to a woman carrying a child I wish I had not conceived. Not so by the way, I am a liberal Democrat, to the left of Obama, and crestfallen at Congressman Kucinich's recent primary defeat.

-Brian A. Cobb


RE: "Children: The Ultimate Boner Murderers" [Feature, March 8], recounting the damage kids do to sex lives and what their victims can do about it.

DEAR MERC—Even more detrimental to frequent and spontaneous love sessions than kids (I currently have two) is chronic health problems. My wife was diagnosed with Crohn's disease as a teenager. It's pretty hard to get into sexy time when you or your spouse/partner is doubled over in pain on the toilet with intestinal cramping, stool-leaking fistulas (little pus-filled abscesses originating from the intestinal wall), and bloody diarrhea that leaves the bowl looking like a Jackson Pollock nightmare. But you know, I said, "I do, in sickness and in health." And that's what I meant. So my wife and I find ways to be intimate and grow our relationship without necessarily getting all the way around the bases. I'll take the challenge of my kids over physical maladies any day.



RE: "Daddy Dearest" [I, Anonymous, March 8], in which the author complains that the mommies of Portland unfairly judge his parenting ability.

Finally, an interesting I, Anonymous! Fitting that it's in an edition celebrating whiny contraceptors, too. Guys like this will soon run the no-plastic-except-to-wrap-my-schlong childless aging Portlandia types into the sea, as our grandchildren renege on paying Social Security to their self-indulgent STD-laden selves, leaving them to starve to death as they watch old reruns of West Wing, HAHAHA!!!!

-posted by NeroFather

Haw haw, good one! Except that the extreme left-wing liberal contraceptors won't be starving to death. They're too busy running the media, cranking out their LIES about real Americans, drinking lattes in their liberal limousines, coming up with new sex acts and new ways to redefine marriage, having orgasms and catching STDs from using condoms, and composting food scraps like queers, while they're SUPPOSED to be having children and burning fossil fuels and eating meat and potatoes and apple pie!

-posted by geyser

NICE VOLLEY, geyser. You win this round. You get two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, where children are strictly forbidden after 5:30 pm.