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Mailbag

"Mailbag" Continued...

Issue: "The schools that Arne built," April 11, 2009

Mission aborted

As a diabetic, I am very thankful for Medtronic technology. However, reading about Medtronic's joint venture with Weigao, a Chinese company that manufactures abortion devices ("Dealing in death," Feb. 28), I am dismayed to find out that a company from which I purchase thousands of dollars worth of equipment every year is in direct opposition to my moral and ethical beliefs.
-Carrie Smoldon; Anchorage, Alaska

I retired after 26 years with Medtronic. Over the last decade the company has, through mismanagement and major acquisitions, diluted the corporate culture so much that the Medtronic Mission no longer guides decision-making. That current employees fear ostracism or job loss for voicing their views about the joint venture with Weigao is proof that management has aborted the Mission.
-Don Robinson; Norcross, Ga.

Praying, for sure

Thanks for "Good followership" (Feb. 28). I struggle with church leadership that has no vision, with sermons that have lots of biblical information but no application, and with singing songs that fail to lead the congregation into worship together. There is of course no perfect church. My wife says I should work for change because I committed to this church, but I also remember how often my suggestions have been ignored. What would Christ have me do? I'm praying, for sure.
-James Eubank; La Junto, Colo.

Common deceptions

"Alice's battle" (Feb. 28) is yet another column from Andrée Seu revealing the common deceptions into which I fall. I tend to listen to the counsel of my friends, who are more sane and godly than me, rather than listening to the Creator. This lesson applies not just to those about to be married, although I wish every bride-to-be could read this before her wedding day.
-Donna Randazzo; Cornelius, N.C.

Stunning but disturbing

I read your review of Coraline ("Cautionary tale," Feb. 28) and thought I would go see it with a friend. I'm glad I didn't take my daughter with us. Cinematically, the movie is stunning, but the imagery became troubling, even disturbing at times. It is certainly not for children.
-Mike Duby; Culpeper, Va.

Fresh horrors

Your interview with Charles Murray ("College crush," Feb. 14) is a rare public acknowledgement of a subtle but powerful shift taking place as higher education focuses increasingly on outcomes assessment. Accreditation agencies ask, "Are schools delivering what they say?" Employers ask, "What does the student with a degree really know?" But some academic institutions are adopting truly competency-based approaches for granting degrees because "real education" calls for real assessment.
-Stephen Kemp; Ames, Iowa

Although I agree with not requiring a BA for employment, I can't say I like the solution. I'm currently a freshman in college, and the memory of the horrors of standardized testing is still fresh in my mind. And as I discovered when taking the SAT essays, if you know the grading rubric and the test company's political bias, you'll get a better score. It was annoying having these tests factor so much into college and scholarships; I can't imagine the terror of having one test be the basis for my career success!
-Kirstin Rose; Williamsport, Pa.

Unlike most of you

I really enjoyed "Shadow wonk" (Jan. 31). I found George Friedman's predictions of the 21st century fascinating, so I read The Next 100 Years and it was one of the best books I have ever read. As a 14-year-old, I found the book very relevant because I will be around to see how many of the predictions he made come true.
-Joshua Young; Houston, Texas

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