My response to the March 29 commentary piece by Bruce Ramsey regarding gay marriage is not based upon the merits of the cases cited, nor his own opinions on particular laws, but upon Ramsey's argument that civil rights decisions in law should lag behind public opinion.
Such a foot-dragging approach has for most of our history been the acceptable norm, so from that perspective we need have little faith in the protection of minorities from majority "opinion" with respect to civil rights, especially in the context of so-called (and constitutionally nonexistent) "states' rights," and may wish to tone down any rhetoric about the U.S. existing as a "nation of laws." It is, however, not the case today that the court need follow public opinion in terms of constitutional guarantees, but should decide the issue via its most inclusive interpretation as is rationally possible.
Religious and moral "sensibilities" are meaningless with respect to civil rights as guarantees of freedom of personal expression. So long as any person's civil rights do not inhibit another's to free exercise of the same rights, there is scant legal basis for superiority of niggling public opinion over the spirit and letter of the Constitution. — Gary R. Collins, Jacksonville
Many people have a problem getting their minds around evolutionary theory because of the vast amount of time we are talking about. Imagining the many millions of years it has taken for life to evolve on this planet is challenging but not impossible.
If you are willing to go to one of the places where the geological record of the earth stares you in the face, the vast amount of time we are talking about should become self evident. Such a place is Dinosaur National Park which straddles the border of Utah and Colorado.
At the park a buckling and resultant uplift of two geological plates has exposed 150 million years of geologic time and many of the creatures that existed. It's layered like a lasagna; you can see it all right in front of your face.
On the Fossil Discovery Trail you start at 163 million-year-old sand dunes, progress 25 million years to life from an ancient sea and then progress further to reptiles from the Jurassic period. It is all there for you to see. If you don't see it then a quote comes to mind: "None are so blind as those who will not see." — Mark Everett, Medford
The Medford City Council's decision to pay $213,800 to prepare the city in case a major earthquake or other disaster strikes is "not sustainable," says Councilor Chris Corcoran. He is absolutely right! Put the ball back in the park of fire, police and public works departments who are already doing this with established staffs and procedures and would benefit from additional funds for improvement. To qualify for additional federal and state grants adds no merit to the City Council's thinking. — Polly Holland, Medford