The world is not perfect

Some insist that human life begins at conception. Others maintain that a few undifferentiated cells do not as yet constitute a person. Both are correct.

Theologians long ago speculated on when a fetus acquired a soul. To try to determine exactly when we should start referring to "a blastocyst" as "a baby" would be an equally futile exercise.

In an ideal world, no woman would ever seek to terminate a pregnancy. In this perfect world, no child would go hungry. No father would desert his family. Genetic anomalies would be unknown. Every pregnancy would produce a healthy child, and every woman would enjoy perfect health throughout her reproductive years. All sexual activity would be consensual. All contraceptives would be fail-safe. No one would ever do anything which might later be cause for regret.

In this world, there would never be a time when abortion might be seen as a least of evils. Unfortunately, the world in which we live is not perfect. To eliminate all of Planned Parenthood's services in an attempt to make one of them unavailable will not make it so.

Elizabeth Golledge

Ashland

Join the marches

We face a clear and present danger.

Republicans from the White House and Congress to our own state representatives have seemingly decided that post-truth, fake news, and alternate facts should guide legislation rather than data, evidence, and science. To confuse matters, while promoting anti-science proposals, they’re claiming they use best available science.

Thus, we have a president and Congress suppressing research at federal agencies that would help us understand the science of global warming and climate change so we can address it. Despite the obvious evidence, they variously claim there is no warming, or human action is not responsible. Implicitly they argue the best way to solve a problem is pretend it doesn’t exist.

Then EPA Administrator Pruitt allows the pesticide Chlorpyrifos, even though studies show it poses health hazards for unborn children. He claims some mythic science supports his position, but doesn’t identify it.

And locally, State Sen. Alan DeBoer justifies opposing climate pollution limits with long-debunked "alternative facts" that lack scientific support.

Anyone concerned about the obvious challenge to science posed by the pattern should join the March for Science in Ashland, April 22 (www.facebook.com/events/1416452475041024/), and the People's March for Climate, Jobs, and Justice on April 29 (www.facebook.com/events/415551798792273/).

Alan Journet

Jacksonville

Let's get civilized

The incessant attacks by Republicans against the ACA give new meaning to the term “war on poverty.” They should be working with Democrats to improve it and expand coverage to all Americans, rather than trying to yank the benefits away from 24 million of us.

The Constitution directs the government to promote the general welfare, and nothing is more fundamental to our welfare than health. Comparing the administrative costs of Medicare and private plans makes it clear that government can deliver coverage more efficiently than the private sector. Trump promised to replace "Obamacare" with something better and cheaper that covered everybody. Instead, he and the GOP are hell-bent on sabotaging what little progress we’ve made.

Willfully denying people care is cynical and inhumane. Although we spend more on health care than any other nation, Americans are less healthy than people in countries that spend far less but cover everyone. We too could get more for less, but legislators like Greg Walden won’t allow it. Elected officials are supposed to be public servants. All we ask is for the public to receive coverage comparable to that of our servants. Let’s get civilized: Universal health care is a moral issue.

Michael Steely

Medford

Jobs as criminality

If you have a job in our post-industrial, post-offshored era, you are slumming or criminal.

You did not acquire your job by submitting an application or résumé, by going to college or achieving a pre-inflation GPA, by doing well on a national merit employment exam, by queuing to receive a brass check and union representation (see Calumet K, about building grain elevators in Chicago in 1901), by homesteading the land of first Americans, by being drafted, or by joining the CCC or WPA. Jobs are artifacts of cronyism, making your bones in a syndicate, nepotism, quid pro quo, quotas, or revolving in a door.

On the job, your duties require criminality — abusing interns, bundling political contributions, dodging taxes, finding a black edge, front-running, giving everyone A's, mis-rating securities, paying kickbacks, negotiating with news sources, raising tuition while lowering standards, securitizing debt and subverting the FDA.

Only being in the country illegally makes you sufficiently without rights to qualify for traditional hiring by rump employers. Yet all arguers claim a gain or loss of jobs as a reason for or against every government action, thereby making government the master of criminals or the master criminal.

Hunter Greer

Ashland