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He's in the militia

There are those so-called well-informed individuals who continue to insist the Second Amendment is only about the organized militia, which is usually translated to mean the National Guard and Reserves.

The original intent, according to Thomas Jefferson, who we, of course, trust implicitly on the wall of separation, was to ensure that the people could stand against a tyrannical government. Since neither the National Guard nor the Reserves existed at the time, it is obvious they were not part of the original equation.

There were the local militias, organized within towns, with few government controls on them. These militias served admirably, by the way, in the Civil War. However, in reading both 10 USC 311(b)(2), we discover that the unorganized militia, consists of everyone age 16 to 45 who is not Guard or Reserve.

The same statement is contained in the Oregon Revised Statutes, and I am not going to bother quoting them to you. I would suggest to Paddy Schweitzer that if he is under age 45, he needs to buy a rifle and possibly a good sidearm, because he is in the militia. ' Jonathan Edwards, Central Point

Domestic product is gross

The bromide factory in D.C. is telling us that the national debt is no big thing because it is only a small percentage of the Gross Domestic Product. Being no economist and of narrow-minded farm parentage, I think of product as something you can eat, or wear, or that keeps you warm and dry. It may even help you produce such, and pay the vet or the preacher. Blowing holes in other people's houses does not qualify as productive.

Now, older and broader in mind and body, I know that national defense and police have merits. Still, many billions in defense industry and military support are more Pentagony than GDP.

— A million Defense and Homeland Security-related jobs may lower the unemployment rate. I don't see them as productive, nor do I think Mr. Keynes would.

To be gross: If households paid each other a paltry &

36;1,000 annually to spy on the other neighbors, we add &

36;8 billion to the GDP and some pol would claim creating 80 million new jobs. The national debt would be an even smaller percentage. ' Hans H. Stroo, Medford

Misinformation

The letter by John Holseth in Phoenix is full of misinformation and not much in the way of good sense. Who does he think is fighting and dying in Iraq right now?

They are a good portion of National Guard and Reserve soldiers who were called up to beef up the regular army. Doesn't he know they are subject to call-up any time?

And, to praise Clinton for protesting the war is asinine. He dodged the draft. And that was OK? ' Walt Adams, Medford

Buying it

There was a letter entitled Just Say No by Lynn Barton of Medford, on March 21. Lynn writes, I'm a bigot. Sorry, I'm not buying it.

Well, I am buying it. Her comments suggest that if a family loses a father or a mother they are not normal, single parents cannot raise a child and even more that a child of gay parents cannot be well-adjusted as those of a family with two hetero parents. If she wants the government to change amendments, then divorce should be the one to push for because it would not break up her normal marriage and affect the children.

In the past, same-sex unions and/or marriages were done by the Catholic Church in order to combine properties and businesses of the time. The only reason homosexuality is looked down upon is that from the dawn of time each village needed children to raise as soldiers for battles. Those who didn't produce children were considered less.

Today, those who wish to marry and are in long-term relationships deserve the same rights as everyone else. I saw a button that read let gay people marry, so they can suffer like the rest of us. ' Leonard Coastwater, Gold Hill

Bible says it's wrong

In response to the letter claiming that there have always been homosexuals in humanity, roughly 8 percent, I would like to point out that even if 8 percent were an accurate figure (and there's no way to prove that it is) it still wouldn't mean that homosexuality is normal. Murder has been around since Cain killed his brother Abel, but it's still wrong to murder; in fact I John 3:15 says that if you hate someone, you are a murderer, and that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

True Christians don't try to force others to believe as they do; we are followers of Christ, and he didn't try to force anyone to believe. Jesus simply spoke the truth, and Christians ought to do the same.

The truth about homosexuality is that the Bible says it's wrong. Jesus said, Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matt. 6:13,14). ' Julie Saucedo, Medford

Get the truth

The witch hunt is on again by the Citizens for Honest and Responsible Government railing against the Phoenix mayor and council members. In fact, grammar school grades were assigned to each ' from F to C ' besides hashing old, not-up-to-date information, a needle is stuck on several untruths. Their hidden agenda is to promote election of former know-it-alls.

Disaster raises its ugly head. Phoenix residents, go to the council meeting to get the truth. ' Marilyn Connolly, Phoenix

A weak 'redo'

After reading Hubert Smith's letter of praise for Jacksonville Elementary (March 22), I felt compelled to write, primarily to address some confusion about the so-called No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law.

He rightly praised the excellent teaching happening at Jacksonville. These kinds of wonderful things are happening in our schools throughout Medford, the Rogue Valley, and our state. Teachers continue to do their best for kids no matter what someone in a political office may decide is a good idea.

However, the NCLB is a weak redo of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It is a one size fits all approach that has huge problems that need to be changed. I am happy to say that some politicians are finally hearing our teachers speak out and, hopefully, some changes will be made.

Teachers' voices were heard through their teachers' unions. Please understand that the unions are the teachers united to work together for public education. I am proud that the Oregon Education Association and the National Education Association are part of the driving force for our kids and our public schools! ' June Buck, Medford, retired Medford teacher

Gene pool needs chlorine

I would like to sympathize with Alex Arias. It takes a complete moron to steal something from a small child.

It was probably the same person who stole my grandson's little blue pedal car out of my front yard. How hard it is to tell them a thief stole their prize possession.

The gene pool definitely needs some chlorine. ' Rose Fitzsimmons, Medford

Supporting Wal-Mart

I am proud to be a supporter of Wal-Mart.

They are community-oriented and will be an asset to Central Point. We do not have a hardware, domestic and notions store in Central Point. They will be supported by the surrounding areas of Gold Hill, Jacksonville, Eagle Point and Butte Falls.

They will bring an additional 250 jobs to our community, for a total of 500 jobs to the Central Point area.

They pay the market going wages and provide benefits as well. Their employees are friendly and helpful.

Wal-Mart pays state and federal taxes, which will also help our community. ' Dottie Schoonover, Central Point

Why we are hated

I believe the reason we are hated so much is because of George Bush. They hated his dad and they hate him. I also believe the reason George Bush went to war is because he said, They tried to kill my daddy.

Bush Sr. said that we did not come to kill a president. We came, took them out of Kuwait and now we are leaving.

Thousands of Kurdish people fled Iraq thinking that the U.S. was going to stay the course, when the U.S. left. Thousands of Kurds were killed. I wonder how many of them were daddies. ' Ellen Harvey, Medford

October surprise

Does anyone have a doubt in their mind that bin Laden will be found during the campaign season? Depending on how the campaign goes, he may even be saved for an October surprise. ' Pat Classick, Rogue River

The highest authority

In a response titled Isaiah wasn't there (March 22), a Ms. Steele pointed out that since Isaiah wasn't around at the time of Jesus, it is impossible to site him as an authority on describing the extent of Jesus's suffering.

Webster's dictionary defines a prophet as a person who, by divine inspiration, declares to the world the divine will, judgments, etc.,a person who foretells the course or nature of future events ...

That's the highest authority anyone can have. Isaiah was divinely inspired to tell of this future event. ' Jennifer Nicholson, Medford

Taxation without education

My sister and I are home-schooled. I think it is silly that we have to pay taxes for schools that we don't go to. If we didn't, we could use the money for more books and learning ut ensils. These taxes are keeping us from learning more.

Yes, I know that the schools need these taxes for books, but we don't even go there. We pay for books we don't use. We pay for a playground we don't play on. We pay for a school building that we don't use.

I am very upset that kids go to a school that we pay for. I am also upset that we pay for a school that we don't use, and we can't choose if they teach creation or evolution.

If we didn't pay taxes, we could use the money for better field trips. We could use the money for science equipment. We could use the money for desks and paper and pencils. We could have many more benefits. ' Leah Morrison, 11, Central Point

Everyone affected

The March 18 Mail Tribune said that Central Point Citizens Advisory Committee member Amanda Vaughn felt no good arguments had been made in favor of the Wal-Mart Supercenter and that those who wanted the store to be built were nonresidents.

I hope this advisory committee doesn't think that the only people who should have a voice in the decision are residents of Central Point. This Wal-Mart would affect all Rogue Valley residents, especially anyone who drives Highway 62 and fights the traffic in the area of the existing Wal-Mart.

Locating a Wal-Mart Supercenter right off the freeway in Central Point plus another Wal-Mart in south Medford can't help but alleviate a good portion of the traffic that backs up on Highway 62 every day, and one-stop shopping would also eliminate driving from store to store.

Committee chairman Herb Farber said, ...the majority of the citizens are against Wal-Mart but I'm not sure that's in the best interest of Central Point. I hope he means the majority of the citizens of the Rogue Valley, because we are all going to be affected. I'm not sure voting against the Wal-Mart Supercenter is in the best interest of the Rogue Valley, either. ' Marti Hawes, Eagle Point

Outsourcing and poverty

Government statisticians maintain outsourced jobs account for under — percent of America's unemployed. It is illogical to believe outsourcing, which began in the 1990s, has changed the structure of America's recovery since 2000.

Most economists stress job losses are a cyclical affair, not a structural one. During 1990, 24 million jobs were created. Between 1979 and 1999, working Americans increased by 40 percent ' in spite of outsourcing ' while our population only increased 26 percent.

We're often told about America's alleged increasing poverty level; actually, for American-born families, poverty levels have been decreasing since the 1960s. In the last 20 years, black families' median incomes have increased twice as fast as other American families.

Our immigrants are a different story. America's immigrants outpaced all other combined immigration in the world. Due to language and educational disadvantages, most immigrants must accept lower-paying jobs, adding to our poverty levels.

Teenagers working in supermarkets, shopping centers and fast-food franchises are also a significant part of our low-wage laborers, with incomes below the poverty level. ' Les Kell, Medford