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Law being ignored

In my 78 years as a citizen of America, with immigrant parents, I have come to believe that in recent years our country has been teaching the younger generations that state and federal constitutions and other related laws do not have to be obeyed.

During the 1980s the federal government passed a law that required an employer to determine that employees hired were legal citizens or held government-issued rights to work. Of course illegal immigrants are here against the law in the first place. To hire one meant serious penalties. I don't know what happened to that law, but it is apparently being ignored.

The root of our immigration problem does not lie at our borders, it lies in the payroll disbursement of employers. Take the illegal ones off the illegal payrolls and we would no longer have the illegal alien problem. Or would we rather have future generations ignore our laws as our governments are teaching them now? ' Raymond A. Aardal, Grants Pass

We have the right

We as American citizens have the right to have our votes counted in an honest and legal way. It is our duty as Americans to stand up and demand that our constitutional rights are upheld. If we let one issue fall by the wayside, we are endangering our freedoms. Enough, already! ' Nola and Chris Katopothis, Ashland

Is Iraq worth it?

I was unfortunately playing maid today and while I was doing the mindless task of vacuuming, I started thinking about the &

36;100 billion President Bush is asking for in regards to Afghanistan and Iraq.

I wonder if the American citizens who are so concerned about the democracy of Iraq still feel the price tag is worth it. We shall be paying for this for the rest of our lives, not to mention the future generations who will be saddled with this debt.

— Meanwhile in America, health care costs escalate and our education system suffers (among other woes) because of lack of funding. But, I guess we can rest easy because we know Iraq will eventually have democracy. ' Margaret Bradburn, Shady Cove

Something special?

After reading the Jan. — front page article about Rod Shaefer's desire to remove the 51-acre orchard property from exclusive farm use in order to start a housing project, I called him. Mr. Shaefer stated that if he does not get permission to proceed with the housing development he will consider two other alternatives which, he informed me, will not require approval from any governmental body.

Mr. Shaefer said that his wife's family has experience in pig farming and he possibly will proceed with this alternative. In addition, he stated that the installation of telecommunication towers was another prospect that he is looking at.

Does Mr. Shaefer really want to do something special for the city as was stated in the Jan. — article? ' Russ Kennedy, Jacksonville

Subversive agenda

Lane Stevens' letter, What FTAA means (Jan. 3), addressed the FTAA or Free Trade Americas Agreement. Under the false illusions of promoting global peace and free trade, international government organizations such as the United Nations, NAFTA, the World Trade Organization and most recently the FTAA are eliminating our jobs and businesses by selling our national sovereignty to the highest overseas bidder.

Who is controlling this subversive agenda and attack on America? What lies in store for the American middle class? How is it going to affect the individual?

Access online , which reveals how these international globalist criminal organizations are destroying America's livelihood, erasing our national borders and ultimately nullifying our independence, civil liberties and freedom. Get educated, informed and involved now in preserving our constitutional republic. ' James A. Farmer, Ashland

Missed opportunity

Unfortunately you missed an opportunity Jan. 5 to point out the most glaring missed opportunity in recent years, the extension of South Stage Road east to North Phoenix Road before the intervening orchards were developed.

A South Stage interchange in place before the tremendous surge in traffic generated by the Southeast Plan would have greatly benefited the already failing Barnett Road and Phoenix exits and made the too-close interchange a non-issue in the Wal-Mart debate. ' Yvonne Kitchen, Talent

Thanks to Boxer, Tubbs

Thanks to Sen. Barbara Boxer and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, the matter of our ridiculous elections have come to the forefront. Why is it that in India an election can be held whereby everyone is guaranteed an equal and honest vote but in this great so-called epitome of democracy we can never be sure that all our votes are counted? ' Mariette Newhagen, Medford,

Understanding the difference

In 1988 a group of Jewish Israeli women dressed in black organized themselves, stood in a busy intersection and silently protested the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. This was the first gathering of the group we call Women in Black, and was modeled from groups of women in South Africa and Argentina who silently stood in protest to governmental repression. This was a way of being heard where women have had no voice, politically or socially.

Led by the Israelis, Italian, Yugoslav, Croatian and Bosnian women began the vigils. Women in Black began in India in 1992 and in 1995 in the Philippines and Beijing. In 1996 WIB in Nepal called for an end to trafficking and violence against women.

These protests have been traditionally all women, because men usually have had the opportunity to be heard whereas women have not. Women are second only to the children of the world as the largest population both of refugees and of those living in poverty.

These women know the horrors of war and corrupt political regimes. After 9/11 the international community of Women in Black called for justice not vengeance. I wonder how many people understand the difference. ' Megan Christopher, Medford

Go organic

So, Rod Shaefer loved this place so much he moved here and immediately set about improving it and saved us neighbors from that horrible orchard! The audacity of his actions is beyond belief. How stupid does he think we are here in Jacksonville?

May I make a suggestion? He won't make millions of bucks from his unnecessary and elitist houses but the contribution he makes will be real, valid and profound.

He has an opportunity to take all that acreage and create an organic truck farm, community gardens, commons, and organic mini-orchards. Something the people can really use. Key word here ' organic. Research biodiversity and permaculture. He could make an incredible impact on hunger in this area. Think of the food he could donate to the food pantries and local senior food programs. He could sell through the local food co-ops and grower's markets. What an incredible way to give back to this community! That's what I would do if I had the luxury of all that farmland. Please, don't waste it on more houses! Peace. ' Mardra Hord, Jacksonville

Sue the officers

United States Code, Title 42, Chapter 12, Sections 1983, 1985 and 1986, strip police and other public officials of their immunity from personal liability if they conspire to violate or actually violate the civil rights of a citizen, or if they are in a position to prevent a citizen's civil rights from being violated, but do nothing.

The ACLU has announced they will file a lawsuit over excessive force allegedly used by local law enforcement officers against anti-Bush demonstrators in Jacksonville last October.

Lawsuits are effective only when they work as a deterrent against further wrongdoing, but the lawsuit the ACLU files won't accomplish that if we taxpayers are the only ones sued. For that reason, I urge the ACLU to file individual Title 42 lawsuits against the specific law enforcement officers who allegedly violated the citizens' civil rights, particularly that grinning deputy who was photographed using a truncheon to shove a young woman hard enough to make her hair fly, and the OSP officer who allegedly fired the pepper ball gun.

Nothing makes cops respect the citizens' civil rights more than seeing a fellow officer's house auctioned off to pay Title 42 damages. ' Carl F. Worden, Eagle Point

Don't wait for disasters

We've all watched the events around the Indian Ocean this past week. Having worked with organizations doing the difficult work of salvaging and rebuilding lives and communities, I offer these suggestions to guide charitable giving:

First, organizations responding to disasters will receive many donations designated for that disaster. Sometimes, that means other vital operations and necessary program expenses go unmet. These are good agencies striving for the highest impact for their donors' dollars ' please help them by telling them to use your gift where most needed.

Second, the need doesn't end when news cameras go silent. As I write, the official tsunami victim count stands at 147,000. Almost unfathomable, and yet it's fewer than the number of people who die of hunger-related causes on our planet each and every week ' and something like half of those are children under 5. Please don't wait for photo-op disasters. These agencies work diligently to address the root causes of poverty here and around the world. They need our support on a daily basis.

Finally, know who you are giving to. You can find reputable organizations at (202-667-8227) or (703-276-0100). ' Karen Lollis, Medford

The true irony

Laird Funk thinks it's an oxymoron to assume those involved in peace movements would help out with the war effort. The true irony is the fact that these people are disrespectful and in direct effect of their cause, create another whole realm of intolerance.

Veteran's Day is a day to remember and honor those who have and still are fighting for us. To protest the war, any war, on such a day is disgusting and insulting to those much braver than those protesters. To any one of them: Thank those who are willing to risk their lives so that you can voice your opinion freely.

How dare anyone be so pompous to literally bite the hand that feeds them? As far as Jennifer Scroggins' idea of helping the war effort, I believe she actually meant bringing our soldiers home, not adding to the war. This shows Mr. Funk's own weak thought by his own biased assumptions.

By the way, nobody has been ripped from their homes and professions to fight on the front line. Our military is completely voluntary. ' C. Asley, White City

Correct voting system

We want to thank Sen. Boxer for her courage to stand up and express our thoughts and opinions about the elections. If we cannot correct our voting system and have fair voting, we should cease to call ourselves a democracy. ' Alice Athan, Phoenix

A waste of ink

I was absolutely taken aback by Susan Whiner (Reimer's) latest kvetch (Jan. 6) rallying for the further emasculation of the entire male gender, now reduced down to a lowly Y chromosome.

Why is it that a newspaper wastes seven columns of valuable ink on a person existing in a barren marriage, who cannot face her own shortcomings as a mate, and instead blames her own pathetic lack of intimacy on the mythical disappearance of the Y chromosome, now manifesting itself in the inability of a husband to even choose the correct style of fuzzy slipper for his put-upon wife?

Pity the poor husband who is looked upon as the neutered Labrador, banished to the back porch by a woman with over a thousand things to do per week ' with not one of them involving taking a good, hard, honest look at herself in the mirror and her own role as an emasculating martyr.

Susan, instead of spending money on diamonds, I highly suggest buying more time on the shrink's couch discussing your own why? issues instead of inane and pointless theories surrounding the Y chromosome. ' Joyce Graham, Medford

Christian principles

The subject of whether or not our nation was founded on Christian principles continues unabated. Personally, I think that when our founding fathers developed the documents that established our great country they were acting on Christian principles and ethics, even if they themselves might not have been Christians.

Others disagree; that is their God-given right. Because some say that the Constitution was not Christian-oriented, I thought I'd do a bit of research. The Constitution, in Article 1, Section 7, excludes Sundays from being counted in the timeline that the president has to veto legislation. The document is signed ... in the year of Our Lord, one thousand ....

In 1789, George Washington delivered a Thanksgiving proclamation which twice referred directly to God: It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God ... and ... a day of public thanksgiving and prayer ... acknowledging with grateful hearts ... favors of Almighty God ...

In 1892, the Supreme Court affirmed that ... our civilization and institutions are emphatically Christian. In declaring a national day of prayer, Abraham Lincoln stated: It is fit ... at all times, to acknowledge and revere the Supreme Government of God ... I'm sure there are other references which I did not locate. ' Murray LaHue, Phoenix

It isn't right

Yeah, OK. So the election was tainted. So what? Bush still won. So get over it.

Here we go again. Not only are Bush's supporters continuing to gloat over their tainted election victory, but now Republican lawmakers are calling Sen. Barbara Boxer a sore loser for her having opened the debate on documented election irregularities.

Just how obvious do such disingenuous objections to Sen. Boxer's action have to be before even loyal Bush voters say, Hey! Wait a minute. If there's a problem with voting, then it needs to get fixed. So let's fix it, not complain about someone who brings it up.

On the contrary, Sen. Boxer's colleagues would do well to emulate her courage and her integrity, not look around for rocks to throw at her. And loyal Bush supporters? They may find it galling, but they owe her a note of thanks for her courage to do what she was put in office to do, but which their own representatives haven't. ' Matt Lubic, Talent

Bush must be stopped

It is now clearly apparent that President Bush has targeted Social Security benefits for drastic cuts, 25 percent for those who are entering the work force now, 33 percent for retirees and whopping 46 percent for the children of those in the work force now.

Social Security works, and despite Bush's public relations blitz to convince us otherwise, it is not in trouble, except from him. His is a thinly veiled attempt to renege on the promises of past administrations, remove the security from Social Security and shift wealth from American workers to Wall Street. He should be ashamed, and he must be stopped. ' Clifton B. Hebert, Ashland

Could it be?

My heart leaped with anticipation as I thought of the hope and promise of the new year and upon seeing the giant dumpster in front of Hot Body Club at Riverside and East Main.

Could it be? It certainly seems appropriate! Let me just offer my family's services and those of many friends that would be willing to help detach that awfully heavy sign, just above the dumpster and the front door. And yes, we would gladly give you a release of liability for our work.

Could 2005 really start with such a significant happening? ' Rob Larson, Medford

A special Christmas

It was a special Christmas for the many senior clients of the Rogue Valley Council of Government's Food & Friends Meals on Wheels program who received a gift from anonymous shoppers. The Christmas Wish Tree, sponsored by Valley View Nursery, was a success for the third straight year, with every gift request being filled for seniors unable to leave their homes due to illness and frailty.

I never fail to be overwhelmed by the support from our community for the Wish Tree; it's wonderful that complete strangers show they care by making the holidays brighter for those less fortunate. So whoever you are, on behalf of the homebound seniors who received that surprise gift, Food & Friends thanks you.

Special thanks also to Chris and the staff at Valley View Nursery for making the Wish Tree project possible. Caring people, caring companies ' what an amazing place this valley is. ' Evelyn Kinsella, Food & Friends program manager

Thanks for the laugh

I have been living in Medford for some time now, and have in the past written letters that were not published for reasons I later came to understand and accept after I thought about the explanation provided.

However, this morning as I was reading the letters online, as I do each week, I had to write again. I want to thank Richard Kerr for his letter letting us all know that the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) is an atheistic religion. I suffer from a depression disorder, and thanks to him I laughed out loud for the first time in two months.

The very idea that one would conjoin the words atheist and religion were hysterical to say the least. I wonder if anyone else saw the irony? I will not even venture a guess as to where he got the facts he shared with us. But once again, I will thank him for returning laughter to my life. ' T. Healy, Medford