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Keep history in mind

As the debate over Social Security heats up, it is important to keep the history of the program in mind. From its inception, Social Security has been resisted by the leadership of the Republican Party and opposed by conservatives. Like No Child Left Behind and public education, G.W. Bush's program to protect Social Security is the first step in completely eliminating the program.

As with other programs that benefit average Americans rather than big business and the wealthy, G.W. and fellow conservatives make false claims of a crisis and repeat these claims over and over, aided by both right-wing and mainstream media, until these claims are accepted as fact. Then innocuous, great-sounding titles are given to plans to undercut and eliminate programs, i.e., Clear Skies Act, Healthy Forests Act, No Child Left Behind.

Bush's Social Security plan should in fact be titled Leave No Stockbroker Behind because brokerage houses will benefit from the plan, not average working Americans. ' Bruce Evans, Ashland,

Physical education

Here are some reasons why daily physical education is important:

1. It provides daily exercise, which is necessary for maintaining and improving health.

2. Taught by a qualified instructor, it sets an environment wherein kids can be successful at many different physical activities that will make them feel good about themselves and want to continue being active.

— 3. Older studies show that adults start to gain weight after high school or college, where they had easy access to exercise opportunities. Unfortunately new studies show that grade-school kids are gaining weight because of limited availability of regular opportunities for exercise. This weight gain is also a result of poor nutrition. (Note that health is being cut from school curricula and soda machines are placed in our schools to raise revenue for other programs.)

4. The argument that kids should be getting exercise at home and through extracurricular activities limits those kids whose parents are financially unable or are otherwise not able to be a catalyst to get their kids active.

I think it's time we realized that the quality of life and health of our kids is just as important as their test scores. ' K. Pauck, Medford

Social Security swindle

Every worker pays a 6.2 percent payroll tax toward his Social Security account. The employer matches that sum. In anticipation of a necessary rise to a little over 7 percent to keep Social Security solvent, the nation's employers have grouped together, with the administration, with a sly plan for private accounts so employers won't have to contribute anything to Social Security.

Along with not funding the retirement plans for which they have contracted and for which the workers have given up something, employers would rather give handsome campaign contributions to a wily gang of politicians than honor contracts which they have signed.

Private accounts will not guarantee a worker anything upon retirement; it will guarantee Wall Street an estimated trillion dollars in 75 years and cost the government an unseemly amount. But our administration and a lapdog Congress don't give a hoot about that, for the taxpayers will be liable for the costs!

Don't let your congressmen and senators, who have already plundered funds in the Social Security accounts, get away with it. Write, call, protest, and vote wisely. ' W.H.Seeman, Medford

Legal traps?

I'm writing in response to Denise Shannon's letter (Jan. 26) about the death of a family dog caught in a trap set in the Denman wildlife area.

I am not against legal trapping, but in the Denman wildlife area? Traps? I applaud the owner of the trap, who was following the rules and had a permit. I just don't see why trapping is allowed in the Denman wildlife area where it seems people walk through regularly.

With regards to Denise's closing question: What if a child had wondered away from the path? Would something change then?

My wife and I have taken walks through that area with our family dog and our 3-year-old. We had a great time, and saw others doing the same thing. I never saw any signs that warned that there might be traps set in the brush.

You can bet on two things: First, you would hear something if my dog got killed or (heaven forbid) my daughter was seriously hurt while taking a walk in a public wildlife area so close to town. Secondly, I won't be returning to the Denman wildlife area! ' Alex Sked, Eagle Point