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Fruit no longer lucrative

It doesn't take a genius to know that if fruit growers are making so much money, orchards wouldn't be being bulldozed, packing sheds wouldn't be closing and canneries going broke. Growers aren't receiving much more for their fruit than they did 40 years ago, while production costs have sky-rocketed dramatically.

Growing fruit hasn't been a lucrative venture for a long time. After spending 35 years involved in commercial fruit production, I'm someone who knows. ' Richard Cody, Applegate

Ultrasound shows humanity

Concerning the letter objecting to murder of pregnant women as murder of two people, a slippery slope as she calls it: The writer needs to look at the latest advancements in 4D ultrasound systems that allow parents to see a baby's movements in real time.

A British professor, Stuart Campbell, in July 2004, released 4D images of active unborn babies taken throughout pregnancy even before the mother feels movement. The babies are opening their eyes at 18 weeks.

British newspapers highlighted a 12-week-old unborn baby walking in the womb, rubbing his/her eyes and yawning. Campbell, who is not pro-life, said, These pictures are a wonderful reminder of the fact that the unborn child is a living human being.

In 1999, the image that shook the world of the little hand of 21-week-old Samuel Armas grasping his doctor's finger during fetal surgery provided proof of the humanity of the unborn.

— Space prohibits me telling of advancement in fetal surgery and horrible fetal pain felt by unborn babies during abortion. The writer is the one on the slippery slope, the slope of denial! ' JoAnn Peters, Medford

Shocked by Carter

Jimmy Carter, the voice of sanity, peace and reconciliation, smiled broadly from the TV screen as he said, This is the proudest moment of my life. The occasion was the naming for Jimmy of the largest and most heavily armed nuclear submarine in history.

What possible benefit can result from launching this monster instrument of death and destruction to roam day and night beneath the seas? Can it feed or clothe the weak, ill or needy of the world? Can it provide security for the citizens of countries, for the creatures of the ocean and of the earth, or for nature's beauties?

On the contrary, it is a tragic waste. Under what circumstances short of Armageddon could these unthinkable weapons be deployed?

The Bush administration and its military-industrial corporate profiteers want to resume nuclear testing and to develop a new generation of nuclear weapons. We are already the most heavily armed nation and the greatest arms merchant of the world. What if some of those billions could be offered to enemy nations, with engineers, health-care workers, teachers and peace envoys to supervise the building of infrastructure, hospitals and schools?

Remember the Marshall Plan? It worked. ' Virginia Govedare, Ashland

Self-indulgent fools

We are a nation of self-indulgent fools who actually believe collectively that we are all morally superior to everyone else on the planet. We need to feel superior so that we don't have to justify all the insane things we do in our own country on a daily basis. We are all corporate slaves doing exactly what the corporations want us to do ' work our butts off so that we can give them our money until the day we die.

Prior to 9/11 we were all grumbling about the internal workings of our country and corporate greed. Then the planes hit and we all turned into a mindless mass of don't-think-for-yourself nationalists. And don't dare speak out against anything that is being wrongly justified by 9/11 or you will be smeared as anti-American.

The powers that be have used 9/11 long enough to dumb us all down to virtually eliminate all political and social discourse. I say wake up, America, and start thinking again before this great country meets the same end as the Roman Empire. And quit propping up false causes that you really care nothing about for your political affiliation's sake. ' B. Marsh, Eagle Point

The wrong Kennedy

A renowned Rogue Valley newspaper, in a headlined quote associated with its lead story, Death penalty abolished for minors, incorrectly attributed a quote by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy to fellow government employee Sen. Ted Kennedy, leaving readers bewildered.

The quote, the United States is the only country in the world that continues to give official sanction to the juvenile death penalty was correctly attributed to Justice Kennedy in the Washington Post-derived article, but incorrectly attributed to Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass. in a headlined quote within millimeters of Justice Kennedy's quote in the article itself.

For the sake of the paper's employee responsible for the headline quote's attribution, it is hoped that the paper's management has a good sense of humor. ' Alan Oppenheimer, Ashland