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Fluoride a terrible idea

Michael Framson is exactly right. Mandatory fluoridation is a terrible idea.

My children's toothpaste tube warns against eating it because it can poison them. Dosage would depend upon weight of the person and the amount of water consumed. Formula fed babies would ingest fluoride in unknown amounts.

There would be no way to protect people from overdosing. Benefits come from topical application alone, why would any sane person support putting it in the drinking water? ' Lynn Barton, Medford

Like a real newspaper

Oh, goody. Just like a real newspaper in a big city, the Mail Tribune is going to save us all from the evil Medford Police Department by suing for the dispatch tapes of the recent fatal crash.

The fact that the investigation is still in progress and the results of that investigation will be made public seems to have been forgotten. What a stunt.

I suggest that the time, effort and money the Mail Tribune is spending on this irrelevant witch hunt be better spent on hiring real reporters and an editorial cartoonist who addresses local issues. That would allow the paper to get rid of the column by left-wing bomb thrower Molly Ivins and the Bush-bashing cartoons by Tom Toles that pollute the Mail Tribune editorial pages.

— Every rational person in Medford know where the blame lies for this tragedy, and it certainly is not with the police officers. ' Ted Krempa, Medford

Connect the dots

The questions unasked and unanswered by the 9/11 report are many.

First, the warnings were numerous and specific from Russia, Jordan, Egypt, Israel and England, leaving little doubt that hijacked airlines were to be used as missiles inside the United States, yet our administration claimed no knowledge.

Second, if standard procedures were followed the first plane would have been intercepted 16 minutes before it impacted tower one and, failing to respond, it would have been shot down. That was the first plane; for the other three there is no excuse.

Third, the anti-aircraft batteries at the Pentagon were not activated, this an hour after the first plane crashed. The events of 9/11 likely could not have occurred without stand-down orders. There's much more.

Can this be true? Read The New Pearl Harbor, but yes, all this is true; I don't want to believe it but wishing won't make it so. Still think our president is such a great guy? Who benefited from 9/11?

Connect the dots, our administration wanted to attack Iraq long before they were in office but admitted they couldn't without some Pearl Harbor-type event. Want to support our troops? Shine some light on these cockroaches. ' Pete Herzog, Trail

Not a Christian nation

Narrowly elected (51 percent/ 48 percent) President Bush claims mandate and goes on to tell us The United States is a Christian nation founded upon Christian principles and beliefs. While I wish this country followed Christ's tenets of peace, love and justice, the USA was not founded as a Christian nation. The actual words of the founders tell us so.

Some examples: The government of the United States is in no sense founded on the Christian Religion. ' George Washington.

A just government has no need for the clergy or the church. ' James Madison.

I do not find in Christianity one redeeming feature. ' Thomas Jefferson.

The Bible is not my book, nor Christianity my religion. ' Abraham Lincoln.

Bush's repeating of this obvious lie over and over may provide the illusion of truth, but the USA was founded as a secular nation. I prefer it that way and I'd like the institutions of religion to keep their trappings out of my institutions of government. ' John Dowd, Ashland

What about state workers?

Already they are boycotting each other and fighting over the budget. But wait, let's give them a raise to show how proud we are and what a fine job they are doing.

As a state employee and a taxpayer who has not seen a pay raise in two years, a freeze on my very small retirement plan and an increase in health-care costs, I wonder where this money will come from?

Even as the Mail Tribune points out that it's a small amount of money considering how large the budget is, maybe it's all those small items the legislators should look at. Mail Tribune, what about a good word for the thousands of state employees who are barely getting by and who have done their part with larger work loads, higher expectations and no compensation? ' Mary Horton, Medford

Diesel prices

Question: Why the high cost of diesel fuel when it's the least refined of all the fuels? Answer: Profit!

It could be worse, we could have an oil man as president ... America needs to get off its duff and process its own fuel reserves, which we have in Alaska. Let the Arabs extort from someone else. ' F. B. Chisholm, Grants Pass

When is litter not litter?

According to Jackson County Deputy Eller, it's OK to leave litter when it's an accidental road spill.

Deputy Eller was called out to settle a heated argument between a landowner and the driver of a pickup truck that spilled loose fill insulation in front of a resident on Blackwell Road. The driver bagged up what insulation he could use, then swept the rest on to the resident's property. Deputy Eller called it good as the pickup drove away.

Are the rules different for city folks than country folks? Twenty bucks says if this spill took place in Medford the whole mess would get cleaned up. ' Lyle Whiteing, Central Point

The meaning of guarantee

The president's push to privatize a portion of Social Security includes a provision that will reduce guaranteed benefits for those born after 1947. I have to ask, when was the meaning of the word guarantee changed?

If I purchase a car and the dealer guarantees the engine won't fail for five years, I expect the dealer to honor the pledge. Having paid into Social Security for 34 years, I expect the government to honor its pledge.

Or perhaps in today's cynical world a guarantee by our government means nothing. Better take another look at those government-issued Treasury Bills. ' Trish Bowcock, Jacksonville

Separation has eroded

I was raised in the same Christian tradition as the writers of our Constitution (i.e. the Kansas Bible Belt) and continue going to church today.

The separation of church and state, wisely established by our forefathers, has gradually been eroded. Blurring the line between religion and government is bad for both, and soon that line may disappear ' this is a slippery slope leading to the Christian equivalent of the Taliban! Do we want this? ' Judy Gourley, Rogue River

Polling betrays us

A featured wire service story in your paper asserts that Americans rank George Washington only sixth greatest. That Maryland polling betrays us.

Ranking presidents demands knowledge and discipline from those attempting it. Asking pedestrians their opinion doesn't do the job, and taking TV viewers away to an unwelcome phone interruption won't do either.

When something of a presidential specialist, I sometimes participated in the historical profession's polls. It is hard work and very subjective. I have wondered if one could reproduce rankings years later, for focus shifts; knowledge increases ' and decreases. These days ranking requests get refused.

Conveying solid Washington data before polling would direct attention to his premier characteristics and influential record: first among the Founding Fathers; general of the colonial army; model of restraint; nation builder and precedent setter in the presidency; icon for contemporaries and presidential successors.

Heady stuff here, that marks the Mount Vernon leader as first in the hearts of his countrymen. Mount Rushmore and the Washington Monument have it right. Pause, revisionists!

The Tribune's headline and the unrefuted AP story deserve no lasting impact on either adult or youthful valley minds. ' Vaughn Davis Bornet, Ashland