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What's next'

The king wants to privatize Social Security.

Will the federal government pay for school classes to educate our young people as to how to invest in the stock market? Or will they have to hire a stockbroker to advise them?

George Bush has devastated Iraq. Our young people are still dying. What's next? Iran?

We're disliked all over the world. Can you imagine how bad it will get with four more years of the same?

He won't deal with global warming. He has or will cut veteran's benefits. What's next?

Wake up, folks. He will wreck Social Security if we let him. ' Mary R. Holt, Medford

Stop the misinformation

Please stop the misinformation about fluoridation in the March 2 letter by J. Ellicott.

Fluoridation of public water supplies first began in the United States in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1947. Since then hundreds of millions of Americans have enjoyed the medical and dental benefits of a minute amount of fluoride in their drinking water.

Comparing this to pesticides and harmful drugs is nonsense. Also, questioning the expertise of the U.S. Public Health Service is absurd.

The waterworks industry has almost 60 years experience in fluoridation. It is a safe and efficient means for the dental health of our youth. ' W. West, Talent

Don't be fooled

The United States experienced a depression approximately every 20 years leading up to the Great Depression.

Too many Americans suffered great hardships during this time, which prompted the federal government to create the New Deal. These social programs are the heart and soul of America, insuring that Americans would have a safety net and won't have to suffer again.

Social Security is the most relied on and appreciated entitlement ever. It's guaranteed ' as long as the federal government exists, it will exist.

It's a synergic bond between generations; the succeeding generations cover the retirement of their seniors and so on. Plus, it and the other entitlements of the New Deal have become the fiscal foundation of our economy, which has had only recessions since.

Some people despise entitlements. Privatizing part of Social Security without insuring the private accounts similar to those of the FDIC is simply a less obvious way to begin eliminating it in three generations.

Create huge deficits, create a crisis. Don't be fooled by the unconscionable tactics of the right-wing money changers who'll profit off the private accounts.

There are other truly legitimate ways of making Social Security solvent that'll strengthen the bond between generations. ' Richard W. Altig, Talent

A life-and-death issue

Suicide outpaces homicide in U.S., health officials say is the headline in the March — Oregonian. This comes as no surprise to me.

For over 27 years my daughter has been receiving treatment for manic depression. She continues to be very suicidal despite electro-shock treatments and excellent care at the Southern Oregon Psychiatric Unit in Medford.

Now, to my amazement, she is being discharged without follow-up custodial supervision because her Social Security Disability Income is too high. She is one of many mentally ill people who fall into a huge crack in the Oregon mental health system.

The state mental hospital rejected her, explaining that institutionalization would only make her condition worse, and recommended safe community placement. Cuts in state funding which led to reducing the allowed SSDI income have made her ineligible for available resources (i.e. safe community placement).

Failure to provide follow-up supervision and transitional housing is life-threatening. This is truly a life-and-death issue which must be placed on the front burner. ' Margaret L. McKillop, Grants Pass

Don't add risk

Elizabeth Warren, Harvard law professor and bankruptcy expert, says:

Two-income families today make 75 percent more in inflation-adjusted dollars, but have less to spend than one-income families did 30 years ago, and home mortgage foreclosures increased 45 percent.

Half of all Americans have no retirement savings.

Given this trend, which reflects the increasing gap between low- and high-income families, it's apparent that we must not add risk to the mix by including the ups and downs of the stock market for even a portion of the benefits ' lest we risk a return to pre-Depression conditions for the poor. ' Diana Morley, Ashland (correcting an e-vent published March 1)

Fathers and daughters

Thank you for printing Kathleen Parker's article from Winston-Salem, N.C., titled, Reversing male-bashing, one daughter at a time, (March 2).

We'd like to think that daughters' exploration of their relationships with their fathers is more about powerful feelings connected with this primary relationship and less about erasing bashing from their mothers. Perhaps daughters aren't brainwashed about boys and men by mothers, but rather often experience a loss and longing for this primary person in their lives.

Southern Oregon has offered classes on father-daughter issues conducted by psychology instructor Rosemary Dunn Dalton, LCSW. Rosemary is the author of Lamenting Lost Fathers: Adult Daughters Search for the Message of the Father, iuniverse publishing, 2004, a compilation of Southern Oregon women's stories with a psychological perspective.

Maybe we don't have to go to North Carolina to uncover discussions about father-daughter relationships. ' Julie Weber, MSW, Ashland

Slow drivers dangerous

Usually I write a letter bemoaning the ridiculous nature of the Bush administration and those who so blindly follow this spawn of the netherworld and his evil workers.

But today I have a letter of greater importance, and since I'm sure that many who read these letters are elderly, there is no better place than here to sound off.

I wish to remind the elderly drivers that those lovely black and white signs on the side of the road that say speed limit 45 or speed limit 35 are not decorations.

Maybe when they first started driving and had to look out for the horses, 15 mph was OK, but today, driving too slow is just as dangerous as speeding, if not more so.

To the woman who almost got me rear-ended not once but twice, first on Barnett Road and again on Highway 99, if she needs glasses to see those signs, she should get some. If driving the speed limit is too scary, she should get someone to drive her.

As for the driver who almost hit me in the rear: I'm not the one he needed to flip off. ' T. Healy, Medford

Shame on both houses

The Social Security fuss is a perfect example of why I'm glad I'm an Independent.

First, the president is lying when he says the system will be bankrupt in 2042. I have my SS statement in front of me. It reads, The law governing benefit amounts may change because, by 2042, the payroll taxes collected will be enough to pay only about 78 percent of scheduled benefits.

That is, if no changes are made by 2042, there will be a 22 percent shortfall ' far from being bankrupt. And it would be easy to fix the problem! Remove the cap under which high-income earners stop paying SS tax when they hit &


Meanwhile, Democrats freak out over the president's plan to establish voluntary privatized accounts for younger workers. It's voluntary, Democrats! No one would be forced to participate.

Both sides seem to be saying, You, the public, are stupid.

Republicans say, You're so stupid we have to lie to you, and tell you the system is going bankrupt when it is not. Democrats say, You're so stupid you can't be trusted to make your own decisions about whether to invest some of your SS money.

Shame on both houses! ' Craig Callaway, Eagle Point

Wrong on two counts

The recent rash of letters defending Israel's occupation of Palestine are wrong on two counts.

First, it's immoral to steal your neighbor's land. Do we realize that Israel has confiscated Palestinian land to build Jewish only settlements with roads for Jewish settlers only, while Israeli military checkpoints prevent Palestinians from traveling between their own towns in their own land?

Second, land theft is a bad tactic for securing Israeli security, because when you steal from someone, they'll resent you and resist you until you return what you've stolen.

Therefore, for both moral and tactical reasons, people like me, who are pro-Israel, should insist that Israel vacate stolen land and return to the internationally recognized 1967 borders. In agreement with this are many Jewish groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace, Not in My Name, Jews Against the Occupation and Tikkun. Please visit their Web sites. ' Gene Robbins, Ashland

Supreme irony and hypocrisy

Mr. Bush demanded on March, — that Syria get out of Lebanon, saying, that the free world is in agreement that Syria's authority over the political affairs of another country must end now.

The supreme irony and hypocrisy of this quote saddens the most patriotic of us all. How dare he act so righteous about Syria and what they are doing when at the same time he has U.S. troops in Iraq, doing the very same thing? ' Tana Domecq-Davis, Jacksonville

You get what you give

Bush-bashing letters ' is it time to quit? I don't think so.

I seem to remember countless letters bashing President Clinton. You get what you give. ' Val Handel, Medford