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Letters to the editor

What happened to women?

It is with bitter sweetness that I applaud Laura Bush's hiring of the first female head chef for the White House. This victory would be so much tastier if accompanied by a corresponding shift in the Oval Office.

And when will we finally fix this unsavory recipe: Only 14 out of 100 senators and 60 out of 435 representatives in the House are women. Shame on the women's movement. What happened to us? ' Priscilla Oppenheimer, Ashland.

Let the voters decide

Why don't the supporters of civil unions use a ballot measure, as was done with Measure 36, instead of the Oregon Legislature? It appears SB 1000 was an attempt to bypass the will of Oregon voters.

House Speaker Karen Minnis has been criticized as standing in the way of democracy. It seems like a true democracy would let a controversial issue like this be decided by the voters of Oregon, not the Legislature. ' M. Waldrop, Central Point

Err on the side of caution

The August 2 article, Pacific Ocean in crisis?, reported that scientists have found high water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, as well as declining fish populations, dead birds and disappearing plankton. While scientists are not able to confirm global warming as the cause, they are also not able to rule it out. We have to wait until next year to see if we have declining fish and dead birds again.

This story illustrates the importance of erring on the side of caution when it comes to natural resource management. The Endangered Species Act is a vital safety net used to protect the rich biological heritage we share on this planet. Future generations deserve to know for themselves the wonder of marine mammals, the beauty of rare lilies and the splendor of a bald eagle.

— Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA), with support from developers and big business, is preparing legislation that would radically weaken the Endangered Species Act. As stories like that of the Pacific Ocean continue, we must do our best to ensure that children yet born will be able to experience the magnificence of the world as we know it today. A strong Endangered Species Act is one good step. ' Lesley Adams, Ruch

Oppose private accounts

When Congress reconvenes in September, Jim McCrery (R-SC) will introduce HR 3304. This resolution, if passed by the House and Senate, will create private accounts, cut guaranteed benefits and increase the national debt while doing nothing to curb the raids on the Social Security surplus or keep Social Security solvent.

McCrery doesn't understand that the citizens of this once-great democracy have made it crystal clear they don't want the Social Security program tampered with. We need it funded to continue providing guaranteed benefits to all of those qualifying. It is the most successful government program in the world.

Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve, has warned of the growing disparity of wealth in America and has said for the democratic society, it's not a very desirable thing to allow to happen. Write or call your members of Congress and demand they represent the people, not the president and Wall Street. ' Darlene Kirby, Cave Junction

Concepts mutually exclusive

Lately President Bush has been advocating intelligent design of the universe as a viable alternative to science being taught in schools because we can't be just the result of random forces. We must instead have been created by God with a divine purpose.

If you accept this argument, then how can you accept that God him/herself is the result of these same random forces? Surely God couldn't just be the result of swirling gases. So who created God?

Science and intelligent design are mutually exclusive. Just as you don't remove your hands from the steering wheel, close your eyes and pray for guidance at 70 mph on the freeway, so too you don't experience spirituality using the scientific method. Science is science and religion is religion.

The force and magic of spirituality is undeniable, but I wouldn't try to launch the space shuttle as a faith-based endeavor.

But if our world is the result of intelligent design, then shouldn't it be a divine mission of this administration to protect our God-given environment, to say nothing of the 1,800 Americans and 100,000 Iraqis needlessly killed in Iraq? Isn't the correct term for this idea really hypocrisy? ' Carl Darnell, Central Point