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Letters to the editor

Still supports the NRA

In response to Pat Wray's commentary of Dec. 27: I may not agree with every stance the NRA takes on the various issues. However, for the most part, they do far more good than harm. For this reason, I'll continue to strongly support them. ' Richard Cody, Applegate

No citizen is secure

Neal Smith (Dec. 26) praised George Bush for ordering surveillance without any warrant.

Spying on citizens short of evidence of criminal activity is a high crime worthy of impeachment. Bush admitted watching terror suspects, but given the opportunity, failed to disclose NSA fishing expeditions called pattern analysis of mainline phone and Internet traffic.

No citizen is secure in their privacy, and nobody is presumed innocent. ' Jay Lininger, Ashland

A pathetic creature

Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretaps, it requires, a wiretap requires a court order ' Bush, in an April 24, 2004 speech in Buffalo, N.Y.

In light of recent events, Bush seems a pathetic creature who doesn't know reality from fantasy, truth from falsehood. ' Terry Doyle, Ashland.

Support FERRA

I am astonished at the lack of understanding that has surfaced in this forum regarding House Bill HR 4200 that Rep. Greg Walden and 130 co-sponsors have introduced in the House, titled The Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act.

The only thing it does is mandate that the federal agencies (USFS and BLM) respond quickly after catastrophic losses occurring on more than 1,000 acres, whether these losses be due to fire, storms or bug infestation. These expedited efforts must still comply with all existing environmental laws including the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act, etc.

Speed in these situations is critical because dead timber deteriorates quickly, but more importantly, the success rate of reforestation drops dramatically if replanting isn't done within two years. The experts at Oregon State University, reporting on the Biscuit Fire of 2002, expressly indicated the need to reforest quickly to guarantee success. It didn't happen.

Restoring and recovering forests, wildlife habitats and watersheds for future generations is common sense. Look at the successes of the Tillamook burn. Alternatively, delaying actions we witnessed in the Biscuit guaranteed barren landscapes and brush fields for possibly centuries. FERRA will be the catalyst for successful reforestation. ' David Schott, Medford

Editorial bespeaks ignorance

Your cavalier and sarcastic rejection of universal health care (Let's wave our magic wand, Dec. 21 editorial) bespeaks gross ignorance of the economics of such a program and implies a stubborn ideological commitment that blinds you to the financial facts of the matter.

Over the past decades, every ' repeat, every ' independent, scholarly, objective analysis of health-care financing has concluded that a universal plan would be cheaper and more medically effective than the present, increasingly ramshackle and dysfunctional system under which we presently suffer.

With universal care ' paid for by a dedicated payroll and progressive taxes that replace the present hodgepodge of (inadequate) public and private funding sources ' people would still choose their own doctors, there would be no more wallet biopsies before treatment, there would be much more affordable prescription drugs, and a drastic decline in our very expensive emergency care costs.

There would be an immediate improvement in our present scandalous rates of mortality and morbidity. The only entities that would suffer are the pharmaceutical corporations, health insurance companies and other for-profit organizations that presently skim off obscene amounts of money that could be used for patient care. ' Gerald Cavanaugh, Ashland