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Letters to the editor

A touching story

The front page follow-up story on the results of the tragic accident that victimized Mr. Robustelli (March 19) cannot be read without a tear welling up in the eye. The young man and his family's travail cannot help but touch our sensitivities. Along with the incredible difficulties they face in the long, and permanently changed process of recovery, they also must cope with considerable economic distress, remedied only through legal action against the estate of the now deceased, inebriated driver at fault.

We all, I am sure, hope this valiant young man can reconstruct a useful, and satisfying life, and that his family can recoup the costs related to his recovery. It is regrettable that those who could be most helpful in this process choose to hide behind constitutional provisions protecting against self-incrimination, particularly since some are part of the legal structure of our community.

I hope those of you who know something of the facts can be helpful to the Robustellis' cause by disclosing anything you might know. It is the least to be done for this young man and his family. The juvenile code of silence that has prevailed is totally inappropriate here. ' Edward Colbert, Ashland

Not a bully

David Thumler spent two weekends at the Juvenile Detention Center for refusing to write a letter describing the criminal thoughts that led him to squeeze and twist the nipple of a male friend of his as the stood in the deli line.

I met David and he is not bully material.

Having been a teenager and at times subject to pranks, I still have to say that three days of community service, a fine, anger management classes and a record seem excessive.

— As part of the Victim/Offender Program, David was to write a letter acknowledging the criminal process that led to his actions. He wrote a letter of apology and regret, but it was not satisfactory because he would not admit that criminal thoughts led to the offense. So Judge Mejia sentenced him to an additional four days of detention. Am I the only one who is reminded of George Orwell's thought police and worries about decision makers who tinker with the 5th Amendment right not to be a witness against one's self? ' Suzy Sweet, Ashland

Bill the Stivers

If the Stivers or the Higginbothams should earn any money for talking or appearing on TV, radio or tabloids, the money should go to the police agencies that searched (and investigated) for them. ' Judy Baer, Medford

Don't censure, impeach

The Bush doctrine of preemptive wars has been a disaster in Iraq.

America and the world are less safe and Americans are now &

36;9 trillion in debt.

Let's not talk censure. Let's begin impeachment proceedings. ' Gregg Peterson, Phoenix

Not a free country

Our administration is not designed to be an empirical force, ignoring the rights of our democratic system. What's happened to our democratic policy?

I dare say that the letter of the Constitution has been violated on many accounts by our current administration, from manipulating intelligence to clear the path for an unjust war that has killed many people domestic and foreign, and then lying to the public. Allowing torture and death to go unpunished by the people in charge, allowing spying to be a normal part of the daily routine, taking away our rights to privacy.

This is not a free country anymore and I feel that an investigation for impeachment is clearly what's on the agenda, in order to restore our democratic rights as a people of the United States of America. ' Jill Breitner, Jacksonville

Not a sport

Regarding your front page story, Police break up deer-poaching ring (March 18), what do you expect when killing animals for sport is socially acceptable? Any time you say it is OK to take a life in fun, even when you try to regulate it with laws that are difficult to enforce, you are breeding a certain level of violence into society.

Add to that some bored young people with easy access to guns and you are asking for trouble. The Humane Society of the United States has a wealth of information about the connections between animal cruelty and human violence and what you can do to stop it in your community. Visit . ' Kathie Leck, Ashland