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Mail Tribune Online Edition

Manipulate the citizensThe focus on the "immigration problem" that has risen to a hysterical pitch in recent weeks demonstrates the ease with which politicians and the media can manipulate a gullible citizenry.

The flow of illegal immigrants from our southern border has been with us for a long time, so what happened to raise it to the level of a crisis that requires legislation to be passed immediately? Could the upcoming elections and the need to divert attention from the embarrassing failures of this administration be a factor?

Immigration is one strand in a web of economic factors that are impacting American workers. Others include the outsourcing of service jobs, the relocation of factories to other countries, the exploitation of workers in foreign sweatshops, mergers of megacorporations, massive tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of the ordinary worker, erosion of pensions and health benefits, etc.

The underlying problem that we refuse to face is that there is a huge gap between the standard of living and resource consumption here compared to the rest of the world. Building huge fences and demonizing hard-working immigrants who are just trying to make a better life for themselves is both mean-spirited and futile. &

8212; Claude Aron, Applegate Guilty of hate crimesAfter 9/11, all we wanted was a wall between America and Mexico to protect our country. We did not want to kick everybody out then. Three years later, politicians want to turn 12 million illegals into felons, along with many other American citizens who help illegals.

Yes, illegals are breaking the law of the land, but before this is all over, we American citizens will be breaking the law for discrimination and be guilty of hate crimes.

When these same old governors, senators and congressmen keep on getting re-elected, we will keep repeating the same old problem here in Oregon, which will keep Oregon's pioneer spirit lost. &

8212; Tom Rolie, Medford

Real libertariansIn response to Ray Hymer's anti-abortion letter to the editor, I must honestly disagree with his logic behind what true Libertarianism stands for.

Real libertarians are focused on the "principle of limited government." In essence, we are the practitioners of individual responsibility. This is something which is still seriously lacking in the present administration.

Furthermore, what cannot be stressed enough is the fact that, "it is not up to a select group of indignant, self-righteous and self-appointed representatives to decide for everyone else how to live." &

8212; Kenneth Landay, Ashland

A fantasy worldMany right-wingers seem to live in a fantasy world of delusions. Here's a little reality.

1. The so-called Iraqi "insurgents" are actually patriots fighting an invader who killed tens of thousands of innocent people in a quest to capture one idiot and his oil fields.

2. American soldiers in Iraq are not fighting for our freedom. Iraq was never a threat to our freedom &

8212; Bush and his corporate-owned Republican Congress are.

3. Supporting our troops includes telling them the truth, and in this case &

8212; apologizing.

4. You do not own women, or their bodies. If abortion is murder, then spending money on entertainment like cable TV while thousands of children starve to death daily, surely must be.

5. Liberals are not ruining America. The ignorance, greed, manufactured fear and blind obedience from the right-wing are. The past two "elections" are evidence enough.

6. Supporting a criminally incompetent administration is not patriotic, it's stupid. Real patriots support the American people and our Constitution.

7. The greatest threat to America is not terror, it's a government diseased with the lust for money from lobbyists, and campaign contributors. We either fix this soon or we will lose our country. &

8212; Darryl Edington, Eagle Point

Give up all saltContrary to what Rebecca Wood says (Eating Locally, March 29), there's no type of salt that is good for you. Salt consumption is linked to acid reflux, asthma, stomach cancer, hypertension, cardiovascular disease even in the absence of hypertension, osteoporosis, kidney stones and kidney disease, gastric ulcers and headaches. Eating salt for the minerals is like eating a jelly doughnut for the vitamins.

Human sodium (and chlorine) needs are easily met without salt. The Yanomami Indians in the rain forests of Brazil and Venezuela live in a hot, humid climate and eat no salt. They have low blood pressure, and it doesn't rise as they age. Eliminate salt, and your body becomes more efficient at retaining electrolytes; you needn't replenish what you haven't lost. (If you drastically reduce or eliminate salt in your diet, do it gradually if you will be perspiring heavily during the transition.)

Iodine needs can be met with sea vegetables (soaked to remove the salt if not fresh-water rinsed) or a supplement. Completely eliminate salt from your diet, and your body will make a neuro-adaptation within a month or two, so that you will no longer prefer the taste. For more information, see &

8212; Ron Elterman, Ashland

Science requires factsMr. Strock's letter (April 3) listing dozens of so-called "creation scientists," shows that he is unaware of what science is. Science is a job, a difficult job, but still a job. And anyone who takes medicine or watches TV should be glad that someone is willing to do that job.

But the job has no relation to religious belief. There is no such thing as a "creation scientist" any more than there are "creation accountants" or "creation farmers."

Of course there are scientists who embrace religion and some who accept one of the various creation stories that are often a part of such beliefs. But they do not confuse that with science. Science is rigorous examination of data, research, and always about facts.

Contrary to what creationists would have you believe, any living biologist would love to come up with new facts proving evolution wrong. He would be more famous than Darwin! Unfortunately, there is a mountain of facts proving evolution and none disproving it.

There is no science in "creation science" because there is nothing to examine, no research, no facts. Only belief and faith without question. That is the opposite of science. &

8212; Tom Hoeber, Gold Hill