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Gerald Mann and Rep. Patrick Kennedy have one thing in common: both are confused ("Church abuses power," Mail Tribune Dec. 6). Kennedy is confused about whether promoting abortion rights and being authentically Catholic are mutually exclusive propositions: They are.

Mann is confused about several things. First, honest scientists do admit that life is present from conception; if they were not alive, the cells would not divide and grow.

Second, the Church has taught against abortion since the time of the Apostles. What changed in the 19th century was our understanding of biology and when conception actually happens.

Third, it is not "abuse of power" for a bishop to speak up in defense of the weak when they are being harmed by the powerful.

More than 3,000 Americans a day die from abortion and Kennedy is helping to perpetuate that.

So by forcing Kennedy to publicly reject his error or refrain from receiving communion, Bishop Tobin protects Kennedy himself from committing sacrilege while protecting other Catholics from Kennedy's moral confusion.

Standing up to the powerful elites in defense of truth, his flock and the weakest in our society, Bishop Tobin gives a good example of how authority ought to be used. — Jim Savage, Central Point

It used to be in this country that the public could count on our "free" press to bring them the information that they needed to know. What has happened to this "free" press? Did none of them feel the need to inform the public about the background and/or character of Mr. Kevin Jennings, President Obama's safe school czar? Talk about putting the fox in charge of the hen house!

Apparently the Washington Times wasn't afraid of administration backlash. I suggest you check out their story. It is frightening to think that this man could ever come in contact with children. — Lolita Clodfelter, Medford

When I opened the paper to the opinion section on Dec. 13, I was surprised to see a letter complaining about the title we Oregonians give the climactic clash between U of O's and OSU's football teams: The Civil War.

This letter writer was aghast at how we could name a silly football game after one of the bloodiest wars in American history. In fact, the letter took on a scolding tone as it reprimanded us, comparing the name for the game to the war in Afghanistan or Iraq.

I have a question to the author of that letter: Do you know what a civil war is? According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, it's "a war between opposing groups of citizens of the same country." With the tiniest bit of effort, we can see that the title of Civil War couldn't be more appropriate for this annual bash.

I really hope that next time this author feels like complaining about a name, she first looks past her own ignorance on the topic. — Kate Jensen, Ashland

Well, finally. Cloud seeding in the Rogue Valley is coming to an end.

It took only, what, 50 years for good sense to prevail?

Generally, fog forms in the Rogue Valley when an inversion is present, and usually that creates freezing temperatures in the valley.

While cloud seeding provided some benefit to a select few, the hazard of driving on the fallout from the seeding process endangered literally thousands of drivers and pedestrians at every instance. And yet it took a regulation from the FAA to dictate what common sense should have indicated a long time ago. Unfortunately, the safety of the folks on the ground was not a priority lo these many years. Some clouds do have a silver lining. — Ed Redfield, Medford

This is in response to the letter to the editor by Julie Johnson. Very simply are you kidding me? Our courageous law enforcement officers put their life on the line every day and to say there "might be a lesson here" by having four people killed without cause is ignorant and downright insulting. Those officers were doing their job and shouldn't have to hide out in their station for fear of being kill by a psycho.

I have nothing but respect for our law enforcement and would like to ask Ms. Johnson, how would you feel if a member of your family was gunned down with no reason and someone told you that it was their fault for not paying enough attention? — Adrian Gerstmar, Gold Hill

Peter Buckley claims tax measures 66 and 67 will "move Oregon forward." On the contrary, passage will further spiral our economy down. Businesses and "the rich" are the job creators. More money for government means less money for jobs.

Buckley said the Legislature "cut" spending. Really? Oregon's budget rose by 9.3 percent. Who is getting all that money? For starters, state employees pay no health insurance premiums. PERS also is bankrupting us. While essentials like schools were cut, overall spending was dramatically increased. It's just plain dishonest to suggest otherwise.

If you still have a job, you may have had your pay cut. Meanwhile vehicle registration fees doubled. Measure 67 would even tax businesses on gross revenues. That means if they lose money they are still liable. How will they pay? By laying people off. It's nuts.

Our representatives refused to do what responsible people do in hard times: cut spending. Vote no. — Lynn Barton, Medford

I am a single father raising my son. I am an independent contractor who is struggling.

When my son fell off his bike this fall, I was worried he had broken his arm. We had to go to the emergency room as I can't afford insurance for us. Thank goodness it was not broken. As it is, it's still going to take me a long time to pay this back as the bill is large and since the economy is down I am barely working.

I'm on the side of guaranteed, affordable health care for everyone. I don't expect to get it free, but coverage based on family income would be great. Standardized coverage, a choice of doctors and a public option would meet my needs. — Darren Richards, Phoenix

In order to attract foot traffic to downtown businesses, the city should allow two to three hours of free parking. Beyond that, a $25 fine. This will allow shoppers time to eat lunch and visit stores. If shoppers feel bullied by parking regulations they won't come to downtown. After all, there's always the mall ... and no parking tickets. — Robert Ogle, Medford