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Regarding "What is our liberty worth?" (Sept. 17): It was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to vote. November 15, 1917, was called "A Night of Terror." Because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote, they were jailed, beaten, starved and knocked unconscious. For weeks, women's only water came from an open pail. Their food, colorless slop infested with worms. Some women were smashed, knocked out cold and some thought to be dead.

A recent HBO movie, "Iron Jawed Angels," tells this story. Torture is not a new problem in the United States of America. We need to pay attention to past history, and do more to make the commitment to see that this does not keep repeating itself.

If you treasure your current rights as a woman, pay attention to what is going on in the United States today, and vote to preserve our freedoms. Our foremothers deserve our support. Our young girls deserve our support. This is not the time to ignore the meaning of "liberty". — Caroline Finch, Medford

Ever since my wife died of cancer Sept. 24, 2007, I felt a need to share with men how important it is to stand along side your gal when they visit a physician to get the annual check-up. Good news or bad, your lady deserves and desires your emotional support.

The reason I write this reminder every September is because I know the guilt and sorrow that lives inside you after your partner dies and it's too late to "do the right thing" ... so, take time from a busy day, skip a game on TV, become aware that when she might tell you, "It's OK, honey, I will be fine," she wants to hear, "I know baby, but I want to be with you."

This effort hasn't helped me heal from my lack of attention to Teri, but I hope that better men than myself will step up and be there for the women we claim to love and cherish. — Rick Boyd, Medford

Tell me, how long is too long for us to be in Afganistan?

Russia spent eight years there and accomplished nothing except the waste of many dead and wounded, not to mention a huge expense. We have been there nine years and we keep saying we need more time, more money, more troops, or a new strategy.

I say we have been there long enough. Get the troops out now and put them on our border with Mexico where they are really needed. What's it going to take to get these people in Washington to realize that we are sick and tired of this war?

Or, do you suppose that the powers that be have an agenda? They talk about a New World Order, but as long as America is rich and strong their plan can't be accomplished. Bleed us dry and they get what they desire. This can't happen? It will unless we stop them soon! — Gordon DeVos, Medford

It's important who is elected president, but who is elected to Congress is even more important. Let's face it folks, Congress runs the country. In a few weeks, we'll have the opportunity to elect a completely new House of Representatives and several senators.

Now, of course, the political pundits are coming out of the woodwork with advice on who you should vote for. Don't pay any attention to them, be they Democrat or Republican.

Do some research — it's not hard. The Internet is a good source, or you can call the offices of the incumbents and the "wannabes." Ask for their position on the issues important to you; what's the voting record of any incumbent; how would they vote on any upcoming issues; etc.

But you need to be careful because some politicians can be less than forthcoming. Keep in mind that it might not be a good idea to just automatically vote out the incumbent (even if he/she is a Democrat — there's got to be some good ones). But oust those who have not lived up to their responsibility or met your expectations. Do the research and then get out and VOTE. By the way, I'm a conservative Republican. — Murray LaHue, Phoenix

Garfield Street to be repaired in two years; this only after finishing the section that doesn't look like a Beirut cluster-bombing. The improvement of West Main, a small project that nevertheless became a multi-year marathon.

Lozier Lane, three years of inconvenience and counting, and it doesn't even look half finished. Bullock Road scheduled to be improved in 2023. I'll circle the date.

All this reminds me of the old Soviet Russia joke, where a guy walks into a car dealership and orders a new car:

Customer: "When will it be delivered?"

Salesman: "In 10 years."

C: "Will that be in the morning or afternoon?"

S: "Does it matter?"

C: "Yes, I'm having a refrigerator delivered in the morning." — Dan Baumgartner, Medford

Not only does Terry Duran believe Glenn Beck is a "true American" (whatever that is) but he also believes morality itself isn't possible without religion. By "religion" I assume he means Christianity and not Buddism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Janism, Babism, Momonism, Zoroastrianism, Voodoo or the dozens of other kinds of religions or the thousands of aligned, related or opposed forms of spiritualistic beliefs. He points to Hitler and Stalin as evidence that without religion, morality can't be sustained.

Yet if you think about it — or do a little research — it's so blatantly obvious that religion is historically the major proponent, of immorality in the form of the persecution and deaths of millions of other believers and secularists alike that I can't imagine why he or anyone else even bothers to continue making such a claim.

Our brains are designed to allow us to question and think about what hasn't yet been thought. Religion is designed to ensure we only think about what's already been thought and not to question it. That itself is the grossest form of immorality. — Matthew Lubic, Talent

In response to Diana Butts' letter Sept. 15 about the "young Mexican man (who) recently lost his life here in the valley defending a (pot) crop."

She claims he would still be alive if people did not use "drugs" recreationally. How about this: He might still be alive if he wasn't a) in the United States illegally, partaking in illegal activities, b) growing weed illegally, c) arming himself with illegal weapons to defend his crop or d) all of the above.

The answer is D. If people do not want to get killed by law enforcement, they should abide by the law and not take on law enforcement with their own weapons. Simple as that.

I've never been shot at by the police because I've never done anything to warrant being shot at. Do you really think this guy would have been better off if people did not smoke weed? Doubtful. He would be off doing something else illegal. — Chris Barham, Medford

After reading Phil Gagnon's letter Sept.18 I decided it was time for me to put my 2 cents in.

Bicyclists want all the same rights as the automobile drivers. We have to beware of them riding on the side of the road. They ride in the middle of the road and don't care if they slow traffic or anything else. They seem to think they own the road; do they buy licenses to help pay for the roads?

They do not stop for stop signs, they are rude, they want to be like pedestrians and ride in the crosswalks. Maybe what Medford Police Sgt. Mark Boone was saying is they should get off their bikes and walk across if they want to be like a pedestrian.

I know a lot of bicyclists are law-abiding and stop at the stop signs and look before they go. I've seen so many that don't, they turn in front of you. Shouldn't they have to follow the law like an automobile driver?

I hear a lot about the rights of the pedestrian and the bicyclist; what about the drivers' rights? Do we have any? — Judy Westcott, Talent