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I read the front-page story about Leta Schroeder. This sentence is ridiculous; in 1999 I had an "aggravated DUI" in Illinois because I crashed into a car while driving drunk. No one was killed or even hurt badly — I still was sentenced to five years (the judge had a nephew killed by a drunk driver). I got slam-dunked for it; why the hell does Schroeder get only 5 years for:


2. Leaving the scene of accident

3. Hit and run

4. Killing a man

5. Severely injuring two other guys — one of whom has brain damage. Give me a break! What is wrong with this court and judge who sentenced her?

I did 27 months for my crime and a bud of mine there got 12 years because his stepson died when he had a wreck while driving drunk. In Illinois this lady Schroeder would have gotten 25 years to life for killing a guy and hit-and-run.

At end of the news story is a comment that tests of intoxicants in her blood could not prove they had impaired her while driving. Baloney! That's so false it stinks. — John Nieman, Medford

Boo Hoo! Small hospitals like ACH are going to have trouble making it financially under the "Affordable" Care Act. Where were the MT, local physicians and hospital officers when the rest of us were telling you through three election cycles that Barack Obama and his lemmings (both parties) were bad news for the country in general and health care in particular?

Because those of you with more influence, obviously, than the rest of us either stood silent or supported the man because of his philosophy of "equality" have sowed what we must all now reap. The smaller private hospitals and health care facilities are certain to disappear and we will all be equal patients of government facilities.

How many of you really thought you would be able to keep your current doctor and get your care at the hospital of your choice by the time Obamacare is fully implemented? In my 30-plus years in outpatient medicine, I have dealt with all of the government programs (Medicaid, Medicare, VA, TriCare, Native Health Service, etc.), and I have not seen one of them that delivers quality health care, but all the care is equal! — Elaine Wheeler, Central Point

Many news articles and editorials have been lumping Social Security/Medicare and Supplemental Security Income/Medicaid together as "entitlement programs." This is completely inaccurate and misleading.

SSA/Medicare is by definition an "entitlement program" because the entitled person pays toward the program each quarter that they work or run a business. At retirement, they receive what they are entitled to based on their contribution history. In other words, they paid for it and it's theirs.

SSI/Medicaid is by definition a "needs/means" program, which requires no contributions and is funded through general revenue. The beneficiaries are technically "recipients" and their eligibility is based on their level of other income and assets. If the combination is at a certain ceiling, they are ineligible. This program is often considered a form of welfare, although it's administered through SSA field offices.

These programs are mutually exclusive, but they are obviously misunderstood by Congress and the voting public. Currently, Congress is considering a "means testing" feature for SSA as well as a number of other erosive ideas. I encourage SSA/ Medicare contributors to put Congress on notice: SSA/Medicare erosion is not an acceptable solution for balancing the federal budget. — Andrew Kubik, Ashland

About selective enforcement, why not hold Sheriff Winters and President Obama to the same standard?

The anti-gun crowd obsesses over a foolish political issue, diverting our attention from real causes of violence.

The leading cause of violence is dysfunctional people. People are violent because their minds are poisoned or starved.

Lead in air was the main cause of some years of high inner-city violence. Both lead and mercury are known to lower intelligence and warp thinking. We still have both toxins, with exponential effect, along with many other toxins. Drugs, mainly psychiatric drugs, now are likely a greater factor.

Biochemist and psychiatrist Abram Hoffer successfully treated schizophrenics with niacin. Dr. Roger Williams treated addicts with glutamine. Prisons in England and Netherlands greatly reduced misbehavior using fish oil and B vitamins. Parole officer Barbara Reed had few failures when her hypoglycemics were given amino acids. That is a beginning of known therapies that were ignored because universities and corporations made no profit from them.

This is an over-simplified sample of biochemical reasons for violence in our families and communities. For a psychological cause, look up "Killology" by Dave Grossman. — Ira Edwards, Medford

A very sad story was hidden in a corner of our paper Feb. 5. "Vet said he traded his soul for victim's truck." The terrible shooting of ex-Navy SEAL and writer of "American Sniper" along with his friend is a sign of our times, and until we stop glorifying guns and war this will continue.

I heard on the news that 22 veterans kill themselves every day — appalling. It has been said "if you live by the sword you will die by the sword." That seems to be the case here. Bless the families of these three young men. — Kate Boutwell, Ashland

The most recent school shooting has stirred the emotions of everyone and created general panic and wild hysteria across the nation. New laws by the states and/or the federal government will have little to no overall effect on curtailing these types of events.

Go back in time to the early 20th century and research how well prohibition worked. It made multi-millionaires out of a few well-known and respected families of today. The black market is salivating over the prospect of being able to diversify their businesses. In more recent times, check out how well the "War on Drugs" worked and the poverty, slavery, prostitution, rape, robbery, burglary, identity theft and other ills it caused.

There are so many laws on the books today that law enforcement personnel are already stretched too thin to prevent violations — they can only respond after the fact. New laws and restrictions on firearms and related equipment will turn thousands of law-abiding citizens into instant criminals with the simple stroke of a pen.

Now ask yourself the question, why do we post armed guards in our airports, courthouses, office buildings, power plants and sports stadiums and provide security for the top government officials and their families, but deny the same protection for our public schools and institutions. Ask your congressman if his children have security when they're in school. — M. Heitkamp, Jacksonville

I wonder about editorial columnists. They seem wrongheaded and naive about so many things. Take, for example, Froma Harrop's column a few days ago. She described her discussion with a priest who had declined to refer a 16-year-old girl, pregnant yet again, to a birth control provider. Apparently, Ms. Harrop feels that after the priest delivered the message of Christ ("Go, and sin no more"), he should have added, "But if you just can't control yourself, here's how to get taxpayer-financed birth control."

The message of Christ regarding human sexuality prescribes discernment, reverence and self-restraint. What minister with any self respect would present the alternative? If churches are compelled to join the free-sex chorus sung by television producers and social scientists, who will be left to speak out for wisdom and self control? Politicians? — Rick Fernandez, Medford