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Yesterday I engaged in the annual ritual of planting flats of early season vegetables, but there was one packet of seeds I sadly couldn't bring myself to plant. They were the chard seeds I had gathered from my garden last fall. Knowing that there are GMO sugar beets growing one street away from our home, there is the very real danger that my chard may now be genetically modified through cross-pollination with the GMO sugar beets.

As the number of genetically engineered crops continues to grow, I become more concerned about how we can maintain the right of each of us to grow food for our families without fear of contamination by genetically modified pollens. It is becoming difficult to even buy seeds for certain crops that aren't genetically modified as large corporations patent their genetically modified creations and dominate the market.

As I've heard it said, "He who controls the seed, controls the food, and he who controls the food, controls the world."

I'd like to at least maintain control over my backyard. That is why I support the passage of Measure 15-119 to ban the cultivation of GMO crops in Jackson County. — Anna Cassilly, Ashland

IQ tests are illegal in the USA, and now background checks for felons become so for the same reason, racial discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, on finding that male imprisonment rates for blacks, Hispanics, and Caucasians are in the ratios of 7:3:1, sees discrimination against the more criminal of our races.

The EEOC in 2010 commenced a case against a Pennsylvania security company, G4S, for not hiring a twice-convicted burglar even though Pennsylvania state law demands such checks. G4S provides security for nuclear power plants.

In Hong Kong, Zhao Bowen is comparing the DNA sequences of geniuses with those of common people to identify "smart genes," a funding no-no in the USA, while China's nuclear facility guards undergo severe loyalty checks. Which country will win the race? — Gerald Holmquist, Shady Cove

When out fishing, why does a diehard fly-fisherman think he is better than one who uses bait or spinners?

Dead Indian Road vs. Dead Indian Memorial Road: Facts are, several natives were found dead. What if it was a native in his own tribe who went insane? No one knows.

If you don't like the Constitution and Bill of Rights, buy a one-way ticket and move. It's your choice.

Murder in the veggie garden: What happens when you sever a head of lettuce from its roots?

A well-placed shot at a game animal with a bow, bolt-action or semiautomatic rifle has the same result.

In the Applegate area there is a mountain named Negro Ben Mountain. Was it named that for something good or bad?

Cheap wine vs. expensive wine: Water glass or wine glass, swirled, sipped or guzzled, what difference does it make? Some think so.

Rich, middle class or poor, we are all Americans in this together and what our government does affects us. — R. Kerby, Medford