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Since she arrived, abandoned and pregnant, I cared for her and her kittens. Meanwhile, I worked to find them loving homes — succeeding with three of the five who were scheduled to go to their new homes at eight weeks after weaning. Unfortunately, they became infected with ringworm and so became unwanted. Now, I had to make the heart-crushing decision to surrender them to the county.

Brokenhearted, I was greeted by an incredibly rude and uncompassionate receptionist who stood, hands in pockets, and curtly told me because I had cared for them for 30 days they considered them my cats and therefore I'd have to take them to a vet to be put down — at a cost of over $300. My kindness and their misfortune completely dismissed, this was the thanks I got for having the audacity of trying to give hope to these animals, making an already stressful situation unbearable.

How many animals have been released into the community, or worse, only exacerbating the problem because of this asinine "30-day policy"? This county's "shelter" still has serious systemic policy and management problems which animals suffer under. Donations are better given to compassionate, no-kill shelters such as SOHS, CATS and Sanctuary One. — C. Atkins, Medford

A direct quote from the Congressional Record:"Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means 'the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit." — Barack Obama, March 16, 2006.

And who has more than doubled America's debt the last six years? And who is now blocking any attempt to keep it under control? I rest my case. — Merl Isaak, Medford

If this president had any concern for the financial health of our country, instead of insisting on a "clean" (unaccompanied by bills to address the problem) vote on the debt ceiling, he would want/welcome those attachments to curb the spiraling out-of-control spending.

Revenues are up, taxes are up. That will not make a difference unless the president and the senate sees the problem as spending. — Rosemary Newell, Medford

Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of economics and world affairs recognizes that the United States is on a path to assured financial destruction. We have been spending more than we earn for longer than 20 years, threatening the future of our children and the future of our nation.

Our Congress is doing exactly what it was created to do, debating the issue, even though it has been difficult to even initiate the debate. No one knows what the outcome of the debate will be. Greece was on the same path as we are but they never had this debate. Consequently, they are suffering enormously. We will either get our finances under control in the near future or suffer the same kind of painful and debilitating future Greece is facing.

I think most people recognize that citizens of nations receive the kind of government that they deserve. The backward and illiterate citizens of Afghanistan and Pakistan are examples of this principle.

America has been blessed with brilliant and far-sighted founding fathers who have bestowed upon us a wonderful government and a promising future. It is up to us present-day Americans to decide if we want to pass this bountiful future on to our children. — Neal Hurley, Medford

During the Clinton administration, when America gained 22 million jobs, slight adjustments to the income tax formula allowed us to have a surplus for two consecutive years; a great start to pay off the national debt which had more than doubled during the two prior administrations.

The next president coming into office told us that the national debt would soon be paid off and that adjustments were necessary in the form of tax reductions. Congress cowered under and approved, thereby lowering the president's tax burden by $40,000 and that of the VP by $140,000; this would surely create more jobs and spur on the economy.

Two disastrous wars were started and left unfinished. Our debt, instead of being paid off, was again doubled. There has been one constant during those eight years and the ensuing five-plus years. That being an absolute refusal by one of our major parties to adjust the tax rates or to close any of the loopholes contained in the 76,000 pages of our tax code for the very wealthy. — David van de Velde, Phoenix

Jim Farrell of Central Point said it — GOP will rewrite history. And now that we know the GOP had a meeting the evening of the day Obama took the oath of office wherein they decided to vote against everything he wanted (a meeting that was repeated for Obama's second term), we can now add another term that describes the GOP.

They started as the party of No, then became the party of No and Lies, and now we know them as the party of No, Lies and Stupidity! — W. Story, Central Point

It stuns me to know that many people will blindly eat — and promote — products made from tortured animals. The article "Endless eats" (Mail Tribune, Oct. 9) did just that.

Foie gras is made from the fattened livers of force-fed ducks. Imagine how uncomfortable you might feel after a Thanksgiving dinner, then being force fed 10 times that amount. Some ducks literally explode, and some die a slow death from their grossly enlarged and diseased livers.

Beside the article was a picture of a plastic container of pigeon legs. Great, torture the animal, then display its body parts as if it were a piece of art. Imagine a container of severed dog or cat legs, or human legs for that matter. Of course there are degrees of repulsiveness, but it's all along the same continuum of disrespect for other life.

It's time to expose the cruelest of the cruel in the industry (Hey, Mail Tribune, how about balancing this with an article about this industry?). Even many carnivores boycott veal due to the extreme cruelty involved. Let's do the same for foie gras. Speak out, and don't go to establishments that serve it. To learn more go to www.humanesociety.org./issues/force_fed_animals/. — Diane Barnes, Talent

I just want to let people know how honest other people are. I was shopping at Costco and in a hurry. I unloaded everything out of the cart into my car except my wallet with money, credit cards and driver's license. I was a mile away when I realized what I had done. Scared, I turned around and went back. Someone had found it and turned it in to the Costco manager.

Nothing was missing. I prayed all the way back for it, and God answered. I say thank you to honest people! — S. Byrd, White City

The Saturday, Oct. 12 Mail Tribune announced the death of Erich Priebke, former Nazi Waffen SS captain. Priebke perpetrated mass murder in Rome, Italy, in 1944 during World War II.

The Holocaust cannot be forgotten, including the 1915-1917 Armenian genocide in Turkey during World War I (1914-1918), the precursor to the former. Despite Nazi SS war crimes and atrocities (against Jews, Gypsies, etc.) the crimes of Communism routinely are ignored! Why?

The Empire of Japan (Hitler's Axis partner) likewise perpetrated atrocities against civilians in China, Korea, The Philippines, Asia and the Far East.

Remember both Hitler and Stalin signed the Ribbentrop/Molotov Pact prior to the Nazi-Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939, starting World War II. Following the German Wehrmacht (Army) and Soviet Red Army both the SS and Gestapo and NKVD (Soviet Secret Police) commenced their reign of terror via mass arrests, executions, and deportations to Nazi concentration camps and Soviet Gulags! See the video "The Soviet Story" via www.sovietstory.com.

JPFO Inc. at www.jpfo.org has long exposed the link between gun control (civilian disarmament) and genocide. The John Birch Society (www.jbs.org) has long exposed considerably more! — James A. Farmer, Ashland