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Letters to the Editor, June 30

Ban fireworks

I would hope the residents of Jackson County will join me in urging the county commissioners to immediately ban the sale and distribution of fireworks in lieu of the drought situation we face at this time and the threat of wildfires!

Yale Sacks

Central Point

TPP's real purpose

I’ve been following the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)/Fast Track debate. I have concluded that TPP is an arrangement between both major political parties to end run the Citizens United controversy, providing a direct conduit for their donors into our economic and legal structure.

One of the telling factors is that few people have even had the opportunity to review this trade document. It's true authorship has never been revealed. What we know about it has been through a series of leaks and what little information the Obama administration and Congress have been willing to share with the press. As a test, call either your U.S. senators or congress member and request an executive summary of TPP, or at least a good bullet point summary. Good luck.

The few pro-TPP positions I’ve read are from Farm Bureaus and others who promote readily exportable products. These positions at first seem innocuous, since their concerns normally lie with importing nations’ specifications. Dig deeper and see why they like TPP. Laws like our GMO bans and importing nations’ food standards could be overturned by international lawsuits, provisioned within TPP.

If you’re happy to relinquish our national sovereignty, then TPP is your ticket.

M. L. Cody

Ashland

Odd coincidence

By a queer coincidence yesterday I read two articles about the photography collections of two prominent men.

The first was a review of a new book about Lewis Carroll, the Victorian writer of "Alice in Wonderland," which reminds us that Carroll had an obsession to photograph naked prepubescent girls. To do so he had to be in their physical presence; we do not know if he was sexually excited by them. No criminal charge was ever made against him.

The second piece appeared in the Mail Tribune about a rather insignificant law case, perhaps a legal harassment, filed by a former employee against James Auchincloss, who, we were reminded again, is the half-brother of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and was found guilty in a child porn case a few years ago. Auchincloss was never in the physical presence of any naked child, did not photograph any naked child nor pay anyone for photographs. He merely downloaded some photos from his computer. And he spent time in jail for this offense.

The Oregon law that sent him to prison seems to me to be an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment and should be repealed.

Lou Goldman

Ashland

Thanks to Walden

Recently, veterans in rural Oregon received some good news. Congressman Greg Walden helped move forward legislation that has been signed into law, clarifying the Veteran’s Choice program to allow veterans to seek medical care outside the VA if they live more than 40 miles from the nearest VA facility.

When the VA first implemented this program, they decided that it should be 40 miles “as the crow flies.” Greg Walden understands that it is pretty hard to travel from place to place in a straight line around the Rogue Valley, so he supported clarification of the law to encompass 40 road miles. It seems like common sense, which tends to be in short supply in Washington, D.C.

Thankfully we have Congressman Walden fighting to reform the VA to make sure that our veterans have access to the care they deserve.

Valerie T. Smullen

Central Point

Letters to the Editor, June 30