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Letters to the editor, July 12

Poison threatens raptors

Stewart Janes’ column about the local decline of our beautiful white-tailed kites reminded me that raptors are seriously threatened by rat poisons.

We are very concerned about the decline of raptors here on our farm since our neighbor started having an exterminator come every month or so to bait traps for his rat explosion (which has happened since he’s been feeding a few pigs — coincidence?). For decades we’ve had two or three nesting pairs of barn owls here, with two to three broods each per year, but we had none in the past couple of months; we’ve also missed the our red-tailed hawks.

Despite what the “all natural” exterminators and farm stores are telling people, the rodenticides do go up the food chain. There are numerous peer-reviewed articles about this, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics lab in Ashland has seen the evidence.

Because it takes rodents a day or two to die, they’re easy pickings, especially for young raptors (and foxes, and pet dogs and cats). Too many people think they’re safe, but you can look it up; see http://bit.ly/29q6mTm or http://bit.ly/29wbOop or http://bit.ly/29YwOEk

Gretchen Hunter

Eagle Point

What does it say?

If you support Hillary, what does that say about you? It means you are OK with outright lying under oath (per FBI), disregarding laws (per FBI documentation), carelessness (more properly called malfeasance) with respect to defending U.S. personnel (Benghazi), illegal political fundraising, unmitigated greed (cattle futures,Clinton Foundation, etc.), carelessness with U.S. secrets (FBI documentation), etc.,etc.

I could go on — my list includes about 20 more such items, like a complete lack of ethics, unladylike and abusive language — but you get the picture. Here is a so-called litmus test: Would you want her as a spouse or relative? Or even a friend?

This is presidential stature?

Merlyn Isaak

Medford

Right is not natural

There is much I disagree with in Dennis Sinclair's letter of July 8, but most is just differing opinion. I do not know, however, how he thinks the right to keep and bear arms is a human right.

It is a right granted to American citizens by the Second Amendment of the Constitution. Nowhere is it mentioned as a human right or a natural right.

If it were a natural right, it would not have to granted by the Constitution. The unalienable rights referred to in the Declaration of Independence are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. No mention of arms. The right is a conferred one, not a natural one.

Catherine Heilman

Medford

'Them' and 'us'

There's a saying to the effect that those who forget their past are doomed to repeat it — the Salem witch trials, the Army/McCarthy hearings, Rwanda, Serbia, Syria — we just can't seem to help ourselves.

All it takes is a prophet of fear and loathing telling us "they" are evil, and "they" are going to do this, this and this to "us." The problem is, "they" are "us," "we" are "them." Our natures are two-fold and there really is a dark side in all of us.

Luckily, we can choose to be better than that. Hopefully, we will.

Jean Strong

Medford

Letters to the editor, July 12