The Mail Tribune article by John Darling Dec. 23, "Preserving a bit of history," could not be more misleading. This is not preservation, it is demolition.

I do applaud the groups salvaging the historic lumber, but 100 years from now, the Wesley Howard house will be long forgotten. — Charleen Brown, Butte Falls

Paul Greenberg shocks me ("Dems face specter of victory," Dec. 18). His analysis of the possibility of "victory" in Iraq as the result of the "success of the surge" is inane.

Doesn't he know each death in an unnecessary war is defeat? Each death to try to confirm a lie (WMDs and the source of terrorism) is defeat.

How define victory? Will it require killing every last insurgent in Iraq or every Middle Easterner who disagrees with us? Or does success equal our moral, diplomatic and economic bankruptcy?

Mr. Greenberg sees G.W. Bush as a flexible strategist. I'm a former Marine (World War II) who sees Bush as a war criminal responsible for the deaths of thousands, the uprooting of millions and the author of policies that have made America the most hated country in the world.

And, I see Mr. Greenberg and those who supported Mr. Bush in his pre-emptive invasion of Iraq as indirectly responsible for those deaths. Let's face it — the American electorate, led by an incompetent, arrogant commander-in-chief, caused those deaths.

I want to cry over what our country has done. And I weep for Paul Greenberg. — Gerald G. Garland, Ashland

On Saturday evening I had an encounter with two sheriff's deputies. It was quite a moment.

I had gone into Gold Hill to get a pizza and there were two deputies in their cars talking and I went up and said hi. One of them asked me if I could help him.

They each had a trunk full of toys and asked if I knew of a family with kids that needed toys for Christmas. What a thoughtful gesture.

I didn't know of anyone to point them toward, but I did introduce them to the manager of Ray's Market in Gold Hill, figuring he might be able to help because of the community ties the store has.

I just had to tell someone about this and couldn't find a way to contact the Sheriff's Department. If you get a chance, pass on my congratulations to them. — Ted M. Winters, Gold Hill

S. Self writes that girls at Magdalene Home should offer their babies for adoption as an unselfish gift to their child. I agree that makes more sense than a 15-year-old taking on parenting responsibilities.

But it's not our decision to make. Nor is it Magdalene Home's decision. It's a decision that each girl must make for herself. Magdalene Home fully supports a girl's decision for adoption, but it doesn't insist on adoption.

In today's permissive and self-indulgent society, it's the rare girl who has the maturity to seriously consider sacrificing her own immediate desires for the long-term benefit of her baby. Her decision to raise her own baby truly is a big deal, because it's also a decision to let her baby live and to accept the responsibility of parenthood. When that decision has been made, Magdalene Home offers her the skills to follow through.

Who pays? To the extent that social services are involved, taxpayers pay. But Magdalene Home's primary support is from private donors who understand that this support gives the girls a helping hand up instead of a handout.

Magdalene Home is an important resource in our community, and deserves community support. — Kristin O'Driscoll, former Magdalene Home board member, Jacksonville

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