Unfortunate is my weakest euphemism for the not laughable, but tragic comments by Atkinson and Just (Guest opinion, Nov. 23). To begin, we all honor our troops, they sacrifice to do what our government asks. It is the lie about the pre-emptive war that is the problem.

When the writers say 'as Christians we are grateful "¦. (etc.) I wonder if we are in a secular society of laws or a theocracy. Who is the "we" supposed to be? Surely not the American people who are far from all one religion.

Why should "we" be thankful that Bush represented Christ in office? Did this help deter him from the patent series of lies, deceptions, censored science, horrible war, torture and disgusting lack of financial accountability under his reign? Many before have asked "is Christ the God of war and torture or of peace and love." We believe he taught love and peace.

Unborn children? Code words for telling half the population what decisions they can make privately and what decisions are to be made for them by government. Defending marriage? More code for denying civil rights to people who "appear different" than the majority of the population.

Thanks to Bush? Makes me weep. — Harvey Rupp, Ashland

James changed my life. Even when he wasn't doing good he fully supported me and his sister. Being clean and starting a new life very shortly after that, he changed. I have seen him turn into a man who valued his family and friends from his past. From everyone's past we all learn lessons and what defines a man is being able to learn from your mistakes and come through it and that's exactly what he did. He was a wonderful dad to two boys and loved them as his own.

Before you jump to say what you think you know you should find out the truth. Everybody has a past, that's not the first time that should be said. My love to you James, we will never forget you. — Chris McGee, Medford

The first act of any government is to take away the right of the people to govern their own affairs.

Our government did this by enacting the Constitution, thereby eliminating the need for the consent of the governed as set forth in the Declaration of Independence. After that, they could get away with anything they wanted to.

Today they dictate the terms of our lives to the smallest details. All of our rights have been turned into privileges which can be infringed or abolished at the whim of any level of government. — John Malinowski, Medford

A typical power plant produces about 5 gigawatts. As so neatly pointed out in a recent "Analog" blurb, it would take a square solar panel 11 miles on a side to do the same, allowing for night and cloudy days.

Then you'd not have a panel that big, you'd chop it up into smaller sizes. You'd want access roads, power lines, maintenance buildings. You'd need infrastructure to track the sun. You'd allow down time for maintenance, lightning strikes, hailstorms. In the end your structure would be much larger than 11 miles on a side.

The same sorts of arguments can be applied to wind. Pickens' vision is great if your name happens to be Pickens. He wants the government to build the transmission lines — a huge investment. Where Pickens has an idea is transferring the truck fleet to natural gas.

Alternate energies are great and should be pursued. They are useful in retail, maybe even in some light industry. Think local. Heavy hitters they are not.

Someday we will have lots of nuclear power just because it is our only source of large amounts of clean cheap energy. — Jim Ross, Medford

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