In his letter published July 19, William Pepper forgets, doesn't know, or omits for his own purposes, the rest of the judgment of Solomon story, Kings 3:16-28. In its entirety, the story supports the exact opposite of Pepper's position. Solomon did not blindly follow law and cut the baby in half as Pepper would have it.

King Solomon threatened to divide the baby in half to judge who was the real mother! When one of the mothers pleads the baby be given to the other rather than killed, Solomon recognizes a mother's love and decrees the baby is hers. Is that not the perfect example of a wise and empathetic judge? Indeed, as the scripture relates, the entire nation was awed at the great wisdom God had given Solomon. — Vicki Fox, Ashland

In Medford, we have a local authoritarian law restricting exotic dancers beyond the regulations already imposed by the state.

For some men, exotic dancing is just entertainment. Others, however, are for some reason unable to have a regular intimate life at some point. For them, said dancers provide a valuable service. It's a fact that nations with legalized (and highly regulated) prostitution like the Netherlands and Thailand have lower rates of rape and child molestation. Probably, exotic dancing is an American equivalent.

Another effect of our special law is to make it harder for dancers to earn a living, which they might need to support children at home or pay tuition to develop a professional career.

Though our nation is imperfect, it has had some awesome accomplishments and I believe they can be traced to a reverence for freedom. This freedom means being able to pursue any career or lifestyle that doesn't damage our fellow citizens ... regardless of whether it pleases the religious right or the feminist left. — Sean Lawlor Nelson, Medford

Number of people employed in Dec. 1999: 130.53 million. Number employed in June 2009: 131.6 million, a gain of only 1.16 million over a decade.

Could the unemployment rate go above 9.5 percent? Yes, if you include discouraged and partially employed workers, the rate is 16 percent. Looks like we have the worst decade of job growth since the Depression. The private sector rose by only 1.1 percent. The public sector created over 2 million jobs.

The Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, claims that their policies would save or create millions of jobs. There is no way to measure a "saved job." Firms are reducing hours, wages and reducing income. Job losses and reduced income affect consumer confidence and consumption in the future.

Money from the stimulus bill helps, but mostly was saved by families. Higher unemployment rates could mean higher losses for banks on their loans (home, autos, student, credit card, etc). Labor markets have an effect on the housing markets, too. When the economy recovers, it will be weak. State budgets will be a problem raising taxes, cutting jobs will slow spending by consumers and business. Business investments will be lethargic. — Art Gerds Jr., Yreka, Calif.

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