In response to Pat Cline's critical letter (Aug. 16), I attended the DeFazio town hall meeting and was able to get in (as were the other 151 people) according to the fire marshal's regulations. It was first come, first served.

There was no back door — only one way in and believe me, the hall was not packed by one side or the other. Except for a few rude people who kept interrupting people asking questions and the congressman's answers, it was "democracy in action." — Arlene Aron, Applegate

Currently, the federal government may not directly subsidize domestic abortions, except in the case of rape or when the mother's life is in danger. But Obama's "health-care reform" is about to open the floodgates, drenching our tax dollars in the blood of the innocent.

In various congressional committees, pro-life congressmen have offered amendments to prevent abortion (with rape and life exceptions) from being covered. In each case, pro-abortion Democrats have shot down the pro-life amendments.

Obama has stated that he believes that abortion is an important part of health care; that's abortion anytime and for any reason. On his third day in office, he directed our tax dollars to kill babies overseas. Now, through government "health care," Obama wants our tax dollars to kill babies here.

Say "no" to government-subsidized all-you-can-eat buffet-style abortion. Say "no" to Obama's abortion-stimulus package. — Drew Hymer, Medford

Health-care reform has just taken a serious step back with the Obama administration signaling its willingness to back off from a public option, an option that would offer serious competition to an insurance industry seeking profit from, rather than the health of, its policyholders.

We, conservatives and liberals alike, need to assume our social responsibility in recognizing and supporting efforts ensuring that health care is a right, not a luxury. As citizens, we must join together to insist that all of us have access to the care we need.

It's our responsibility to let President Obama and our representatives know that a public option is more than a "sliver" in a viable health plan. It's central to the plan's success. — Herb Long, Ashland

The news shows the democratic process is working on health-care reform.

Notwithstanding the loud voices barking out distortions intended to shut off civil debate, movement toward reform that can be supported by members of both parties seems a reality. That is good because to do nothing has far more serious consequences for health-care provision and costs than what is being proposed.

President Obama campaigned last year at this time for health-care reform that I agreed with and I voted for him. But compromise is the hallmark of our governing process and I hope that enough Republicans refuse to be bullied by extreme voices in the media and support legislation that moves us forward.

The role of government in health care is to provide a safety net for certain populations such as those 65 and older and the poor (Medicare and Medicaid). The role should also include finding a way to make sure all Americans have health coverage and that the private insurance system works in a fair and efficient way.

Those are the principles I support. I encourage others to support the voices that are positive in tone and grounded in facts toward that end. — Steve Haskell, Ashland

Our banking and automobile businesses and, perhaps soon, our health care, will be run and managed by government.

The results are bureaucracy-clotted nightmares, replete with incompetency, waste and fraud.

1. Our Founding Fathers designed America's government to be inefficient in business and succeeded admirably.

2. Politicians favor parochial interests over sound economic practices.

3. Politicians need headlines — replacing market decisions with political expediency.

4. Corporations use their own money — government uses other people's money; cost-cutting is alien to the culture of all bureaucracies.

5. Government doesn't tolerate competition — our successful free-enterprise system relies upon it. Only profit motive and competition keep our free-enterprise system lean, efficient and innovative. — Les Kell, Medford

Kudos and heart-felt cheers to the headline writer who topped Kathleen Parker's column with "This time, the media are taking the president on faith." And to Kathleen, who wrote "A comparison of how the media have treated ... ."

Since (not long ago) some semi-literate whose idiocy the press and television writers slavishly follow unknowingly used "media" as a singular noun, instances of the correct use of the term are rare indeed. For the information of the great unwashed: "media" is the plural of "medium."

The press is a medium of news and opinion. Television is a medium of entertainment. Press and television are media. But no one will pay me the least attention. — Grant Shepard, Medford

I was horrified to read the story in Sunday's Tribune of a dead baby girl found in a Dumpster in Medford. It's hard to fathom the cruelty of such action.

Obviously it was unknown whether the baby had been killed or had died "naturally." Either way, there is no excuse for this morbid act.

I doubt there was a single reader of this article that didn't cringe and feel a heartache for this poor baby girl ... hold that thought ... what is the difference between what happened here and what clinics perform thousands of times each day across our nation? How can we draw a line between a Dumpster behind a hotel and a stainless steel tray in the operating room of an abortion clinic? Think about it. — J.O. Spencer, Medford

You people want a little taste of socialized medicine? Try going to Kaiser Permanente.

I had them for awhile (also lived in England with their health-care system), and if this offends anyone — too bad! I want my doctor/nurse to have graduated from a medical school in this country and speak English that I can understand without a translator.

I know this will cause a huge ruckus, but where in our Constitution or Bill of Rights does it say the government owes us health care of any sort? Before you all throw a hissy fit about that statement, keep in mind I'm one of the millions that don't have any health insurance and haven't had any for years. And on that note, if you ever find me dying in some gutter, leave me there before taking me to Kaiser!

Just remember, people, Hilter and Stalin gave great speeches too! — Bob Evans, Medford

It seems that those most stridently protesting government-run health care at the rallies are Medicare recipients. Yet these folks seem unaware that Medicare is a government program.

I'm a retired federal worker having the much-vaunted government workers' private health-plan options. The plan has worked sporadically well, mainly when my family was well. However, upon reaching 65, most of my principal health-care costs were dumped on Medicare by my insurance provider, Cigna, the health-care giant, despite Cigna's collecting $12,000 a year in premiums from me and Uncle Sam.

Medicare itself has provided prompt, no-hassle reimbursement for costs, but Cigna has been a big problem. One of the few items left for Cigna was prescription drugs. Its customer reps in charge of denial of health care have used flat-out rejections of valid claims, harassed my doctors' offices regarding technicalities in the prescriptions, falsely claimed a pharmacy was ineligible and made incredibly obtuse processing errors. I have had to resort to letters and angry phone calls to get even partial satisfaction.

Deliberate hindrance to discourage claims? Of course! Clearly the insurance companies bear substantial responsibility for ballooning health-care costs. — Don Morris, Ashland

John M. Browning (1855-1926), formerly of Ogden, Utah, was a Mormon gun designer. His gun designs for automatic rifles, pistols, shotguns and machine guns is legendary in small-arms history.

He registered 128 patents on more than 80 separate distinct firearms, including models produced by Winchester, Remington, Colt, Savage, Ithaca and Belgium's Fabrique Nationale. The venerable Winchester Model 97 "hammer" pump shotgun (1897-1957), for example, was designed by John M. Browning. So was the classic Winchester Model 1894 or '94 lever-action rifle. In carbine form the latter became the quintessential deer and saddle gun of America. The .32 automatic (7.65 mm) semi-automatic pistol (1899) was another Browning contribution. This caliber saw extensive use during both World War I and II and remains popular today.

"Browning: One Man's Impact" by Charles Scaliger can be read online via www.thenewamerican.com. The New American is the bi-weekly periodical of The John Birch Society (www.jbs.org). In this day and age of anti-gun effeminate male victimhood it's refreshing to see an article that embraces traditional masculinity and edifies heterosexuality. — James A. Farmer, Ashland

This is regarding "Dogs spoiled art walk" by L. Ellis in the Aug. 16 Mail Tribune.

Looks as though we are picking up California bad laws when it comes to our dogs. One of the reasons we moved to Oregon was to enjoy the freedoms that our dogs have.

Looks like, with the L. Ellis approach of saying no to our dogs, it won't be long before those of us who really love our critters will relegate them to the backyard. So sad. — Jack E. Shaffer, Medford

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