In the MT's Since You Asked column Sept. 12, a part in the column read: "When that new forum is activated, it will be moderated — in other words, before comments are posted, someone will look at them to ensure they are appropriate. Aha, some will say, there's the censorship! Not so, Chuckie, unless you define censorship as the removal of obscene references, personal attacks on private figures, incessant sniping between forum users and a general lack of verbal hygiene."

Webster's defines censorship as: "An official who examines literature, television programs, etc., for the purpose of suppressing or deleting parts deemed objectionable on moral, political, military or other grounds."

By definition, what is planned for the Mail Tribune's online forum is censorship. Considering it is the Mail Tribune's forum, and the Mail Tribune is a private business, the Mail Tribune has the right to censor what it publishes.

Government is allegedly restrained from imposing censorship. Yet, through instituting slander and offensive language laws, government has cunningly forced publishers to practice censorship. Publishers have become more concerned about being sued than the people's voice and truth. To disguise censorship, publishers label the censorship as editing. — Randall Hale, Medford

I understand the conservative mind-set of many here in the Rogue Valley. I've moved here after 31 years in Alaska, no liberal hotbed to be sure. However, I must comment on Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst.

I was appalled at Wilson's (R-S.C.) outburst during President Obama's speech. South Carolina has the highest or one of the highest high-school dropout rates in our country. Their governor, with his own set of problems, is famous for rejecting federal stimulus funds for his state. Perhaps he should reconsider and buy some books; some learning may begin. It is one thing for uneducated, disadvantaged people to suffer from ignorance; it is quite another when their elected officials from governor to congressional delegation aggressively demonstrate it.

Here in the Rogue Valley it is important that we value civil discourse, open-minded discussion and a value of fairness for all. Replacing thoughtful dialogue with invective, shouting out and downright lies appealing to the less informed leads all of us down a dark path.

Regardless of your political affiliation, please be part of the solution, not the problem itself. — Jim Akins, Ashland

Those who claim health care as a "right" are really saying that they should get all of it they want for less than it costs to produce it. Are they likewise willing to do their job and receive less than what the market will pay?

Those who demand a "public option" are saying that because they can't afford it at market prices, the government, (read other taxpayers) should furnish it to them for less than the market charges. They are also declaring that those other taxpayers can afford it because they have plenty of money, a breathlessly arrogant and self-serving judgment. Will they likewise graciously accept paying (through involuntary taxes) for some service that someone else deems too expensive?

The government, of course, aids and abets this nonsense by claiming that it can furnish a public option for less than the market without taxation. And that is an outright lie.

Sorry, there is no free lunch, and those who think their opinions trump economic fact should do a little investigating before they open their mouths. — Lee Morris, Medford

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