Since the word "rape" is defined as forced sex on a non-consenting human being, or one who is unwilling to engage in coitus with another person, perhaps Missouri Congressman Akin should clarify what he means by "legitimate rape."

The implication is that legitimate rape only covers uncouth madmen who overpower their victims. So would "illegitimate rape" mean bosses in power positions who coerce employees to have sex to save their jobs, or angry ex-espouses who attack former wives, or randy high school kids egging on buddies to prove their maturing bodies work?

If raped women don't get pregnant because their reproductive systems shut down (this idiotic supposition is presumably caused by the horror of it) does that mean if they get pregnant, they are illegitimate while their rapists are legitimate?

No. It is all illegitimate, as defined by the very word rape.

Unfortunately, the Republican Party is poised to cement such reasoning into its national platform as if they are all the purest of the pure, never mind the scandals that periodically appear in public media.

No. They don't have the right to dictate to women how to deal with the tragic choices left by the brutal consequences of rape. — Gail Beason, Talent

Ashland donation boxes raise many questions.

First, what is the real cost of this effort that garnered $90 in change after three months? Is taxpayer money used to buy, install, maintain, manage these donation boxes? After theft from these boxes, what is the cost for their removal, redesign, repainting and reinstallation?

Second, St. Vincent De Paul is a Catholic charity. Don't public donation boxes pose a conflict between church and state?

Third, isn't it ironic that donation boxes have been widely disparaged by "members of the homeless community?" Other cities, such as Santa Monica, Calif., have tried installing donation boxes only to find their situation worsened as the panhandlers became more unmanageable and aggressive. Should Ashland ignore lessons from other cities?

Finally, the donation boxes are a project of the Ashland Chamber of Commerce, meaning "an association of business people to promote commercial and industrial interests in the community."

After the fire set by a homeless person in our city Plaza, our Ashland Chamber of Commerce failed to voice or take action in support of our local businesses. Wouldn't the town be better served if they focused more on ways to attract new talent, money and diversity to this community? — Joel Axelrod, Ashland

Based on the ludicrous political rhetoric bombarding us from both sides, I have concluded that the Loony Left and Ridiculous Right have one thing in common: They are both more than willing to sacrifice intellect, truth and honesty on the altar of ideology. Then again, it's a small sacrifice.

This is not to denigrate the principled voices, both liberal and conservative. They're out there, but the outlandish commentaries just seem to have more appeal. Pogo was right: "We have met the enemy and he is us." — Stan Loer, Grants Pass

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