How about that? Dubya said that the war with Iraq was worth it. After five years of fighting, this is what our country has to show for it: almost 4,000 fatalities; one-fourth of those returning have some sort of combat stress disorder; thousands of battle-related injuries; al-Qaida's strength from new recruits in the world has multiplied tenfold; our favorable relationships with other countries has deteriorated; energy prices have soared; foreclosures on mortgages are at record levels; we`re in the midst of a recession; inflation is on the rise; the federal deficit increases $1.63 billion/day; the public debt on March 19, 2008, was more than $9.3 trillion.

Not to worry though, help is on the way; most of us will receive a rebate of $600 to bolster the economy. I don't know about you, but our return will be spent on everyday needs and to cover the cost of health insurance.

The question that we must ask ourselves is, "Are we better off today than we were five years ago?" If your answer is yes, vote accordingly. If your response is no, now is the time to change this country for the betterment for most all of us. — Bob Miller, Ashland

SNYP's annual Prevent a Litter set a new record — 826 spay/neuter certificates were sold for national spay/neuter month!

Many deserve thanks for preventing the births of thousands of unwanted cats and dogs.

Partnering with Jackson County Animal Control and Friends of the Animal Shelter enabled us to offer the certificates at the compelling price of $25. Tim Church, David Young and their terrific band, Jerry Attrick and the Pacemakers, donated funds from a benefit concert which was graciously hosted by the Standing Stone Brewery. The Mini Pet Marts, Ashland and Medford Grange Co-ops and the Pet Country store sold the certificates. Thank you!

This program would not be possible without our heroes, the 14 veterinary offices providing surgical skills at greatly reduced rates. Thank you to everyone involved with the program, and to everyone who took advantage of it by getting their companion animals fixed. — Sally Mackler, Medford, SNYP (Spay Neuter Your Pet)

Barack Obama has taken the race discussion to a new profundity with his filial and communal embrace of blacks and whites whose judgment he also repudiates. Probably only a person of mixed race could achieve this crucial breakthrough.

It is a bullet many in America know we have to bite. We wait now with hopeful attention to whether Obama's political realism can match John McCain's or his economic savvy that of Romney. — Andrew Foster, Ashland

If someone can sit in a pew, listening to his pastor spew hate, anti-Americanism and racism for 20 years, he just might be a racist. — Drew Hymer, Medford

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