The Tribune recently singled out BLM's WOPR (Western Oregon Plan Revision) as the kind of policy that has involved so much paperwork that the incoming administration should not waste everyone's time and scrap it abruptly. Missing here is the crucial question. What did that mountain of paperwork say?
The team of government scientists created to advise BLM wrote a 100-page report that said BLM failed to consider relevant data on fundamental concerns such as wildlife habitat and water quality. The EPA warned that the BLM plan would cause long-term damage to water quality. NOAA wrote many pages saying the plan fails to protect steelhead and salmon. And 30,000 citizens submitted comments about the project, with 90-95 percent of them expressing opposition.
The WOPR is indeed an outrageous waste of time. Because the BLM decided on a plan they knew would create gridlock by not passing scientific or legal review. If they were to increase timber production by thinning crowded stands of younger trees, rather than clear-cutting old growth, they would have time as well as science, the law, the public and the incoming administration, on their side. — Stuart O'Neill, Jacksonville
Please, please let more of my tax dollars go to big banks, to big insurance companies' spa parties, to golden parachutes for big company officials, to higher salaries for employees of big firms, to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, to Ford and General Motors, to any other company that "needs" it, and now to large cities that cannot make budget. Better yet, raise my taxes to pay for bad mortgages and $2 trillion of debt.
Please, please let my state of California raise the sales tax from 7.5 percent to 9 percent. Let me pay for bullet trains I never use. Let me pay for auto license fee increases. I'll gladly pay for every special interest group need that shows up on the ballot.
Tax me and raise my electric rates to destroy green energy already being produced for 75,000 Oregon and California homes. Tax me more to restore the Klamath River system that already gives tribes 50,000-plus gill-netted salmon yearly and an abundant diet of salmon for the protected sea lions. Tax me more to release thousands of tons of tainted sediment into the river. Tax me more to insure that future flood disasters in the lower Klamath River will happen. Tax me more! — James R. Finses, Montague, Calif.
I agree with "Our View" in Wednesday's edition. Consolidation of the county's dispatch centers makes fiscal and service sense. The citizens of Jackson County want to be represented in the most expeditious manner for their tax dollars. I expect there is no citizen who cares about the agency's name which dispatches for an emergency, so long as it is done as simply, quickly and accurately as possible.
We all live in Jackson County, not in Medford, Shady Cove or Ashland. A carpet has been placed for Medford to share in the new county dispatch center. All city and county elected officials, and vested employees, need to stop their individual empire building and start to focus on what is in the best interest of those whom you are hired to serve. — Robert Duncan, Medford
There are two Americas in the country.
In one America — the citizen's America:
When your business fails, you fail alone.
If you get seriously ill, you can lose your home.
If you break the law, you go to jail.
But in the other America — the corporate/government America:
When you business fails, you get bailed out by the citizen's America (and fear fuels the speed of the giveaway.
If you get seriously ill, you are fully covered and don't even lose one of your homes.
If you break the law, bypass the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, nothing happens. It's as though those laws do not exist.
Welcome to America — to both of them. Good luck. — Lynne Likens, Talent
On Nov. 15, the Mail Tribune published an editorial from the Albany Democrat-Herald. I find it laughable that the editorial said "... it's no surprise that the sniping at the president-elect has already begun."
My, my. After eight years of liberal temper tantrums describing President Bush as an ignorant, incompetent buffoon, Republicans were advised to "... take guidance from the cordial way in which the Obamas were received at the White House Monday by President and Mrs. Bush."
Unfortunately, after years of divisive criticism of our president by liberals, many of whom, based on their comments, appear to hate our country, it is difficult to say, "Oh well, let's all get along," especially when it appears many elected Democrats place the interest of their party ahead of the interests of our country.
However, as in the editorial, I too hope that "... providence will smile equally on the incoming administration, the country and everybody in it." I believe President-elect Obama's comments and voting record indicate he is a socialist. Thus I am not optimistic about the country's future for the next four (I hope not eight) years. I pray I am wrong, for our country's sake. — Jim Chambers, Medford
Yes, yes, yes, it's rough all over. Many people are depressed that Christmas won't be the same or as good as previous seasons. Some complain they can't give to their children like before. Even Santa is poor this year.
Bah, humbug! Let's get back to basics and remember the reason for the season. Whose birthday are we celebrating?
Why should anyone receive over-the-top gifts for another's birthday? Many people have a virtual warehouse of stuff they have gathered over the past year right at home already. Enjoy yourselves, your company, and your lives together. I have never been able to really splurge at Christmas time; as I got older I never regretted it. A couple of simpler gifts, a modest meal, friends and family and stories about the real first Christmas.
Calm down. Things will get better. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night! — Linda Schluter Tedder, Cave Junction
Pure capitalism has no heart.
Pure socialism has no brain.
The world needs to regulate soul and conscience into its capitalism while preventing its socialism from regulating itself into disastrous stupidity. It could happen. — Frank Long, Central Point