Recently I've been less than impressed with the tone of many letters to the editor, some syndicated editorials and a few political cartoons in your paper. They seem to be driven by either misguided ideology or plain ignorance.

Those contributors complain about the Obama administration's attempts to stop the bleeding in our economy, claiming money directed toward job creation is somehow frivolous earmarks and "pork" and that, as such, we're moving toward a socialistic form of government.

It's astonishing they can think this after the excesses of the past administration. They don't see that conservative policies over the past decades have brought us to the brink of economic disaster.

The complainers don't realize limited government and lower taxes primarily serve the wealthy. However, the job of a functioning democratic government is to serve the people, the lower 98 percent of us. That's what Barack Obama was elected to do. — Dennis Rasmussen, Rogue River

This is a response to Maureen Stewart's March 14 letter. What makes her think she has the right to put down the Men and Women in Black who stood every week for over six years? Those loyal people stood for peace and total support of all of our troops.

Several of us have/had family in those wars. Some of us lost people. After six years some of us had to go back to work, some moved, some could not take the negativity that people like her have shown to those who stood weekly.

The lack of sensitivity of her remarks astounds me. Who is she to publicly say that those sincere people of every political view were just standing against Bush? Did peace and no more killing cross her mind?

Where was she? Where is she now? I do not see her out in the rain, hot sun, wind, standing tall and with conviction every week.

Perhaps she is the one that drove by with negative comments, lifting a middle finger, or worse .... no response at all. — Tana Domecq-Davis, Jacksonville

On a beautiful sunny day recently, I went for a hike on Roxy Ann. I noticed several burning sites in various spots around the valley, mostly the Phoenix and Talent hills.

At the beginning of my hike, which took about two hours, the sky was perfectly clear. By the time I was finished, the gray smoke had wafted almost entirely across the valley and the lake-blue sky had become hazy and gray.

Is it time to face the fact that we should have more control over our air quality? Why don't we, as a community, figure out a way to provide chippers to the people who burn debris and have a win-win situation where mulch can be produced instead of allergy and lung-problem air?

Some practices hopefully will become obsolete. — Katie Yasui, Medford

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