Has the Mail Tribune become a mouthpiece for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife? The paper's editorial, "Stalking the Cougar Management Plan," read like ODFW propaganda. The editorial contains many distortions, not all of which can be addressed in this letter.

The Tribune says critics of the cougar plan should "stop citing a Washington State University study that concluded killing cougars made conflicts worse." The WSU study found indiscriminate killing of cougars — the kind of management promoted in the ODFW plan — was causing increased conflicts. Other scientists support WSU's research.

Dr. Maurice Hornocker, considered the dean of cougar biologists, has said non-targeted killing of cougars "may be exacerbating the likelihood of attacks by removing those cougars that are more wary of people ... skewing the population toward those more aggressive cougars that are also more likely to attack humans." Cougar experts conclude the type of arbitrary killing of cougars as outlined in the ODFW plan is causing more harm than good.

The Tribune also claims complaints about cougars have increased. But the ODFW admits it does not verify all complaints. The ODFW's cougar plan states, "Not all complaints can be verified as actual cougar conflicts." Why is the Tribune peddling ODFW myths? — Paul F. Torrence, Williams

Are you interested in a sustainable local economy? Are you concerned about the increasing number of people who are unemployed? Do you care about our local environment?

You can make a difference! When you have the choice or the opportunity to purchase something that is made, grown or sold by a local merchant, please make the conscious decision to support your local business community. When you buy local, you are making a choice to keep your dollars here in the Rogue Valley where they will be reinvested in other local businesses. You are helping to create new jobs or simply maintain the jobs of your friends and neighbors.

At the same time you are helping to reduce the carbon footprint by decreasing the number of products being shipped in from other parts of our state, country or other parts of the world. Whether you are a business owner or a consumer, please eat local, drink local, buy local! The business or job you are supporting may be your own! — Tom Hammond, Medford

Have I got this straight? We have 13 percent unemployment and our "leaders" Buckley and Bates are doing the following:

1. Cutting the liquor commissions so the owners have to lay off employees.

2. Fighting to stop the LNG terminal and 1,100 new jobs.

3. Making sure there are no logging and lumber industry jobs in Southern Oregon.

4. Raising income taxes to the highest in the nation, so private capital has no money to expand and entrepreneurial business owners are not attracted to Oregon.

5. Raising taxes on beer and cigarettes which falls mostly on the lower income folks they are professing to be concerned about.

6. Depending on one-shot "stimulus" money to fund government projects. This burdens every family in Oregon with $116,000 of additional debt.

Karl Marx couldn't do a better job of destroying the private economy. In contrast, Utah has only 5 percent unemployment, but they don't have Buckley and Bates and their ilk in Salem killing the private-sector jobs.

A number of Chamber of Commerce members traveled to Salem recently to talk to the legislators; if I may quote one member, "We are going to get screwed!" We already are my friend, we already are. — Lee Topham, Talent

American patriot Benjamin Franklin has been quoted as saying the following:

"The heart of a fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of a wise man is in his heart."

The former is a perfect description of Rush Limbaugh while the latter is a perfect description of President Barack Obama. Good luck, Mr. President. I am just one of most Americans who hopes that you indeed succeed in all that you are trying to do on our behalf. — Robert Morgan, Eagle Point

America has long fallen victim to the idiocy of pop culture; we give these people power and they profit because we watch their movies and donate to their self-serving causes.

It seems that "Octomom" is receiving free psychiatric care, her children are receiving volunteer medical care and she's being paid for appearances on TV. Does a single mother of six, who was unable to provide for her existing children, who endangered the welfare of eight more children, deserve this attention?

We're just promoting the problem! I feel deeply for the 14 children, some of whom have disabilities; they should receive the best care possible, they are innocent. Their mother is guilty of nothing less than child abuse and extortion. I believe she executed her plan perfectly, knowing that society would not let eight innocent children go un-cared for.

Eventually someone will purchase the rights to her story and we will see a book or movie, from which she will profit. I implore the American people, don't buy or watch it. If we made one stand and showed people that such endeavors end only in tragedy, not fame and wealth, perhaps we will never have to stomach such exploitation again. — Rob Clark, Medford

I see where the City Council, mayor and other city officials of Central Point are going to let us vote on a 3 cents-per-gallon gas tax increase to pay for fixing up the city streets.

A few years ago, when Wal-Mart wanted to build a supermarket in Central Point, these same city officials and council, with a few others who have left, would not let us vote on the new store.

If the new Wal-Mart would have been built, it would have paid enough taxes to the city to pay for fixing the streets. — David Perry, Central Point

In response to Dennis Rasmussen's "Letters unimpressive" in Tuesday's paper, he speaks of "misguided ideology or plain ignorance."

The last time I checked we live in a republic, not with a "functioning democratic government." Remember the Pledge of Allegiance we used to recite in grade school? "... And to the republic for which it stands ..." — Steve Bernard, Medford

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