During the time when I was in the work force when things were in a downturn mode we (the management) took a 10-25 percent decrease in salary. What is the matter with these standards today?

You used to give them a raise because they might find a higher-paying position. Today there is no place to go.

By the way, we have had several recessions since World War II. The current population has not had it tough enough. — Dave Bashore, Medford

If X number of people are out of work, it should be evident that they have no money to spend. This should be a problem for those people who manufacture things and to those who sell them. So, why are goods still made, hoping someone with money will purchase them?

Any individual without the bachelor's, the master's and the Ph.D behind their name knows this. This dictatorial government does not seem to accept this fact.

No one with any sense will today go into debt to further the economy. You don't purchase a car every year — although some do purchase furniture every year.

There are too many stores selling the same thing. Cars are overproduced, and who buys them? — J.A. Robinson, Grants Pass

Each year American Legion Auxiliary volunteers distribute poppies in exchange for contributions which we use exclusively to assist and support veterans and their families.

The poppy is more than a symbol — it is a source of hope and aid. It provides a warm cap against the winter's chill, fresh white socks to put on tired feet, toothpaste, shaving supplies and much, much more, including Christmas gifts to be sent to the hospitalized veterans' children.

The proceeds received from poppy distribution are well used and we appreciate your support. — Phyllis Eichen, Medford

Last March, some deranged nut killed three police officers in Pittsburgh. Friends of the gunman stated he "feared that the Obama administration would soon take away his guns."

Ignorant people spread these rumors with no regard whatsoever for the eventual harm it can cause. This government gun-confiscation fantasy is logistically impossible. Here's why:

Citizen No. 1 (we'll call him "Bob") would hide his guns at his mother's house. After the four-man "Gun Search & Confiscation Team" completed their fruitless search of Bob's property, Bob would phone Citizen No. 2 ("Walt") and say, "OK, these varmints done finished. They didn't find nothin'."

Walt and his buddies would then stash their guns in this "clean" pre-searched house. This "Bob and Walt" scenario would repeat itself in every neighborhood in America. Most gun owners aren't stupid!

Secondly, less that 2 percent of cops would participate in such a blatant violation of people's rights.

Third, no one in Congress would vote for it.

Finally, four cops at $43 an hour per cop (including benefits), times 19 hours per search, times 97 million homes, plus gasoline, paperwork, ambulances, bulldozers and overtime, would run 32 years and several trillion dollars. Get real. Ain't gonna happen. — James Snyder, Medford

Why is the president obstructing justice?

In the United States Department of Justice letter to the British court, concerning the Binyam Mohamed case, the DOJ stated:

" ... we will necessarily have to review with the greatest care the sensitivity of information we can provide in the future."

Let me get this straight. Obama is willing to suspend cooperation between intelligence services of Great Britain and the United States, placing both countries in jeopardy of terrorist attacks, to suppress evidence of American torture.

Then he continued his pattern of excusing evidence of American torture programs by stating his intention to suppress photos of Abu Ghraib torture.

Why is he ignoring or suppressing obvious evidence of torture as Dick Cheney conducts a media blitz explaining that torture isn't torture?

Why does he refuse to honor his oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution? His words that we do not torture are hollow platitudes because of his pro-torture actions.

He should educate the American public that we will not tolerate torture. There is no legal justification for torture. We must investigate and prosecute all persons involved in the United States torture program. — Eric Kees, Medford

I find myself in rare agreement with Dick Cheney.

The U.S. tortured prisoners and Obama should release more of the torture memos. Investigations of the former administration, the Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel and Congress, Democrat and Republican alike, should move forward, as nobody is above the law.

While I doubt Cheney's assertion that the Bush administration obtained good intelligence from torture of prisoners, the outcome is irrelevant. It is against the law for the U.S. to torture, which is why the FBI and conscientious government officials advised against torture and walked away from Bush administration actions that made torture their primary interrogation activity.

Investigations will certainly shed more light on those guilty of criminal activity. Cheney is now saying Bush signed off on their torture plans.

The torture memo authors, John Yoo, Steven Bradbury and Jay Bybee, will face tough questions. Bybee was rewarded with a lifetime Appeals Court appointment (Ninth Circuit) by President Bush after his work on torture and may face impeachment by the Senate.

Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley need to hear from Oregonians: Torture is illegal, restore the rule of law, no one is above the law, prosecute war criminals! Call your senators now. — Derek Volkart, Talent

We Americans determine what is constitutionally legal by our conduct. It is not the responsibility of President Obama only, but the determination is a matter of legal record.

If the previous administration is being treated as though above reproach for potentially unconstitutional actions, then we are not doing our job, as a nation. The integrity of our institutions is made vital by our right to question authority. — Ariell Hartwell, Medford

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