Eric Holder is threatening the state of California with legal action if the voters pass Prop. 19 to legalize marijuana! Where were he and the Justice Department when real criminals should have been prosecuted, i.e., Bush, Cheney, et. al.? Sad that prorities have changed so much that some people get away with murder and others are prosecuted for using the ballot box! — Yale Sacks, Central Point

Kathleen Parker's column (Oct. 20) about the current crop of Republican female candidates is a profoundly shallow analysis.

These women have ideas that are in direct conflict with our Constitution. The squeal for repeal of the 17th Amendment, the cry for lower deficits and lower taxes and their refusal to say where they'd cut the budget are all indicators of extremists with no idea of how to govern.

Many tea partiers want to privatize Social Security, turn Medicare into a voucher system and encourage citizens to routinely carry firearms in the streets and parks. They're for "small government," but some want to criminalize all abortion, including the offspring of rape and incest.

How will they monitor every girl and woman of child-bearing age to ensure she's not pregnant? If she is pregnant, who will ensure she stays that way? Is banning abortion just a hypocritical campaign slogan? If not, how will they put our female citizens under surveillance from the time they reach 12 until they reach 50? How many pregnancy police will that take?

These tea partiers are advocating for a misogynistic police state. Parker needs to consider and report the true implications of the tea party's radical ideas. — Damon Neal, Ashland

In "Britain's Austerity Model" (Oct. 24), David Broder omits a significant factor that distinguishes the U.S. from the U.K. (and every other country, as well). I'll provide it:

The U.S. military budget is (and has been for decades) wildly disproportionate to our GDP. This should absolutely be the first budget priority to review for severe cuts, before impacts to the middle class or needy are even whispered. The 2010 federal budget will ultimately provide no less than $ 1.2 trillion for "Defense/ Normal and Emergency-Supplemental Spending"; an obscene amount considering that we're not engaged in any actual wars and are facing no global technological threats. It's six times higher than China's and constitutes the majority of spending between the U.S. and combined allies (40 percent of total global arms spending). A 25 percent cut in this spending would yield annual savings of over $300 billion; funds that could be used to resuscitate our badly mauled physical and social infrastructures.

The budget deficit should not be "dumped" on middle-class people and those in poverty. We should all be demanding a federal audit toward at least a 25 percent spending cut for the military. — Andrew Kubik, Ashland

The quote from me in the article published Oct. 20 was misplaced. I was not addressing Advisory at Ashland High School.

As the "voice" for the Ashland Education Association, I stated at the October School Board meeting that with the cuts in administration, staff and teachers, the association was asking the School Board to be aware of the impact the past cuts, any future cuts or any new programs have had and will have on class size K-12.

I also said, "No one blames the School Board for the financial crisis that our country is experiencing. We understand that the district is given money from the state and through the local levy and must balance its budget. We are extremely grateful to the Ashland voters who have supported the Youth Activities and Academics levy and ask for their continued support."

In addition, I stated, "I can tell you from personal experience that Michelle Zundel has worked with departments at the high school and has made some schedule changes to ease the burden of some of the larger class loads. I am certain that principals in other buildings are also working with their teachers." — Leeanne R. Wallace, Ashland High School English teacher and past president, Ashland Education Association

Since attending the "Farewell to Peter Britt" (such a nice event), we are grieving. For Jacksonville to lose the Peter Britt exhibit is troublesome.

Tough economic times mean hard choices for organizations as well as families. However, we are all diminished when Jackson County will no longer support its history and make it available to the public.

We commend the historic societies (SOHS and Jacksonville's) for caring about the region's history. — Robert and Joanne Wilcox, Central Point

Our fathers, who art foreign and corporate lobbies, hallowed be thy names.

Give us this day our daily "bread" and forgive us our libel and greed as we forgive libel and greed used against us.

For a reasonable sum, thy wills shall be done in state and local government as it is in Washington.

Lead us not from temptations, but deliver to us all of those things which tempt us.

For thine is the power to buy us the kingdom and win us the glory forever and ever.

Amen. — Eddie Richardson, Rogue River

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