George Bush went to foreign countries 50 times during his presidency.

He spent all or part of 477 days at Camp David and made 77 trips to his Crawford Ranch in Texas, where he spent all or part of 490 days.

The grand total of his vacation days while in office was 967, or 32 percent of his total time in office.

All on our dime, just like every other president. — Joi Riley, Talent

Congratulations first to the citizens of Phoenix who recognized by 2 to 1 that it was time for new members on their City Council. How impressive was it that voters would take the time to write three names on the ballot rather than an easy check-off?

Congratulations next to the three new electees, Carolyn Bartell, Karen Jones and Bruce Sophie. Their excellent campaign efforts I believe are a great indication as to how they will affect city of Phoenix business going forward.

Phoenix voters have shown by their decision on a fire district and this most recent election that they are quite capable of deciding for themselves the type of governing that is needed. As a fellow citizen of Phoenix I thank all who helped to make this election an overwhelming success. — Gary Reed, Phoenix

Dr. Miller was my United States history teacher at Southern Oregon College during the l959-60 school year. Every since learning his body and spirit parted company, I have from time to time been thinking about his lasting influence on me.

I never learned his personal views. He never exposed himself as being a Democrat, Republican, conservative, liberal, socialist, communist ... I learned history as viewed by historians Beard, Johnson and Turner.

I recall that after his lecture on the cause of the Civil War, I was convinced that economics caused the war. The very next lecture, Dr. Miller gave an equally convincing argument that the war was caused by politics. His third lecture gave the westward movement equal status as to the cause of the Civil War.

Dr. Miller did find some government actions to be overreaching. However, he was equally critical of other governments. He did not blame America for all the world's problems.

Today, in contrast to Dr. Miller, there are many arrogant college instructors who expound history through their own bias. The students are not equipped to argue with the self-centered instructor. They have not read Charles A. Beard's "The Rise of American Civilization." — Bill Hartley, Medford

"Fair and balanced" Fox News is clearly and simply the propaganda arm of the Republican Party with just enough freeway chases, fires and hurricane stories to perpetuate the myth that it is a "news organization."

Fox News' demographic niche is one of paranoid wacko, right-wing nut-cases, conspiracy theorists and people just too lazy to think. This demographic doesn't need truth or even want it. Giving these people the truth is counterproductive to Roger Ailes' goal of keeping them coming back to get their next fix of fear and hate.

So, if journalistic integrity does not drive News Corp., what does? Greed and thirst for power.

In Rupert Murdoch's amoral world, it does not matter how money and power are gained; merely that they are. This creed, when extended to FNC's on-air "talent," gives us Hannity, O'Reilly, Beck, Cavuto, et al. — the shock jocks of conservative commentary.

They seem to be engaged in some perverse game of one-upmanship — which of them can say the most outrageous thing today? The saddest thing is that their behavior is not about conservative principles but about ratings and bringing back those hate junkies day after day. — John Severance, Medford

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