The letter from Ron Smith, July 20, deserves a response if only to set the record straight.

It amazes me the number of people whose opinions come from Fox News because they can't or won't think for themselves.

In 2002, President George W. Bush complained that he inherited a recession from President Clinton. Whether this is true or not is questionable.

What is not questioned is President Bush's policies took us to the brink of economic destruction. To elaborate would require a treatise much longer than is allowed.

Let's look at what transpired prior to President Obama taking office. The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, costing $152 billion, was enacted to create tax rebates and tax incentives to somehow jump-start the economy. In September 2008, $700 billion was designated to take over failing financial institutions.

How about TARP, which was designed to address the sub-prime mortgages that threatened to tear apart the housing mortgage industry? The $4 trillion-$6 trillion estimated for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? How about the motor industry, which teetered on the brink of collapse?

We are fortunate God provides us a leader as President Obama with strength, vision and ability to get us through these times. — Dan Hernandez, Medford

The revised Social Science Standards are due to be adopted this fall by the Oregon Department of Education. In 2002-03, the Teaching and Learning Standards Committee wrote an interesting "introduction" to summarize its democratic mission. However, it admits that introducing democratic ideals into classrooms has some demerits (possibly due to authentic observation by experts), that "a classroom and school that promote democratic participation even accept the chaos and inefficiency it sometimes seems to produce. ..."

Elementary students, as independent democratic learners, are expected to use higher-order thinking skills to analyze content they know little about. Even kindergarten children are to "distinguish between democratic methods and decisions made by authority." (K.14-Social Science Core Standards.)

The Social Science standards read more like the science of socialism. Read them online at ODE and give your comments before Aug. 1. — Diana Anderson, Shady Cove

If we are to be good and compassionate stewards for this planet, we have to get our priorities straight.

If trees are cut down in great numbers, breathing problems will be the plague of future generations. And this all because of man's greed.

The Mount Ashland ski expansion is not beneficial for the Earth. Just look at how humans have decimated the Amazon rainforest. All this must stop if we are serious about being good, nurturing stewards for this planet Earth, 93 million miles from our sustaining star.

If our Earth was closer to the sun, we'd burn up; if too far, we would freeze. So we have to realize the importance of our existence as living beings. — Steven Kaucher, Ashland

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