Letters to the editor

Why pay a Silicon Valley salary ($62,000 to $90,000) for a Jackson County Vector Control District manager to swat or spray mosquitoes in an economically depressed county in Oregon? Do district trustees who earn much more think this largesse is an appropriate slice of the spoils pie for their kin or for fellow Tammany braves?

The ad gives an address for applications. Must supplicants arrive by horse and use a quill pen? Do the trustees enjoy extracting time and money from people who were not born into the family or network necessary to be considered for the job? Does the district staff feel, as do Rogue Valley HR departments, that respecting resumes would force existing employees to sweat for their sinecures? Bet that district trustees selected their successful candidate before listing the job.

Here and elsewhere, looting from the top is epidemic. City managers pay themselves more than governors, university czars arrogate ever-larger tranches of rising tuition, and the GSA funds vacations in Las Vegas.

People who finagled their way to the apex of our ever-steeper ziggurats believe they deserve, in the spirit of Collis P. Huntington, everything that isn't nailed down or can be pried up. — Hunter Greer, Ashland

Maybe others received a robo call starting off with the assertion that President Obama's policies have failed. I don't agree. He has pursued a foreign policy that has made a huge difference in our national security and acted wisely in difficult situations. His economic policies have worked, and we would have more robust indicators of job growth if the opposition party provided more support and far less negativity. His leadership on issues of fairness and equality stands apart from the opposition.

President Obama has had to swim upriver with his agenda, especially since the 2010 election that changed the leadership in the House.

The opposition has been in campaign mode since he was elected to office — do what it takes to make him fail.

Even so he has accomplished a great deal in spite of the obstacles he has faced.

Recently he held meetings with European counterparts on the issues of foreign affairs, specifically withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the international economic crisis. Austerity is not getting people back to work. Deficit reduction is not a job-maker when you only cut from domestic spending and do nothing else. The president has my support because he is on the right path. — Steve Haskell, Ashland

I have voted Republican for more than 50 years, and my Republican Party used to represent my conservative views.

However, now it has abandoned conservatism in favor of radicalism, and even worse let the tea party and other zealots browbeat the rest into attempting to turn our democracy into a "born-again" theocracy, mimicking the Muslim theocracies. The Republicans have forgotten or dismissed separation of church and state as decreed.

Tragically, the remaining Republicans have not the courage to say "enough is enough." The zealots and ignorant seem to be in control.

Tea party members were so ignorant that they thought that their stand on not paying our current debt was a stand on not increasing our debt, and their abysmal ignorance damaged our international credit rating. I would rather have the nonradical Republicans govern by telling the radicals and the ignorant to back off — or they will be forced to vote with the other party, and then have the courage to do so!

Having my party hijacked is not only tragic but frightening. They have apparently abandoned rational conservatism and should be renamed "The Repugnant Party." — Dawn Richardson, Rogue River

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