I think what's at issue with the MT editors' decision not to condemn Rolling Stone magazine for putting a picture of one of the Boston Marathon bombers on its cover isn't that the MT feels good about it. I think it's that they as journalists see any restriction of their movement as having a chilling effect on freedom of the press.

The teenage kid wrecking dad's car comes to mind. After a wild night out expressing his freedom, the kid hands the keys over to his disappointed father.

Granted, there's no disappointed father waiting to take America's car keys. But there is a parallel, in that exercising judicious restraint in the decisions we make (such as whether it would be rewarding a terrorist to put his face on the cover of a respected magazine) ensures that life will remain good and steady in this country, something for us to be proud of, rather than a world of Murdochian yellow journalism where the phones of murdered children are tapped.

It's a question of what we want our free society to look like, not whether freedom will disappear. Whether we become an Idiocracy or a utopia is up to all of us, including our journalists. — Leslie Morgan, Medford

Farmers have been sued when genetically modified genes accidentally show up in a farmer's field.

GM genes spread when Mother Nature takes over and spreads those laboratory-made GM genes from field to field when plants cross-pollinate. Whether planted on purpose or though accidental cross-pollination, biotech corporations own the patents for the genes within their GM seeds, and have sued farmers in the Midwest for patent infringement when any farmer without a biotech company contract to grow a GM crop, has GM crop genes show up in their field.

In the Midwest, many farmers have been found guilty of patent infringement over the presence of GM genes where they invade from cross-pollination. There are stories of lawsuits by big biotech corporations brought against farmers of soybean, canola, corn and other crops. Those patent infringement lawsuits have cost some family farmers $100,000, $200,000 and more. Some farmers have been driven into bankruptcy.

We should not let this same scenario be repeated here in the Rogue Valley.

Please vote with me to ban GM crops from the Rogue Valley by voting yes on Measure 15-119 next May 2014. — Mary Claflin, Medford

I am writing because I care about the fair and am appalled at what it has become.

My family went out opening night, having purchased carnival wristbands and Weird Al tickets in advance. We were told the concert tickets would get us into the fair, but the amphitheater wasn't opened until nearly 7, and we were told we'd have to wait to get into the fair. After going from gate to gate, I finally talked us in.

When we got to what the fair calls the carnival, we found 12 rides, with only 10 in operation. When I went to the office, I was told there was no chance of a refund. We finally went to the concert, and I tried to go out and get some different food. I was told that I could not do that, when the fair's website clearly states that it would be allowed.

Again, when I complained, I was told it was a separate promoter, and it was his rule. The fair manager never responded to me in any way. Given the direction of the fair the past few years, it's evident that he doesn't care much about what the community thinks. — Stephen Nicks, Medford

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