What has become of our democracy? It seems to have become a tyranny of the minority, and a tiny minority at that. The vast majority of our citizen's needs are being subjugated to the desires of a minute fraction of the populace.

I refer, of course, to bicyclists. It's bad enough that they have hampered traffic on city streets, but now they want to interfere with state highways as well? Where will it end? — Jim Andrews, Medford

Years ago, when I worked on the Redstone and Jupiter C projects at an old World War II Navy blackout plant, I had to qualify by obtaining a secret clearance. But there were further requirements inside the plant, "need-to-know" areas that could be accessed only if designated on one's badge.

Revelations by Edward Snowden have let the cat out of the bag and set the clandestine world on edge trying to explain its probing. But has he really revealed that much, or has he just created headlines and set the conspiracy theorists a-howling? Has he revealed enough to diminish one of our, and our allies', best defenses?

For instance, how much of the big picture does anyone get (let alone a contractor) when employed by the NSA? Don't you suppose that they take great pains to compartmentalize their operation?

Is the NSA's level of probing justified? Well, what do we hear almost daily about China's thievery of our intellectual property? Or, about the hacking of credit data (think: Target) that has almost certainly originated in other countries?

So, as the Second Amendment implies, do we need to worry about our government? Yes, but certain other governments worry me more. — Hartley Anderson, Medford

In "Farmers debate GMO ban," (Jan 23) Ron Bjork offers no effective rebuttals to any of the concern rationale expressed by the organic farmers. That may have been deliberate, since there are none.

However, his most laughable comment (aside from the "Nobody's died" USDA mantra) is that enforcement of a GMO ban would be difficult if not impossible, so why bother doing it at all. Is that why over 64 nations, including the European Union, (population: 500 million) have been systematically testing, regulating and ultimately enforcing bans on GMO crops since the 1990s? In addition, the California counties of Marin, Mendocino and Trinity have also had bans on growing GMO for a number of years.

It appears that GMO ban enforcement is not only possible, but a preferred method of ensuring that contaminating crops are restricted. Given the existing models, I doubt that enforcing a GMO ban in Jackson County would present any particular challenges for our constabulary/courts.

Measure 15-119 contains gradual "phase-in" language, so no one will expect GMO farms to change their crops overnight. Given the sustained economic opportunity that lies with organic firms like Amy's Kitchen, those with true business acumen will support the measure. — Andrew Kubik, Ashland

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