Thanks for Garfield reconstruction

On the second week of December 2012, with little or no fanfare, Garfield Street became a thoroughfare once again! Now the speed limit is an additional 10 mph (35 mph) but schoolchildren and other pedestrians are given brand-new, safe sidewalks upon which to stroll! Seriously, my deepest thanks to Ledford Construction and other agencies, which combined to recreate our street from Iraq-like craters originally, to the beauty it now is. (In addition, just in time for Christmas!) — Eric Steven Neilson, Medford

Case reopened

It is high time for states to assert their rightful authority over the federal government.

In a recent article concerning county control over federal lands, it was shown by the Jackson County attorney that the feds' authority was supreme. Does that stop the process of state sovereignty which America was built upon? Presidents Jefferson and Jackson sold federal lands to pay off the national debt and promulgate more private property rights in the states which the intellectuals of the 21st century restrict.

Commissioner-elect Breidenthal is moving in the correct direction. Instead of the Mail Tribune trying to embarrass a maverick, why don't they join the fight and help to return burning forest lands to state control over massive federal environmental legal control? The 10th Amendment still exists, though it is not followed.

In our form of government states are king and the feds are subservient. We lost that distinction along the historical path of surrender. Hats off to anyone like Breidenthal warning the public of ever intrusive governmental authority.

The sagebrush rebellion is still alive and well and, though the Mail Tribune's editorialists arrogantly titled their opinion "Case closed," this case is referred to the people and reopened! — Joel R. Marks, Medford

Our 35 new Vietnamistans

Regarding the MT's Dec. 25 wire services report, "U.S. will send teams to 35 small African countries" but won't "battle extremists ... without specific, additional approvals from the secretary of defense":

This squib is irresponsible journalism reporting on unconstitutional government.

Because someone has realized that newspaper purchasers and U.S. citizens include Muslims, "Islamic" no longer precedes "extremist."

We're therefore left with the impression that the U.S. military is battling extremism in the abstract. Should the U.S. House of Representatives be alarmed? The U.S. president and U.S. Senate are safely mediocre.

Missing from the report is whether anyone in the U.S. has any knowledge of the particulars of our 35 new opponents or has bothered to define "extremism." Do we mean the extremism of Sam Adams before he became governor of Massachusetts, or only the extremism of Alexander Hamilton before he joined Washington's staff? Remember that a U.S. president invaded Iraq before being aware of the conflict between Sunnis and Shiites.

But most offensive about these 35 new offensives is that only Congress may declare war. The article reveals that unconstitutional executive-branch decisions to go to war have degenerated from the president to one of his secretaries. — Hunter Greer, Ashland

No evidence of CALM Act

Two weeks ago on Dec. 13, the CALM Act was to go into effect. I have heard no evidence that supports any volume stabilizing of programs and commercials. It is just like it has always been.

Plus, how good can this whole system be if you're watching one channel at their supposed volume settings then you change channels and their output is way higher? You're still reaching for the remote.

I asked some friends if they heard a difference, answer: no. Where is the working CALM Act? — Thomas Tompkins, Medford

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