This Fourth of July just wasn't like all the previous Fourths. I couldn't muster my usual sense of patriotism, having recently realized that our system now consists of secretly funded political campaigns to place wealthy lawyers in "our" government where they secretly voted to secretly spy on all of us, even innocent, natural-born Americans, with no probable cause whatsoever.
They are collecting everything we do online, on the phone and anywhere else they can. This should alarm every American and spur us to action.
We need to let our "representatives" know that this is unacceptable and they either fix it or we will remove them from office. I would encourage Democrats and Republicans to unite in the cause of restoring our constitutional right to privacy. This current spying on Americans cannot and must not stand in a free nation, especially in light of the fact that ladders kill more Americans than terrorists. Even bathtub falls have killed more Americans than al-Qaida. So, this is not about our safety. It's about control, and we must stop it — now. — Darryl Edington, Medford
The desperate creationist citation of odds "against" evolution continues, despite the overwhelming evidence for natural selection from nearly every scientific discipline.
If the chances of life were long at the Big Bang, so were the chances of everything else. However, as the evolving universe and our solar system formed and cooled, the odds against complex, self-reproducing living matter seem to have gradually diminished, and the fact of its existence today is unarguable: 1-to-1 odds.
What creationist "math" deliberately overlooks in its defense of mythology is that if the chances against life coming into being were astronomical, what must be the odds against a creature complex enough to create not only genes and humans, but an entire universe? Surely, if sui generis living matter were improbable, its putative progenitor — God — must be virtually impossible.
The other important question is why things should be as they are. If God created the universe by willing it into being, such a cosmic magician, infinitely powerful and without constraints, might just as easily have made it of Silly Putty, and us of gelatin — like the intellectually gooey arguments from "Intelligent Design." What are the odds of their being right? Unfathomable. — Gary R. Collins, Jacksonville
Fifteen branches. Jackson County has the most branches in Oregon after Multnomah County.
Enough said. — Mary Horton, Medford