Remember the good ol' days, when people helped each other and communities worked together as a "team"? Companies had medical and dental insurance for their employees, pensions, 401(k), etc. Jobs were plentiful then.

Remember the good ol' days, when people helped each other and communities worked together as a "team"? Companies had medical and dental insurance for their employees, pensions, 401(k), etc. Jobs were plentiful then.

Now, America is falling apart! I don't believe for a moment we are out of a recession! The "rich" will always benefit from good or bad times, whereas the poor and the dwindling middle class continuously struggle, especially for a job! As we Americans get older, it becomes much harder to find work, as many employers will not hire the elderly.

In many other countries, the elderly are treated fairly well, but in America, they are loaded with handfuls of pills and disregarded, in a general sense. It's pathetic, what's happening to America! Politicians live off hard-working Americans, yet do virtually nothing! They always appear to be big talkers with literally no action. I'm proud to be an American, but will pray for America. — Jeff Kassman, Ashland

In his criticism of Alan Journet's data on how many climate scientists endorse the view that climate change is happening and humans are responsible, Ron Wallace misrepresented a 2009 study by Doran and Kendall. Please reread that study and also consult these more recent peer-reviewed publications:

"Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature," Cook, et al. 2013, "Environmental Research Letters."

"Expert credibility in climate change: Anderegg, et al." 2010, "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences"

All these studies of relevant scientific opinion found that fully 97 to 98 percent of practicing climate scientists endorse the view that climate change is happening and humans are responsible.

Rejecting what is evident to most of us, and continuing on the path to sacrificing the livability of the planet for future generations, Mr. Wallace should understand clearly that his grandchildren, great-grandchildren and beyond will be the ones to suffer most.

Those who care about the future long ago stopped groping for arguments and claims that deny both the science and the obvious. We should start thinking about how we can address the problem. Sometimes reality is, indeed, inconvenient. — Louise Shawkat, Ashland

Our country needs to enact laws to protect older celebrities from reverse bigotry when they "lapse" into the old ways they grew up with — as long as they make a public apology and endow a scholarship fund on behalf of the injured party.

People hard-wired by their society for bigotry toward race, religion, gender, handicap, sexual preference, etc., cannot be expected to make a complete and perfect turnaround with each succeeding generation as attitudes blessedly change. That's why they call them "Old Fogies," (though the "O.F." word should get one in trouble, too).

A new operating system doesn't always cut it on older equipment; however, that equipment is still perfect for certain work we all appreciate. American culture truly suffers for want of new Mel Gibson movies.

Reverse bigotry's social ostracism and deprivation of the ability to earn a living injures more than the celebrity. Canceled contracts and hateful attitudes harm agencies, publishers, studios, craftspeople and employees. Plus, we are injured by being persuaded to believe this mutated bigotry is just. Everyone shall breathe a sigh of relief when O.F. laws are enacted. Paula Deen could endow an African-American college and continue blessing our culture. — Patti Morey, Ashland

The time has come to use the millions of dollars annually dedicated to keep the 15 libraries open to buy computers or electronic readers for those in need. Some funds could be used to buy electronic schoolbooks of both a fictional and nonfictional nature and would have a much greater research and learning capability.

This plan would save fuel and time because it would eliminate travel to and from the library. Call it the "Green Reading Plan." The current books could be distributed to school libraries throughout the county. The traditional library time has come and gone and the expense to serve a small portion of the residents cannot justify the huge annual expense.

The 15 buildings could be rented or sold and thus would generate income for the community without raising taxes.

The primary job of our government is to provide a safe community for its citizens and some funds generated could provide the needed revenue for police and fire protection in an expanding population. — Jim McKenzie, Medford

Robert Scheelen (July 24) advocates divesting from fossil fuel companies because they weren't prescient enough to account for harmful externalities and calls it a market failure. He says it is immoral for them to continue exploring for fossil fuels and to profit from it.

His advocacy is at best based on shaky premises, one being that fossil fuels produce only negative externalities. In the Wall Street Journal (May 9) an article titled "In Defense of Carbon Dioxide" turns conventional wisdom about carbon dioxide on its head by showing the benefits of increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere on plant life — a positive externality. Renewable fuels like wind, solar, organics like alcohol, and to an extent nuclear, are not without their own negative externalities.

Trashing fossil fuel companies will not help one whit to bring alternative fuels to the fore. The best way is to let the free market and the profit motive work to bring costs down to be competitive with fossil fuels.

If the fossil fuel companies are acting immorally then their customers are acting immorally by aiding and abetting the production of fossil fuels. That includes Mr. Sheelen. He can't have it both ways. — Gordon W. Dickerson, Medford

In Sunday's paper July 21 there was a letter from reader Leroy Moore of Eagle Point. Mr. Moore makes reference to the $36 million in bond debt that was approved by the voters in 2000. Those bonds were used to build 15 new libraries around the county and, as Mr. Moore mentions, "there's not enough money to operate them" now.

I was a longtime, happy and proud county employee in the Sheriff's Department. I recall the buzz around the office in what must have been 1998 or 1999 after a county department heads meeting during Burke Raymond's tenure as administrator.

A library manager (I assume Ronnie Budge) passed around an information sheet regarding the pending bond issue. One of the other county managers looked at the information and commented that "you haven't included any funds for personnel to operate the libraries." As the conversation was related to me, Ms. Budge commented, "I know, I (we) want it (the bond issue) to pass".

Well, it did pass and here we are some 13 years later and there are not enough funds to operate the libraries. Go figure? — Dewey Patten, Eagle Point

It was so sad to see Detroit declare bankruptcy, but California has an even larger problem with her cities and is deeply in debt herself.

The problem with these two states is nothing compared to our nation. This is what happens when you spend more than you take in, but the real problem started when we overturned everything that pertained to God and replaced it with a tolerance for the immoral and an intolerance for the moral.

It's a tolerance that mocks and condemns those who remain faithful to the values now being discarded. Innocence is ridiculed and virtue is slurred. Children are taught sexuality in public schools while the Word of God has been taken out.

Ten years after removing prayer and Scripture from the public schools, the nation legalized the killing of the unborn. Our nation has departed from the Lord, and very few of our people realize the critical line we have crossed and the new and dangerous era we have entered. We are reaping what we have sown! May God have mercy on us. — Gordon DeVos, Medford