How far have we come?

The White House website is unabashedly trolling for sob stories about the suffering caused by the shutdown. We have 23 million unemployed or under-employed, compared with 800,000 "nonessential" government employees. Does anyone else see the irony of this situation?

Our foreign policy on Syria and the Middle East has been farmed out to Vladimir Putin. Our allies no longer trust us and our enemies neither respect nor fear us. Now the president, who will not negotiate with Congress and seems increasingly vindictive toward the American people. can turn his full attention to the real enemy, the American people.

By edict of the administration, some open-air memorials have been closed although it takes more personnel to prohibit entry than it does to permit entry. Presidential contempt for the citizens is being used to inflict pain on as many citizens as possible.

We are witnessing the "soft tyranny" becoming increasingly harder as the administrative state achieves its goals of more control while suppressing the needs and wants of the American people.

A free people will never rise up and demand to be ruled by tyrants. Therefore tyranny must be imposed by either deceit of force. How far have we come? — Alfredo Gallegos, Medford

Jefferson: maybe a good idea

Hooray for the Jefferson State, Joel Marks' vaunted paradise!

Naturally, ideological consistency (rarely exercised by the ideologically inclined) demands that supporters foreswear Oregon's status as debtor state with respect to the ratio of federal taxes paid vs. those needed just to maintain infrastructure, preferring to doggedly stagger along on their own resources. Eugene, Salem, and Portland could then be reassured that more of their substantial wealth would remain in the progressive state of Oregon shorn of its reactionary new-name (after Jefferson Davis?) poor cousin to the south, where "Jeffersonians" would still have to deal with federal regulation according to national laws and policies — which they would confront with a smaller population and less political clout, of course.

An unreformed Ashland may need to be burned to the ground, but other right-thinking folks would be at liberty to misrepresent the Bill of Rights the tea party way, freely canonizing its minimal grasp of actual history, underwritten by a penchant for private schools and vouchers.

Ever hear of the French? They provided the Continentals with loans, and their army and navy bailed Washington out at the battle of Yorktown. Without the French, we'd be members of the British Commonwealth today. — Gary R. Collins, AIA, Jacksonville

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