No wonder politicians are ineffective; we train them to be. Criticism of politicians is rampant these days, but perhaps voters should see the beams in their own eyes instead.

No wonder politicians are ineffective; we train them to be. Criticism of politicians is rampant these days, but perhaps voters should see the beams in their own eyes instead.

We expect politicos to echo the same intractable biases — patriotic, religious and ideological claptrap reflecting our own peculiar ignorance of history, economics and social reality — increasingly denigrating a sensible frame of reference. A truly fair-minded and knowledgeable utterance on the part of legislators will be treated as deviance from the usual political pabulum that requires only a knee-jerk reaction rather than understanding, and will earn only opprobrium from apprehensive true believers looking for easy answers to complex problems.

Democracy requires an informed electorate willing to accept the rough-and-tumble of our system; open to considering other positions, but above all supportive of the horse trading and compromise necessary to get things done. There's no place for ideological purity in a functioning representative democracy, regardless of its formal structure.

History teaches us there is no past golden age of American transcendence to return to. It is high time to face our many problems honestly and fairly — not dogmatically. Maybe we could loosen the ideological reins on our leadership and let them lead. — Gary R. Collins, Jacksonville

Democracy has been threatened many times since its beginning, and we have fought two world wars over it, and we support a strong military to defend it. Never has it been seen as a liberal or conservative issue.

Right now huge multinational corporations are taking control of natural resources such as and energy and water. They are making plans to dictate what, and from whom, we can buy products. Their only interest is in making money for themselves and their shareholders.

People are rising up around the world to fight to keep these corporations from controlling their resources, joining with Move to Amend to overturn the Supreme Court's decision giving corporations the same rights of people, and taking away the right to spend unlimited money on elections. This is one way for the people to get back some control.

Liberals and conservatives disagree on many issues, but that doesn't stop us from working together when common interests are threatened. Don't worry if some organization supports Move to Amend with whom we disagree. We can't afford to be divided. To win this battle, we must stand up together and fight for all the people. We need to work together now. — Dave Hyde, Ashland

During the school year, we get to spend a lot of time with our granddaughter. We love this time with her. Unfortunately one of the reasons we get this time is the bad news.

Her mother is a caring school teacher in the Medford School District and goes to school or stays at school long after the kids go home. She does this so she can prepare properly for the upcoming classes.

She doesn't get paid for these extra hours and the district does not pay for child care while she is doing this. She does it out of a commitment to the education process. The parking lot almost always has the cars of other devoted teachers spending time away from their own children to provide a better education for their students.

If you want to see dedication in action, drive by your neighborhood school after hours and see how many cars are in the parking lot. Please support these committed teachers in their struggle over the new contract. And let the School Board know what you observe and that you expect them to rebuild the trust with their employees. — M.N. Hauser, Central Point

Regarding "GMO law means Medford can't ban pot dispensaries," Nov. 5. Kudos to Laird Funk!

Absolutely brilliant! Bravo! — Terry Brown, Talent

I feel overwhelmed with appreciation for recent support from individuals in the Ashland community. I wish to thank each and every one who went out of their way to help me reunite with a most precious brindle pup who had become lost.

You didn't know me. My dog was too frightened to even be friendly toward you. Yet you cared. Some even rearranged schedules in order to help search on foot.

Most of the sightings were on Siskiyou, East Main and Oak on Friday, Nov. 1. Because of you, my pup and I still have an opportunity for a lifetime of joy together.

I still have the chance to show this formerly abused dog that life can be good and people kind. My own view of humanity has been immeasurably improved and I am a better person for it. Thank you for the innumerable gifts you have given us! — Barbara Ellis, Medford

Growing up in the '60s in high school, I started smoking pot. It became a habit. It was on and off in my life until the mid-'80s when I quit. During that time of quitting there began a movement in this country of people growing pot and learning to grow it with more potency and sell it on the black market.

Fast forward to 2013, seven plants are allowed per patient, and today the strains and strength are the most potent they ever have been. One plant could sustain a person for year; instead we have allowed seven plants per person.

Sophisticated growers can yield 2 to 3 pounds per plant, resulting in $1,500 to $3,000 a pound of tax-free money. I have seen people in this community buy high-dollar items pulling out a bankroll of cash like it was nothing.

Now the City of Medford is having to contend with lawyers the pot movement has hired to keep the dispensary system open. It is a known fact that pot money is all throughout this community. Our tax system is being undermined and we are pushing towards legalizing a "medicated" society. — Ken Digness, Eagle Point