LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Keystone XL is no bonanza

In Sunday's MT, Charles Krauthammer editorialized about how government approval has not been granted to build a pipeline to carry Canadian tar-sand oil to our Gulf Coast.

This highly corrosive sludge is extracted by boiling the "oil" out of Canadian sands. A flammable chemical is added so it will flow through pipes. Imagine what this is doing to the Canadian landscape.

The Canadians want to build the Keystone XL pipeline to our Gulf Coast so they can refine their tar oil and then sell it on the open world market. This has nothing to do with "American self-sufficiency."

A few temporary jobs would be created to construct the pipeline, and a few more to run a highly-automated refinery. No bonanza for America; just profits for Canada.

Why don't Canadians pipe this miserable sludge to their own coast? Because the province across which it would flow has banned construction of such a pipeline! They don't want it in their backyard. We Americans should follow suit.

If Krauthammer is so hot to import something from Canada, let's start with its single-payer health care system. It costs people about half per capita of the USA's "system" and their life expectancy is about 5 percent better than ours. — Bruce Barnes, Ashland


Upside down

At the conclusion of the Revolutionary War, the British, utterly defeated and astonished, played the tune "The World Turned Upside Down." Is it not so today? Consider this.

1) The obsessed Rep. Peter Buckley is more interested in marijuana dispensaries for Medford than economic development for Oregon.

2) The Medford School District and teachers are in conflict, though both have a good case to make. The stealth perpetrator of the debacle is John Kitzhaber, with 12 years experience in not attracting enough capital formation and economic vitality to fund education.

3) Cover Oregon will monetarily penalize citizens who have lost their health care and are not signed up, but are to trust how good the government coverage will be though it cannot construct a functioning website.

4) The national Affordable Care Act also wants our trust with an equally dysfunctional website.

5) The Oregon Legislature in a meeting called by the majority party without notice passed an unread bill to borrow 800 million additional dollars to spend on more programs.

6) Martin Luther King gets a flowery celebration parroting the words of the three men whose celebration we have forgotten, Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln.

The world has turned upside down. — Joel Marks, Medford


Reward public service

America is going through a stage where too many people are being left behind because they don't have the education to keep current with the onrushing leaps in technology. Here's an idea I think all well-intentioned people can support.

I propose that in exchange for each year a citizen gives to the country, the USA provide him or her with one year of government-paid education. The service could be in the military, the Peace Corps or a VISTA-like effort; it could even be on a road gang filling potholes or otherwise doing labor to repair and update our decaying "infrastructure." The education could be at any accredited college, junior college or trade school the applicant can gain entry to.

Give your country a year of service, get a year of education paid for. Two years' service — two years' education. This would be open to every citizen of any age.

I think the vast majority of people want to work and make a contribution. This would give them a chance to do so.

How would we pay for this? Stop supporting dictatorships in repressive fiefdoms, and tell the Israelis and Palestinians to solve their own problems. — Craig Callaway, Eagle Point


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