I've been a Spinozist since I read his philosophy in the book "The Story of Philosophy by Will Durant in 1948. I still have that book.

I've been a Spinozist since I read his philosophy in the book "The Story of Philosophy by Will Durant in 1948. I still have that book.

Even so, I doubt the conclusions drawn by Louis Goldman in a recent letter. His letter only demonstrates an antipathy by our country's founders to a dictatorial organized religion. That position does not make them deist or atheists.

In fact, the first and second paragraphs of The Declaration of Independence demonstrates a believe in God, with references to "The laws of nature and nature's God" and "that they are endowed by their creator." — Richard Laquess, Talent

Conservatives believe in limiting government power. The biggest expansion of presidential power is happening now. Bush has used the government machinery for purely political ends.

Politicizing government programs amounts to an internal political police department, complete with PowerPoint presentations to government employees during work time advising them about the Republican National Party's policies they want employees to support.

The tradition of nonpartisanship in government departments ended when Bush/Cheney took office. The largest federal deficit in history is the result with counties in every state lacking federal funding. Bush's claim of presidential power puts him above the law, Congress and the courts. The days of operating with no oversight by the Congress ended when the Democrats took back the House and Senate in 2006.

The Constitution was written to establish a government free of corruption, with checks and balances and the separation of power. The writers of the Constitution didn't give the tool of the expansion of executive power to any president. At the deepest emotional level, Americans need to go all in to protect the Constitution. Tell Congress to play hardball with this president. — Paulie Brading, Medford

Earlier this year, the Oregon Legislature legalized same sex partnerships and accorded them the benefits of marriage. What an insult and unspeakable tragedy leveled at the genuine families of man and wife and children.

You have read that corruption led to the fall of the Roman Empire. In a certain sense we could say the same thing about the great American Empire. We have become slowly but surely more corrupt in many areas of life and living.

As time goes on, we, as a nation must formulate principles that promote and protect our way of life based on morals, human dignity and the common good. Otherwise there will be more and more of this kind of legislation. — Ralph Denman, Central Point

"Six Iraqi police killed by U.S. forces" (Mail Tribune, July 14).

What does that say to you right off? Most readers would think "Boy, our guys really screwed up again." Some people would read no further to find out that the police actually ambushed and fired on our soldiers first. The headline does not lead into the story.

My point is: Why can't the person making up the headline use a little common sense and make it more in line with the actual story, such as "U.S. soldiers ambushed by Iraqi police." The reader then can read on to get the facts.

It seems that this occurs quite often where the writer is looking for an "attention getter," rather than being more truthful to the article. — S. Schussman, Jacksonville