With reference to this program in the May 23 MT ("Help cut wasteful government spending," by Paul Fattig), I wonder how the Republicans can be so vacuous to think the public will swallow this political attempt in view of past Republican administrations' spending performance per Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National debt_by_U.S._presidential_terms? Also, election time is approaching. When will Greg Walden start thinking for himself and quit his party's block-voting? — Don Chapin, Talent

With reference to this program in the May 23 MT ("Help cut wasteful government spending," by Paul Fattig), I wonder how the Republicans can be so vacuous to think the public will swallow this political attempt in view of past Republican administrations' spending performance per Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National debt_by_U.S._presidential_terms? Also, election time is approaching. When will Greg Walden start thinking for himself and quit his party's block-voting? — Don Chapin, Talent

It is sad to see the financial devastation of local developer Larry Medinger.

For many years, Larry has been known for his positive business practices and high integrity. He has also been dealing with cancer, fighting a 10-year battle with courage and good humor.

The nation's economic catastrophe has hit at all levels. It is painful to see this noble, public-spirited man undergo such trials. But we can celebrate Larry Medinger as having exemplified the best in American enterprise and business: one whose projects benefited our local communities, and, who, in addition, contributed his energy and wisdom to nonprofit public service to enhance public institutions.

Thanks Larry, you have our gratitude and good wishes. — Ralph Temple and Ann Macrory, Ashland

Business buildings are going empty, government workers are overworked and underpaid. Our schools are underfunded. Meanwhile, there are prisoners merely serving time, when they could be serving our community.

Case in point: None can deny that the former editor of the Daily Tidings was an excellent newspaper editor, and that his employment record reflected hard work, ambition and achievement. His public downfall was a shock and a bummer for everybody.

Meanwhile, his sentencing has done absolutely nothing to advance our social condition. We are no better for it. But I think our communities could be well served to place Mr. Bolsinger on house arrest with an ankle collar, have him attend intensive grant-writing training, and then put him to work writing grants to fund our region's numerous institutions that so urgently need money, especially our schools and colleges and drug treatment programs.

We ought not to waste valuable resources. I think resourceful sentencing should be applied to all educated, white-collar-crime convicts. Set parameters they must achieve in order to remain in the program. They can accomplish worthwhile tasks to help our society with the motivation to repay society and redeem themselves and again become respected productive citizens. — Patti Morey, Ashland

According to a recent news release, the Defense Department has, at last, decided that "large scale counterinsurgency efforts cost too much and last too long." Think Iraq and Afghanistan.

This realization comes at a cost of billions of dollars and thousands of young lives snuffed out. In the face of tribal culture, with all of its rigidity and revenge ethos, it was obvious that our "last war" military approach would not work.

Al-qaida, insurgents and terrorist cells exist in many countries, i.e., Yemen, Somalia, Egypt and Indonesia, to name a few. Our most recent terrorist was apparently trained in Yemen. We need to attack those cells on a selective basis, using strategic forces, drone strikes, etc., as well as other covert operations.

Massive military operations are not the way to go. Why did it take so long for the Pentagon to realize the obvious? — Eldon A. (Don) Seebart, Talent