There is often more heat than light when talking politics. The way I approach the territory is to get evidence from credible sources, make conclusions about what is going on and form an opinion based on my values about the role of government.

There is often more heat than light when talking politics. The way I approach the territory is to get evidence from credible sources, make conclusions about what is going on and form an opinion based on my values about the role of government.

Case in point: the Senate leadership and then most senators agreed to a bill to end the shutdown and raise the debt ceiling. Then the House leadership put the bill up to a full vote and all Democrats and enough Republicans voted in favor of it. The president signed it. That is how the shutdown ended and the debt ceiling was raised.

In my opinion that was a good thing and addressed the "enough is enough" behavior of a significant number of Republicans who voted against this bill and would have continued the government shutdown and not raised the debt ceiling. One doesn't have to get into blaming, just look at the evidence and make your call.

Congressman Walden voted no. Since he has the job of getting Republicans elected to the House, he probably didn't want to be on the teaparty.net list of 87 House Republicans who voted yes and are on the RINO hunting list. — Steve Haskell, Ashland

I am not sure what teachers do anymore. Do they teach reading, writing and math or are they social workers?

I raise the question in response to the guest opinion regarding fair pay for the work that teachers do. I take no position as to fair pay, but I do question the work they are hired to do. It seems to me that they are first, and foremost, social workers, guardians of child welfare because of the breakdown of the family; second, they are undercover cops because they must report signs of child abuse; third, they are peace officers because they are charged with the safety of the child while at school; and fourth, they are politicians because they must be politically correct in all they say and do.

Yes, let us pay them fairly for what they do. But what is the job we are paying them for? — Gale F. Trapp, Medford

It's that time of year to say thank you to all the friends who help keep our libraries operating.

Oct. 21-27 is National Friends of the Libraries week.

These local patrons help to organize and staff book sales, fundraisers, movie showings, lectures, etc. They generally help the libraries do what they are meant to do — serve each community that the libraries are in.

Please help support your local library and their Friends groups in all that they do.

We're all a little better for it. — John, Serena and Will Jackson, Medford

How sad ... Mr. Varble, because of their appearances, chooses to overlook the fine performances of the actors playing Mr. and Mrs. Peron in the local community theatre's production of "Evita."

Perhaps Mr. Varble's comments are not worth listening to since he doesn't look much like Roger Ebert. — Richard W. Schultz, Ashland