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Letters, Feb. 16

Checks, balances usurped

It has become apparent that our system of checks and balances, whereby governance of our nation is shared equally by the three branches of government (executive, legislative, judicial) has been usurped in favor of a quasi-dictatorship.

During the past two years a submissive Congress has quiescently ignored Trump’s juvenile antics as president and refrained from asserting its legitimate role as an equal partner in governing our nation. To quote Cole Porter, the past two years have been “a trip to the moon on gossamer wings.” Unfortunately, gossamer is as translucent as the ludicrous falsehoods that emanate daily from the Oval Office. Americans have reason to be wary of all politicians, but there is a valid means of differentiation between the major parties. Namely, past performance.

Thanks solely to the efforts of Democratic administrations, Americans today have in place two functioning safety nets: Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid. Since their inception, these programs have endured constant harassment by Republicans who cavalierly dismiss the vital needs served by these entities.

In short, the Democratic Party has been responsive to the needs of all Americans while the Republican Party remains mired in the past.

Bob Warren

Central Point

It’s just not that much

Cost of Middle East wars is $4 trillion. The annual federal budget is $4 trillion. The federal debt is $22 trillion. Unfunded pensions are trillions more. Gross Domestic Product: $20 trillion. Foreign aid, $42 billion. The cost of the wall is $5 billion, or 0.13 percent of the federal budget.

The number of our troops stationed outside the United States, protecting their borders, is 165,000. The number of troops on our border, not just assisting the border patrol with mundane tasks, is zero. Thirteen percent of federal prisoners are illegals. There is a cost to having illegals in the country. A rough estimate would be tens of billions. All of the top Democrats have at one point advocated for a wall.

The point is the law says there is a way to enter this country legally. The president is trying to enforce that law. The Democrats are playing politics. If they want open borders, say so. If they have a better solution, tell us what it is. The Border Patrol says walls work. Mexico will give them asylum. It is not racist to protect the border. It just doesn’t cost that much. Give Trump his wall.

Larry Fields

Medford

More government control

Once again (Jan. 10), the indefatigable Alan Cardinal Journet, prelate of SOCCAN (Southern Oregon Church of Climate Alarmism Now), emerges from his science-free existence and encourages free citizens to turn total power and control over to Holy Mother State to mitigate “climate change” in China and India, the world’s largest polluters.

I recognize “consensus” replacing science to advance “climate change” is a stratagem alarmists use to smother opponents’ ideas and stifle them from offering differing opinions and fact-based evidence. I also recognize the cardinal’s solution as a ploy for more government control over our lives.

In Venezuela, starving citizens, once dining on zoo animals, are now rioting to overthrow their socialist (totalitarian) government, where coffins are rented by the hour and basic necessities, food, medicine, power, etc., are lacking for most citizens.

The cardinal wants to transform Oregon into a dystopian Northwest Venezuela in pursuit of a climate fantasy. He wants us to surrender our liberties to the state without the slightest hint that any of this will work.

The “climate change” goal posts keep advancing. They are always in sight yet forever out of reach!

Why have faith in the cardinal’s current predictions, when all his prior prognostications failed?

Dennis V. Sinclair

Medford

Change the name

Maybe the Federal Bureau of Alcohol,Tobacco and Firearms should change to FACT so as to encompass cannabis. Also, maybe Karl Marx got it wrong when he referred to religion being the opiate for the people.

Bob Shand

Medford

Don’t lose Japanese Garden

I read with considerable dismay the Mail Tribune article regarding cancellation of the planned Japanese Garden in Ashland.

I understand the love of trees, but anyone who has visited the Japanese Garden in Portland created by Toru Tanaka understands what rare treasures they are. The possibility of another such complex locally is exciting. Tanaka is one of the last traditionally trained designers of Japanese Gardens. Having him create one of his masterpieces in Ashland will be of inestimable value for generations to come.

We should not let that opportunity pass because a few, perhaps well-meaning, but short-sighted people object to cutting down two trees. It is even obliquely appropriate the garden would include symbolic logging, one of the historically significant industries in our state. The trees would be repurposed into some of the structures for the gardens.

The garden will dramatically enhance the attractions of Ashland, drawing tourists for it alone, and provide many highly skilled jobs. Do not allow a few ignorant people to take this gift away from the rest of us. Let Michael Black, Ashland Parks and Recreation director, know how you feel. His business email is michael.black@ashland.or.us.

James Hoftiezer

Medford

Not Trump’s fault

In response to Ken Hawes (Feb. 2): How did President Trump force the public to act worse than animals when the National Parks were shut down?

I thought about the fact that humans set out to destroy our beautiful parks by using the grounds as bathrooms, throwing trash everywhere with no regard for anyone else. Why is it Trump’s fault that reprobates used the parks with a “flagrant disregard for the rules?” It was his fault that the slobs took stuff in but couldn’t be bothered taking it back out?

Maybe when these things happen the parks should be shut completely, disallowing any entrance by the human trash. As I believe with human-set forest fires, the reparations should be paid for by the less-than-human beings that caused the damage. Trump didn’t force the miscreants to act like destroyers. They did that themselves.

Do humans honestly need a caretaker in view all the time in order to make them behave in human decency? The minute the teacher leaves the room they destroy the furniture and the room?

P. Moran

Medford

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