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Letters, Aug. 1

Masks in pictures, please

I suggest your staff photographers ask people to put their masks on before they take their pictures. Just look at the front page of today’s newspaper!

Bob Arago

Ashland

Already socialist

A letter to the editor on Sunday, July 26, entitled “Remember?”, stated that “this country will become a socialist nation.”

I need to inform the author that the United States is already a socialist nation. Currently, the unemployment benefit with a $600 boost from the Feds — that is socialist.

What other items of production or distribution are controlled by government? The farm subsidies to farmers hurt by tariffs, plus Social Security, water systems, Medicare, police, fire, libraries, Medicaid, public health, welfare, food stamps, public education, roads, interstate highways. All are socialist programs.

Republicans support socialist programs just as much as Democrats. If you do not want to vote for Democrats, you need to find a different reason.

George Fribance

Medford

We’re not jackbooted thugs

Although now retired, it’s a cruel and hurtful insult hearing my fellow federal law enforcement officers labeled as “thugs.”

Our constitutional right is to free speech and to “assemble peacefully.“ But if an event gets out of control and turns violent, remember this — the police are not gladiators. If they have to use force to control violent activity, it isn’t a “fair fight.”

Police use the next higher level of force needed to stop the violence and disperse those breaking the law. They also wear protective gear necessary to prevent injury and to allow them to come home to their families. If their clothing and equipment appears frightening, all the better to change the crowd into a peaceful assembly than to encourage them to fight.

As a federal officer, among our rights is to arrest without warrant anyone observed to commit a felony in our presence. In riot control this means observing an individual assaulting another, feloniously destroying property, attempting to commit arson, etc. Once observed and identified, an immediate arrest is not required. Felonious protesters may be followed until they can be safely overpowered and transported to a safe area for the arrest. No one is “snatched,” or “abducted.”

George Mozingo

Ashland

Roberts’ response troubling

County Commissioner Colleen Roberts replied to my email about the commissioners’ continual challenge of Gov. Brown’s orders to keep us safe. I thank her for her email. My concern stems from her reply when she provided me a “here is some science” YouTube video.

The video by Ben Swann on the surface looks like an argument not to wear a mask. Once viewed, I did an internet search of Swann and discovered he has a history of pushing conspiracy theories, including those that question facts surrounding the Sandy Hook and Aurora mass shootings, terrorist attacks on 9/11 and Pizzagate. He has also worked for Russia Today, a Russian state TV network. YouTube removed his video for violating their Community Platforms Standards. Factcheck.org states that the video doesn’t report either facts or science.

I am hopeful that Commissioner Roberts relies on more than this video for her mask-wearing health guidance. I don’t want the embers of COVID-19 in Jackson County to become a wildfire like Umatilla County.

When I come to a stop sign and stop, I’m protecting myself and others. Wearing a mask does the same thing.

Jim Buck

Eagle Point

Don’t fly over homes

I live at the southern end of Ashland near the airport on Highway 66.

Daily, I observe several light planes flying over the residential areas of Ashland. Among them are probably students learning to fly.

Because of the likelihood of accidents, I urge the pilots, whether seasoned, students or drones, to fly over uninhabited areas.

Carol Sunahara

Ashland

How much longer?

How much longer is this rioting and burning going to continue in Portland? It is going on two months now and the anarchists don’t seem to have an end in sight.

Our president wants to end it, but the mayor and governor won’t have it. Why is this? If we do not get this hideous face of evil under control it will have a crushing impact on our state. To allow this evil to continue is totally unacceptable.

Our nation is in a mess and it seems as though it will take a miracle for us to come out of it united. Rest assured that if we don’t keep President Trump in office, we’ll become a socialist nation and then we really will have something to be concerned about.

It’s bad enough that we have many who are evil to the core and are leading many others astray. Where are our leaders? Why aren’t they leading? Black lives matter, but so do the lives of every American, even unborn babies. Please pray for our country.

Gordon DeVos

Medford

Socialism

I’d like to address the writers who’ve been endlessly shrieking about “socialism” should Joe Biden win the election. I’m not sure they fully understand the nature of their allegations, so maybe this will help:

In the broader sense, socialism is defined as “an economic and political system. It is an economic theory of social organization. It believes that the means of making, moving, and trading wealth should be owned or controlled by the workers.”

Uh-oh! Better stop shopping at WinCo! Stay away from Bi-Mart, and be sure to keep your recently acquired bread-baking mitts off the King Arthur Flour. Those companies are employee-owned!

Most of us Democrats are not in favor of whatever twisted, fear-based interpretation of socialism the right-wing cult community is currently touting, whether it be Venezuelan, Marxist, Trotskyist, or Bolshevik.

What we do strive for is a balanced economy in which every citizen has the opportunity to work to the fullest of their ability and ambition, that they won’t be judged by the color of their skin or their sexual identity — one where we’re helping each other and not lining the pockets of corporations who send jobs overseas.

That’s not socialism. It’s being a decent person.

L.J. Zinkand

Medford

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