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Three dreaded words

The three most dreaded words uttered ad nauseum by our president: Stay the course. Dubya, how's that workin' for ya? ' Jackie Boehm, Central Point

Free trade is a myth

The federal government has borrowed billions of dollars from communist China and other countries by selling Treasury bills. China is grateful. They can sell cheap imported goods that once were manufactured and made better by Americans.

Congress will do nothing. There is no such thing as free trade, Congress. ' Everett C. McShane, Medford

IDs are public record

The Medford School District decreed that releasing the identities of people who commented on the health curriculum guidelines might unreasonably invade their privacy.

When the district posts information online and solicits public comments in that same venue, then that solicitation (and subsequent comment) is a public record, regulated by the sunshine laws that govern the state. For the district's legal eagle to hold that publicly solicited commentary might be viewed as confidential (might?) would be laughable if it weren't so insulting.

Mr. Gerking opines that withholding information on an issue so politically and religiously sensitive is particularly important. When was he appointed arbiter of sensitivity? How did he get the job of deciding about the release of names on topics that matter less?

— Either e-mailed commentary is confidential, or it isn't. You can't have it both ways!

As an RCC instructor, state law and college policy inform me that all e-mail correspondence is considered public record, accessible under the Freedom of Information Act.

The chilling effect comes not when people take a stand regarding issues important to our community, it comes when government agencies cherry-pick the information they choose to release to the people they work for. ' Michael Torguson, Medford

Propaganda and religion

In response to Bill Hartley's Dec. 2 letter, we can't afford to have Iraq controlled by radical Christians who want to dominate the world by targeting its natural resources. Oops! Too late.

Propaganda and religion go hand in hand, it seems; perhaps it's time to denounce both. After all, both sides are using them. ' Mat Rhodes, Medford

Oppose Walden bill

Greg Walden's Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act (HR 4200) is the most recent attempt by corrupt politicians to toss out protections for forests, fish, wildlife and taxpayers in order to further subsidize big timber companies in their rush to make money from public forests. The Government Accounting Office has shown that such below-cost logging costs taxpayers upwards of &

36;2 billion annually.

Numerous scientific studies have shown that wild forests need regular wildfire to maintain ecological health and keep fuels from building up to unnatural levels, saving tax dollars in fire suppression costs. Greg Walden and the timber industry's efforts to accelerate logging of burned forests will cost taxpayers vast sums as the federal government is forced to clean up more gigantic messes (like the Biscuit debacle) that salvage logging creates.

The long-term value of clean water and vibrant fish and wildlife are worth far more to communities than the short-term revenues exported to private companies when allowed to scrape our forests down to bare soil yet again. I urge my neighbors to oppose the Walden bill as yet another massive giveaway of public resources to private interests. ' Spencer Lennard, Williams