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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Paul Greenberg has used your Sunday op-ed page twice now to claim that President Obama said business people didn't build their own businesses. What the president actually said was:

"Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business — you didn't build that "… the point is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together."

Greenberg might not agree with that. But please don't tell me he honestly thinks Obama meant that people deserve no credit for building their own businesses. He's picked up the Romney camp's deviously edited "gotcha" to wave like a bloody flag. Republicans don't have a corner on this market; Democrats did similar shortening of Romney's "I'm not worried about poor people "…" remark.

We're out here trying to judge candidates by what they really do and say instead of their enemies' twisted versions. Could you help us out? When it's time to include anti-Obama voices on your opinion page, please select columns more intellectually honest than this one was. — Jeff Golden, Ashland

The recent horrific shooting spree in an Aurora, Colo., theater has once again raised the cry for increased gun control. Voices from the left are crying for everything from a ban on semi-automatic weaponry to a total ban on all firearms, which for many of this belief is the ultimate agenda. The argument is that if there is less weaponry available it will result in fewer crimes, murders, and mass assaults like the one perpetrated by tremendously evil people like the Aurora shooter.

This simplified reasoning is just not true. One, for creative psychotics there is no end to the ways in which mass murder can be consecrated (i.e. the Unabomber or just about any Muslim terrorist, for that matter).

Two, as other prohibitions have confirmed, where there is demand, even if illegal, there is always supply. A black market in whatever is banned would spring up faster than mushrooms after a spring rain and add to a burgeoning criminal class. If all else fails one could always front as a Mexican drug cartel and get a small army's worth of high-tech assault weapons from Attorney General Holder's "Fast and Furious" program. — John Pfeiffer, Jacksonville

The Talent City Council deserves a lot of credit for voting unanimously to adopt a land-use plan that preserves prime farmland.

It's never an easy vote to put the broad public interest over the special interest of speculators hoping to reap a short-term windfall at the expense of future generations.

Once prime farmland is gone, it's gone for good. The Talent City Council, mayor and Planning Commission did what was right for our local economy, our rural way of life and our ability to attract tourists to support local wineries, galleries, restaurants and other businesses.

Credit should also go to the local residents who spent years educating themselves about the land-use process and advocating for smart development policies that leave farmland intact. Balanced land-use policies like this will help ensure that rural communities are still here for our children and grandchildren. Thank you to all concerned! — Matt Witt, Talent

Greg Walden is among those representatives refusing to sign a tax cut for the middle class unless it also contains a cut for the wealthiest people as well. This is at a time when according to the Congressional Budget Office, taxes are now as low as they've been in 30 years. Need I say more? — Diana Morley, Talent

Ms. Heritage needs to do a bit more eye opening. Are Republicans the only ones charging large sums? At a recent San Francisco event 25 donors paid $35,800 for a luncheon and a roundtable discussion of politics with the president. The less fortunate 250 paid $5,000.

People do not get elected president by getting $1 donations from 99 percenters. It takes money, and they all have corporations and 1 percenters paying the high prices for a "dinner" or "lunch." This can amount to a down payment of sorts for these people to obtain a role in the White House administration. Did you know that events at the White House are not free? Hollywood celebrities also charge for their events to have a picture taken with the president.

Clooney, Parker and the like charge for their events. The Dems are not as poor as they would like for you to think. Ask Nancy about her winery income.

Mrs. Romney has a horse! So what? There are a lot of 99 percenters who have horses. There are people out there who work for their dollars — no trust fund, no government help. What's your story? — Vicki Hunt, Medford

When self-anointed climate "experts" such as Ramon Seidler and the Ashland GEOS Institute among others can produce mathematical models capable of reliably predicting next week's temperature within a 1-to-3-degree margin of error, I might be able to stop laughing at the notion of them predicting temperatures 30 to 70 years from now!

Since they cannot, I take it the man's guest opinion piece in last Sunday's MT was mistakenly run in the Opinion section instead of the comics where it belongs.

I got a further chuckle from reading Mr. Seidler's brief bio. Presumably most bronze medals contain some percentage of bronze metal, but isn't it more acceptable to award the medal, rather than the metal? 'Tis a meddling question, I admit. — Steve Warga, Grants Pass

I am distraught and appalled at the July 28 "cartoon" depicting the "gay bashing" Boy Scout.

This is libel and unfit for publication. The Supreme Court of this nation has granted that private organizations have the protected right to establish standards for their leadership to protect and support the mission and beliefs of that organization. This depiction suggests that Scouts themselves are not applying scout law to their overall behavior, specifically toward people of the gay persuasion. This is slanderous and destructive to the Scouts themselves and the families and communities that support the Scouting program.

I do not see conservatives bashing or attempting to take over the leadership of liberal gay/lesbian groups. Why allow and support (by printing such nonsense) this sort of bias against an organization and its youthful members who have been a cornerstone in communities across this nation for more than a century?

This is not responsible journalism, nor is it the reasonable use of freedom of speech. It is a purposeful misconstruing of the facts to put forth an liberal agenda's bias. You as the editors of the Mail Tribune should have better judgment and taste than this. — Tami Ohlund, Trail

I want to send kudos to Adele McVeigh for her right-on letter to the editor this week. Those were my exact feelings. — Jim Giorvas, Medford

The interview that Chris Wallace had with Supreme Court Justice Scalia on Sunday, July 29, on Channel 13 was priceless.

Justice Scalia has been a Supreme Court justice for 26 years, and said he tries to rule by the Constitution, but sometimes it's hard because things are different now than when the Constitution was written.

In those matters, he rules as close as he can because he said he is ruling not for the president or Congress, but for the people.

Chris Wallace also wanted to mention Michelle Kwan. Even with a master's degree, she is working in Washington, D.C., with children with problems and receives no money. Michelle was in the Olympics and world figure skating with several awards. Thanks Michelle, you're a hero to many kids. — Gloria Ruth, Central Point