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For those who are saying that Paul Ryan is a "brilliant choice" as Mitt Romney's running mate, I remember that same phrase being used when John McCain selected Sarah Palin, and we all know how that turned out. And if Ryan's vision for the future of the country is reflected in his proposal to turn Medicare into a welfare voucher program for private health insurance, then I submit two facts that may be of interest:

1. Filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission show that CEOs at the seven largest health insurers in the U.S. were paid a total of $87 million in compensation in 2011, an average of over $12 million each.

2. The U.S. code lists the top position in Medicare, the administrator for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as a Level III position under the executive schedule with an annual salary of $165,300. — Paul Falletta, Grants Pass

Your Aug. 20 reprint of a Dallas Morning News editorial on Egypt's president Morsi opined that "Morsi must still convince the world that Egyptians haven't traded one form of tyranny for another."

Who says he must? Is Morsi a pawn to world opinion? The writer concludes (paraphrasing) that the measure of this man will be in his exercise of restraint, his inclusion of opposing views, and his placement of democratic principles above his own religious views.

Who is this mysterious authority measuring Morsi? Does anyone really believe that that Morsi feels any concern about who may be "measuring" him? Surely, Morsi has measured the weak response of the U.N. and the West to Assad's crimes in Syria. Morsi will do as he pleases — bound only by the limits of internal Egyptian politics. This is how tyranny responds to our "Rodney King" foreign policy of "Why can't we all just get along?"

This kind of fuzzy thinking has allowed Iran to march undeterred toward its goal of the destruction of Israel and of regional hegemony. The tin-pot dictators of the world will do as they please until our country has a president willing to re-assert America's leadership on the world stage. — George Mozingo, Ashland

Our nightmare started when 60 percent of the landowners signed a petition to have the county give us an estimate to have our road paved. On July 13 we received a letter from the county notifying us that all landowners were being charged $34,000 to pave the section in front of each parcel. Stated in this letter we had 20 days from the mailing to respond if we were opposed to this road development.

A written objection had to be taken or mailed to the road department. No response was necessary for those in favor.

This letter had the wrong statute number on it, so we had trouble looking up the information we needed to complete our decision.

Our road has 29 parcels, but only 19 were allowed to vote. Newer homes signed a waiver for the development.

We needed 15 votes to stop the process but could get only 12 no votes. A hearing will be held with the Board of Commissioners at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 5 in the Courthouse Auditorium at 10 S. Oakdale Ave., Medford. Anyone may attend, especially taxpayers who are homeowners in this county. This could happen to you. — Mark Sinderson, Eagle Point

Anyone, repeat, anyone — Democrat, Republican, independent, Libertarian, etc. — who plans to vote for U.S. president in November must read this book: "The Amateur" by Edward Klein (a New York Times best-selling author).

It is based on numerous face-to-face interviews of prominent key people. An enlightening read, to say the least! — M. Isaak, Medford

Mr. McLaren was well spoken in his letter appearing in Sunday's paper. I wonder if he has been able to stay in touch with the other fine young men who learned camping, teamwork and respect and love of God, country, community, family and self through the Boy Scouts of America. I'm sure he would find these former Scouts living successful lives that reflect the wonderful values of the Boy Scouts of America, and among them would be men who, as they matured, realized they were homosexual. — Linda Sabala, Medford