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Republicans can't understand why Mitt Romney failed to win a majority from anyone except white males. The reason for their lack of appeal is the way they act, the most glaring example being their hysterical reaction to our first black president.

After electing President Obama, hate groups proliferated, gun sales soared and the GOP became a haven for nut jobs claiming he was anti-American, if not the Antichrist. Their propaganda arm, Fox "News," served up a daily ration of fear, anger and lies while Republicans obstructed everything Obama proposed — even things they previously favored. Hate-mongers such as Limbaugh and Hannity became their de facto spokesmen. Donald Trump's birther buffoonery made him a frontrunner in their primary. The message behind the madness was about as subtle as a burning cross.

Voters repudiated their bigotry and re-elected President Obama. Will Republicans get over it this time, or subject us to another four-year temper tantrum? Democrats and Republicans used to work together on resolving the nation's problems — that's what we pay them for. If Republicans want to remain relevant they need to drop the demonizing, stop stonewalling and do their job. It's time we eliminate hatred from the political process. — Michael Steely, Medford

I write this in response to the Nov. 11 Mail Tribune editorial.The taxpayers were almost hung out to dry.

When you ask the government to do something for you, it usually ends up doing something to you. As the brilliant French economist and political observer Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) stated, "The state is the great fiction by which everyone hopes to live at the expense of everyone else." Such is the case with all "publicly" provided facilities including swimming pools.

Highly organized promoters of Measure 15-115, including the Mail Tribune, could not overcome the unorganized opposition for a good reason. Increasingly, federal, state, county and municipal taxes, fees, licenses, et cetera are eating away personal and business income. People are becoming fed up.

Remember Twin Plunges in Ashland and Jackson Hot Springs in Talent? They were private enterprises in operation for years. If private developers did not have to compete with taxpayer-subsidized public pools, we could see an economically viable market develop to the benefit of all who wished to use it. The demand is there.

All that needs to be done is for the city to get out of the way and let free enterprise work. There is apparently enough demand that admission fees would be lower than the editorial implies. — L.R. Palmer, Medford

The Medford branch of the Jackson County Library System, open but 24 hours weekly, relies heavily on the availability of volunteers to achieve even that meager level of accessibility. On a recent visit I was puzzled when an individual I recognized as a longtime volunteer deposited coins in the parking lot meter. "Why?" I asked. To my astonishment I was informed that all volunteers are required to pay for parking while donating their services.

In addition to being basically unjust, this shortsighted policy (lunacy might better describe it) will inevitably result in fewer and fewer new volunteers as well as engendering a justified sense of resentment amongst those already being victimized by this inanity. A shortage of volunteers might well result in yet another closure of our libraries. This would be especially harmful in respect to the children's programs that build reading skills.

I can only hope that someone ensconced within the Medford-Jackson County bumbledom will be prompted to question the justification or need for volunteers to pay for the privilege of unselfishly contributing their time and energies for the benefit of our community. Free parking for volunteers should be a no-brainer. — Robert Warren, Medford

In response to your printing Lincoln's proclamation of establishing Thanksgiving as a national holiday and Joel Marks' letter to you concerning the same, did you realize that Sarah Josepha Hale (1788-1879) spent 17 years of her life, starting in 1846, writing letters to five presidents, advocating such a holiday before Lincoln finally agreed to her proposal? She also helped in the founding of Vassar College and was one of the first women novelists to write a book about slavery.

And back on Oct. 10 you printed an article called "Braking News" about the traffic light being invented by the Utahan Lester Farnsworth Wire. Do you realize we have African-American Garrett Augustus Morgan (1877-1963) to thank for the modern version and first patent of this traffic-stopping invention?

It would be nice if someone at the Mail Tribune could do follow-up stories on these two great, too often forgotten Americans. — Susie Bolt, Phoenix

Marie Griffith's letter Nov. 28 referred to the genocide of the Palestinian people. Genocide is a word that came into being in 1944. It refers to violent crimes committed against a national or religious group with the intent of totally destroying that particular group.

Statisticians tells us 650,000 souls left the land of Israel in 1948 for temporary settlement on the West Bank and Gaza. Latest numbers registered by the United Nations show more than 5 million now living in the territories of the West Bank and Gaza. Does this meet the criteria of genocide? I think not. — David L. Israel, Medford

Juxtapositions in life amaze me sometimes. On Friday, Nov. 23, the front page was about the return of Harry & David. In the letters to the editor were two laments about the demise of Twinkies.

Your Harry & David article told about a brave company that fought off the fangs of the vulture capitalists, went through bankruptcy, but is now coming back. The letters to the editor complained of the bad old greedy unions taking down the beloved Twinkie. The real reason was again vulture capitalism.

Hostess was bought through a leveraged buyout, saddled with the debt, and then the workers were hung out to dry. In paragraph 10 of your story about Hostess, it was mentioned that the Hostess executives were given an 80 percent raise less than a year ago. Now the middle-class union workers were being told to accept a pay cut or else. It is my understanding that the executives are now being given an additional 75 percent raise to stay on to "guide the company through bankruptcy."

Our very own Medford Corp. was dismembered by a vulture capitalist.

The common thread here is the vulture capitalist, not the middle-class greedy worker. Unions are not the enemy. — Michael G. Knox, Ashland

In your Other Views column of Nov. 26, the author tried to survey the controversy over the word "natural" when labeling food. However, within that article, the author promulgates several purposefully confusing myths about genetically engineered foods.

The author asserts, "Unlike genetically engineered foods, for which there is little evidence of harm to human health."

This is disingenuous writing. There is "little evidence" because no evidence is collected. The USDA and FDA do not conduct any long-term tests for human safety. The American Medical Association, however, is less convinced. Last March, the AMA called for mandatory pre-market safety testing of genetically engineered foods because of potential risks. Kaiser Permanente Northwest's fall issue of their Partners in Health publication devoted a whole page to telling their members how to limit exposures to genetically engineered foods.

The author also tries to pass off tangelos as equivalent to genetically engineered foods. However, tangelos are hybridized, which is radically different than the recombinant DNA techniques where genes from unrelated species (such as fish and tomatoes) are crossed with often unpredictable results. In effort to confuse the public, biotech proponents routinely try to equate the two methods but they are very different. — Brian Comnes, Ashland