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The inaction of Obama and Democrats require Republican help. Republican efforts will ultimately save the nation.

Obamacare as approved in the last Congress is not the same now as that which was put through. Without congressional approval the president has carved out selected individual participation, extended implementation for his chosen few, and made other significant changes. The last Congress would have investigated and stopped such brash intrusion into their law. Now the current Congress must take responsibility to insure the suitability of the current ACA.

Forty attempts were made by the Republicans in the current Congress to discuss and negotiate with the Democrats regarding ACA variances. The House of Representatives tried formal methods to review it by passing appropriate bills. But, the irresponsible Democrats refused every attempt to consider the law's current changed form. ACA in its current form is not the original law.

Non-negotiable is the slogan Obama and Democrats use to disregard changes in the law Congress originally put through. Such inaction is absolute abandonment of laws by Democrats. Congress has a responsibility to America to re-examine the altered law now not later. Democrats will not act; Republicans are appropriately serving the country by their present actions. — Ron Wallace, Medford

As Americans, we believe that all men and women are created equal. Libraries are essential to this idea because libraries provide all citizens the means to educate and inform themselves for free.

Our own Jackson County Library System offers books, journals, magazines, newspapers and databases on every subject imaginable, for no cost. A person on a fixed or limited income can learn a new software program or language, learn how to fix a car or how to sustain sobriety, find authors and musicians to become inspired by, and have a friendly, clean place to visit with friends and neighbors.

Equality is our right but it is not always our reality. The items and services that our Jackson County Library System offer not only enhance the quality of life, they offer the opportunity of equality.

Without our libraries, our pocketbooks would determine what we know and how much we know and that is wrong! Support equality and keep our libraries open! — Jody Fleming, Ashland

Several opinions highlighted in the MT on Oct. 4 "laud" the government shutdown or say it is "necessary." Really?

Consider the family that can't complete arrangements after the death of an elder parent because the Social Security Administration isn't staffed. Consider the family with three children under age 4 whose dad has been furloughed without pay from the Forest Service. Consider local law enforcement that can't get critical information from unstaffed federal agencies. And yet, consider that those who voted for the shutdown are still getting paychecks and health benefits.

The shutdown is essentially a blunt-force assault on our country by a few in response to "Obamacare" without thought for hundreds of thousands of personal casualties and a national systemic and economic failure. (Please note: people polled on "affordable health care" were in favor of it, yet those same people objected to "Obamacare." Apparently GOP labeling has misinformed many.)

There is nothing laudable in the government shutdown, nor does it resolve national debt issues. It is playground bullying and it does not serve any of us. — Betsy Shanafelt, Ashland

I am appalled and saddened by how our American democracy is being trampled by Republican extremists.

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was enacted by both houses of Congress, signed into law by the president, and upheld by the Supreme Court. Now, a group of Republican extremists have shut down our United States government rather than accept the law of the land.

Every one of us, as Americans, have had to accept laws and government decisions with which we disagree. That is the nature of a democracy. We don't try to shut down the government like a 3-year-old having a temper tantrum whenever we don't get our way.

American voters had an opportunity to dismantle Obamacare last November when we held our presidential election, but instead President Obama was re-elected by a decisive majority. Yet the Republicans are refusing to accept majority rule. They will get their way regardless of how many millions of Americans are hurt by their actions and the negative impact on our economic recovery.

They are not acting as a part of our representative government. This is not how we change laws in our democracy. Republicans need a refresher on our U.S. Constitution. — Debra Koutnik, Ashland

I am outraged at the City Council decision to place the costs of the police department building and three firehouses on our "utility" bill without asking taxpayers to agree to spending $32 million.

This expenditure is doubly onerous in that not only does it omit we taxpayers our will, but deprives us of the opportunity to claim this "fee" a tax deduction. I believe the citizens of Medford should demand a vote as to whether of not to approve this expenditure. Adding these taxes to our utility bill and using the euphemism "fee" underscores the timidity of the council to ask the voters for approval. When is a tax to build municipal buildings not a tax? Note the quote by Councilor John Michaels; "There is the option to allow voters to decide, but I felt this is something we need to act on at the council level."

Please remember that our neighbors in Grants Pass were given the opportunity to vote on funding for their police department operations. Why do not we citizens of Medford deserve the same? — C. Meyer, Medford

God Bless America, the America we knew! That our government is "shut down" is so not our America. Our government is no longer "of the people, for the people."

Our representatives have let us down and somehow we must stand. It is obvious that we, this country, must be a global joke.

If you or I go to work and do not do our job, we get fired. So how do we "fire" our out-of-control, unable-to-do-the-job government? Maybe take a leaf from the struggle to become the State of Jefferson. If we, as states, secedes from the United States and took over at a state level, the organization and governing of state citizens — wow!

No more Washington, D.C., no more IRS. Military arms would be each as a state; a complete restructuring would go on. Yes, this is a crazy over-simplification, but ...

It may sound crazy, but consider this as being "the devil's advocate," stirring thought to new ideas. "Government of the people, by the people, for the people" might again be possible. — Charlotte J. Williard, Grants Pass

It seems to me that all this bickering back and forth over who is responsible for the government shutdown is solely because we are afraid to place the blame where it belongs: the retired PERS employees!

They have fed off the public teat for far too long. After studying the situation for some time, it appears those lazy millionaire janitors are the best, or worst.

Example: Imagine it only takes 12 to 20 person-hours to set up and tear down a gym for home high school basketball camps and wrestling matches, and that has to be accomplished within their normal working hours.

That depends upon the number of spilled chew cups, amount of alcohol-induced vomit, and of course the occasional feces in the sink or smeared on the walls that they have to handle.

What's the big deal? Anybody can do it. Just because they were promised a certain level of pension prosperity in lieu of increased wages doesn't mean we are obligated to keep our word. Heck, they're just janitors, not teachers; and nobody is going to point out that teachers and cops are also part of the Public Employees Retirement System. — Larry Evans, retired Medford School District custodian, White City