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Letters to the Editor, Oct. 29

Supporting 91

"Travel As A Political Act" is a talk given recently by travel expert Rick Steves. His extensive world travel afforded him the opportunity to see how other countries deal with the issue of drug use.

Many countries have chosen not to treat drug use as a crime, but as a health and education issue. This approach has demonstrated that teen drug use does not increase, crime does not increase, and drug use does not increase disproportionately. Pharmaceutical companies, our largely privatized corrections industry and police benefit from our continued misguided approach of criminalization of drug use.

We have little to show that our War on Drugs deserves to continue. It is wiser to legalize, regulate and tax these substances and devote our efforts to improving public health instead of imprisoning large percentages of our population for doing harm primarily to themselves. I don't use drugs, but fully support Measure 91.

Fred Jenkins, Trail

Dotterrer isn't ready

Dave Dotterrer is a fine member of the community, but not state Senate material. Despite multiple attempts to engage him and ask respectful questions about his opinions, all he seems to be able to muster is, “See my website,” and “Semper Fi!” Voters deserve a senator who will respond to their questions and has ideas they are willing and able to articulate to the community.

Efforts to get him to talk about his opinions of Measure 5 and its effect on the Oregon State Police and education are met with silence. Questions about his stance on PERS reform and how he planned to clean up Cover Oregon went unanswered.

I don’t doubt that this candidate is a leader and an honorable man. But at this point, it is very clear to me that he is not ready to represent us in Salem. It takes more than silence, evasion and empty promises.

Alexander Krach, Ashland

Proud of Democrats

Lots of us get irritated at political ads. Yet what does it say of us to cynically abandon our hard-won inheritance of 200 years of participatory democracy? Should we abandon our society and environment to the rich and their crafty media ads?

For instance, frequent expensive mailers and TV ads from Dave Dotterrer portray Alan Bates as some sort of monster. They try to make Bates look like a creep, but these ads give me the creeps about Dave Dotterrer.

They have all the marks of Karl Rove and the Koch brothers all over them. They use the one-note song of Republicans — relentless ridicule to rouse up anxiety and anger and cater to fear and hate. They hype our hope for jobs while ignoring 30 years of failed “trickle-down-on-us” Reganomics.

Alan Bates is doing difficult work decently. I’m proud of Democrats lately. Republican smear campaigns only smear Republicans.

Brad Carrier, Ashland

Free speech zones

Regarding "SOU students protest free-speech zone": Viewing the video of the incident could lead one to think that the upper level administrators challenging the students believe those students should be sent to the re-education zone to learn the error of their thinking.

How could the students believe they have the right to hand out copies of the U.S. Constitution without adhering to university policy and getting prior approval? The United States is (political correctness aside) a Free Speech Zone. Most of these "free speech" zones have been declared unconstitutional by the courts when challenged.

Michael Slater, Jacksonville

Who are the critics?

The Mail Tribune, having endorsed Judge Adam Peterson in April, withdraws that endorsement based on people who won’t identify themselves. The sources quoted are "privately, the local lawyers we spoke with” and "those on the inside say” and "the view from people who have no particular stake … .”

Shouldn't we know who is criticizing Judge Peterson?

Contrast this editorial with that of April 29 (http://tinyurl.com/m9l98c9), which quotes judges on the Circuit Court bench, all three county commissioners, the former district attorney, members of law enforcement, the founder of the local public defender’s office and others who have endorsed Judge Peterson. And, these people identified themselves.

I recommend we vote for Judge Adam Peterson because of his qualifications and experience as recognized by real people who have identified themselves in making their endorsements.

G. Philip Arnold, senior Circuit Court judge

Letters to the Editor, Oct. 29