Questioning McCain's credentials; Sliding down the slippery slope; Abra Cadabra: Magic in Minneapolis; Disappinted in America

Where's McCain's judgment?

Sen. John McCain criticizes Sen. Barack Obama for not supporting the "surge" in Iraq and claims this is a "lack of judgement" that questions his ability to be Commander in Chief.

Is not Sen. McCain's support for beginning the Iraq war continuing the conflict without a clear exit strategy, thus violating the Powell Doctrine? Isn't this a colossal misjudgement that ought to disqualify anyone from becoming Commander in Chief?

Frank Hieber

Medford

Sliding down the slippery slope

Because we live in a society where shame is paramount, John Edwards lied to the public and to his family about his sexual affair instead of saying, "Yes, I had an affair and it is none of your business," to the press.

Because women are undervalued and are economically second-class citizens in this society, Elizabeth Edwards remained silent.

Because the politics of our society are governed by puritanical imagery (as well as money), the Democratic Party chose to drop Edwards from its national convention and therefore we have lost an intelligent voice that was to speak on the subject of poverty.

Luckily for us, Amy Goodman's column informs us that Wal-Mart, one of the corporations most responsible for passing along poverty by underpaying workers both here and abroad, is holding mandatory meetings for managers, brainwashing them as to the down side of unionization and warning them that a vote for Barack Obama would lead to unionization. This is illegal. Businesses are not allowed to tell their employees how to vote.

Again, luckily for the people, a group named Change to Win, along with other watchdogs, have filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission challenging Wal-Mart's actions.

Until we change a basic mindset in our society, the truth will be silenced over and over again. We must dig deeper within ourselves for real change.

Jill Iles

Talent

Abracadabra: Magic in manic Minneapolis

Illusion is to magic as the First Amendment is to democracy. There was magic happening in Minneapolis while Americans were focused on the Republican National Convention. The Minneapolis police were making the First Amendment disappear — not by slight-of-hand, but by heavy hand.

AND the RNC will pay the first $10 million in lawsuits against the police.

So, while inside the convention the flag was being waved like a magician's cape — "Abracadabra!" — swirling tear gas and flash and blast grenades filled the streets as riot-geared police acting with impunity staged "pre-emptive" raids on groups engaged in legal gatherings. Even credentialed journalists were arrested. (YouTube: Amy Goodman arrest).

This isn't like Chicago in 1968 — the whole world isn't watching.

Barry Peckham

Ashland

Disappointed in election process

Congratulations to Jeff Golden for the very excellent article on Sarah Palin (Sept. 6, Palin's the talk of the town).

I am not a citizen, just a legal permanent resident, so I am not a voter. Yet, as I have resided in this country for the last 21 years, I care deeply about what is happening in it and to it. I came from Poland. I have lived there through the Second World War — through Stalin and all the years of our Polish subjugation to Moscow's style of communism. When I came to the U.S.A. I was filled with — maybe naive, yet to me very real — admiration, trust and belief in your democracy.

I had been a journalist in Poland and in USSR. I thought of myself as cynical, yet the choice of Sarah Palin for the running mate to John McCain stunned me. Not only stunned, also offended deeply.

Is it true that we are that far separated from reality? Can it be that just being a pretty, vivacious, smart woman is enough to make people forget that the position of vice president — maybe even a president someday — is of vital importance to the country? Have we forgotten what challenges face a president — how knowledgeable he/she must be to be able to understand other nations, other cultures, in order to be able to prevent, to cope with potentially dangerous situations?

Is it possible that people are so stupid that they can think that running a tiny town, and less than two years as governor of a state with a population less than a million is qualification enough to run or help run a country of 300 million?

During the war, and in later years, I was exposed to a lot of propaganda. Was it Goebbels who maintained — with good results for the Nazis — that any lie repeated often enough becomes the truth? Well, I can tell you, through the last eight years we have been exposed to a similar form of propaganda and misinformation. I do hope that November will prove to me that I was right when I came to the U.S.A. By now, I love this country dearly and it pains me to see it going down the drain politically, economically and in the world's respect.

Joanna K. Fenn

Ashland