What an insult

I resent the military-war industrial complex glorifying this draconian death-dealing largest non-nuclear bomb ever — the Massive Ordnance Air Blast, or MOAB, nicknamed "The Mother of All Bombs" — with a label of Mother, the source of all birth, all life.

Such a brazen euphemism does not conceal its deadly intention, its pollution of our atmosphere, and its timing to distract us from our diminishing rights and the institutions that assure our human rights. U.S. government: Do not test your weapons in this Afghan buffer zone, do not undermine the EPA, and do not violate your mother. We, our children, and future generations hold life on Mother Earth in public trust.

Lauren Jinshil Oliver

Ashland

Watching closely

So we've now learned about a MOAB that is a military monster, the “mother of all bombs.” I liked the Merrill Moab hiking boots I once had, but wonder how I’d feel about buying a new pair, named after the ancient tract of land in the Levant, very near Syria.

Trump Inc. seems to be getting loose with missiles and bombs, even if the world earnestly wants to see the end of the scourge of ISIS (where are the likes of Daniel Craig, or Matt Damon, or the SEALs?). But 59 missiles at about $1 million each that apparently did less lasting damage to Assad’s arsenals than was thought, and one bomb on an apparent ISIS compound at a cost of multiple millions? No wonder the liar in chief wants to cut funding for worthwhile programs in our society.

The U.S. Air Force has highly sophisticated, frightening military capabilities we cannot even imagine. Several decades ago I served four years with the USAF, though I was trained as a Russian linguist and cryptographer, worked in Turkey, and never had an inkling of such things.

There seems to be a hullabaloo of bragging about the might of one MOAB, even though its recent use may have questionable consequences. So what’s next, cramming a bunch of them into a fleet of monster cargo aircraft and sending a mother of all armadas to a region not far from the ancient (13th century BC to 400 BC) Moab, the historical kingdom on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea?

Yes, the Middle East is a complex problem with bad guys and regimes causing appalling problems for very many people in the region and in the world. Yet, unleashing such frightening military machinery will likely cause increased hatred, resentment and entrenched positions against the U.S. and our, so far, allies.

In the meanwhile, there is another apparently psychotic, arrested adolescent dictator in North Korea with certain similarities to the current occupant of the Oval Office, taking advantage of the diplomatic turmoil and threatening to use his own mad missiles. We must watch closely which way DT will turn, and tweet, next.

Lawrence Nagel

Ashland

Town hall was a sham

In my opinion, Greg Walden’s recent Medford Town Hall was a sham. I had thought he would listen to constituents and answer questions. But it seems Walden was not listening, because his responses mostly resembled rehearsed talking points rather than answers to the specific questions. Plus, he did not allow the follow-up that would have enabled citizens to press for more relevant responses.

At the meeting, I asked Walden whether he supports independent investigation of Russia’s involvement in our elections and possible collusion with Trump’s campaign. In this case, he did answer the specific question by saying that, basically, he supports partisan investigation rather than nonpartisan. He then turned his back and proceeded across the gym seeking a new question. Had Walden allowed follow-up, I would have pointed out that partisan investigation is inherently biased and, therefore, unsatisfactory.

My opinion that Walden is not really listening is supported by a story in Medford’s Mail Tribune on April 16, in which Walden said: “I am the place they can come and vent.” Venting is one-way communication. Allowing citizens to “vent” implies to me that Walden is happy to tolerate voters’ speech and also happy to ignore it.

Peggy Vernier

Medford