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Your Views: Research facts on candidates before you vote
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Every breathing aware adult should be an individual with an opinion. I'm grateful we have this forum to share our views. However, that's just it, simply our views.

Sue Basel, you are not alone in your thinking. Millions of us agree with you. This is the most critical time of many of our lives and our decision making is of grave consequence.

The Obama-Biden ticket certainly has demonstrated very high standards of integrity, morals, values, substance, knowledge and most definitely leadership. Ultimately this is the reason millions in our United States will cast their ballot for Barack Obama and Joe Biden. This is the team we feel will best serve, represent and lead our country.

It's sad and amazing when one continues to speak of issues that are so trivial, opposed to focusing on the fact that we are losing our men and women everyday in the military as well as on the streets. With the current national financial crisis, home foreclosures, life savings being lost and gas crisis, how can we not stay focused on the real issues?

No matter if one lives on Wall Street or Main Street, representation should be present, I agree. My information source informs me that McCain has the worst voting record in the Senate. As for Sarah Palin, many think she'd make an awesome vice president. However, many disagree and some think the jury is still out.

Thank God that I am an independent thinking individual who plans to stay focused on the very critical issues, continue to research the facts and not believe commercials nor everything that is written. This allows me to make the most informed decision regarding the people I feel are most capable of taking us into the future and are able to help us achieve our goals and can best lead our country. Obama has most definitely demonstrated the leadership I feel our country needs.

Nevertheless, my opinion, nor others should be anyone's deciding factor for whom to vote. It is imperative that one research the candidates and issues for ones self in order to make your most informed decision.

Most importantly, I pray that all will stay focused, be informed and vote!

Alice Randolph Williams

Bailout wasn't perfect but it was necessary
The financial bailout that was proposed and defeated by "fiscal conservatives" like Nathan Deal in The House had many drawbacks and was no perfected piece of work. But it had the capability of averting a terrible national financial disaster that was waiting to happen.

These "fiscal conservatives" seemed to ignore the fact that if we don't save the day now, there may not be another day to save. Yes, the bailout was likely to be a big long-time burden on all of us, and many working people (Deal's constituents) understandably don't understand the big picture, but our lawmakers should.

Remember that the bailout also could have helped prevent retired folks and those planning on retirement from losing their life savings. And it would have allowed today's working men and women to have a hope for a retirement in the future.

The dramatic and continuing crash of the stock market after the House rejection shows where we are headed. But fortunately the Senate has overwhelmingly approved a new proposal which hopefully, if not again rejected by Deal and his cronies in the House, will provide the protection needed to stabilize the financial world and thus protect our future.

Let us hope and pray that the House has the integrity and courage to say "yes" this time!

W.A. Van Valkenburgh

Officials shouldn't buy gas to support dictator
While reading the front page of The Times on Sept. 30, I was surprised to learn that the sheriff's and fire departments have issued Citgo gas cards to their staffs.

Since the owner of Citgo is the anti-American dictator Hugo Chavez, who regularly threatens and insults America and her citizens, giving our sheriff's and fire employees gas cards that further supports this despot was not a very well thought-out decision.

Taxpayer dollars should be used to support companies and businesses that support America and not those that benefit by our free market economy while repeatedly disrespecting the country that allows them exist.

The sheriff's and fire departments need to immediately repeal this decision and obtain gas cards from companies who are pro-American, or better yet, American-owned and operated.

Craig Johnston