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Soccer match better than story

We found Friday night's exhibition match between Fuego — and Liga del Valle to be much more balanced (and positive) than the Tidings' — May 29 article and the quoted comments of Fuego's coach portrayed. Was — it really necessary to suggest that Fuego had to "settle" for a tie primarily — because its opponent was a "weaker team"? Fortunately, some of the Fuego — players acknowledged the talent and motivation exhibited by the Liga players — (who, it should have been noted, do not even play together regularly as — a team). Overall, though, the general tenor of the article appears to — send the wrong message to the many young players who watched the game. — We can only hope they did not read the Tidings' account.

Joan and Dan Thorndike

History lesson beneficial

Cavanaugh's letter (Daily Tidings, 20 May) making an analogy — of Israel as "a home invader who breaks in, throws most of the inhabitants — out, consigns the others to sub-basements and out houses, and then — takes — over the neighborhood" is so far from the facts that his arguments simply — do not have any validity. A quick non-biased history lesson: Palestine — was not a country in the early 1900s; it was administered by Great Britain, — who decreed in 1917 that two states should exist (a Jewish state and a — Palestinian state). The Jews agreed; the local Arabs did not, in spite — of the representative of the Arab world at the Paris Peace Conference — declaring, "There is room — for us both." In l922 an Islamic Imam, Haj — el-Husseini, declared that the Jews should be forcibly removed from the — area, in spite of their presence there for centuries, as long as had the — Arabs. Riots were severe in l922, l929 and l936. Rioting was so bad by — l937 that the British again declared there should be two separate countries; — the Jews agreed, the Arabs refused. In l947 the U.N. declared there should — be two countries; the Jews accepted, the Arabs refused again. In spite — of this rejection, on 29 November l947, the U.N. voted to create a Jewish — state. Thus, Mr. Cavanaugh, the Jews did not "invade," they had lived — in the area for centuries and were given a state by the U.N.

Within a week of the vote local Palestinians, under leadership — of Imam Haj el-Husseini, and armies from seven surrounding Arab nations — fight approximately 45,000 Israeli volunteers. El-Husseini declares they — will drive the Jews into the sea. Arabs use car bombs against civilian — targets; Israelis refuse as such weapons are too indiscriminate (sound — familiar?). In villages taken over by Arabs, Jews are either forced out — or murdered; in villages taken over by Israelis, local Arabs are encouraged — to stay in their homes. However, el-Husseini and other Arab leaders order, — by force, the local Arabs to leave Israeli-occupied villages. Thus begins — the Palestinian exodus. They were not kicked out by the Jews, they were — forced out by their own leaders, and, as Abu Mazer, a member of the Palestine — Liberation Organization Executive Committee said in l948, "The Arab armies — entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians — but instead they abandoned — them, forced them to emigrate and leave their homeland?". Also, Khaled — al-Azim, former Prime Minister of Syria, wrote "Since 1948 we have been — demanding the return of the refugees to their homes. But we ourselves — are the ones who encouraged them to leave." So much for Mr. Cavanaugh's — stating the Jewish "invaders — throws most of the inhabitants out."

I could go on with a point by point rebuttal of Cavanaugh's — many other errors but letters are supposed to be kept under 250 words. —

But I would like to state that the history of any controversial — subject is much more complex than most realize. Letters to the editor, — like Mr. Cavanaugh that place all blame on one side, using dubious "historical" — fictions as backup to their biased arguments, do nothing to enhance the — discussion of the issues. History can be read dispassionately, and the — reader can make him/herself fully informed, but unfortunately most of — us do not have the time or resources for such research.

The reader would do well to rely, therefore, on a rule — of thumb that states that if a letter is full of accusation and hate, — a letter that casts one side as completely innocent (especially if that — side celebrates the murder of innocent women and children) and the other — as heartless invaders, then that writing is usually biased to the point — of historical inaccuracy and may not be worthy of your reading.

Larry Buchanan

AHS graduation misses mention

On June 4, I was privileged to attend the graduation ceremonies — for Ashland High School. In the 32 years I have lived in Ashland, I have — attended numerous graduations, and this year's, as in years past, was — a joyous event celebrating yet another class Ashland can be proud of. — They are bright, hopeful beings possessed of the exuberance unique to — their age and potential any age would be proud of. The speech by Mike — Farrell was wonderful, spoken from the heart and full of sage advice born — of a mature and thoughtful perspective. We were lucky to have him to help — us celebrate this special event.

There was, however, one thing missing from that day's — program, a grave omission for which there can be no excuse. Throughout — the evening's many speeches there was not one word of support for our — men and women now serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. I do not care whether — a person agrees or disagrees with the war on terrorism. I do not care — if you love or despise George W. Bush. If we have allowed ourselves to — so abhor certain current personalities or polices to the extent that we — cannot or will not voice support for our own sons, daughters, husbands, — wives, mothers, and fathers who now wear the uniforms of our armed services — then we are undeserving of the freedoms and privileges their sacrifices — have made possible. I am ashamed.

Bruce S. Klein

Innocence no longer guaranteed

The American justice system is becoming very different — from the one our founding fathers laid out for us. Civil liberties and — the presumption of innocence have all but become things of the past. I — know many people disagree with this so I want to give one specific example. — In the Jackson County Jail, which serves Ashland, prisoners have their — pockets picked.

The polite way of saying this is that they're forced to — pay for some of the expenses of their "lodging." The trouble with this — is that our founding fathers made it very clear that a citizen is innocent — until proven guilty.

Our current authorities pay lip service to this but don't — respect it. If a citizen is presumed innocent but is deprived of his liberty, — it's the responsibility of the government to shoulder the cost of imprisoning — this innocent citizen.

Our current policy only makes sense if you presume that — all people who are arrested are guilty. Since this is what the Oregon — Justice system does, picking the pockets of prisoners could be said to — be perfectly in alignment with its overall strategy.

Sean Nelson