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Taxes fund us, not bureaucrats

I am tired of the misinformation spread by people like the writer of Cut the bureaucrats (May 28). It is not bureaucrats your taxes fund, it is you ' your roads, your schools, your libraries, your parks, your police force. All of these are seriously underfunded; some are moribund. It is past time for the community they serve to fund them properly. ' William Ashworth, Ashland

Hats off to writer of PERS letter

My hats off to the writer of Fix PERS problem in Saturday's newspaper. If more public employees acted responsibility like that writer they might gain some respect back from the public. Greed and being selfish seems to be what public employees are all about. A very self-serving bunch of people. ' Chuck Brook, Medford

Oregon should rank 50th in taxes

Oregon may rank No. 37 nationally in per capita state taxes but I will only be satisfied when we rank No. 50 and keep it that way. Education, medical treatment, retirement and all social services should be in private, not state hands. Only the police and the courts should be funded by taxpayers. ' Robert K. Stock, Medford

Think before you sign

Soon we will be asked to sign dozens of initiative petitions. Friends and neighbors, clubs and organizations, paid petitioners and dedicated volunteers will ask for your valuable signature to just get it on the ballot and let the people decide.

Often it's easier to just put your name to paper and get on with your life. But therein lies the problem.

Our valuable initiative process has, like Topsy, grown out of control. Some petitioners sponsor two, three or more measures covering the same issue with different wording. The purpose: confuse the voter to vote for at least one of them. Other complex measures are worded so cleverly that your no vote really means you are voting for the issue.

The place to stop some of the shenanigans that are becoming rampant in the initiative process is at the petition stage. If citizens would just say no to signing any petition on an issue they don't understand or on issues they know they won't vote for on the ballot, many of the contradictory, confusing initiatives would fail to qualify for the ballot.

Here are six pointed questions that will clarify in your own mind whether you want to sign a petition:

Is it complex? Is it confusing? Does it really belong in the Constitution? How will it be funded? Is its substance credible? Who is behind it?

Find out who sponsors and who opposes from the Secretary of State's office ( Let's encourage everyone to Take time, think before you sign! ' Eileen Adee, president, League of Women Voters of the Rogue Valley

A double standard on Israel

Our prolific writer from the Ashland once again pontificates on providing a solution to the Middle East holocaust.

He apparently sees the transgression to be Israel, intent on continuing the war against Palestine. He makes no mention of the provocation toward Israel vis-?-vis suicide terrorist bombing of pizza patrons, dance halls, and Passover dinners, deliberate targeted attacks against innocent civilians, women and children!

Israel is defending herself in basically the same manner as America after the WTC unprovoked terrorist attack.

The writer is exhibiting an obvious double standard and bias in favor of Muslim terrorist. ' Carl J. Sandberg, Medford

What could be done?

I see and hear the Democrats are once again sitting in council denouncing the other side and claiming they had prior knowledge of Sept. 11.

Supposing they did, and knew what targets were chosen. What could be done? Shoot the planes down? What happened if one plane went down over a densely populated area? Guess what these ramifications would be! After all, Clinton's watch had warning. ' James Robinson, Grants Pass

Cleveland got it right

According to Court TV's Web site, a Cleveland police officer pleaded guilty Monday to felonious assault charges for shooting out the window of a passing car in a case of road rage.

The incident occurred on Aug. 28, 2001, when Geoffrey Stevens, a nine-year veteran of the force and SWAT team member, allegedly fired at the car of Gerald Stueber, a high school teacher and football coach after Stueber allegedly cut him off. Stevens was off duty and driving his own car. Stevens could be placed on probation or given up to eight years in prison when he is sentenced on June 25. Stevens resigned from the police department after pleading guilty.

Obviously, Cleveland got it right.

The message in Medford, however, is that you should never be a Mexican-American armed with a scary box of Chinese food. ' Ron Stimson, Phoenix