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Letters to the editor

Comment was off base

Don Basey's comment on putting George W. out to pasture, and tying it to getting the job by one Supreme Court vote, was off base.

Anyone who passed civics class knows the system is not about winning the popular vote. The vote was a statistical tie.

The state legislature had the constitutional power and duty to decide the winner. Blame chicken politicians and a moronic citizenry worshipping at the altar of the courts. ' Bill Protzek, Central Point

Track the hijackers

Could you please tell me the amount of compensation that the families of the 19 hijackers (15 of whom were Saudis) received? I bet not.

The Israelis track this information down quickly and demolish the homes of suicide bombers' families to discourage future attacks. Why can't the CIA track the Sept. 11 sponsors in Saudi Arabia?

I bet they already have successfully followed the money trail and turned over the information to President Bush. But come to think about it, Mr. Bush has deftly focused the media on a future attack on a benign Iraq. It could be just a means to put the Iraqi dictator on notice to refrain from taking advantage of the future conflict with the oil-rich kingdom to their south, to turn over the wealthy man that planned the attack on the tallest towers on Wall Street. ' Thomas Bjorn, Florida

Character assassination

I read with dismay and disgust the headline article in the Sunday Mail Tribune that implied Mike Sweeny was guilty of the 1997 Medford police evidence room thefts simply because he refused to take a polygraph test.

I don't blame him! Polygraph tests have proven to be unreliable, leading to false arrests and convictions which were later overturned. That's why they are not allowed to be used in court.

Even the Medford Police Department says that there is not one shred of factual evidence that he was involved in any way. Why, then, did your newspaper decide to print this little bit of character assassination?

Could it be that the Medford Police Department needed a scapegoat when they couldn't crack the case, and Mike Sweeny was it?

Maybe it's time for him to find a good lawyer. There is such a thing as slander, you know, and this article reeks of it.

As a resident of Central Point, I'd like to assure Chief Sweeny of my continued support, and also express my gratitude for the improvements he has implemented in the Central Point Police Department. I'm sure there are many others who feel the same. ' Mary Ann Carlson, Central Point

It's called free speech

I was surprised by the letter to the editor in the Aug. 18 issue of the Mail Tribune that attacked opinion writer Cal Thomas for columns that are rife with critical thinking/argument errors and claimed that those of the right are more prone to use such tactics in promoting their positions. I wholeheartedly disagree.

First, the letter to the editor did not include a single example of Mr. Thomas' incorrect use of argumentation. However, the author did resort to name-calling by referring to conservative thinkers as right-wing and using flagrant terms, such as bombastic, derision, condescension, and meanness to describe the tone used by these right-wingers.

A recent book by Ann Coulter, titled Slander, explores this phenomenon. Rather than attacking the ideas of conservative thinkers, members of the media and liberal politicians resort to name-calling, attacking the physical appearance (example Katherine Harris), and dismissing the intellectual capabilities of conservative thinkers. I consider these tactics to be a playground approach to politics.

Second, the letter asked for opinion writers to not confuse well-reasoned and cogent arguments on any specific complex public policy issue with their own opinions. However, the whole purpose of the editorial page of the newspaper is for opinion writers, such as Cal Thomas, to express views about the decisions our government is making. It is called free speech, and it is protected in the Constitution. ' Tessa Platt, Eagle Point