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Good news and bad news

About political growth, George W. is not an evergreen. This type of Bush never makes the second term ' that's the good news. The bad news will be the mess he leaves behind! ' Don Basey, Eagle Point

War must be won

After Japan's unprovoked sneak attack, war was also declared on Germany. The Nazis did not plot with the Japanese, but Congress recognized the equal threat.

Countless civilians lost their lives, but it was a moral and just war that had to be won at all costs.

If Iraq did not plot with al-Qaida it is still an equal threat. Today's war is a moral, just war that must be won at all costs. ' Robert K. Stock, Medford

Liberals are not the enemy

With reference to Who is the enemy? (Feb. 7) asking the hypothetical question whether, if Mr. Day were of the liberal faction, would the paper have admonished him, the not-so-hypothetical answer is that had he been so, he would not have made such a statement in the first place.

Believe it or not, the liberals are not the enemy in our society. We are all working for a just America. ' Gloria Layton, White City

Preventing war is easy

If our president really wants to prevent war, it's easy, just keep inspecting. It's cheap, too, and no fuss about body counts, or hitting women and children.

If our president doesn't want people to get an itch to attack us, those inspectors could cut our risk. Being out there, they imply that we are still trying for peace, and it still might happen.

We need to convince folks that we're not coming after them next. It could take awhile, given what's been said

If our president is simply after oil wells, God forbid, war looks like a pretty chancy way to go. Saddam has said he would destroy them first. He does know the territory. He might do it.

If we go for more inspections, we can sit back and buy the same amount of oil, even if we have to pay. (Also, as a citizen I'm not convinced that the people paying for this war would get the oil. Our president sees privatizing as the ideal way to run a government. I bet the oil would be privatized as fast as possible, and we would be left with just the bill).

Maybe I'm too skeptical. ' Barbara H. Bean, Ashland

Stop partial-birth abortion

Everyone I know was saddened beyond words to see the disintegration of the Columbia. To view such sights and what we saw on 9/11/01 brings us back to the realization of how fragile and mortal we are.

But, it is beyond my understanding how we can be so taken aback by those tragedies and yet continue to allow partial-birth abortions. Talk about tragedies! Any abortion is one in my mind, but a partial-birth abortion is particularly cruel, inhumane and barbaric. How can a civilized people not be appalled about them? ' Willa Johnson, Phoenix

Utter lack of conscience

The failure of Measure 28 shows voter frustration? No, it shows voter utter lack of conscience.

To the we won't be blackmailed chorus, I would like to say: Congratulations! Your inability to look past your misguided anger at its real human impact just threw a generation of Oregon children to the wolves. But you saved &

36;9 a month (Wow! Good for you!), and all it cost the rest of us is our children's education, safety and welfare.

Stay focused on the important thing, though, your &

36;9. You can now hold your money close to your heart; secure in the knowledge that no one's ever going to blackmail you into actually caring about your fellow man, woman or child.

Whatcha gonna do with all that extra money? I know! You can buy a bumper sticker that says I've got mine, to hell with you! ' Thomas Beatty, Central Point

Disgrace to society

I was in the mall yesterday, and noticed the advertising pictures in the window of a lingerie store. I was very offended by the exploitive type of pictures for profit at the expense of our young children and grandchildren.

Those vulgar, obscene pictures should not be allowed in the mall. They are a disgrace to our society. ' Betty and Dean Wilson, Medford

We didn't start it

In reply to innocent civilians will die. Having read that article, it is my understanding that the women and children issue is going on as we speak under the watchful eye and order of Sadam Hussein. Also, as for the pictures, you probably can get copies. Just ask for 9/11. Just remember, we never started this. We are just making it formal.

I salute you for defending the U.S.A. during WWII. We were attacked by another country and fought back.We have been attacked, and know another country is preparing to attack again. As they said in WWII, they have awakened the sleeping dog.

Just remember, chemical and biological warfare does not discriminate between age or sex. I'm not pro-war, I just want to watch my grandkids grow up. ' Michael Bird, Talent

Thanks for column

Thank you for Bill Varble's brilliant and incisive Feb. 2 column on Laura Bush's failed poetry symposium and the role of poets in public life. As William Carlos Williams famously wrote, It is difficult to get the news from poems, yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there. It is thrilling to read the unvarnished truth in the Medford paper ' one might almost be reading a poem. '

Alison Baker, Ruch

Do it our way

The article on Jan. 29 stating that the Portland police chief along with seven police officers and a sergeant will fly to Mexico for a 10-day Spanish immersion course at an estimated cost of &

36;2,000 per person. Plus, they took time in 2001 to learn the Spanish language, which is intended to help understand the Latinos better. Wouldn't it be more practical to say, if people want to live in our country, then they must learn our language and our culture.

We could put all the money we spend on them helping our senior citizens health care and medical expenses.

If people come here for a better life, then do it our way, so you can have a better life. ' S. Truitt, Medford.

Should we pack our bags?

The environmentalists are at it again, this time threatening a lawsuit that would stop the historic diversions of water from Hyatt, Howard Prairie and Fish Lakes to the Talent, Medford and Rogue River irrigation systems (Suit stalks water diversion, Mail Tribune, ).

Shutting off the water diversion would be devastating to orchardists, farmers and others in the Rogue Valley dependent on irrigation water, but according to the environmental groups behind the lawsuit, good for Klamath River Fish.

Obviously, having productive orchards and agriculture is highly beneficial to the economy and livability in the Rogue Valley, in other words, good for Rogue Valley Humans.

So there you have it, a lawsuit that would favor the benefits to Klamath River Fish over Rogue Valley Humans.

When you get right down to it, aren't we Humans here in the Rogue Valley just a downright nuisance to Klamath River Fish and other native species that were here a long time before we ever showed up? Wouldn't it be so much better for all of the native species if we packed up our bags and left? ' Jeff Miller, Ashland

Wants guarantees

Well, I see your favorite Republican/Democrat Sen. Lenn Hannon is at it again. He proposes another sales tax and cuts in income tax by 4 percentage points and cutting property taxes by one third.

First off, if this is a constitutional amendment, I want to see the following:

1) The income tax percentage figure could only be changed by another constitutional amendment.

2) The property tax percentage should be frozen as well as the assessed value and could only be changed by another constitutional amendment.

3) The state Constitution should require that at least 50 percent of the populace must vote and in order to pass must include an 85 percent majority.

4) Any sales tax increase once implemented would also need to match the requirements listed in No. — above.

This is all academic anyway, because any projection of revenue from a sales tax will not materialize because out-of-state visitors stop making purchases in Oregon.

So much for term limits which your newspaper has opposed. Give me some newcomers with new and fresh ideas instead of these broken records. ' Willis Sherrill, Sams Valley

Keep the mall decent

In reply to the lady who recently wrote regarding a store in the Rogue Valley Mall that has advertising photos in the large front windows that are bordering on pornography:

This is supposedly a family mall, but if this type of advertising continues, they will have to post a sign outside saying No one under 18 admitted.

This is very offensive and especially to parents who shop in the mall with their children. I hope the right people will take note and correct this before this kind of advertising escalates.

Let's keep the mall decent. ' Jim and Camille Pagnini, Jacksonville

Keeping integrity intact

On Oct. 1, 2002, the Ashland Daily Tidings newspaper quoted Dr. Gilmour as follows: Since I will remain in practice, I will ask for a reduced salary (from present &

36;62,000 to &

36;28,000, no benefits and no PERS).

This is the major reason that he was elected, in a close race against Ric Holt. Hopefully the county Budget Committee has set his salary at &

36;28,000 per year with no benefits and no PERS, in order to keep Dr. Gilmour's integrity intact. ' Roger King, Eagle Point

PERS backlash coming

Mark my words:

There will be a nasty backlash against public employees when the private sector fully grasps how they've helped themselves to the largesse of the treasury through PERS, the Public Employees Retirement System. Public servants are bragging they'll retire on 105 percent to as much as 135 percent of their salary at retirement, while the private sector has only Social Security and whatever they can scrape into an IRA or 401(k).

Intended or not, PERS has relegated the private sector to a lower class of citizen, and if this economy continues its downward trend, that class difference will emerge in stark contrast, which will lead to resentment and possibly even violence.

You read it here first. ' Carl F. Worden, Eagle Point

Declare victory

After committing as much personnel and materiel to the pressure on Saddam it may be hard to call off the dogs of war. Saddam will claim victory. So what?

I am willing to declare victory for our side. Mr. President, your unrelenting pressure has brought the inspection teams back into Iraq. Saddam may be hiding some bad stuff. He cannot deploy or further develop it as long as they are there and your pressure continues. Meanwhile he gets older and closer to Allah and you don't have to manage the wreck of Iraq.

You can come home and get us out of debt! ' Hans H. Stroo, Medford

Bush has no mandate

Since the president did not win the popular vote, and the electoral vote was questionable, Bush has no mandate to (1.) desecrate the environment; (2.) eradicate the line between church and state; (3.) pack the Supreme Court to oppose women's rights; (4.) use national security for carte blanche power; (5.) push through the tax laws to favor mainly the rich (as per Reagan's trickle-down theory, which didn't work then and won't now); (6.) put our country into an even deeper depression than we are now; and (7.) most of all, at this point, no mandate to use his obsession to start a no-win war! ( loss of life, loss of most of world's friends, loss of oil since Saddam plans to burn same, no way to determine future leaders of Iraq, and failure to trust the United Nations.

Think carefully before backing Bush! He is playing on fear to gain power! ' J. Hanby Gang, Medford

Thanks for kindness

Last Friday my wife and I were driving on Crater Lake Avenue when we had a flat tire. I pulled into a shopping area parking lot and started to change the tire.

A truck from Bear Creek Overhead Doors pulled into the spot next to us. Two gentlemen exited the truck and proceeded to finish the job of changing the tire. Since my wife and I are retired, senior citizens this exhibition of kindness was greatly appreciated.

That act of kindness set the tone for the day and we experienced many more examples of courteousness the rest of the day. Yes, we truly can say that there are good Samaritans alive and living in the Rogue Valley.

Our heartfelt thanks go out to these two gentlemen and to the company which they represent, Bear Creek Overhead Doors. ' Paul Wright, Medford

A dangerous existence

The planet earth can provide for only so many, and we're pushing it. There is no endless supply of land, food or oil.

On the contrary, for humans to be packed in like sardines is not a way of life, only a very dangerous existence.

The gravest danger on this planet is overpopulation. (The word no one wants to hear.) To swallow a pill or roll out a piece of latex, is within reason. To bulge borders and use bullets and bombs as a means of birth control is not.

Umpteen thousand deadly missiles aimed at each other, and a finite universe waiting for human beings to rediscover their potential for common sense.

It is possible that our planet has the only form of intelligence in the universe. If we destroy ourselves, there will be nothing left but floating rocks and useless suns. We give those rocks and suns identity. Without thought and imagination, they do not exist. There would be no reason for their existence. ' Frank Mequish, Medford

What are they thinking?

Why is it that in such a time where money is scarce for education, law enforcement, and health care, that the state legislature could even think about a speed limit increase. With 100 or so less troopers on the highways and interstates throughout Oregon, why give people the option to go even faster. What if there were a huge accident, with 100 less troopers on the road, response times will be much higher. Our state government should focus more on how fast we can find a solution to this state's problems, and less time on a way to find a quick way out. ' Jesse Riley Medford

Day of national shame

Jan. 22, the day of national shame, again renews national guilt. Perhaps some day, someone with the love of God in him will erect a memorial on the Mall in Washington D.C. A subdued out of the way memorial. At the foot of an open marble lined grave, a single crystal tear suspended beneath a pair of white flared wings in the position of a snow goose landing on its nest . At the head of the open grave, a memorial stone engraved with the words, Tomb of the Unknown Babes.

Only the early morning and late afternoon sun would shine upon the tear. As the sun strikes the many faceted tear below the outstretched wings, the colors of the rainbow must shine through the windows and onto the interior walls of the Supreme Court, the Capitol, the White House. The memorial should be hidden from view except the side open to the judicial , legislative and executive buildings. No sidewalk to the memorial or benches would be needed. There will be no mourners. No wall of names (they have no names); no wreaths; no candles. Just the remonstrative rainbow colors that start and end the days of those that govern us. ' Kenneth Mak, Medford

Leave out the pork

Two Ashland Legislators are all wet. The sales tax should be used for K-12, local police, state police, sheriff officers and fire department employees, local and state. As far as higher ed goes, if you want it, you pay for it. Taxes are to be used for all of us to enjoy, not a few. Using it this way we can just about rid ourselves of property taxes and lower income taxes. So Hannon and Bates, go back to the drawing board. I'm sure the voter would go for something that benefits all. And leave out the pork. ' Donald Anthony, Medford

Absolute gall

I just read an interesting piece in the Feb. — business section of the Mail Tribune that says, the Bush administration is revamping decades-old labor regulations ... They argue that ... the 40-hour week, a minimum wage and overtime pay are antiquated.

Having worked for somebody or other in and out of labor organizations for almost 40 years and having read considerably on the long struggles of laboring people to obtain these simple benefits, I wonder at the absolute gall of these people. It may be that I am uninformed as to some aspects of these proposals, but it is my small opinion that if any working person thinks that this current administration and the people they represent ' which would be that 10 percent of the population that controls 80 percent of the wealth ' has any interest in the working people of this country other than as cannon fodder and creators of more wealth, they should check with their physician concerning a rectal craniectomy.

As a lifelong worker and surviving cannon fodder (Vietnam '67, '68, '69 ), ' David A. Klein, Medford

Send money anyway

It seems to me that if everyone who voted for 28 would just send in whatever amount of money that 28 would have made them send, the state deficit would be 45 percent less, thereby making it a lot easier for the legislature and the governor to solve the state's financial problems. Obviously those who voted for 28 felt they could afford to send in the money, so why don't they? Come on, put your money where your mouth is! ' Patrick Henderson, Medford

Let landowners divide

Ways to get more taxes:

Let people who own land be able to divide and sell five or 10 acres of their land, which is not good farmland, for houses, out of which they would get a lot of taxes.

I have 50 acres I can't divide. At least come and see that it is not good farmland. Let us divide our property.

All good farmland that the state is protecting is already ruined with car lots and houses. ' Phyllis A. Allen, White City

Appalling suggestion

In response to Doug Dusenberry's letter Feb. 3, No to appeasement:

I find it very appalling that one would even suggest that Americans shouldn't make their voices known. By marching on a war that is a lie in itself. He is asking the American people to just stay mute and not say anything. That's what Hitler did in Germany.

Vietnam was a lie as well. I was there. These people didn't want us there. The hawks of America wanted us there. America lost 58,000-plus, in a lie. Not counting what we will never know, how many children lost in Vietnam.

As far as his no to appeasement, I remember a lone man in China, not long ago. Who by himself, with flowers in his hand, stood before a tank from his own country. And the tank stopped.

Appeasement? Other than the dictionary, Mr. Dusenberry hasn't a clue what it means. What the Bush administration doesn't want America to ask. Where is bin Laden? He will be the killer of our children. And thank God G.W.B. isn't my enemy. Because he's got most of the world hating me now. ' Mike Long, Trail,

former Sgt. , USMC, 3rd Marine Division, Vietnam

Spend more time at home

When will they get it? Along with stories in the Oregonian about budget cuts because of the failure of Measure 28 was a story about the Portland police chief and eight policemen going on a trip to Mexico. The story starts by saying the Portland police chief was just back from a conference in Israel.

The purpose of this trip is to get the police more in touch with the Hispanic population in Southeast Portland. The story says the trip is being paid for by a separate group but the taxpayers are still paying for the policemen's salaries and the pay and overtime of the officers that will have to cover the shifts while these policemen are on their junket in Mexico.

I could be wrong, but if the Portland police want to get more in touch with the people in southeast Portland maybe they could spend more time in southeast Portland. It would be just a little less expensive, too. ' Verland Beard, Ashland

Stink of hypocrisy

The famous British playwright Harold Pinter, speaking recently before the House of Commons, had this to say about Bush's obsession with war: The planned war will destroy what remains of the Iraqi infrastructure; will cause widespread death, mutilation and disease; will create millions of refugees, and violence around the globe. But it will masquerade as a moral crusade, a just war, a war waged to bring democracy to Iraq.

The stink of hypocrisy, he says, is suffocating. This is in reality a simple tale of invasion of sovereign territory, military occupation and control of oil.

We have, he adds, a clear obligation, which is to resist. ' Isaac Walker, Ashland