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Chew on good leather

According to a recent News of the Weird item, President Bush spends &

36;975 a pair for Italian shoes. I guess when you have your foot in your mouth as much as he does, you ought to at least be chewing on a fine, tender grade of leather! ' Adrienne Morris, Medford

Oh, well, I got my kicker

On a recent walk through an RV park I saw two bumper stickers on motor homes. One said We are spending our children's inheritance. The other said We are spending our parents' life savings. These should be posted on the door of our state capitol. We are unwilling to care for the needy elderly who cared for us and are willing to deprive our children of an adequate education.

Oh well, I got my kicker check. ' Doyle Powell, Phoenix

A question for Women in White

I have a question for the Women in White who, in their Medford demonstration Thursday, were quite vocal in their support for a pre-emptive strike on Iraq. Would they continue to be supportive of such a war if they had to wash the bloodstains from all the innocents who will inevitably be killed in Bush's war from their pristine, white garments?

Saddam is contained. Is it necessary to kill thousands of civilians to get him? ' Bob Carson, Medford

Just say no to privatization

George Bush says that half of all government jobs should be privatized. Columnist Ron Saxton agrees.

Privatization usually ends up costing more money and gives the government less control over important functions. It would also destroy the familes of those government employees who would either be laid off or forced to work for less pay.

Hasn't Bush already destroyed enough lives by cozying up to corporate cronies? Just say no to privatization.

' Tom Dimitre, Ashland

All women are welcome

Women In Black are women worldwide committed to peace and actively opposed to war and other forms of violence. WIB demonstrations take the form of women wearing black, standing in a public place in silent, nonviolent vigils at regular times and intervals.

Although not an official spokesperson for WIB, I will state that we gathered in prayer and contemplation of peace in Vogel Plaza. We welcome any women wanting peace to join us. ' Bjorg Smidt, Phoenix

Leave the flag flying

I hope and pray I do not have to see such a disparaging picture on the front page of your newspaper ever again.

I believe in the right to disagree with current policy. The flag burner forgets how many have fought and died to protect his right to protest.

The flag represents all of our country, pro and con, and it is disgusting to see it so maligned. I note the second protester has his or her face covered. Ashamed? Cowardly? Protest away, loudly or whatever, but leave the flag flying high over all our country! ' Joyce Fast, Medford

Administration has lost focus

Following Sept. 11, President Bush rallied our nation in a show of patriotism and purpose. He built a large coalition of nations all sharing a vision to eradicate the terrible scourge of terrorism. So far so good.

But following the questionable outcome of our attack on Afghanistan, his administration's focus failed. Instead of solidifying the coalition and remaining focused on international terrorism, as difficult as that is given the elusiveness of al-Qaida, President Bush instead set sail to overthrow the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein.

We're no fans of Hussein. He's served his own people inhumanely and cannot be trusted. But to this date, the Bush administration has not produced cogent and convincing evidence of Iraq's clear and present danger to either the United States or to its neighbors. And without such evidence, an American invasion of Iraq will be viewed by the international community as equally immoral.

The tragedy here is the loss of opportunity for the U.S. to truly lead a new world order of peace and anti-terrorism. The world will view Bush's Might Makes Right policy as another example of brutality and tyranny. Innocent lives will be lost on both sides and terrorists will be encouraged. ' Bruce and Chrystine Van Zee, Medford