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Not a personal attack

Gee whiz ! Never did I mean to start a them-against-us thing. Be assured that I do not represent Applegate Christian Fellowship in any way.

So let me say I am sorry if anyone felt that way. I just go there because of all the nice folks I am surrounded by, and the words of Peter John, none of which have to do with county functions as far as I hear them. He has only good words for all.

I thought the main thing was traffic. Sure did not want my words to be taken as a personal attack on anyone.

It really is a beautiful place to see. Why not meet me there for a cup of coffee and find out for my 75 years that I am not as bad as you might think? ' Byron Kimler, Trail

Actions speak louder

In a Feb. 26 Mail Tribune article regarding the establishment of homeless camps within the city of Ashland, Councilwoman Cate Hartzell clearly showed her support for such an endeavor. I applaud her efforts.

However, since actions speak louder than words, I'd like to suggest the following: Councilwoman Hartzell should volunteer to have the first one of these camps established in her own home's back yard.

And, yes, she should look at Eugene's experiment of providing abandoned vehicles for homeless people to sleep in. She should encourage anyone who wants to abandon a vehicle to just drop it off in her yard.

Providing showers is also an excellent idea. However, before using tax money to build new facilities, perhaps Councilwoman Hartzell could open up her home and share her bathing facilities with the dwellingly challenged.

This would go a long way in soothing her feelings of being violated and robbed of the cultural diversity that was here before the camping ban. ' Dave Cassidy, Ashland

That is America

I applaud the woman in white. We live in a country where someone like her can have freedom of expression and not be killed. I for one would like to keep that freedom.

Vietnam was not a mistake. The political reasons might not have been right, but our soldiers served our country well and the military learned many new warfare tactics and weapon improvements. I know I served.

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.(attributed to Voltaire.) Now that is America. ' Quenton Marney, White City

Groups share patriotism

It may not have occurred to Erlene Thompson that the Women in Black are praying her grandson comes back to her alive and healthy, along with all our other military men and women.

Pro-war and pro-peace demonstrators share strong patriotism. It's unfair to characterize a wish for peace as anything but support of our troops. What could be more supportive than to want to bring them home to families who love them? ' Nancy Ames Cole, Ashland

Paper clip dangerous

The picture on the front of the Tuesday, Feb. 25 paper of the child holding a sharp paper clip for the cat to play with ' the child needs to be told that a paper clip is not a toy for a cat to play with.

How dangerous can that be for the cat's eyes? I hope the teachers at the school make sure that doesn't happen again. ' Alyce Veach, Eagle Point

Where are they?

Has it ever occurred to James Snyder that he is wrong? If there are thousands of people in this state willing to do jobs like mine (OSP dispatcher) for less, where are they? I say with little reservation that he could not do my job, much less would anyone want it for half the wage.

As it stands, we could not keep our dispatch centers fully staffed before the budget crisis.

1) We do not pay a competitive wage for dispatchers.

2) Many of the people hired cannot do the job, thus the large turnover. You can give my job to someone else, but when you call asking for help, do you want someone who gets nervous and forgets to obtain or relay vital information? Or do you want someone who can handle your request in a professional manner?

From the accountants, managers, teachers, cops, dispatchers and that full-time secretary who draws food stamps in order to support her family, I dare these critics to find qualified individuals who will take these jobs for half the wage.

Yeah, we are all over-paid and over-appreciated. And heck, while we're at it, we can pretend we don't pay taxes either! ' Dina Rudesheim, OSP dispatcher, Medford

Don't they get it?

In response to Dave Kidgell and others who have written in threatening to stop anyone who tries to burn the American flag, I have to ask: Don't you get it?

Freedom of speech is one of the things I was supposed to be fighting for when I went to Vietnam. I can handle another person's viewpoint without feeling threatened, annoyed or upset.

Don't you see that this is what makes America great? If they want to live in a country in which people are not allowed to voice their opinions without fear of reprisal, I suggest they try Iraq. ' Richard Houghton, Central Point

Dog was in violation

After reading the Jackson County Animal Control Ordinance, subsections 612.01 (a) (9) and 612-09 (c), and calling Jackson County Animal Control, there is no doubt the lady whose dog fell down the mine shaft was in violation of our animal control ordinances.

A dog at large is by definition a public nuisance and as inconsiderate to others as it is illegal.

Your coverage of this event in the Sunday, Feb. 23 Mail Tribune failed to cover these points.

I believe the Jacksonville Fire Department and the Applegate Technical Rescue Team have justification in asking her for reimbursement of expenses incurred on behalf of Jackson County taxpayers.

In addition, she and all other dog owners must understand that few people are as comfortable and relaxed when they see a large dog as when they see one on a leash. People's silence should not be seen as approval, but rather as a desire to avoid confrontation. ' Richard Keleshian, Talent

Isn't this mass destruction?

United States Sen. Robert Byrd, in a moving speech on the Senate floor on Feb. 12, said: On what is possibly the eve of a horrific infliction of death and destruction on the population of the nation of Iraq ' a population, I might add, of which 50 percent is under the age of 15 ' this chamber is silent.

And in concluding this speech, Byrd said: I truly must question the judgment of any president who can say that a massive, unprovoked military attack on a nation which is over 50 percent children is in the highest moral tradition of our country.

Reports from the Pentagon tell us that in the first 48 hours of bombardment, an operation glibly dubbed Shock and Awe, an act of terrorism in itself, a bomb will fall every four minutes, totaling more than all those dropped in the first Gulf War and equaling the firepower of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The Pentagon has said that not a single square inch of Baghdad's earth will be usable after the U. S. is finished.

Isn't this mass destruction? ' Virginia Govedare, Ashland

Dishonesty and misinformation

I am so delighted that Liz Crosson finally received her masters degree from Headwaters/ Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands University in Ashland. Her main emphasis must have included dishonesty and misinformation.

I would like her to define old growth, clearcutting, riparian hotspots and owl habitat. Our forest management plans are prepared by professional people who believe in their job of protecting the environment and maintaining a sustainable natural resource.

By logging our burned-over areas, we can reduce the fuel load from future fires and we can replant native trees and grasses. I don't think many environmentalists have ever done any forest firefighting, because if they had, their ideas of forest management would be more positive.

If she wants less consumption of wood products, then she needs to start in Ashland and reduce the size of the new houses that are being built and on steep unstable slopes that surround the city. The environmentalists would rather you pay higher taxes than use our natural resources. Timber could help fund our schools and police services plus many other vital services! ' Brett Holcomb, Talent

Flag burner has failed

I have read the flag burner's commentary. If his attempt is to have us believe that Benjamin Franklin would have approved of the burning of our American flag, he has failed in his attempt.

The only thing that I got out of his commentary was his utter frustration and lack of personal contribution. If he wants substance, he should read the article about Mrs. Rowan's son's contribution.

Again, they were fighting a war, unjust or not, while those of his questionable persuasion were demonstrating and burning the flag that they died defending. He should explain his actions to Mrs. Rowan.

In

case he hasn't noticed, this is the United States of America. Congress, made up of Democrats and Republicans, male and female, Oregonians and others, gave their approval to our president to unilaterally enforce the U.N. mandates by whatever means.

What did his actions accomplish other than giving aid and comfort to our enemy? Can he explain how it is that he knows more about the Iraqi situation than our elected officials and defense professionals who have intelligence reports on Iraq from all of our military and defense departments? He seems to have a lot of emotion and little direction. ' James L. Bennett, Medford

Shame again

Shame on you again Mail Tribune for allowing this useful idiot the space to vent his twisted view of freedom in this country. Contrary to what Mr. flag burner believes, that flag that he burned still stands for his freedom and yes his right to express his views.

As far as a reason that he gives for his despicable act, he says our values are gone? His must have gone up in smoke a long time ago. ' Bill Popoff, Medford

Iraq had its chance

In response to some letters printed in the Feb. 20 paper: First of all, hatred directed toward the U.S. by countries with sadistic murderers in control is not a bad thing, so I don't understand why people keep complaining about hatred for the U.S. We started out as being hated (remember the American Revolution and England?)

Secondly, yes, Iraq does have weapons that they haven't been disarmed of, but we have more weapons, and bigger ones, so that doesn't matter. And the Zuckers said that Bush is trying to manipulate our aggression about 9/11 and transfer it to Iraq, but then said that's not right, as we've found no evidence they were involved in those attacks.

Well, Bush doesn't want to attack them because of 9/11, he never said they were involved. Bush wants to attack them because since the end of the Persian Gulf War Iraq has been breaking treaties.

Yes, people, there have been U.N. inspectors in that country for a decade. So please, stop saying let the inspectors do their job. If they haven't gotten it done in one decade, I don't think another will make a difference.

Iraq had its chance; it's over. ' Mike Kerlinger, Medford

Flag represents us all

This is in response to Joseph Powell whose pathetic claim to fame is burning the American flag.

Nowhere in his commentary did I see what branch of service he served in to prove his loyalty and love of country. Instead he chooses to ride on the coattails of his grandfathers, and if he reads his history and Benjamin Franklin were alive today he would disown him in a heartbeat.

Our flag does not represent any president, politician or political party, it represents over 200 million people who work, pay taxes and live by the rule of law and respect for others. Most of these people are very grateful that they have the good fortune to live here in spite of its faults and imperfections.

Also, this flag covered the caskets of thousands of men and women who have honorably served this country.

I have one suggestion for Mr. Powell. He should buy himself a ticket to Iraq, find himself a busy streetcorner, set fire to the Iraq flag and loudly denounce Mr. Saddam. He should buy a one-way ticket because he won't be coming back. Lots of luck. ' John H. Smith, Phoenix

The Civil War rages on

The North vs. the South. There was slavery to abolish, a country to hold together. Yes, in this country human life had been decreed property by the highest court in the land. If your skin was black the rights of humans, of citizens, could not be yours.

But this insidious evil had been stopped; 600,000 dead was the cost in blood. Never again in this country would human beings be property, their life not their own.

How did this war start up again so soon? Have we forgotten? Human beings again are property. They have no particular color this time. They are the weakest and most helpless. They have no rights or privileges. They're called blob, tissue or fetus.

Millions upon millions of nameless faces, each one never to see the light of day. On and on the death toll mounts. Will we ever wake up as a nation? Will we weep and mourn for our dead? ' Charles Newman, Medford

Support pay-as-you-drive

Many people may be unaware of a new concept in auto insurance called pay-as-you-drive. It would provide consumers real cost savings for driving less.

By rewarding drivers financially for each mile not driven, insurance companies would reduce accidents, save lives and reduce claims costs. Pay-as-you-drive would be offered by insurance companies as an option, not instead of current auto insurance programs.

This new consumer option would benefit all Oregonians. We'll have less people driving, which means less congestion and less need to build expensive new roads.

In addition, cars are still major polluters, producing more than half of Oregon's unhealthful air pollution and more than one-third of our heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions. Less driving means less global warming and less asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

I encourage my auto insurer to offer pay-as-you-drive insurance. I also encourage consumers to spread the word in support of having this new concept in auto insurance as an option for all Oregonians. ' Michelle Argent, Medford

Grandmother in blue

Hello Ladies in Black and the grandmother in white.

I'd like to be the grandmother in blue. Why? My grandson was sent to the Philippines to teach their military combat technology. He is a commanding Marine sergeant and leads a platoon.

There is very little news about the murders of innocent people there. We have thousands of our uniformed over there, putting their lives in jeopardy for them, but you don't hear about that.

He's David E. Adkins, a Crater High graduate. He leaves behind two children; hopefully he'll see them again, just as those going to Iraq.

Those boys and girls need to be acknowledged, too. That's why I'm blue. ' Jean Albertson, Medford

Take a realistic look

I don't know whether to laugh or cry over Don Lystra's letter of Feb. 17. Don said Bush is one of our greatest presidents and millions pray for him daily. I say he is one of our worst presidents. I pray for the day when we vote him out of office.

Unfortunately, that day may not come before Bush does irreparable harm to our country and possibly, our world. This president is pro-big business and governing based on a personal agenda of greed and elitism.

He wants to force Westernization on the world with complete disregard for other cultures. He is anti-environment, anti-women and minority rights, and pro-war. His welfare reform will create a class of working homeless, affecting generations to come.

There's no concern for educating our children or aiding the needy. He is advancing the gap between the rich and poor, further eliminating the middle class.

He has damaged the relationship with our allies and made us look like ugly Americans. He cannot even give a speech without blatant grammatical errors, making him look like a buffoon.

Best president? Wake-up. Take a realistic look at a bad leader. ' Gen Putnam, Medford

A quality day

What a breath of fresh air to turn to the Mail Tribune letters to the editor on Feb. 24 and find it entirely devoid of the malice and animosity that we usually find in that section.

My personal thanks to writers such as Phillip Southern who missed what should have been a salute to our country's Christian statesmen, Washington and Lincoln, on President's Day; Greg Jeffries who deplored the slanderous comments of a Mr. Steely against Secretary of State Powell and President Bush; Carole Mercer's thoughts on the choice of frightening terrorism and warfare headlines in the Mail Tribune when calm minds and courageous hearts must prevail in these perilous times; and Gary Snook's gratitude to the girl's basketball teams of Cascade Christian for their good Samaritan kindness to them and the good sportsmanship they always exhibit.

What the letters to the editor lacked in quantity on that day they made up for in quality. ' Marian Podolski, Talent

He is not amused

Now wait a minute Lord, we have here the federal government. What weapons of mass destruction were used in 9/11? Our own civilian airplanes. That this abomination was not prevented by federal government intelligence and monitoring of pre-existing immigration laws seems a trifle overlooked.

Why is it that the only military man we've had for president, Eisenhower, never got us into a military mess? We have the terrible swift sword deployed. It is not a plowshare and we will not feed the hungry.

Assuming Iraq will defend itself, how might that turn out? The time for the U.S. to defend ourselves was botched prior to 9/11.

The connection between Saddam and 9/11 is what, exactly? Besides, who could object to Iraq being the 51st state? A sort of Texas? Maybe giving Enron a chance to start up again?

I hesitate to speak for the Lord, but I suspect he is not amused. ' Wayne Richards, Medford

Saddam has weapons

Saddam says if the American military attacks he will destroy them. With what? Nuclear or biological weapons? Certainly not by conventional means.

What conclusion can be made? He has weapons of mass destruction.. ' Art Jackson, Rogue River

Newspaper has a duty

It seems to me that a great many people are quick to tell you whenever they disagree with something that you do, but few are ready to let you

know that they think that you are doing a very good job. Considering the present polarization of opinion in this country, you have an impossible task in trying to please your readers.

I am constantly amazed that you do such a good job of representing all sides. Congratulations on persisting in trying to achieve balance.

As for those strange individuals who seem to feel that you should not publish any news or pictures that do not spread cheerfulness and their own idiosyncratic views of life, let them subscribe to Mothers and Infants Nursery News. A newspaper, I believe, has a duty to publish what our developing history offers.

And thank you for publishing the guest response from the man who burned a flag. I regret the incident, but was very interested to hear that he acted from principle and not from casual vandalism.

Keep up the good work, and know that for every letter of protest there are a thousand of support that didn't get written. 'Cecil L. Chase, Medford

War Is personal

Doug Dusenberry's letter condemning the peace movement may be well intended, but his thinking is incited by fear espoused by the Bush administration and the extreme right. The United Nations has the power to confine Saddam Hussein who, everyone agrees, is a very bad person. However, might makes right does not justify unilateral war by the U.S. on innocent people.

Bush is attempting to transfer the hatred for Osama bin Laden to Saddam Hussein even though he had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. Rather than appeasement leading to fascist behavior, many people would argue that unilateral war could be viewed as fascist.

Are you willing to look at pictures of dead, innocent Iraqi children and say they were killed with your permission? Can you look a U.S. soldier in the eye and tell him to go kill these people in your name?

Are you willing to enlist? Are you willing to stand in your church and tell your congregation that you are begging to have these people killed in your name?

The only appeasement I see is the president appeasing his father. If Bush wants a war, let him personally lead the charge. War ' not in my name. ' Karen Asche, Medford

Supporting the president

I, too, am a Vietnam era veteran. Though I served my four years stateside, I worked among decent men who lived with combat experience. I consider their service sacred.

Now, both of my sons are serving in the armed forces. I pray they are spared that experience.

Still, I'm committed to supporting President Bush's decision on Iraq. I have read on more than one page of the Bible that believers should submit to the governing authorities.

From speeches, interviews, and books I recognize President Bush's guidelines for decision-making respect the law and the Bible. I know that many are praying daily for him.

No, I don't want war with Iraq. But I understand war is a fact of life, and there are times when it is the option. I understand if the president says we must go to war, we must support him and go.

I believe we have a man in the White House praying for guidance on this decision. Shouldn't we all be praying alongside him for a suitable solution that avoids a war? ' Victoria L. Zwan, Central Point