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Letters to the editor

We are not at war

As an ardent supporter of a peaceful solution in Iraq, I would gladly carry a sign to support our troops. I support the right of our men and women not to be killed, not to be maimed, not to be captured, not to be gassed, not to return home suffering from Gulf War II Syndrome.

We are not at war. The Iraqis are not shooting at us. We are standing by for a pre-emptive invasion. Let inspections and containment go forward and bring home all our troops alive and healthy. ' Carl and Ruth Bondinell, Ashland

Take responsibility

As parents we teach our children to take responsibility for their actions. How much would they learn if we continued to prevent that from happening?

It is therefore laughable that liberals would demand more tax dollars for social programs that perpetuate the need for more and more money and never rectify the wrongdoing.

It was never the government's place to feed, clothe, shelter or provide medical care for the poor. It is our job as responsible adults to plan for our futures and to care for the aged members of our families.

It is particularly offensive when liberals would allege that we should feel guilty for working for a living and earning what we have because we do not want to see our money wasted. Shame!

President Bush has given us a powerful opportunity to put the responsibility where it belongs ' on the individual. Being empowered to control our own destiny and be successful is tremendous reason to celebrate. ' Shirley Katz, White City

Self-serve not the answer

Randy Miller need only spend some time in California to experience what would become the reality of pumping our own gas. First of all, the price would not go down regardless of how much the dealers, etc., will save. Somehow it never gets passed on to the consumer.

Second, the idea of having someone there to pump the gas of the disabled and elderly is nonexistent. Yes, it is a law in California just like it would be here, but no attendant is to be found within 10 miles of a station except for the person behind the glass-enclosed cage where they sit collecting the money. Of course you can have self serve or full serve at select stations at a truly gouged price.

We would rue the day this becomes law. This is not the answer for Oregonians. ' J. P. Reeves, Medford

Thanks for story

Thank you, Damian! It's about time the real story about PERS retirement benefits was published. Isn't it amazing that only about five out of 200 retirees get over 100 percent of their final average salary, yet folks believe that all PERS retirees do? No thanks to Rob Patridge for spreading that rumor.

I'm still wondering, however, why it is that employees in the private sector earn wages or earn salaries, while those of us who are or were in the public sector dip. For some reason, taxpayers feel that they still have a handle on the money we've earned, and it's like they want to tell us how much we should be able to earn after retirement.

Perhaps you could touch on this subject at some future time. ' Guy Parker, Prospect

Patriotism or jingoism?

Webster's College Dictionary defines a patriot as a person who loves, supports and defends his/her country and its interests. A country is not one person, including a leader.

Blind loyalty to a leader instead of reasoned thought about what is best for one's country is not patriotism, but jingoism. Blind loyalty to the fuhrer by Germans and to the emperor by Japanese led to the horrors of World War II; history has many such examples.

Patriotism, in fact, requires speaking out if you believe your leaders are pursuing a course detrimental to your country.

George Bush is not America. The challenge to those who equate loyalty to America with loyalty to Bush is: Would you support war if Bush did not?

Is there really evidence that enfeebled Iraq poses any real threat to superpower America? Will terrorism stop by bombing Iraqi civilians?

While Hussein is a brutal dictator, should America become the world's policeman and topple all its many dictators? If it weren't for Bush's prompting, would you shed the blood of our soldiers and of the Iraqis, including women and children, for a war that benefits only oil companies and weapons manufacturers? Is this war worth its enormous price? ' Irene Saikevych, Ashland

Body bags and gas masks

The women in white war supporters seemed to have forgotten to wear a major part of their wardrobes ' body bags and gas masks. ' Joseph Zajac, Medford

Bush turns deaf ear

President Bush has turned a deaf ear to the voice of millions of people throughout the world. He hears only the voice of his war cabinet that keeps repeating, kill, kill, kill.

Italy, a former major supporter, is responding to the voice of the Italian people and is now urging the U.S. to allow time for the inspectors to do their job.

Any leader who cavalierly dismisses such massive protests as we saw last week, belittling them as just a focus group, is refusing to hear the voice of the people. He deserves to be removed from office. ' Sam Hamers, Phoenix