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Principle is still clear

Forty years and the American principle is still clear.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of freedom. ' John F. Kennedy, 1961.

We will not waver; we will not tire; we will not falter; and we will not fail. Peace and freedom will prevail.' George W. Bush, 2001. ' Robert Smith, Medford

Pure PR or news?

The timing of your story about the work that Rep. Greg Walden's staff does for his constituents was interesting. If I didn't know better, I'd think that the congressman wanted some good PR to counter the negative image generated by his staff when they refused to meet with anti-war protesters recently. But I'm sure the Mail Tribune wouldn't pass off pure PR as news. Nah! ' Allen Hallmark, Ashland

Patriot Act Free Zones

If you folks think the cynically named Patriot Act is sooo great, please research the Department of Defense's Total Information Awareness program. All your e-mail is fair game to be read by anyone the government deems fit, whether you're a terrorist or not. And the Bush administration has hired a felon to run it.

— I think it is a testament to the Oregon spirit that Ashland and Eugene have passed Patriot Act Free Zones. ' Cedric Buckingham, Medford

Patridge ignores voters' will

On April 1, the Oregon House of Representatives passed House Bill 2624 by a vote of 34-24. The bill would, if enacted, repeal that portion of the law which provides that the minimum wage is to be increased annually by the cost of living index.

The cost of living index provision was enacted by the voters last November.

We are advised that Rob Patridge, who represents Medford in the House of Representatives, voted in favor of the bill and thus voted to repeal what the voters put in place.

An appropriate question to Rob is whether his loyalty is to the voters he represents or to his corporate campaign contributors who pushed this repealing legislation.

Hopefully the state Senate will have more sensitivity to the will of the voters. ' William A. Mansfield, Medford

Fund veterans offices

Josephine County and Jackson County Veterans Service offices have guided thousands of veterans, their dependents and/or survivors through the maze of Department of Veterans Affairs paperwork. Some of these clients have suffered for years because they either didn't understand their rights or were daunted by the myriad of forms.

Funds to maintain these VSOs have been cut by state and county governments. The Service Office will likely close. I find it difficult to believe that Josephine County cannot find the &

36;55,000 to &

36;65,000 to maintain this great and necessary service. There are over 17,000 veterans in the county. As our military continues in action in Iraq, we will see a constant flow of new vets who need aid and guidance to their rights. Jackson County is facing similar prospects, and has even more veterans! ' Phil Garey, Grants Pass

Bill a waste of time

I was so relieved to read in the April — Mail Tribune that even though our state government is in financial crisis, programs for the elderly and impoverished are unfunded and our schools forced to reduce days to educate our young, that our very own Dennis Richardson has found the time to sponsor a meaningless memorial supporting the completion of Elk Creek Dam.

Way to go, Dennis! His belief that the only environmental concern of this project is fish passage shows an obvious lack of understanding of the potential impacts from this proposed dam. Stunts like this sure help garner confidence in our state Legislature! ' Tom Dew, Medford