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Adept at making enemies

Speaking of the situation in Iraq, a U.N. aide said, The United States is the No. — enemy of the Muslim world, and right now it's sitting on the terrorists' doorstep. It needs help. It needs friends. Sadly we are saddled with an administration that is more adept at making enemies than friends. ' Donna Moore, Medford

Hearing test needed

Should Jackson County commissioners be put through a hearing test? At a recent land-use hearing with only two commissioners attending, it became quite evident that one by the name of Jack Walker might require an audio test!

With total disregard to the Planning Commission's recommendation and totally disregarding verbal and much written testimony to the Planning Commission by local citizenry, Mr. Walker took the side of the applicant who was looking for a rezoning change to allow developing a 100-acre parcel into nine or 10 home site approval parcels.

The particular parcel did have approval for three approved home sites but was accessible only on a steep unimproved road that did not meet the minimum requirements for fire safety, grade and proper drainage without affecting adjacent privately owned properties.

Improving the county tax base is certainly a goal of the commissioners, but in this case, surrendering rural land to a developer does not fit the scene! ' John Nally, Sams Valley

Tax plan on a roll

A — percent tax on toilet paper ' we could call it a user tax ' could help solve Oregon's budget crisis. It has many advantages.

1. The tax may reduce toilet paper use and thus preserve our forests and satisfy environmentalists.

2. The burden would fall on everyone and not just beer drinkers.

3. It's gender neutral.

4. Liberals love to pay taxes. They may increase toilet paper use in order to pay more taxes.

5. Conservatives hate to pay taxes. They may conserve on toilet paper and thus offset the increased amount used by liberals.

6. There's no discrimination based upon race, creed or color.

Some detractors may claim people who don't use toilet paper would be unjustly rewarded. But that's no reason to reject the plan.

Let's all get behind this tissue issue. ' Maynard Telpner, Ashland

Fond parking memories

I had to laugh when I read Colleen Frey's letter regarding the lunacy of Medford's city block parking rules because it brought back such fond memories. I, too, think the rules are ridiculous.

While attending classes at the Mary Phipps Center during the school year of 1999 and 2000, my fellow classmates and I would spend Monday through Thursday each week downtown while we attended classes for most of each day. Periodically, we would have to leave our books and backpacks to go outside and engage in the silly game of musical parking spaces. I would leave my spot and drive 750 feet to take another student's spot while that student would then take the space I had just abandoned.

This whole process made absolutely no sense to me for I couldn't see what difference it made which student was parked where. So I quit playing the game and occasionally received &

36;5 parking citations.

I can't remember for sure, but the total I paid was somewhere around &

36;75 for the entire school year. I gladly paid that because it actually turned out to be cheap parking. In big cities I would have paid a lot more for the same thing. ' Jenny Grimm, Medford

Too late for reason?

As a 73-year-old nonbeliever, I have been passive about religion in the past because true believers can't be reasoned with (one symptom of insanity). I soon learned I was wasting my breath. But no more!

The Southern backlash to segregation led to the white flight, first to expensive private, then less expensive Catholic, and finally new start-up church schools. This reaction expanded north and the expense soon brought the call for vouchers.

This faith card has been part of the Republican Party's Southern strategy and, like race, has been tearing Democrats, churches and our schools apart for years.

Bush's holy war has brought us to the edge of the Third World War for oil. All wars are fought for economics disguised as religion. This one is only starting and all will think God is on our side.

Is it too late for reason? ' Mel Morgan, Phoenix