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Shades of Rudyard Kipling

The threatened closure of the VA Dom and proposed reduction of services at other VA facilities reminds me of Rudyard Kipling's poem, Tommy (Tommy being the British equivalent of an American GI):

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' 'Chuck him out, the brute!'

But it's 'Saviour of 'is country' when the guns begin to shoot. ' Jura Sherwood, Medford

Another side of Wesley Clark

Rich Lowry's column criticizes Gen. Wesley Clark just before Clark's anticipated announcement of his candidacy for the presidency! Those interested in another account of General Clark's key role in the war in Kosovo should read Clark's book Waging Modern War and Blumenthal's book The Clinton Wars.

Clark's pressure to use ground troops, contrary to the Pentagon's recommendation, resulted in Milosevic's caving in, and the Pentagon replacing Clark as Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. ' Lois Guthrie, Medford

Counting isn't hard

How hard can it be to count the four engines on this aircraft?

Gives pause to consider other factual inaccuracies of the paper ... perhaps of greater importance?

Does anyone proof-read?

' J.D. Waite, Medford

Pass Airways Act

During the election season candidates who raised the most money will be able to have more political ads on television and radio. Political ads on television stations in 2002 brought in over a million dollars alone for the stations.

Many of us are probably not aware that the American people own the airways. The broadcasters are, in return for free use of the airwaves, supposed to serve the public interest.

There is a bill which deserves your attention and hopefully, if you support it, you can urge your senators to co-sign it. It is S. 1497, Our Democracy Our Airways Act. It has been introduced by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Russell Feingold (D-Wisc.) It would require television and radio stations to provide better information about candidates and the issues before each election.

Democracy works best when citizens have the information they need to be informed and engaged voters. For more information please check out . ' Ramie Streng, Ashland

Picture real felons

The Sunday, Sept. 7, Mail Tribune front-page story features a woman put in jail on the charge of car theft. A camera is pointed at her and she bursts into tears. The caption says she breaks down. I hope the MT is real satisfied.

How come you never put such large pictures of hard-core felons on your Sunday front page when they get arrested multiple times for crimes much worse?

Your antics remind me of the woman taken in adultery whom they brought to Jesus to see what he would do. Let him who is without sin cast the first stone. You keep that up and I hope your circulation decreases. '

Russell Tippin, Trail

Take Jenny along

What's wrong with this picture: The article (MT Sept. 8). This fun-loving clown is abandoning her canine companion so she can swim with the dolphins? I guess follow those dreams even if it means getting rid of an animal that is devoted to you and was used to help support you monetarily and emotionally.

One more thing, Bubbles, you might want to use your faithful companion for the last time to teach you to dog paddle. You'll be able to paddle better with those dolphins without a care in the world.

In the meantime, I hope Jenny finds a deserving, loving family that will take her along to swim with those dolphins. ' Monica M. Trocker, Medford

We need another war

Robert J. Shapiro, former undersecretary of commerce for economic affairs, reports (MT Aug. 13) that of the recent increase in economic output, 70 percent is related to military purchases. If there is peace in Iraq, the GOP and President Bush will need another war to keep the economy moving. Without the 70 percent military spending the economy and the GOP are in the tank.

Perhaps warlord Rumsfeld will save their day.

Economist magazine expresses a similar opinion. ' Roy Shaw, Ashland

Treat Greenway like a road

I am a frequent walker on the Greenway. I believe that safety would be improved if the instructions in television ads were modified to treat the Greenway path as if it were a road, and comply with the Motor Vehicle Code regarding roads with no sidewalks.

Basically, it means that pedestrians should walk on the left edge of the road, facing oncoming vehicles, rather than permitting the bicycles to come up behind them in the same lane.

This would give the pedestrians a better opportunity to see bikes coming toward them and, if needed, to step out of the way. Bicyclists correctly ride on the right side of the path, and are careful to avoid walkers when they can. They rarely warn pedestrians ahead of them that they are coming, and some tell me this is because the unsuspecting walkers are often startled by a warning and may move erratically when they hear it.

I am an old country boy, and a large part of my growing-up years were spent walking to school on rural roads. Our instructions were very specific on this issue. ' Dick Straw, Talent

We are united

I would like to address the letters by Rosas and Hawk in the Friday, Sept. 5 Mail Tribune.

To answer your question, Trinidad, the decal in our window means we are united. And the fact that you see it frequently should tell you something. And yes, we understand you aren't united with us. The fact that some of my countrymen sympathize with the enemies of my country saddens me, but I do acknowledge it.

I hate the fact that we have to be at war. I hate hearing that our young men and women are being killed in that war every day. And I hate seeing all those tax dollars being spent on this war. We could use that money elsewhere. Some of it being returned to my pocket.

But what you don't seem to understand is we can't even begin to debate these issues if we are dead, and these terrorists have sworn to kill us. We must eliminate this threat whatever it takes. ' Mike Patnesky, Gold Hill

Thanks to fire crews

To the firefighting crews on the ground and in the air, thank you!

Thank you for protecting my home as well as my neighbor's and for keeping me informed about the progress all through Friday night, Saturday and Sunday. Thank you to my friends, family and co-workers, as well as strangers for all of your concern and support throughout the weekend. Thanks to the Cantrells (Mike and Dina) for letting me use their corrals for my animals after midnight Friday.

There are not enough words to say how much I appreciate each and every one of those that helped us all out on Dead Indian Memorial Road. Thank you! ' C. Reynolds and animals on Dead Indian Memorial Road, Ashland

Keep Central Point growing

I feel the new Central Point Wal-Mart will help stimulate business and growth and be a good source of revenue (taxes) and give much-needed jobs to Central Point residents.

True, some businesses will suffer if they do not change. Specialty businesses will benefit from the increased flow of traffic.

Central Point is at a point where it must grow or it will only be a bedroom community for Medford and lose its uniqueness.

Thirty years ago, I lived in a town that refused to permit growth ... today very few businesses have survived and the town historically has had the worst unemployment in California.

Let's keep Central Point growing! ' William Cufaude, Central Point

Digging into a mystery

I'm trying to track down a Medford mystery. If there's anyone out there with first-hand ' or even second- or third-hand ' knowledge about the new car buried in a Medford street 50 or so years ago, would you please call or write me? ' Ben Truwe, 240 S. Grape St., Medford, OR 97501-3124, 541-773-8369

Treat the patient

It is disturbing that the Republican leadership would punish a legislator for representing the needs of not only his immediate constituents but also the dire needs of many Oregonians. The Republican Party and its leadership will find themselves marginalized and viewed as extreme if all they can bring to the table is ideology and dogma.

We need representatives in Salem who will view the current state of Oregon like a patient with a chronic disease. Tax revenues will not solve the many systemic problems inherent in education, health care, the degradation of the environment and the increasing numbers of Oregonians living in poverty. Cutting state funding to vital assistance programs to achieve a lower budget may have the effect of killing the patient. The Legislature needs to recognize that this is not practicing good medicine.

Other states are afflicted as well. We need to thoroughly examine the root causes of our chronic disease and find an appropriate remedy. Sustainable revenues are certainly a vital part of the treatment. We should seriously question why a large chunk of our tax dollars are consumed in defense spending, weaponry and war when there is such a desperate need for those funds in other vital programs. '

Michael Framson, Medford

Mail campaign disturbing

Whenever I receive anything that is sent anonymously, I consider it junk mail. The residents of Phoenix were inundated with junk mail the past couple of days.

One of the fliers, however, did have the name of an organization at the bottom of it. My question is, who comprises the Citizens for Honest and Responsible Government? Some of the statements appear to be libelous, so it is kind of understandable why the information is disseminated without names.

I for one have always appreciated the protection our police department has given and I am sorry to see this kind of propaganda sully them. Phoenix is a lovely community and, until now, has shown growth and warmth. I am saddened by the anonymous actions of whoever is responsible. ' Willa Johnson, Phoenix

No laughing matter

Here is a joke about our involvement in Iraq. President Bush is reading a speech about the invasion. He looks down and says, There are 710 reasons why we invaded Iraq. And from off-stage someone whispers, George, turn the paper over!

Get it? Unfortunately, a lot of people are still not getting it. No weapons of mass destruction have been found, and no link has been found between al-Qaida's Sept. 11 attack and Iraq.

The Bush administration was less than truthful about why we invaded that hapless country. And worse, if we are to believe what many people are now saying, terrorists from around the world are now entering Iraq. The commander of U.S. forces says the American presence is a terrorist magnet.

The Bush administration created this mess and now wants &

36;87 billion more from taxpayers. Remember their earlier statements that Iraqi oil would pay for the war? It's not happening.

This administration has created a depression costing — million American jobs and is dragging us ever deeper into debt by pouring money down the Iraq rat hole. How about helping our own people instead? Bush will be remembered as one of our worst presidents, maybe the worst. '

Gary O'Neal, Gold Hill

Not just teachers get PERS

Mr. Sickler (Sept. 9) must not like teachers. He seems to forget that PERS is public employees and not just teachers. Firemen, policemen and other public employees may retire at 55.

I had to teach until I was 62 in order to get Social Security. My retirement benefit is not like those written about in the paper. My Social Security keeps me off the welfare rolls.

I taught 27 years in District 549c and one year had 38 pupils in second grade. At that time, 30 was a normal class load. How times change! ' Margaret Jones, Medford