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Is anyone surprised'

We are now told that a larger force will be sent to Afghanistan to search for Osama bin Laden. Is anyone surprised?

This president has tried to tie 9/11 to Iraq when all along it was a Saudi (bin Laden). Now we hear no WMDs have been found so with an election year let's really look for who's responsible.

Are we going to let him get away with this? ' Keith Van Horn, Medford

Roundabouts are great

Having used roundabouts in several different countries, I think they are great! Being a resident of east Medford I encourage the use over stop lights!

Let's go for it ' besides, it's a cost saver to the taxpayers. ' Bob Reed, Medford

Thanks to Britt

We are sixth-grade students at Lone Pine Elementary School.

— We would like to thank Britt for funding the morning music program we receive in school each morning. The classical music is a great way to start the day as it is very soothing and calming. It helps get us in the mood to study.

We hope the program continues. ' Jake Hernandez and Hunter Dixon, Medford

Not doing their jobs

Starting early in 2003 (or perhaps earlier) several American politicians began looking at the possibility of becoming the next president of the United States. Several of them were already members of the U.S. Congress, having been duly elected by the constituents of their respective states.

Not letting this condition deter their efforts, they started running around the country attempting to convince the population that each of them was the best qualified for the job. They seemed to have no concern for the fact that the time they spent out on the stump was taking away from the time they were supposed to be spending in their congressional offices.

Did each of these patriots declare that he/she would refuse to accept their congressional salary while they were campaigning? Not!

Did each of them tell his/her constituency that they would not be adequately represented during all this campaigning? Not!

It seems to me a bit unfair that these folks would draw their not inconsequential salaries (which we pay) while not performing the jobs for which they were elected. But then I guess I've always been somewhat of a stickler. Oh well, you know how us old, conservative Republicans are. ' Murray LaHue, Phoenix

Put him on the first flight

Traditionally, when the kitchen gets too hot at home, American presidents concentrate on foreign policy to distract the voting public from the mess he has made here. Unfortunately, Bush has so annoyed or frightened most of the population of the planet that he can't show his face across either ocean for fear of being shot at or heckled.

But you have to give his handlers credit for boldly choosing the only option left for distracting the public left to them ' outer space. The president wants to go to Mars. By all means, let's put him on the first flight out. ' Jeff Porter, Grants Pass

Memories of home

Your article Jan. 19 on page 6A brought back memories of my youth in the hills of Appalachia. Hill people have struggled against irresponsible mining for at least half a century.

Belmont County, where I grew up, was named for the beauty of its hills. Many of those hills have been reduced to piles of rubble. Often it was cheaper to pay the per-acre fine than replace the overburden. Not far from my home a creek ran red year-round with the runoff from mining operations.

Although the rape of the environment has been accelerated by the current administration, both parties must share the blame. It seems unlikely that any alternative to fossil fuels will become acceptable until every last dollar has been extracted from them. After all, if some other source of energy becomes acceptable, fossil fuels may be less valuable. ' Eugene Thomas, Medford

Who is getting hurt?

Well, the president let us know about what state the union is in. I guess we weren't smart enough to know it already.

Opinion: We do not need to go to the moon or Mars if the senior and uninsured citizens can't afford medical insurance ' even the citizens that have insurance can't afford to go to the doctor anymore.

Opinion: We need to wake up and stop allowing the rich politicians to continue leading us around like the sheep they think we are.

Opinion: We are hearing again that they will have to cut this program and that program if they don't get more tax money. Who is getting hurt here? The people that always pay that money and don't receive what has been promised in their campaigns, that's who.

If we don't do something soon, we may as well just bend over ' again and again and again. ' Gary Gimenez, Prospect