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Thrilled with Beckett decision

This is to let you know that I am thrilled with the decision of Kathy Beckett on the issue of same-sex marriages. I am against same-sex marriages in the state of Oregon and our nation. I believe marriage should be defined as a man and a woman. ' Glen Prosise, Medford

What happened to respect?

What happened to good old-fashioned respect? I am really getting tired of reading day after day about President Bush this, President Bush that. Like it or not, he is our president.

We voted, and some did not vote, and he won the election. He is the leader of our free country.

Whether you like him or not, you need to respect him and trust him to make the right decisions. I will state that I did not vote or care for President Clinton, but I respected his place as our president. I prayed for him and I did not bash him or be disloyal to him.

Being disloyal to our president is like being disloyal to our country. I am not going to defend President Bush or shove my opinions of how he is doing as a president down your throats, I am just stating that we need to respect our leaders and support them. If our leader does not have the support of his people, how strong is our country? ' N. Wetzel, Eagle Point

Greenspan's forked tongue

Payroll deductions since 1983 have been a travesty when Greenspan sold the public on the myth of paying Social Security in advance.

— Good old Ronald Reagan made tax cuts for the rich and spent it all ' the trust fund was stuffed with IOUs. The &

36;1.7 trillion in excess payroll taxes already paid would be enough to completely pay off all consumer debt.

Check out the Alternative Minimum Tax; I would call this one the Stealth Tax. Between 2003 and 2012 the Bush tax cuts will force &

36;560 billion to be paid by the middle and medium income. What a great subsidy for the super-rich!

None of the people running for office, party affiliation does not matter ' lies and more lies.

Please vote, even if we do not agree with most of them, we must try. ' Kai Graff, Medford

Words to reflect on

I found this in the Wall Street Journal letters to the editor. I think some of your readers/writers might benefit from these sage words attributed to George Kennan (a diplomat and writer. - it lies within the power as well as the duty of all of us to recognize not only the possibility that we might be wrong but the virtual certainty that on some occasions we are bound to be.

The fact that this is so does not absolve us from the duty of having views and putting them forward. But it does make it incumbent upon us to recognize the element of doubt that still surrounds the correctness of these views.

And if we do that, we will not be able to lose ourselves in the transports of moral indignation against those who are of opposite opinion and follow a different line, we will put our views forward only with a prayer for forgiveness for the event that we prove to be mistaken. ' Richard Fujas, Ashland

Barbie's choice

I read in the MT that Ms. B. Mattel is breaking up with her boyfriend, Ken, after many, many years of fun and games.

It seems she has fallen for some tall, blond beach hunk from down under whose name is Blaine. Blaine ' what kind of a name is that?

Oh well, I guess one can't depend on anything anymore! Here today, gone tomorrow.

As you can tell, I lead a very exciting life. ' Michale Gildea, Medford

The end is destruction

Why not allow same-sex marriages when they truly love each other? Because there is a way that seems right to a man but in the end is destruction (Proverbs 14:12).

Marriage between man and woman was divinely arranged by God. As a nation, how can we ignore God's rules, such as allowing the murder of unborn babies, then turn around and sincerely sing God Bless America? ' J. C. Murphy, Medford

Thanks for support

I would personally like to thank all the supporters of the new Smooth Jazz Radio Show The Flow on KEZX 730AM. As producer, it has been an almost two-year journey to get the show on the air.

Thanks to all who have sent e-mails and letters telling us how much they are enjoying the show. With your support it may be possible to bring some live jazz shows to the valley this summer. Keep tuning in. ' Sue Roberts, The Flow Jazz Show

Culture war rages on

The culture war rages on. Many recent events have focused attention on those blinded by the culture smog from which they breathe deeply. Legislating liberal judges continue to spread their demented vision for America. Left-leaning Democrats and the mainstream media embrace this depravity. They are dead wrong.

The Republicans, who are on the right, are also in the right, regarding this war for the very heart and soul of our culture and civilization. ' Tom and Carol Moeller, Medford

Why blast Gilmour?

The Medford Mail Tribune's Feb. 27, 2004, editorial blasting Commissioner Dave Gilmour fails the credibility test. You took Dr. Gilmour, a Democrat, to task for practicing partisan politics in choosing Senator Hannon's replacement. Yet, you said nothing about Commissioner Walker's purely political vote, made solely on his stated desire to uphold the wishes of his (the Republican) party. Both commissioners voted in accordance with partisan politics. If partisan politics were truly the basis of your negative opinion, then why just blast Dr. Gilmour? Think about it please. ' Trish Bowcock, Jacksonville

National Guard facts

As a retired senior master sergeant from the Oregon Air National Guard with 34 years of full-time service, and 30 years as a supervisor, I must correct the letter written by Mr. Furlatte appearing on March 1.

1. Direct commissions to 2LT for pilot training were the norm before the late '70s. Former Congressman Dennis Denny Smith received his commission to 2LT in the Portland unit (142 Fighter Interceptor Group) and went to pilot training about the same time as President Bush. The Air Guard gave commissions up to captain to qualified enlisted personnel, usually senior NCOs, when there was an opening. An ANG officers training school was established sometime in the late '70s.

2. I took the AFOQT test (Air Force Officers Qualification Test) and passed it. It was not graded in percentages. You needed a 5 on the officer's qualification portion to qualify for a commission and a 7 on the pilot's portion to qualify for pilot training.

3. There were a number of ways you could make up a UTA (Unit Training Assembly), some for pay and some without pay. The subject is too complex for this letter.

4. There was no drug testing until the early '80s. ' Lloyd N. Clodfelter, Medford

Show the proof

Roland Furlatte of Rogue River had a letter printed on March — demeaning our president's service in the Air National Guard. He accused him of several infractions and at least one felony. Anyone can make idle accusations. If Furlatte has the proof of his allegations, let him step forward with them. If he can show the proof, I'll apologize to him.

I lived in Rogue River for 15 years and never heard anyone make accusations like that without proof. Maybe times are changing. ' Jere Moody, Vancouver, Wash.

Hope I never get over it.

Re: The Passion of the Christ. I saw this well-done film on Ash Wednesday and my feelings are: I hope I never get over it.

I cannot imagine not seeing it. You may hate the message, but you certainly cannot deny it.

P.S. For those who are searching for a reason to label it anti-this or anti-that, bottom line ... It is history and it is from the Bible. ' Peggy Ryder, Medford

Bush's lies

Jennifer Scroggins 3/1/04 MT: If any one of the accusers actually listened or paid attention'they would realize our president never lied. Well, if she had actually paid attention to the president's 2003 State of the Union address, she would have heard President Bush utter the following attempts to mislead the American public.

Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.

U.S. intelligence indicates that Saddam Hussein had upwards of 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents.

We have also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas.

Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al-Qaida.

All lies sucking us into the Iraq invasion (semantic pedants note: Lying includes attempts to deceive as well as literal untruths ' see any dictionary). Washington Post columnist David Corn calls Bush a serial liar from his earliest days in politics ' The Lies Of George W. Bush: The Politics of Deception. ' Terry Doyle, Ashland

A dangerous liar

Jennifer Scroggins writes, He (Bush) never lied and Bush bashers should grow up. She's wrong. There were numerous lies told on many occasions, including the State of the Union address, January 2003, that led directly to a &

36;100 billion unnecessary war.

Saddam Hussein had upwards of 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents (lie, there was none). Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. (lie, forged document). Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent. (lie, there was none

There were many other lies told that night which led to the deaths of 500 U.S. service personnel and nearly 10,000 Iraqis. There is evidence Bush planned this war long before he was(n't) elected. If we had been told the truth instead of lies, that invasion wouldn't have happened.

He's a dangerous liar who's got to go. ' John Dowd, Ashland

The next logical step

It seems like the next logical step is hazard pay for those in school or work zones. If the fines are doubled in these areas there surely must be money to pay for it. I've always had a problem with one life being worth more than another. Public safety issues and the fines incurred because of them surely were not meant to enrich the city's coffers! ' Brian Kesterson, Medford

A societal issue

Regarding Virginia Newton's comments of Feb. 27, her views cry out for my comment.

Abortion is not a personal moral issue; it is a societal moral issue. Neither Ms. Newton nor I are free to kill people based on where they live or how dependent they are. We are restricted by laws that are based on societal moral norms and if we killed for those reasons, we would be (1. breaking the law, and (2. considered immoral. Abortion is killing a baby human being that hasn't yet changed its residence from womb to hospital.

None of the reasons Ms. Newton listed (unwed mothers, welfare circumstance, potential future neglect, abuse, taxes, politics, etc.) would be legal reasons to kill a baby that had progressed to normal birth. The same standards of protection are morally required for the baby not yet born. Roe vs. Wade has left our country with a huge, gaping moral wound that must be corrected. The sooner we correct it, the better our nation will be for it. ' Kristin O'Driscoll, Jacksonville

We need to help

After reading about the situation at Pipe City in White City, I found a scripture that helped me look at everything in a new light.

Proverbs 22:22, Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court.

I still like to think this is one nation under God. We need to help these folks! ' Cassandra Halvorson, Eagle Point

Let them be parents

When my mother was 85 years old I attempted to explain to her what a homosexual was. Her only response was, Oh, that's silly. Her outdated, old-fashioned line of thought is now considered ludicrous in view of our new enlightened facts on the subject. The thought of same-sex marriage would have made her laugh out loud. and yet, why not?

If gay couples want all the benefits of marriage, they must also accept the responsibilities of marriage, i.e., children. After all, they shouldn't be deprived of the joy and fulfillment of parenthood. I suggest that these newlyweds ' after taking their solemn vows ' take the unwanted, unplanned, abused and neglected offspring of heterosexual couples (married or not) into their family.

Just think of the blissful satisfaction they will feel, knowing they can devote the rest of their lives to the emotional and financial support of the blessed events ' our future generation. Oh, happiness! After a few years they may become disillusioned by the constant strain of raising children, but then what the hell, they got married and will live happily ever after. Right? ' L. Dunn, Phoenix

Thanks for article

Thank you for commemorating the exposure of the fisherman showered with fallout from a hydrogen bomb test in 1954 in Sunday's paper. Considering at least &

36;3 trillion U.S. tax dollars have been involved in the creation of nuclear pollution for the last 60 years, the issue doesn't usually get the press it deserves.

However, I was upset at the misleading table, U.S. nuclear test records. In fact, the U.S. government has confirmed there have been at least 1,030 tests of nuclear weapons. Many of these tests contained 100x the explosive power of the hydrogen bomb. There has been the equivalent of one nuclear test by the U.S. every 17 days for the last 50 years, and if you include worldwide testing, every nine days. These explosive, radiation spreading, cancer-causing tests have taken place up to 200 miles in the atmosphere, in the ocean, underground and aboveground. The declassified U.S. tests are available in the Congressional Records kept in the government section of the Southern Oregon University Library, as well as on line, see , prop1.org/2000/nucleartests.html.

To learn about the current case of the Hanford downwinders, U.S. citizens exposed to radiation by nuclear weapons production, see . ' Linda Richards, Ashland

Thanks to Kathy Beckett

Thank you, Kathy Beckett, for your courage. You have chosen what is right by standing up for traditional marriages, our families and our future. ' Denette Fretz, Medford

Looking for Bush voters

So, one of my goals this year is to find people who would actually vote for Bush.

Since he has lied to us about WMD to get us into a hideously expensive war that has killed 500-plus young Americans and countless Iraqis. He has sold our forests to the logging companies, given our national parks to the oil interests that contribute millions to his campaign, and gotten us so far in debt that our great-grandchildren will be paying for it and not have any Social Security to help them when they retire. Lost America 2.5 million jobs. The entire world hates us now because of the arrogance of this administration.

Who would vote for such an aberration of mankind?

Well, I recently read a letter to this forum from a woman who recently moved here. She is apparently upset by all the anti-Bush letters and wants those who write them to grow up.

May I suggest that part of growing up is learning, and for her to say that Bush didn't lie is absurd. There are hours of him, on tape, saying we must go to war because Iraq has WMD and he knows where they are.

That woman will vote for Bush. ' Ron Stimson, Medford

Jurors did their jobs

I would like to commend the Repp jurors for doing an outstanding job in their deliberations. They performed exactly as a jury is supposed to. They listened, they took notes, they considered the evidence, they did not make a hasty decision so they could go home and put the trial behind them, and they agreed on the only verdict they could possibly come to.

When it cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that an act has been committed, you cannot convict. There will be much controversy over this verdict, but the jurors performed their function, and admirably.

I'm sure the family of Kerry Repp is devastated, as I would be if this were one of my daughters, and I convey my sympathy to them for the anguish they have endured during this long ordeal. I have no affiliation with anyone involved in this matter and speak only as a citizen of Jackson County. ' Pamela McMaugh, Talent

Another O.J. jury

Gary Repp's jury seems to be the same ones who tried O.J. Simpson. I'll bet they could do Scott Peterson and get him off too.

By gosh if I didn't forget what the word justice meant! ' Jeanette Frison, Prospect

A fun idea

Regarding Molly Ivins' Off to the (muddy) races, Feb. 17:

Anne Coulter owes Sen. Max Cleland a whopper-sized apology that matches the size of her lies about him. Or here's a fun idea: Someone could amputate her brain and replace it with a hot-wired prosthesis that, every time she thought, penned or uttered an untruth, it would give her a terrific jolt. That Lady Godiva hairdo could use a little frizzzzzzzz. ' Marlyn Mason, Medford

When will we learn?

American employers should be able to hire the workers they believe are right for the job. Right now, they cannot do this. If the workers they want to hire are foreign nationals, they must hire less-qualified Americans instead.

This policy is unfair to qualified immigrants. It also damages the American economy, which must make do with a less-than-optimum workforce. Change is needed.

Any immigrant hired by an American employer should be allowed to take the job, obtain a work permit and stay in this country.

It is spurious to argue that this policy would cost American jobs. It is current policy that costs American jobs.

Employers move jobs overseas to take advantage of the full labor pool they wish to tap. If they had access to the full labor pool here, some of those jobs would stay in this country, and some of them would go to Americans.

The more walls we erect against immigrants, the more anger we provoke in other countries. The more anger we provoke, the more terrorists we produce. The war on terror does nothing to stop this. When will we ever learn? ' William Ashworth, Ashland

What we accomplished

Some folks can't let go of the fact that we invaded Iraq under false pretenses, at the cost of thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars. Others say get over it, we're there, and it's unpatriotic to ask embarrassing questions. Besides, we're their liberators; they love us over there.

Instead of dwelling on the past, consider all we accomplished: Iraq may be in chaos, but the oil fields are secure. There are no weapons of mass destruction, but Bechtel and Halliburton are making a killing. Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida remain at large, but that hardly matters, election-wise, since most people think Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11.

As for the lack of international support, that's just fewer people taking a cut of the profiteering by Bush's corporate sponsors. Mission accomplished.

Unanticipated consequences? Bring 'em on! And quit worrying about the cost ' your grandkids will be paying for it. ' Michael Steely, Medford