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No excuse for brutality

Lack of training is the excuse for abuse to prisoners? By virtue of being military personnel these people are trained. What one has to wonder is how and when it became OK for us to treat other human beings in such a manner. The bestiality of many Iraqis is the very reason not to behave in the same way. There is cruelty, ignorance, stupidity, callousness, and dishonesty on the part of our government ' but no excuses. ' Adrienne Morris, Medford

Iraq war is another loser

President Clinton's PG-13 sexual escapades leading to impeachment pale in comparison to commander-in-chief Bush's sadistic X-rated Abu Ghraib sex-torture scandal. Though only the latest in a long line of high crimes and misdemeanors, our elected representatives dare not open an impeachment inquiry, for fear of being branded a terrorist sympathizer. At least some military commanders now recognize the Iraq War, like Vietnam is another loser for the USA. ' George McCartin, Jacksonville

Why not drive a hybrid?

Re: GASping over fuel prices. Why does a traveling insurance agent need to drive a gas-guzzling, pollutant-spewing Ford F-150 up and down the Rogue Valley? How about a clean-burning, fuel-efficient Honda Civic Hybrid or Toyota Prius? There may well be a logical answer (or not). We'll never know, because either the Tribune's reporter (Meg Landers) didn't ask the question, or the answer wasn't published. ' Eric Dziura, Medford

Making the world blind

The Nick Berg decapitation or the abuses at Abu Ghraib ' which is worse?

I was taught a long time ago that two wrongs don't make a right. They are both wrong! I know that we should never be surprised when horrible things happen in and around a war. And an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. ' Mike Curtis, Shady Cove

Beware chemicals in paints

At last I thought I'd found the perfect house, but once inside my eyes stung and my tongue had a metallic taste. In the garage I found paint containing stain-resistant chemicals and mildewcides, warning that the paint causes eye and skin irritation and contains chemicals known to cause cancer and lung damage.

— I was dismayed there was no way to remove the paint or effectively seal it, and that in fact, the mildewcides remain volatile for at least two to three years when they begin to die off and only then can the problem start to be remedied.

Fungicides are so potentially hazardous they originally were permitted only in exterior paints. This interior was painted by the young woman selling the house. She's expecting a baby and is still inhaling the off-gassing fumes ' as will the unsuspecting buyers for at least two or three years. Time to read labels and stop buying these products! ' Barbara Harrah, Phoenix

Too much freedom?

It is a privilege to live in a democracy. The most important element of democracy is freedom. Thus we enjoy freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, etc.

However, a democracy has one glaring weakness. It opens up too many avenues for people to do what they want to do and not what they ought to do.

To insure that people do what they ought to do requires laws and restrictions. But to bring about this desired end, some people feel their freedom is being denied. However, much leniency is granted by the courts in their interpretation of the Constitution regarding freedom.

Too much freedom does not promote the common good. Today we should examine our culture and ask ourselves if certain freedoms promote the common good. For example, do abortion, same-sex marriages, easy divorce, TV entertainment, pornography, etc., etc., promote the common good? All of these should be important issues and should be examined. ' Ralph J. Denman, Jacksonville

Election Letters

Vote for Densmore

I have known and admired Sue Densmore for many years. Through her participation and leadership in solving problems at the regional level, she has demonstrated her ability to work with others for the benefit of Jackson County.

Densmore, as a businesswoman, has a keen appreciation for the values of our county's natural environment and will work hard to maintain and enhance them.

Please vote Sue Densmore for county commissioner. ' Myra Erwin, Ashland

Who is John Kerry?

Personal: Wealthy Yankee Massachusetts senator ' politically left of Ted Kennedy, little known in Midwest, South and West. Very well-kept man ' former heiress wife worth &

36;200 million; present heiress wife twice-plus that. Both required extensive prenuptial agreements; neither trusted him?

Vietnam Navy lieutenant: Awarded Purple Hearts, Bronze and Silver Star. Upon discharge, led anti-war demonstrations; publicly characterized Reserve and National Guard duty as akin to draft dodging.

Fiscal: Would repeal all Bush tax cuts; voted for tax increases 350 times in 17 years, including 11 times for regressive 50 cents-per-gallon gasoline tax increase; supported both tax increases on Social Security benefits; opposed increasing child credit and eliminating marriage tax penalty. Can Social Security retirees or middle-lower income groups afford his regressive tax- and-spend policies? ' Les Kell, Medford

Buckley has integrity

The challenging and changing times we are facing require fresh vision and vigor. We are fortunate to have Peter Buckley running for state representative. Peter is a man of integrity with creative, workable ideas for the problems we face in education, the environment, the economy and health care. I urge you to log on to his site, , and explore his thinking on these critical issues. Vote for Peter Buckley and help effect some positive change! ' Susan Powell, Ashland

Supporting Jim Wright

Jim Wright has been a leader in our community for as long as I can remember. Jim was born and raised in Southern Oregon and chose to raise his family here. He and his wife, Judy, have lived in the area since the mid-'60s.

Jim believes we must take our state back from partisan politicians who are only looking out for their own best interests, not what is best for Oregon.

Jim will bring new innovative ideas to the Legislature. He believes government should live within its means just like you and I do. That is why I am supporting Jim Wright. ' Mark Ledford, Medford

Retain Kupillas

In 15 years of service to Jackson County, I haven't always agreed with Sue Kupillas but I have always respected her and trusted that she did her homework, listened to all sides, and when making up her mind, had the best interests of the whole county at heart.

I think her efforts to preserve federal revenues to help support county government; her work to balance environmental and industry interests; her proposals that supported clean air, reduced auto emissions, and community-based economic development; and her work on a host of social issues ranging from public safety to making sure working parents had quality child care attests to her grasp of diverse issues and commitment to public service.

More than anything else Sue Kupillas is not an ideologue. She is fair, open, pragmatic yet principled. She is a public servant worthy of retaining her office. ' Mary O'Kief, Ashland

Vote for Kucinich

Some Democrats worry that voting for Kucinich may help Bush, the way that votes for Nader helped Bush in 2000.

The difference is that Nader wasn't a Democrat; he was competing for votes in the presidential election, and therefore got votes that could have gone to Democrat Al Gore. This situation is different.

Kucinich is running in the Democratic primary. Even if Kucinich wins Oregon's primary, that won't take any votes away from Kerry in the presidential election.

So why vote for Kucinich? Because Kucinich's approach to peace would make us more secure without taking away our freedoms. Kucinich advocates using the &

36;1.6 trillion already spent on health care to create a system that would cover all Americans. Kucinich advocates getting America out of WTO and NAFTA in order to keep American jobs at home.

A vote for Kucinich will tell the Democratic Party what we want for America. (See ) ' Eli Dumitru, Medford

Writing in McCain

Awhile back, it seemed as if everyone was in agreement that George W. Bush did not have the intelligence to make the decision to go to war against Iraq.

In a column May 4, George Will seems to be saying that George W. Bush does not have the intelligence to avoid making nonsensical and racist comments.

Looking over my primary ballot, I find George W. Bush running unopposed. Apparently, the Republican Party does not have the intelligence to offer us a candidate with the intelligence to be president. I'll be writing in Sen. John McCain, I guess.

The next presidential term will most likely see opportunities for the president to nominate several new Supreme Court justices. I pray we elect a president with the intelligence to nominate eminently-qualified candidates. Based on recent history and on the candidates put forward by the major parties, I'd say it doesn't look good. ' Scott McKay, Medford

Evading responsibility

I'm surprised that nobody has written about Dubya's press conference last month, so here goes!

He admitted that the U.S. would have gone to war with Saddam even if he didn't have WMD; this isn't what Congress was told. Therefore, by invading Iraq, we have diverted the war on terror to a country that didn't have anything to do with 9/11. Bush stated that freedom is the Almighty's gift to the world; I guess that he is doing God's/Mohammed's work for us.

When asked about his biggest mistake he has made in office, the response was, I wish you gave me a written question ahead, so I could plan an answer. Huh!

This administration bears no responsibility for its actions and doesn't measure their version of the world against anybody else's.

If you're undecided in November, think ' so we don't have to experience four more years of this pious rhetoric! ' Bob Miller, Ashland

Vote for Densmore

The most important race in the primary election is the Sue Densmore/Sue Kupillas county commissioner race. Sue Kupillas is public enemy number one.

Kupillas undermines Jackson County citizens and attempts to limit citizen involvement. I experienced this when she informed me that she would never consider my service on the Natural Resources Advisory Committee because of my involvement with a local environmental nonprofit organization.

Additionally, do you remember her attempt to limit the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument?

On the other hand, Sue Densmore favors bringing diverse viewpoints together to come up with positive solutions for Jackson County. Sue Densmore serves the community.

Sue Kupillas cannot beat the Republican challenger in the general election because Democrats would hold their noses at best to support her in the general election.

Please never vote for Sue Kupillas. Vote Sue Densmore for Jackson County Commissioner! ' Derek Volkart, Ashland

Lofaso is best

I believe Joanna Lofaso is the best candidate to bring economic development and tax reform to the state of Oregon on behalf of House District 5.

Joanna has worked in banking for 23 years. I have worked with her for some of those years, watching her identify financial problems and work tenaciously until they are solved.

More than any other candidate in this district, she has the training and solid financial background in business development and financial analysis to help Oregon find the money it needs for schools, law enforcement, health care and other vital services.

If you believe the state can do more to ensure our tax dollars provide the services Oregon needs, join me in supporting Joanna Lofaso for state representative for House District 5. ' Leo Hull, Ashland

Who gives the orders?

Who gave the order for prisoners to be tortured? George Bush did when he called them enemy combatants instead of prisoners of war so as to circumvent the Geneva Convention. This was a clear message to the prison commanders that anything goes. The prisoners are still considered enemy combatants today, which means that the president wants the torture to continue (minus cameras, of course!)

If we put George Bush back in the White House in November, then we, the American people, will have ultimately ordered the continuation of torture. ' Preston Moser, Medford