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Get facts straight

Someone really must answer Bill Hartley's letter of May 2. Either he is ignorant of the facts or he hopes that the rest of us are.

1. He cites the Bay of Pigs (which usually has the word debacle or fiasco after it) as a precedent for pre-emptive action. If this is his best argument for going into Iraq, he needs to rethink his opinion.

2. It was not the peacenicks who drove us from Vietnam. It was the superior will of the North Vietnamese army.

3. Likewise, the peacenicks were not responsible for Pol Pot's rise to power in Cambodia and the resulting genocide. The blame for this lies firmly on the shoulders of Richard Nixon. It was his illegal bombing of that country that undermined the government of Prince Matak, allowing an opening for Pol Pot and his thugs.

I do wish people would get their facts straight before they write letters. ' Margaret Graham, Medford

Fictional 1984 was tame

George W. Bush said we went into Iraq to find weapons, to free the Iraqis from Saddam's torture chambers, and to leave a democracy behind. Although oil wasn't mentioned, with the anticipated peaking of world oil production and soaring costs, we want Iraqi oil to feed our habits.

— Our armies found no weapons, bombed the Iraqis out of their homes, left depleted uranium behind, let looters take life savings and national treasures, outsourced torture, and now torture them too.

As for our own democracy, we now have free-speech zones, secret meetings about public concerns, much increased media censorship, and a return to popularity of Hitler's term: the homeland.

The fictional 1984 was tame compared with the actual 2004. ' Diana Morley, Ashland

Lack of respect

I live near North Medford High School and have the privilege of walking the campus from time to time. The students and staff at this school are very lucky to have such a beautiful and well-maintained campus, almost.

What I observe is a lack of respect for the campus that is provided by us taxpayers. The litter on the ground at this campus is embarrassing to this community.

I get the impression that laziness is the norm for all that attend and work here, as far as walking to a trash can and putting the litter in it. It must be so much easier to just drop it and let the wind blow it toward the can.

I have been on the campus of South Medford High, and the students, staff and parents of that school can be proud of the cleanliness of that campus. I thank you.

I wonder why the difference? I hope the administration at North Medford would take an active leadership role in this problem. And yes as I walk the campus I have picked up trash and put it in the numerous garbage cans available. ' R. Marrs, Medford

It doesn't have to be

I grew up in the Santa Clara Valley, often called the Silicon Valley, in California. I remember acres and acres of apricot orchards that would sweeten the air with their blossoms every spring. The quail and meadowlarks would sing me awake every morning.

Now the Silicon Valley is a smog-laden, concrete-and-asphalt nightmare. It didn't have to be that way.

Today I read where 47 acres of Rogue Valley orchard have been opened to commercial development. Tomorrow it will be another 50 acres opened to housing tracts.

Soon, the Rogue Valley will be just like the Silicon Valley, and it doesn't have to be that way. ' Elizabeth Reyes, Eagle Point

The lowest of lows

Being captured by the enemy is even worse than being wounded or killed; that's what America's service persons fear the most. When you fight a war against the United States, you are likely to be killed or captured. We, being the moralists we are, treat the wounds of our enemies and give them humane treatment, something rarely given our soldiers.

That's what makes the latest of these pictures in Iraq the lowest of lows in this vet's mind. We're above that. At least I thought so. Now I don't know what to think about our forces in Iraq.

We can't afford to act like that. Sure, piling a bunch of prisoners in a photo op, while stupid, still isn't as bad as getting your throat cut on tape.Yet, we are not supposed to do that.

Our laws, everything we are about, say we aren't. Yet we did it. Those soldiers should do time for it. And those prisoners should get an apology; even as our enemies, they don't deserve that treatment from the Red White and Blue. Shame on you, people, for bringing this shame to us. ' Mike Hinkes, Medford

A wolf in sheep's clothing!

I am a critic of the DEQ proposal because this area spent so much time and money cleaning it up and now this proposal wants to bring back the pollution. Now George Bush wants an increase of 700 percent in mercury pollution. I knew Sue Kupillas was for clean air, I thought we had somebody on our side.

Then I was horrified to see the Sue Kupillas letter to the DEQ proposing to do away with the offset requirement. Is it a coincidence Sue Kupillas received a &

36;5,000 donation from Boise-Cascade? Why hasn't the Mail Tribune printed the Sue Kupillas letter? Sue Kupillas sounds like a Republican.

Fortunately, we have Sue Densmore who has worked to keep this valley vibrant and clean. She worked out the recycling program and she is committed to keeping the valley clean and healthy. Sue Densmore will not sell us out to corporate greed. ' Bruce Bauer, Medford

Be careful with pets

I would like to send this message out as a reminder to all animal owners in the Rogue Valley.

Last week I was at the Wal-Mart in Medford and encountered a family giving away kittens from a shopping cart. Last night I was out on a walk and found a puppy sitting in a ditch shivering; I took it in for food and water and today a friend took it to the Jackson County Animal Shelter.

I would just like to help make people aware that as humans who own domesticated animals, the responsibility rests upon us to take proper care of those who can't take care of themselves. Please, spay and neuter your pets. Jackson County already has a huge problem with stray animals, especially cats.

And please, keep proper watch of your animals in yards and properly secure them in the backs of pickup trucks so they do not fall out on sharp corners.

Normally I would not write something about this, but lately it seems there are more and more stray and hurt animals running around. Please, take proper care. ' Andrea Hunt, White City

Can't take him seriously

Sorry, but when President Bush says that he is appalled by the torture of Iraqi prisoners and that he wants to get to the bottom of it, I have trouble taking him seriously.

After all, he said the same thing when, in an act of political revenge, someone within his inner circle leaked the name of a CIA agent. This violation of federal law took place months ago, and was probably committed by someone who sits in the same policy room with the president every day. But we're still waiting for Mr. Bush to get to the bottom of that one.

The president wants to get to the bottom of 9/11, too, but he balked at appointing a commission. Then he set conditions upon testifying that pretty much nullified the credibility of his testimony.

And then there's the intelligence failure over WMD in Iraq. The president has stated that he'd like to get to the bottom of that debacle. But, again, we're still waiting.

Indeed, President Bush should be appalled by the Iraqi prisoner scandal. But what will be his next move after he exhausts his media resources on an initial blitz of damage control? ' Paul Hadella, Talent

They are the enemy

When I opened the Opinion page this morning (May 5), I was really upset to see that political cartoon of the Saddam Torture Chambers, Under New Management with the U.S. flag atop and a caricature of a U.S. soldier standing in front.

This one stupid incident, blown out of proportion! It's something you would see in Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's newspaper, Al-Hawza. It's God-awful to portray our troops in this way. That's exactly what it does.

How about a cartoon of the killed workers' burned corpses hanging from the bridge in Fallujah with appropriate captions? No. That would portray the Islamo Fascists and the atrocities they commit as barbarians, and of course, we wouldn't want to do that! You wouldn't have seen any of this kind of crap during World War II.

We are at war! They are the enemy. The bad guys. Duh! ' Barry Ulrich, Jacksonville

Gay marriage is wrong

I would like to thank Kathy Beckett for taking a stand and not allowing gay couples to receive a marriage license in Jackson County. I stand behind that decision 100 percent. As a Christian, I believe marriage between two people of the same sex is morally wrong. I also believe marriage was made and intended to be solely between one man and one woman.

I know many people disagree with this stand. They may think that gays have the same right as anyone else to marry or that we need to be more accepting to all lifestyles. One reason I disagree with this is that in the Bible, which our country is founded on, it is morally wrong to marry someone of the same sex.

Lastly, I support Kathy Beckett in her decision to not issue marriage licenses to gay couples because that, to me, is not what marriage is made for or intended to be. ' Brooke Zielke, Medford

Wouldn't it be nice?

I'm dreaming, of course ' hallucinating may be more accurate ' but wouldn't it be nice, admirable surely, if Candidate Kerry would simply say:

Let's stop tearing America apart; what happened in Abu Ghraib, happened; war is brutal. I have complete confidence that America's military will seek out the truth and mete out punishment as appropriate. But let's stop these mindless calls for congressional hearings, for resignations, for public breast-beating.

Let's all pause to reflect that America's soldiers are still in deadly combat, that everything we say in our rush to judgment is being portrayed on Arabic TV even as I speak.

There will be calmer days ahead, time for investigations without distraction and breathless TV. Let's all refrain from inadvertently giving aid and comfort to the enemy; the battle is not yet over; hard days are still ahead.

Ample time remains in coming months to sort all this out. I ask Americans of all political persuasions to join with me, take a deep breath, and concentrate on defeating the Islamic fanatics and not ourselves.

Who knows? Conceivably, such a call may gain candidate Kerry new respect and new votes. ' Irving Jaffe, Central Point

An Oscar for G.W.

G.W Bush should have taken Hollywood's Oscar with his real-life adaptation of The Lord of Lies: The Hunt for WMD and Veiled Deceptions.

This five-star performance with its administrative supporting cast fooled America, but not the world. Ah, but we don't need the rest of the stinking world. We rule!

So let's not buy those cheap, non-union, dollar-a-day slave labor commodities from noncoalition nations. Stand up and support those who bought into our lies! (Oil and gas nations don't count; they don't have any troops in Iraq or Afghanistan).

Put this one up on your fridge: Bush, on Feb. 3, uttered on WMD, What we don't know yet is what we thought, and what the Iraqi Group has found ... Duh! Think about it ... What we don't know yet is what we thought ...

Maybe all those Pabst Blue Ribbons he won in the Guard service during Vietnam is an explanation. ' Gery Bargen, Medford

Survey help available

In response to Meg Landers' article of May 5 concerning property boundary issues, I'd like to add that the Jackson County Surveyors Office is a valuable resource for property boundary information. Oregon law requires that all property surveys be filed with the county surveyor. This has been in effect since 1947, and we now have over 19,000 surveys on file.

When a property boundary is in question, the property owner's first contact should be with our office. With just a few minutes of research, we can determine if the property or adjoining property has been surveyed and a map filed, when the survey was done, the surveyor's name, and the type of markers to look for. Copies of surveys are available at our office in Room 318 in the old courthouse.

I am often consulted when there is a disagreement over the location of a property boundary, and I will work with a property owner to review the deed descriptions and surveys that have been done. Quite often this alone will result in a better understanding of the boundary location, and the disagreement can be laid to rest. ' Roger Roberts, PLS, Jackson County surveyor

Kudos to Home Medical

I wish to express my gratitude and many thanks to Judy Byers, pulmonary rehabilitation specialist, at Home Medical for putting on the exceptional classes for asthma, emphysema and COPD sufferers. The nine classes covered everything from how the lungs work, medications, oxygen use, nutrition, exercise, time/energy management, wellness, stress management and weight management. There is also exercise evaluation, and all this is free!

The classes were extremely well presented and very helpful. I would hope that everyone with breathing problems would take advantage of this opportunity for their own well-being. ' E. Nelson, Medford

A scary dream

Here's a frightening dream I had about the future:

Oil reserves dwindle, OPEC ceases delivery to European nations.

Muslim coalition forces go on red alert, Israel is under siege.

North Korea attacks the South, Seoul is in flames.

China launches Israeli-type sea and air attack on America's Pacific fleet.

Taiwan is overrun.

Hawaii and the western seaboard are defenseless.

Missile silos are put at DefCon 1.

NATO dissolves.

The United States stands alone. ' Chris Sink, Ashland

Twice blessed

Once again I left my billfold in a shopping cart at Food 4 Less. And once again some kind, honest person turned it in to customer service.

I do not know who you are, but I wish you blessing. I have been twice blessed. ' Audrey McCready, Eagle Point