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See 'What the Bleep'

Don't miss the movie What the Bleep do We Know? at the Varsity in Ashland ' a movie experience like no other.

Whether you are a student or a professor, rich or poor, young or old ' if there is life in you and an ounce of curiosity, go see it. Teachers go, and then take your students to see it! (High school and up.) Go to for more info. ' Bjorg Smidt, Phoenix

Learning how to distort

Dave Cook (May 20) writes, Kerry rushed to Washington to cast a vote to ban certain types of hunting ammunition ... 30-30 Winchester, .308Winchester ...

More right-wing B.S. ' Kerry joined 89 other senators including both Oregon's Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith in voting to prohibit a ban on liability against damages brought against manufacturers of armor-piercing ammunition.

Looks like the right-wingers are learning from George, our holy, evangelist president, how to distort the truth. ' Terry Doyle, Ashland

Pattern of incompetence

The Bush administration continues a pattern of incompetent management of the post-war occupation of Iraq. It includes failure to provide sufficient troops to maintain security (despite command advice), failure to plan many aspects of the occupation and failure to develop adequate corps of translators to assist us. These are hard to comprehend if, as seems evident, planning for war started a year before it began.

— The U.S. mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners is despicable, and also highlights this pattern of incompetence. International Red Cross reports repeatedly warned U.S. officials about this issue, starting last summer ' but corrective actions were not taken. Their warnings made clear these were not isolated incidents but a systemic failure.

Handling of this pattern of prisoner abuse, like prior missteps, will inevitably inflame hatred of the U.S. in Muslim populations and disrespect worldwide. It also increases danger to our troops, diplomats and citizens worldwide.

While I opposed our invasion as an ill-advised diversion from the conflict against terrorism, having started, it is critical we succeed in our efforts to develop a freer Iraq. Unfortunately, because of ideological and cultural blinders, many of this administration's efforts are counterproductive, making our world less safe for all. ' Robert John Scheelen, Medford

Letter carriers delivered

On Saturday, May 8, many of you participated in the National Letter Carrier's Food Drive, which is the single-largest food drive in Jackson County.

What a response!

Once again the community rallied to the call for help by donating over 79,818 pounds of food for distribution to local hungry families and individuals.

Many thanks to all of you who donated and to all the letter carriers who picked up the donated food in the Medford, Central Point, White City and Ashland areas. Particular thanks to local Letter Carrier's Food Drive coordinators Donna Sanderson and Annette Lewis.

I would also like to thank Southern Oregon Sales for donating storage space and a forklift driver, Central Equipment for donating a forklift, KTVL-10 for their great promotion and news coverage, and the 40 employees of Rogue Federal Credit Union who volunteered their time to sort. ' Philip Yates, ACCESS nutrition programs manager, Medford

It was sexual abuse

Neil Goldschmidt did not have a relationship, nor did he have an affair. What he did was sexually abuse a child. ' Ed Shelby, Rogue River

Bring them home

A life-long Republican (who still supports our going to Baghdad) says: Forget your legacy/ego, President Bush. Bring our sons and daughters home from Iraq. We gave the Iraqis enough time; they hid (or shipped out) the WMDs.

It costs more American lives to stay in Baghdad than it does to get there; we can go back if threatened again. If we're not there on the ground, we can bomb.

There will never be popular democracy in Iraq; we're not fighting political ideas there. Theirs will always be rule by religion ' a religion that dictates the conversion or death of all non-Muslims. Can you say jihad?

Hussein and Sons is out of business. We can only leave more Americans bleeding in the sand for nothing. ' Joe Ward, Shady Cove

Bring them home

A life-long Republican (who still supports our going to Baghdad) says: Forget your legacy/ego, President Bush. Bring our sons and daughters home from Iraq. We gave the Iraqis enough time; they hid (or shipped out) the WMDs.

It costs more American lives to stay in Baghdad than it does to get there; we can go back if threatened again. If we're not there on the ground, we can bomb.

There will never be popular democracy in Iraq; we're not fighting political ideas there. Theirs will always be rule by religion ' a religion that dictates the conversion or death of all non-Muslims. Can you say jihad?

Hussein and Sons is out of business. We can only leave more Americans bleeding in the sand for nothing. ' Joe Ward, Shady Cove

Put safety first

The political television ad for Kerry wants Americans to vote for him because the children would get a better education, health care would be better, etc. In all certainty, none of this would matter if Kerry were elected president, because between Kerry and the crooked leaders of the United Nations, terrorists would be given free reign to again commit their atrocities on our soil.

Let's put the safety of our country first, and then we can think about the other perks that we Americans are so used to. In World War II, we all sacrificed for our country by food and gas rationing and didn't complain, but rallied behind our president no matter what our political party was. We were a much stronger and a more moral people at that time.

We have become so jaded and selfish that we put our own personal needs and comforts before the safety of our shores. President Bush is trying his best to keep our country free and safe for all of us, while trying to battle the likes of Teddy Kennedy and all of the Quislings who seem to be backing the madmen responsible for the deaths and destruction in the world. ' Nancy Brousseau, Central Point

Biased reporting

Veterans in this region have realized a substantial gain with the Bush administration's official decision to maintain the VA's Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinics in White City.

However, I fumed as I read the article regarding the announcement in last Friday's paper. The article did little to explain VA Secretary Anthony Principi's final decision. The writer, it seems, was simply interested in taking an unwarranted cheap shot at President George W. Bush.

The writer quotes a local veteran who discounts President Bush's role in the decision. As a matter of fact, this gentleman states, I wouldn't say it was the Bush administration . As far as he's concerned, he'd rather have it closed.

Let me point out the obvious: President Bush and the Bush administration are one in the same. Why subject readers to the wild speculation of some supposed randomly selected veteran? What relevance does it have to the story? This kind of biased, politically-motivated reporting belittles the importance of this decision to area veterans.

Very poor reporting indeed, considering that the president has made veterans' issues a priority during his administration. The VA conducted CARES to improve its health-care system. In Southern Oregon, it has done just that. ' Troy L. Ferguson, Phoenix

Story informative

Sunday's front-page story (May 9) about Winning the fight, but losing the war was very informative. It appears that Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz sold the current administration on the ridiculous idea that forcing democracy on Iraq would transform politics in the Mideast, creating a cascade of democracies in the region. Most published thinkers in that part of the world, and here in the West, know this would take more than the biggest deficit ever.

The career brass in the Pentagon, who watch administrations come and go, are voicing grave concerns about the lack of planning and absence of exit strategy they are forced to deal with. Many military leaders were quoted in the article but more commented anonymously.

Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz wishes those speaking on condition of anonymity had the ''- to tell it to my face. They are, just as we did in the months leading up to the invasion when we marched from Ashland to Medford. At the time, I hoped I wouldn't have to, but Mr. Wolfowitz, I'd love to say it to your face. We told you so. You said you were going after Saddam. You've got him. Will you please leave now? ' John Dowd, Ashland

Little confidence left

It is unfortunate, Justice Anthony Kennedy lamented on April 27, that our legislators have reached the point of declaring that, when it comes to apportionment, 'We are in the business of rigging elections.' (New York Times editorial, April 28)

But, God help us, Justice Kennedy still voted with the majority of the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling allowing the latest pathetic gerrymandering schemes in Pennsylvania and Texas. It certainly looks like ideology trumps commitment to democracy. It is obvious that the current Republican Party does not believe in democracy ' they believe in political control at any cost.

Given the Bush win in 2000 by voter fraud and electoral manipulation and Supreme Court stealth partisanship, given congressional membership and control through anti-democratic gerrymandering by Pennsylvania and Texas, given the mentality of political entitlement to loot the U.S. treasury through tax cuts for the wealthy (We won the midterms and its our due, VP Cheney, 'Against All Enemies' by Richard Clarke) why should I bother to vote once again in November?

The first time I voted was in the 1960 election for Nixon, and he lost. Back then, I believed in the system just the same. I have little of that confidence left. ' Jim Fritz, Ashland

President has no clue

Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines diplomacy as: 1. the art and practice of conducting negotiations between nations; 2. skill in handling affairs without arousing hostility; tact. Gunboat diplomacy, on the other hand, is defined as: Diplomacy backed by the use of threat of military force. Gunboat diplomacy, therefore, is a contradiction in terms and is exactly what we are attempting in Iraq.

Many Americans are willing to risk life and limb for a worthy cause and wanting freedom for every citizen of the world is a worthy cause. But just as we cannot legally interfere in every situation needing correction within our own borders, because doing so would break laws that are based on freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, we cannot legitimately interfere in every situation needing correction abroad, unless the situation represents a clear threat to our national security. Which is why our president wants desperately to find WMDs and/or convince us that Saddam was in cahoots with al-Qaida.

It is apparent now that our preemptive war was never justified, but now how do we extricate ourselves in a responsible manner? This president has no clue, as he is unwilling to admit error. ' Hartley Anderson, Medford