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Would appreciate support

I do not understand Medford not supporting the Pride Ride for the veterans. I do not believe they couldn't spare the men for a few minutes when they drove through Medford on the ride to the VA facility. Being a disabled veteran myself, I'd appreciate the support of the area for the veterans. ' Louise LaFoya, Central Point

Don't believe everything

According to Dave Cook's letter to the editor, John Kerry is accused of not supporting the Second Amendment. He says Kerry voted for banning popular hunting rounds. What kind of animal does Mr. Cook, hunt where he needs armor piercing bullets?

Amendment No. 2619 reads: To expand the definition of armor piercing ammunition and to require the Attorney General to promulgate standards for the uniform testing of projectiles against body armor.

The amendment is to ban bullets that pierce body armor. Vote for Kerry and don't believe everything you read. ' Walt Mooring, Central Point

What's with police?

What is with the Medford police and or the city of Medford? Are there no veterans or perhaps no patriotism in our city's leaders?

On May 16 there was a Pride Ride, a thank-you and a tribute to all who have served, who are serving and to all who will serve. This event went through several local communities and was warmly received by all until we got to Medford ' where we were hassled, ticketed and otherwise disrespected.

— Whenever I talk to people around our area I find they dislike and have no respect for the Medford police. In these days of troubled times perhaps the police should try some public relations and try to be a part of the community.

This ride showed all the world that we believe in and stand with our veterans. It also raised a lot of donations of much-needed supplies to the agencies helping our veterans in need. I was proud to be a part of this event and thank all who participated and all who served. ' Skip Cullop, veteran, Medford

Honor the veterans

During World War II, I learned to appreciate the sacrifices of our service personnel and the sacrifices of families across the country. It was a time of deep sorrow and a time of pride and bonding.

Honor those veterans that are still with us. They are something special!

Sadly, the unity I knew is gone. Those of you that would tear us apart at this time are certainly ignorant of the enormity of the present threat. ' Carl Miller, Jacksonville

A moving tribute

The last Monday in May is Memorial Day, lest we forget. Remember those who gave their lives. Last Monday in May, we pause to remember our men and women who fought and died for our freedom.

It's to show respect that they gave the ultimate sacrifice, with so much courage, so much pride. They'll never come back, but memories endure to remind us of freedom; fragile, pure. It's not free. We're worthy of their sacrifice if we pause each day, not just on the last Monday in May.

This is a moving tribute to our veterans. ' Richard G. Joshua, Vietnam-era veteran, USAF (retired), Medford

Not a giveaway

On Saturday, May 15, I read the opinion of Tim Ream and believe he does not represent all of Southern Oregon.

First, logging the useable timber is not a giveaway to lumber companies. If you break down where the money goes, you will see that a lot of people benefit, from the Forest Service employees, the logger who pays taxes and pays his employees and their taxes, the lumber mills must pay for people to do everything from bookkeeping to paying taxes. This is where that money goes.

I worked for 50 years and sent my kids through school by working on support equipment. You're right, this timber belongs to all of us, and this gives all of us help. It is no giveaway to any one company. ' Bob Costelloe, Medford

A positive result

There is at least one positive issue this primary election resolved and that was to remove a Republican wannabe from the Democratic ticket. ' James Davis Sr., Medford

A ride for rudeness

The May 16 Pride Ride was a Ride for Rudeness.

I had the opportunity to see this event twice, once in Ashland and once in Medford. In Ashland I waited 10 minutes or more for the entire group to pass so I could continue on my way. During that time I saw the nearby light go through at least six or eight red cycles where the only response by any of the participants was to speed up as the light changed. I saw a couple of pedestrians almost run over when they tried to get across the street after waiting through a few red light cycles (the pedestrians had apparently decided that their right of way was more important than their lives, or the participants' rudeness).

I then went on Interstate 5 to Medford, and was just in time to witness this same procedure repeated at the intersection of Riverside and Highway 99. The organizers originally claimed that there were only about 500 participants, and then revised their estimate to 1,500 to 2,000 (which is much more in line with my estimate). An event that size needs to be organized appropriately, and people who break the law should be ticketed. ' Phil Covard, Medford

Disgusted with lack of devotion

Our left-wing news media, the hate-America-first group and Hollywood would make TASS and Castro proud, given the encouragement that they give to terrorists in Iraq and around the world to hate and kill Americans. The Democrats and their willing partners, the news media, are trying to create another Vietnam and make us lose another war.

I am disgusted with their lack of devotion to American ideals, their lack of concern for our troops, their lack of compassion for the Iraqi people, their willingness to say or do anything to regain power ... and their seething hatred for a God-loving, America-loving president who only wants to make America safe from terrorists.

The only salvation for our great nation is that liberal left-wings never get control of America ... ever! I say give war a chance... after all, since when did peace ever stop a terrorist? ' Patrick Henderson, Medford

What's the difference?

It came to me suddenly, after talking to a Republican friend of mine. I now know why Republicans endorse everything Bush does, regardless of how wrong. We were discussing the environment. He said it was all right to exploit all available natural resources because Christ was coming back soon. When he does, the world will be replenished.

Republicans feel that they and Bush are blessed by God, whereas the rest of the world is not. It's all part of God's plan to reward Republicans and punish Democrats, the world, and nonbelievers.

Thus, everything Bush does, including pre-emptive attacks, abuse of detainees, eroding rights of women, pulling out of treaties, cutting off the poor, undermining education, destruction of the environment and absolute ruination of the economy is all preordained by God himself. Of course! Doesn't the Bible say: Rich, white, arrogant bullies will inherit the Earth? You go, Bush!

Who else feels this blessed by God above all others and at all costs ideology? (Hint: It's another ultra-right-wing, we're-right-and-you're-wrong faction in this world, which also attacks without provocation, disregards history and humanity, and will never apologize.)

Why, it's al-Qaida! Please, somebody tell me: What's the difference? ' Thomas Beatty, Central Point

Police should assist ride

Concerning the article on the Pride Ride and the complaints the police received:

I have been riding in these events many years. I have also been on the other side of the coin as an officer providing police services for such events.

It's the job of law enforcement to see that laws are enforced and to provide for public safety. The two positions sometimes appear in conflict, as in the case that Sunday. If the Pride Ride were held without assistance you end up with a stretched-out event that would clog traffic for hours rather than minutes.

In those cities that did provide road closures, the ride proceeded with little interruption and seemed to cause less concern to everyone, thus providing a higher level of safety.

The city of Medford was included in the planning of this event and decided to forgo involvement. Most local authorities not only like to be involved, but usually insist on it.

Sgt. Sergi's statement that next year, we're going to convince them to take a different route, if quoted correctly, seems an unfortunate remark. I would sincerely hope that the department would find it a benefit to all drivers to assist next year. ' George West, Grants Pass

The liberal legacy

Senator Kerry is being attacked for being a liberal, like it is a loathsome disease. How about taking this little test?

1. Who gave us Social Security, which allows us to grow old with dignity and a measure of financial security? A liberal named Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935.

2. Who created the Peace Corps, which generated respect and admiration for America around the world? A liberal named John F. Kennedy in 1961.

3. Who gave us Medicare, a safety net against catastrophic medical bills for the elderly — A liberal named Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

4. Who graduated Yale, then was wounded and decorated for valor in Vietnam? A liberal named John Kerry.

5. Who wants to privatize Social Security, has destroyed America's prestige abroad, raised our Medicare payments, and pulled strings to avoid Vietnam? A conservative named George Bush.

Think about that when you mark your ballot in November. ' Jeff Cheek, Medford

We are the same

Recent and constant media coverage of same-sex marriage has caused quite a debate among all communities. The religious sector forbids it with authority. The diverse community welcomes it with open arms. Actually, both sides are right, not just in their opinions, but in all aspects that they support their reasoning.

Yes, we do have a country founded on Christian fundamentals. With this it is certainly right in saying that gay marriage or even the gay lifestyle is morally and ethically wrong and should not be supported. Marriage is the union of a man and a woman bound by God.

This is why the issue is so distorted by media and activists alike. Inside your church, you do not have to recognize gay couples as married.

The issue in question is whether or not to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, right? A marriage license has nothing to do with religious beliefs or the church. Where did you go to purchase your marriage license?

As citizens of the United States of America, all people have equal rights. We are doing nothing but regressing to the days of segregation and racism if we deny gays their right to marry. We may not like or agree with their way of life, but in this country, we are the same. ' Glen Evans, Medford

Shock and awe?

A reporter is fired because photos were released showing flag-draped coffins returning to the States. Ted Koppel's reading of the names of American soldiers killed was banned in many areas across the nation.

But it seemed OK to show us over and over again more horrific scenes. The brutal torture of Iraqi prisoners and the beheading of an American citizen are shown freely in all forms of media.

Plus the anguish and agony of this man's family being interviewed shortly after. Maybe this is the shock and awe we heard so much about from President Bush. I wonder if the pro-war and Bush supporters are still proud of the quagmire, horror and hell we find ourselves in. ' Christina Knecht, Medford

Thanks for Pride Ride help

I would like to thank the cities of Phoenix, Talent, Ashland, White City and Eagle Point for their participation and traffic control for the Pride Ride which took place last Sunday.

I would also like to thank Sheriff Winters for his courteous support and appearance at the VA Domiciliary in White City.

As for the city of Medford, they merely complained about the traffic problem. It's nice to know how you feel about the thousands of veterans living in the city of Medford. Elections are coming. ' Otto Williman, a Korean veteran, Medford

Bike more, drive less

I would like to encourage valley residents of all ages to dig those bikes out of the garage or storage shed, get them tuned and tweaked, and start saving your gas money for when you really need it. Bicycling is a clean, relatively inexpensive way to commute and exercise at the same time. Heck, save on gym fees too! Be sure to equip yourself and family members with appropriate safety gear: certified helmets, sunglasses, visibility vests, reflective tapes and reflectors, a rear view mirror and a tool kit in case of a flat tire. And always have plenty of water with you. Visit the Siskiyou Velo web site for more information on who to contact for expert cycling advice, from equipment to safety. Let's do our part to help ourselves and our community by cycling more and driving less. Visit the Velo at: on the Web. ' Catherine Windsor, cyclist and pedestrian, Medford

Renew the Patriot Act

As supporters of the Patriot Act, we see the desperation of the liberal left as they attempt to weaken this most necessary tool of national security. Our right to live in safety will be the only right surrendered should we not use and renew this act.

Many Democrats are so filled with hatred for anything traditional, conservative, or Christian that they are willing to spread fear through lies and exaggerations. This only gives comfort to the terrorists. Teddy Kennedy is a prime example of this.

Included in the group promulgating this hysteria are most mainstream media (TV and print), Michael Moor(e)-ites, teachers and their treacherous union, morally bankrupt churches and the entertainment industry. Strangely, most of these would cease to exist if the terrorists prevail in their effort to conquer the world.

We hope that Americans will wake up and resist these lies. The Patriot Act must be continued and vigorously used for our protection. Many, if not most, Americans feel this way.

Let us fight wars on both fronts with honor and with vigor: First against the terrorists and second against the insidious attacks from within. ' Tom and Carol Moeller, Medford

Letters demand response

I wanted to ignore the debate about the U.S. being founded on Christian principles. I find it to be up there with the Doonesbury controversy. However, some of the letters demand response.

We won't get into the obvious xenophobia and bigotry of the letters. What amazes is this ridiculous notion that the founding of America was based on the principles of Christ. Which ones? The one that said that it was all right to keep blacks as chattel for over 300 years? Or his parable on Thomas Jefferson and other slave owners taking female slaves into their beds for a change of luck?

Maybe it's the one that said it was fine to kill Native Americans, and steal their land? Or the part where Jesus says to not allow the Catholics to pray in New Hampshire or the Quakers into Massachusetts? If they mean the principles of the Ten Commandments; they're Jewish, I believe.

Isn't it time we stopped this? We are now involved in nothing less than a religious war, forced upon us by men who are convinced that God speaks directly to them. Thousands are dead, and many more will follow. All because of a distorted and hate-filled misguided view. Enough. ' Doug Mitchell, Ashland