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Vote the cowards out

Over 130,000 American citizens were killed by firearms since 1994, 10 times as many gun deaths as Japan, England, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy and Germany combined. Our country leads the world in homicides. Gosh, I wonder why?

As long as we have over 200 politicians in Congress prostituting themselves to gun companies, the death toll will grow steadily larger. These self-centered, immoral cowards need to be voted out of office. ' James Snyder, Central Point

A new kind of war

Bush understands that the Cold War doctrines of deterrence and containment have become outdated. Deterrence does not work against shadowy terrorist networks without a nation or citizens to defend. And containment is not possible when unbalanced dictators with WMDs can deliver those weapons on missiles or secretly provide them to terrorists allies.

We cannot defend America and our friends by hoping for the best. We cannot put our faith in the word of tyrants, who solemnly sign nonproliferation treaties and then systematically break them.

Saddam's continued defiance of U.N. resolutions, his flouting of international law, and the virtue of having rid the world of a tyrant who has killed tens of thousands of his own people is reason enough for war. The threat does not need to be immediate; in fact it should not be immediate. If we wait for threats to fully materialize we will have waited too long. ' Craig Cooper, Phoenix

Don't 'relegate' these

So, Richard Moeschl says that movies are relegated to an entertainment industry and adhere to a different set of standards ' that they are story-driven, not character driven ' and as such don't have to be art, they just have to divert our attention.

— To which I would have to reply: Sunrise, Intolerance, Tabu, Sherlock, Jr., Dodsworth, Twentieth Century, Stella Dallas, Citizen Kane, Hail the Conquering Hero, The Best Years of Our Lives, It's a Wonderful Life, Detour, Open City, Umberto D., Diary of a Country Priest, The 400 Blows, Nights of Cabiria, Breathless, 2001: A Space Odyssey, any Ingmar Bergman film, any Stan Brackage film, any John Casavettes film, Paul Mazursky, Robert Altman, Satyajit Ray, Coming Apart, The Godfather, Days of Heaven, The Great Santini, Raging Bull, Come and See, Whit Stillman, Woody Allen, Derek Jarman, Eric Rohmer, The Long Day Closes, Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould, Memento, American Splendor.

And that's just for starters. Plus, many of my fellow Online Film Critics Society associates felt that the most affecting thing about LOTR: Return of the King was the performance by Sean Astin. ' Gregory Avery, Medford

What happened?

What happened to searching for Osama? What happened to Afghanistan? What happened to being the most respected country in the world? What happened to outrage over a pre-emptive war? What happened to investigating the outing of CIA operative, Valerie Plume? What happened to the investigation into Cheney's energy task force? What happened to investigating the torture and mistreatment of prisoners in Iraq? What happened to Halliburton overcharging the U.S. government for contracts in Iraq? What happened to the good deals for seniors with the new drug benefit plan? What happened to the jobs that were to be created by giving huge tax cuts to the wealthy? What happened to the expectation that we can trust what our president tells us to be true?

What happened? Bush happened! You can change things. Take back our country! Vote! ' Debbie Herzog, Trail

Expand nudity ordinance

To the Ashland City Council: I know the police chief wanted a citywide ordinance against nudity but you instead made it only for parks and downtown.

Now, our children are being exposed to this outrageous display of indecencies. As you know, Garfield Water Park was within eyesight of the nudists. Mayor DeBoer said he was glad his granddaughter was not there to see them, but with all the honking, etc., the children wanted to see what was going on. Well, they saw a lot!

The police department said they have received many calls and they suggested we contact the council directly with our complaints. I am asking everyone to do the same. Take the high road and protect our children and community from these exhibitionists by expanding the ordinance. ' Charleen Braunbeck, Ashland

Compromise on nudity

I saw the nudes at the Civic Center Tuesday (July 20). The event looked like another Taste of Ashland.

It was a relief to learn that the ordinance still permits displays of breasts and buttocks.

The protesters would like the ordinance to be revoked. Perhaps a compromise would permit total nudity in December, January and February. ' Maynard Telpner, Ashland