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Politics at its best'

Lacking any reasonable argument on the issues, B. Alexander in his (or her) letter to the Mail Tribune on Aug. 19 resorted to the old reliable tactic. He (or she) chose to attack what he (or she) perceives to be a character flaw, not in John Kerry the candidate, but in his wife. U.S. politics at its best? ' Harlan Moore, Medford

Glad we went

Thanks so much for your excellent coverage of the Kerry rally last week at the fairgrounds in Central Point. I was there, and thought your stories by Paul Fattig and Damian Mann really captured the flavor of a remarkable experience.

All three photographers did a great job, too. The whole package makes a fine souvenir of a historic day. In fact, I'm sending a copy to my mom in Orange County ' not a contested area this year!

I just wish more people could get the opportunity to see candidates in person. My husband and I were both struck by how much warmer, more relaxed and compelling Kerry is in person than on TV. Standing for hours in a packed crowd in 100-degree heat wasn't easy, but in the end we were glad we did. ' Allyn Stone, Ashland

9/11 again

Remember 9/11? Want to see it happen again?

Then, by all means, elect Kerry. ' Lee French, Medford

Kerry means more gun control

Make no mistake, a vote for John Kerry is a vote for more gun control. If Kerry says he is not anti-gun he is a liar.

He has a record in the Senate of voting again and again against gun rights. The Democrats even called him back off the campaign trail to vote an anti-gun issue backed by Dianne Feinstein, Schumer and Ted Kennedy.

He says one thing and does the opposite. No wonder he's called flip flop. Even his four-month war hero record proves that. Remember his anti-war buddy, Hanoi Jane Fonda? Flip flop, flip flop.

Now he's promised everything under the sun if elected (God forbid). There is simply no way he could deliver half of these promises. More flip flop. ' Jim McCormick, Medford

Clear as mud

Okay, now we know that John Kerry, who voted for the war in Iraq, then declared himself an anti-war candidate to win the nomination from Howard Dean, still favors the military action by which President Bush removed Saddam Hussein. The real point, he says, is that he would have done it all much more successfully.

A few months ago, saying too many American soldiers were dying, he criticized the president for sending too few troops. Then he said he would reduce the number of troops by the end of his first term. And recently on public radio he said he would significantly reduce troops by August 2005. Of course, he says he would talk to the commanders in the field and hasn't ruled out increasing troop levels.

His spokeswoman, Stephanie Cutter, says his position has not changed. Glad we got that cleared up. ' David Sweetman, Medford

End nuclear madness

Quietly, while the Democratic convention was on, the Bush administration rejected the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty that would ban the production of enriched nuclear materials used in weapons. Actually, the administration said it supported the treaty but would not accept inspections and verification procedures that make the treaty effective.

Some 66 nations, including the U.S., had worked for 10 years to bring the treaty about. Without inspections, the treaty is just another scrap of paper.

The rejection will only increase the fear, often hatred, with which we are now viewed in much of the world. We are, after all, the nation that spends as much as the rest of the world combined on weaponry; has the largest numbers of nuclear arms and has recently invaded another sovereign state.

There is no region on the planet that does not have a U.S. base somewhere nearby and none that is not within striking range of our fearsome weaponry. If the world is a china shop, the U.S. has become the bull in it.

Regardless of one's personal politics, we must demand our government put an end to this nuclear madness, for if we don't, it will surely put an end to us. ' Edw. Goldhamer, Medford

Run out of town

I would like to thank the Jacksonville City Council and the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce for their wisdom and foresight in running the Rogue Valley Growers and Crafters Market out of town. We didn't need all that healthy, farm-fresh 100-percent-organic produce anyway. What was I thinking?

And those crafters ' all two of them ' certainly did take a big chunk of business away from the local merchants. Guess we can all rest easier now. ' Linda Holder, Central Point

Quick response

President Bush said we needed to respond quickly to help the 1.1 million people in Florida affected by hurricane Charley and who are without power, water, communications, etc., but after the Shock and Awe campaign when we invaded Iraq he didn't see fit to help those millions in Iraq, namely Sadr City, Baghdad's slum, get power for A/C in 120-degree-plus temperatures, communications, water and sewage re-established quickly.

It will be interesting to see how far the projected &

36;20 billion goes here in America when nothing has been done in Iraq for many more billions. Perhaps there are many in America now that can and will have empathy for the Iraqis who have been living like this for over 14 months.

They are still poor, without jobs and therefore without hope. Can you imagine how it might have been if we'd made a concerted effort to re-establish the basic needs of the Iraqi people quickly? They would have been eternally grateful and might have been showering our troops with flower petals as they boarded their flights home to America right about now instead of trying to kill them.

Now they have turned against us. Very shortsighted on our part. ' D. Kirby, Cave Junction

If Bush wins

Extreme enthusiasm and supreme confidence reigned in the Kerry crowd at the Expo.

Obviously, it's a done deal. Bush is gone. But wait...

All national polls reflect a very close race. A divided electorate. Virtually a coin flip.

So what will Democrats do if Bush is lucky and wins the flip?

Some highlights:

The Clintons will have sex, with each other, for the first time in over a decade.

Teresa Heinz Kerry will cancel her order at Tiffany's for a 42,544 carat Queen of the World diamond crown.

John Kerry will become the most hen-pecked husband in the history of the planet.

John Edwards will organize class-action lawsuits against cancer, heart disease and the voters of North Carolina.

Barbra Streisand will not move out of the country, as promised, but to Ruch and become mayor.

My good friend, James Bowman, will move to Tibet. ' Bill Brophy, Medford

Facts about speed

These are some facts for those of you who want to go faster on I-5. (Are you reading this, Lars?) First, the unofficial speed limit seems to be somewhere between 80 and 85 mph.

I travel I-5 to Portland often, so I have seen the problem. OSP has too few troopers for the 65-mph limit. An increased limit would have cars going 85-90 mph.

At 60 mph you travel 88 feet per second; at 70 mph, 102 feet per second; at 75 mph, 110 feet per second; and at 80 mph, 117 feet per second.

Now for those of you who drive those huge SUVs at 80 mph while talking on your cell phone, and there are lots of you, it is going to take you 1.5 seconds (if not distracted) to recognize a road problem and apply your brakes. In that 1.5 seconds you are going to travel 175 feet!

It is a safe bet that only about one-tenth of — percent of you have any idea how much roadway it will take to brake your 4,500-pound vehicle from 80 mph to a stop. Ask one of local police accident reconstruction officers, they can tell you. ' Lloyd N. Clodfelter, Medford

A uniter after all

For the past four years I have been searching for one good thing President Bush has done. Well, I finally found one.

Thank you, Mr. President, for uniting the Democrats. I guess you are a uniter after all. ' Ronit Gibb, Jacksonville

Class warfare

George Bush, in a 2000 presidential debate, interrupted Al Gore with a chant of, Class warfare, class warfare.

It seems he was accusing the Democrats of something Republicans have been doing too well for the last 30 years.

This is illustrated by the lead story in the August 17 edition of the Mail Tribune. The disparity between real Republicans ' the 20 percent helped by the current administration ' and the rest of us is growing and is more than just monetary. It is shown in declining education and employment opportunities and increasing health care costs.

Remember, if you are not a real Republican a vote for any Republican is hazardous to your physical and fiscal health. ' Charles Hollis, Eagle Point

The banality of evil

The late philosopher Hannah Arendt, describing the way Nazi Germany became immune to human suffering, coined the phrase, the banality of evil. Sadly, this phrase applies to America today.

When the opportunist, John Kerry, in one breath gives CPR to a rodent and in the same breath would allow, if elected, partial birth abortion to continue, is appalling!

In 1809, Thomas Jefferson said, The care of human life, and not its destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government.

The French-looking candidate has never learned of an abortion he couldn't justify. ' JoAnn Peters, Medford

What bashers should know

Some things the President Bush bashers should know:

We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein was seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction. ' Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., Sept. 27, 2002.

I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force if necessary to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security. ' Sen. John F. Kerry, D-Mass., Oct. 9, 2002.

The bashers knew there were not any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. They knew more than our top-level Democrats, all 13, that were wary of Saddam Hussein. ' Lincoln S. Charley, Central Point

We need jobs

Moving to Medford in 1952, there were good-paying jobs everywhere. I retired from Boise, that helped me raise my family.

Environmentalists moved in and there are no timber jobs that made our valley self-supportive, contributing to much, including school funding. Now there are teacher layoffs, schools doing without certain classes, both parents having to work and latch-key kids. Harry and David, Bear Creek, had dependable seasonal jobs, now 95 laid off.

Cheney's visit cost &

36;30,000. I received a letter from Kerry for funds. What's happening?

It was Medford and jobs, then Lithia Medford, then RCC Medford. Now: Medford, no jobs. Hope?

Living consists of a job, home, family, Rx, health, education, etc. Pray and vote ' we're in trouble.

We don't need or want promises, just action. Let's put Medford back on the map. Jobs! ' Jean Albertson, Medford

Critical thinking essential

A recent writer described the choice as a no-brainer when advocating a Bush vote. A complete absence of critical thinking is an appropriate definition here.

In the past four years, health care has risen 50 percent (for those who can even get it!), gas has increased 33 percent, college tuition is up 35 percent, and jobs found in July were 118,000 short of those needed.

It is inconceivable that any voter would choose not to consider our pathetic world status, our miserable failure in Iraq's recovery and the educational crises in every state. Ignoring all of the factors and voting on one single issue, whether a candidate supports a woman's right to choose, is indeed a no-brainer.

Most intelligent people will think critically before voting, evaluate all the issues and vote for the candidates who will improve all of the above ' Kerry/Edwards! ' B.J. Reed, Medford