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Goldberg column insulting

Columnist Jonah Goldberg claims that young voters are the Americans least qualified and least likely to hold worthwhile opinions about government. Mean-spirited and vitriolic, Goldberg places 18- to 24-year-old voters just above the mentally challenged, primarily, it appears, because this age group may choose to support Democratic candidates.

Goldberg insults and undermines the same citizens that he and his fellow conservatives are so blithely willing to send to fight America's wars. I cannot help but wonder, given the level of disrespect conveyed in his article, if Goldberg considers our young people who have, as he notes, less education, less experience, less money, less property and many fewer responsibilities than older people simply disposable assets to be used up and, as necessary, thrown away at the hands of their elders.

If we extend Goldberg's logic, perhaps we should begin restricting voters to ensure that only the most wealthy and educated among us are allowed to cast a ballot.

If Goldberg's views are representative of the Republican Party, is it any wonder that the youth vote might skew Democratic? It is time to dump the offensive Goldberg and his divisive tirades that undermine the dignity of public discourse. ' Pam Marsh, Ashland

Assaulting the United States

George Bush is raping the environment and few people complain. Most countries of the world recognize the effects of global warming and yet Bush will not acknowledge this fact. Will there be enough clean air for our children and grandchildren to breathe?

George Bush suggesting to increase the amount of allowable mercury into the air by 700 percent is not only deplorable but attacks the virtual American intelligence by calling this act the Clean Air Act. The lasting effects of mercury in our children's bodies will have an affect for many years.

— This valley spent so much time and money cleaning up the air, so I pray that you vote for John Kerry for president and Susan Densmore for county commissioner so my family can breathe. I can see our grandchildren asking, Why did you vote for Bush or C.W. Smith? ' Bruce Bauer, Medford

There are jobs here

Jean Albertson states there are no jobs in Medford. She also states Bear Creek 'had dependable seasonal jobs' but laid off 95. Jean, those were office jobs ' not the dependable seasonal jobs. They still have dependable seasonal jobs.

They and many other area employers have jobs begging for applicants but no one applying. Why? Because they can't/won't pass the drug test. It seems it's more important to do drugs than it is to work.

What kind of employer do you want to come to Medford? One that is willing to hire high school dropouts, drug users and pay them high salaries with totally paid benefits?

There are many of us who have worked hard all our lives starting at the ground level working our way up the ladder. We paid our portion of health care, put our own money aside for retirement. Good jobs and benefits are earned, not a right of existence.

You take a job you can get and work hard, proving yourself, improving your skills and advancing. There are jobs here. ' P. Moran, Medford

Today's truism

Regarding today's (Aug. 20) article: Having failed to find banned weapons in Iraq, the CIA is preparing a final report — that will speculate on what the deposed regime's capabilities might have looked like years from now - While sounding like a mere clich?, having nothing to fear but fear itself is today's truism. Fear leads to divisiveness, an incredibly sad mentality of clutching to what we feel we may lose (speculation), and drawing rigid, finger-pointing lines to add more bricks to our self-righteous fortifications. Bigotry is a result of fear.

While human terrorism is a reality, so is our national joblessness, lack of health care and unsupported education. Ruling as a bully is a sand-lot mentality: Groups are left fighting each other like dogs over a bone, because that is what is left.

Good leaders (with vision) use our central intelligence and diplomatic ties (carefully cultivated) to address despots (there are many), instead of dropping bombs on innocent people and terrorizing their own nation's citizens to keep them in a weakened state. Let's stop the knee-jerk decisions and reach for human dignity instead.

Real strength does not come from reminding people of horrible tragedies or holding bombs over their heads. ' Ginger Gough, Medford

An outstanding example

Some studies have indicated that voters often make critical decisions based on inaccurate or insufficient information. The media has a responsibility to assist voters by providing factual information as well as expert opinion. Section B of the Aug. 22 MT is an outstanding example of this much-needed education and information.

Page — of Section B has a report on a bipartisan and successful effort to register more eligible voters.

David Broder's column provides an example of what a dedicated and active person can accomplish in turning the majority of one community around to a different way of thinking.

Clarence Page's column speaks to the erroneous attempts of one party to criticize a single word taken out of context from an opponent's speech.

Les AuCoin addresses the futility of the efforts of incumbent politicians to buy votes by making promises of gifts of money for questionable projects that Congress is unlikely to approve.

Two very thoughtful opposing expert opinions were offered by Douglas Feith and Ronald Asmus regarding this administration's revised plan on how our troops will be deployed in the world and how these changes will likely affect international relations.

Well done, MT! ' Gerald V. Mann, Medford

No time a test run

Wake up America! At this point in time, it doesn't matter if you did or did not agree with the way President Bush went to war in Iraq. Argue that and other issues later.

What does matter is that we are at war with Iraq, and we are fighting a terrorist enemy willing to sacrifice as many lives as necessary to defeat us. We are fighting for our very survival and freedom. If we lose this challenge we won't have to worry about the economy, the environment, health care or our grandchildren's future ' the enemy will take charge of all that for us.

Is it going to take another 9/11 before we unite behind President Bush, our commander-in-chief? Certainly this is no time for a test run with Kerry ' there is just too much at stake. ' Barbara Kudroff-Smith, Medford

Finally, the whole truth

Enough already! I am the only one to tell the whole truth about the kurrent Kerry kontroversy!

That is because an alien woman named Niklam took me into her saucer and informed me that Kerry was never actually in Vietnam. Rather, he spent the war on Pattaya Beach in Thailand filming himself in battle gear between dips in the pool.

When the war ended he landed in Brentwood under cover of night and contacted a special plastic surgeon in Hollywood. The nip 'n tucker then inserted Vietnamese shrapnel from his stock into Kerry's leg. Simple, anyone can say anything!

Now, if you believe that, you will believe that Dubya has anything more than tax cuts to offer the U.S. of A., with its multitude of problems. ' Harvey Rupp, Ashland

Held hostage in the Applegate

It's Sunday, 10:50 am. I just left my home in Ruch to go to town, but got as far as the intersection, where traffic on Highway 238 is at a standstill, cars as far as you can see in either direction. Oh, yeah ' the Applegate Fellowship amphitheater service just got out.

A line of cars all the way into Jacksonville. Total gridlock for the next hour. I'm back home now, another Applegator in ACF lockdown, unable to leave this valley at the moment.

I understand that the city of Jacksonville wants to permanently install a stop sign at the entrance to it (from Ruch). If this is done, this Sunday traffic debacle will get much worse.

I read in Sunday's paper where one person recommended that Jon Courson be elected president, and another warned that Barbra Streisand might one day be the mayor of Ruch (?!). Well, if either wins, I hope they work on this ACF traffic fiasco. ' Japhy Ryder, Ruch

Kerry should condemn, too

Sens. Kerry and Edwards are attacking President Bush for the advertisement made by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth who have a different version of the incidents in Vietnam than Sen. Kerry's. It has been reported that this group has spent close to &

36;1 million in advertising. Both Kerry and Edwards have demanded President Bush condemn the ads.

I can understand Kerry being upset over these ads; he has used his experiences in Vietnam to show he can be a leader in times of war. What I don't understand is why Kerry and Edwards feel President Bush should condemn these ads when groups such as Moveon.org and the Media Fund have spent &

36;63 million in the past months attacking President Bush in a similar manner.

These organizations have called President Bush a liar and compared him to Hitler. Senator Kerry, why haven't you condemned those ads? ' John McNeel, Medford

A good photo

The upside-down reflection of a car in Monday's paper was really good. ' Nora Henry, Medford

Vietnam vets slandered again

One of the saddest results of the Vietnam War was the slander of its veterans. Instead of being welcomed home they were often vilified and second-guessed. Sadly, attacks on Kerry's war record indicate the slander has resumed.

The Bush surrogate group Swift Boat Veterans For Truth has been particularly vicious in its lies. The most brazen lie was by their leader, Larry Thurlow, who alleged there was no combat the day Kerry rescued our fellow Oregonian Jim Rassmann and was awarded the Bronze Star.

Thurlow's records, obtained by The Washington Post, contradict his story. Military records show Thurlow was under constant small-arms fire during this mission. The records also show Thurlow was awarded a Bronze Star while under continuous small-arms fire.

The slander of Vietnam veterans was disgraceful in a country which honors its veterans. The resumption of the slander is even worse since it was orchestrated by the president. ' Mark Everett, Medford

A paradox of thoughts

I found Mr. Hartley's letter on Aug. 23 to be a paradox of thoughts. It appears his reasoning for becoming a Republican was the press helping the Democrats manipulate the blacks.

I was wondering if this was the same press that Hartley frequently uses to express his values throughout the Mail Tribune readership. To me, this typifies the makes no sense supporters of our current president.

Who are the millions he's liberated? Republicans? Please! ' Karen Parsons, Medford

Kerry should quit

I find it incredible that the Democratic candidate for the presidency is demanding that a book that he dislikes be banned because he disagrees with it. Personally, I think that is enough to demand that he quit the race.

His opponent has not made such a demand, despite the myriad of books, movies, articles and more that I am sure he does not like. For John Kerry to insist that booksellers not sell such a book is enough to cause me to not vote for him. ' Dr. Richard Williams, Medford

Diversion tactic

I find it very disgusting to see the barrage from the so-called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

The truth is:

1. John Kerry served in Vietnam in an extremely dangerous role as a Swift boat commander.

2. George Bush elected to use family influence to stay safely stateside during the same period and it is apparently questionable if he even completed the relatively easy requirements of the Air National Guard.

3. Dick Cheney, during the same time period, found it inconvenient

to go into the military.

Well Mr. Cheney, it was inconvenient for many of us and the ultimate sacrifice for many others. John Kerry realized that the war was a terrible mistake and spoke out about it after returning stateside.

For some it took a little longer to realize that the war in Vietnam, like today's war in Iraq, was a political war designed largely to meet political needs. ' Tom Dew, Medford, Vietnam veteran 1969-70

A Republican voting for Kerry

I voted for George Bush in the 2000 election. I truly regret that. His tacit approval of Halliburton and Enron ripping off America, his nation-building in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now his tacit approval of an attack and punch below the belt of a highly decorated American war veteran is simply more than I can stomach.

I am a lifelong Republican, but this time Kerry has my vote. ' Al Rion, Central Point

Money well spent

After recently returning from Minnesota, I was especially interested in letters referring to candidates stiffing city/county governments for expenses outlaid for security/crowd protection while those candidates are in the area campaigning. It

seems that candidates do this as a matter of course.

The city of Alexandria, Minn., was reeling financially last week when President Bush's visit entailed a huge outlay of dollars for his campaign protection. Indeed, our hotel was filled with security personnel called in from other parts of the state to assist. Afterwards, a fair number of disgruntled taxpayers complained about footing the security bill for someone they didn't necessarily support.

With multi-millions of dollars spent on television ads and media coverage, wouldn't it be smart, sensible and inexpensive public relations for candidates to supply the relatively small amount of money required to underwrite protection agencies during local campaign stops?

The goodwill alone would be worth it. When one adds up all the cities visited, at &

36;30,000 or more a crack, it appears to be money well spent. ' Ellie Malzahn Jacobsen, Ashland