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Day off tough on parents

Medford schools canceled classes today. The parents were informed seven days prior. The reason for no classes is mandatory class for teachers on how to educate impoverished students.

The school district currently has 50 percent students below poverty level. How are these households supposed to pay for day care if they're to arrange it seven days in advance? This untimely day off contradicts the class and makes times harder on those it's supposed to help. ' Korby Messer, Medford

Get a grip

Campaign signs are disappearing, right and left. The Republicans blame the Democrats, the Democrats blame the Republicans. I can understand that it might be terribly frustrating if you take such things too seriously. But let's get real, folks, and don't give these morons more credit than they're due.

Republicans and Democrats are not stealing these signs; it is not the work of political terrorists. These are just vandals, delinquents with nothing better to do, and it's more than likely that they can't even read the names on the signs, and don't know what they're stealing.

These are people with the underdeveloped brain cells of children. Whether they are 9, 19 or 90, certain areas of their minds never grew past mush, or they would realize that the issues, and the process, are far too important to be affected by the disappearance of a few pieces of cardboard. I believe they are actually doing us a favor, since I feel that the signs stay up way too long after an election anyway. Keep up the good work, kids. ' T. Peterson, Medford

America's engineered decline

We don't have to mark the burned trees in the Biscuit fire. Nature will bring them all down to rot in time anyway, a waste of time, money and resources! (Much ado about nothing.)

— Cut all the dead trees now, for the safety of our fallers and buckers. Falling two-year-old dead trees through dead trees will bring them down like a pick-up-stick game, in every direction. Cut them now and let the loggers salvage what they can safely, with no injuries or deaths.

Lawmakers, rulemakers and judges are ruling in fields they have no expertise in. Risking human lives while our natural resources rot, forcing lumber and plywood to unaffordable levels. Blowing our water and energy-producing dams out, when the consensus of the congressional hearing in Klamath Falls was they needed more water.

Wait a minute! Maybe that's what Nikita Krushchev had in mind when he pounded his shoe on the table in the United Nations, stating, We will bury you without even firing a shot! Should we stay in the United Nations' grasp while some of our senators, representatives and judges are supporting these very actions?

America, is there a consensus for a 100 percent tax revolt? ' Lyle Woodcock, Grants Pass

Your best friend

In life, I was a handsome 2&

189; -year-old yellow Labrador retriever. Then my family murdered me.

As an 8-week-old pup, everyone loved me. As I got bigger, I was given an outdoor kennel with a doghouse. I was elated.

I did not know I'd be in there eight hours a day.

Because my family chose not to allot any time to me, exercise, in-home love that I so desired, I was left in the kennel more and more. It was easier for them that way.

When I did get out I was expected to understand commands. All I wanted was love, hugs. I just wanted to be with them.

As time went on, due to their commands, I became nippy out of frustration. Due to this, I was then taken to my local shelter and put to sleep. I wanted someone to love.

I am your best friend forever. Charlie. ' Geri Landeros, MedfordElection letters

Bates earns support

I am writing to express my support for Alan Bates in his campaign for state senator. As one of Dr. Bates' constituents during his career as representative, I am pleased he is seeking a higher office. He is a person of integrity and fairness who tempers a practical approach to the challenges that confront our state with compassion, humanity and a devotion to equal rights.

Throughout our budget crisis, he consistently supported human services and the Oregon Health Plan, championing some of our most vulnerable citizens. He recognizes our need to maintain existing jobs and businesses and attract new ones to our area. He has the intelligence to comprehend today's complex issues and the experience to give us a strong voice in Salem. I hope Southern Oregon will join me in voting for Alan Bates. ' William Coyne, Medford

Squirrel-brained

Fill a bucket half full of water, deep enough that a squirrel cannot stand yet not so deep that it can reach the brim and pull itself out. Toss in the squirrel. It will swim rapidly, frantically, round and round trying to find a way out of the water. Soon it reaches the point of exhaustion and stops swimming and starts to sink and drown.

Now take the squirrel out of the water dry it off. The squirrel, having a small brain, forgets it was you that put it into the water and remembers only that you saved it from drowning and will be your friend for life.

George W. Bush wants to be re-selected because he is a war time president, hoping that we squirrel-brained voters will forget that he is the one who started the war in the first place. ' Richard L. Davis, Central Point

Embarrassing convention

We are registered Republicans. After watching both the Democratic and the Republican conventions, we are embarrassed to be Republicans. We were embarrassed because of Zell Millers hell-fire-and-brimstone attack with half the facts, against Kerry.

We were embarrassed that the Bush daughters would make fun of their grandmother. We were also embarrassed that VP Dick Cheney spent most of his speech making negative comments about the Democrats.

If you throw out all the negative talk, there was nothing left, including us ' we are voting for Kerry. When the party becomes the most important issue, then Americans are the losers.

Appalled. ' Russ and Roberta Walters, Grants Pass

Miller's big lie

Zell Rabid Dog Miller's speech at the RNC was a grotesque example of the political use of the big lie.

The truth is that both John McCain and Dick Cheney (who was then secretary of defense) opposed the very same weapons systems as John Kerry and for the same types of reasons ' because they were either too expensive or included in larger bills that contained too much wasteful spending.

On several occasions, George Bush himself has referred to our presence in Iraq as an occupation ' the very thing Miller accused John Kerry of. And in 2001, Zell Miller speaking about John Kerry, said John has worked to strengthen our military. Shame on Miller and all the Republicans at the convention who waved the flag, exploited the tragedy of 9/11, and attempted to prey on the fears of Americans by lying about the record of an honorable veteran and public servant. ' Claude Aron, Applegate

Coincidence?

The Mail Tribune's Sept. — front page is nearly identical to the Daily Triplicate's (Crescent City) on the same day. In Crescent City, however, it's a photo and story about Joan Hayes who displayed her Kerry sign in her window and had her window peppered with pellet gunshots last Friday night ... by a group of people who Hayes said were yelling and screaming about Kerry.

I put a Kerry sign in my front yard during the Democratic convention. Four signs were stolen in a week. Finally I resorted to spray-painting Kerry on a tree on my property and using decoupage glue and nails to attach a sign to a planter. I also rigged an outdoor floodlight to illuminate my yard to deter vandals ' and the light was shattered Tuesday night.

There seems to be a pattern in three nearby counties ' Jackson, Curry and Del Norte. Is this purely coincidence? ' Michele Thomas, Brookings

Who knows Kerry better?

I heard one of the most invigorating speeches the other night and coming from a Democratic senator. In my lifetime I have met a few senators, especially John McCain.

After listening to Sen. Miller (a Georgia Democrat) speak at the Republican convention last night, my question would be: Why would anyone vote for Senator Kerry if all the things said about him are true? Who would know Kerry better than another senator?

Miller mentioned that he has no intention of changing party affiliation, but that he, a Democrat, would definitely vote for George W. Bush. I choose to do the same. I have been a life-long Republican and cannot understand what makes the liberals think the way they do. ' Jim Runels, Medford

Bush's beliefs

I am concerned about President Bush's brand of Christianity. He appears to want everyone in the country to adopt his beliefs ' to the extent of changing the Constitution!

I have a sister who is the most Christian person I know. She is so charitable, it's amazing. Until she became quite ill recently, she and her husband always had poor people living with them. She'd help them get on their feet and then take in other person(s) needing help.

I asked her opinion of President Bush. She said Jesus would have called him a Pharisee ' Bible talk for a hypocrite ' someone who makes a big show of being religious, but secretly does bad things.

Right-wing Christians rail against theocracies when it's Islam-based, but they literally are trying to make America into a theocracy and that scares me no end. (I'd hate to have to move to Canada to avoid having Bush's religious beliefs being forced upon me, although I hear Vancouver is a pretty nice place.) ' Don Michalak, Medford

Shameful

In the century following the Civil War, two million Southerners enthusiastically joined racist groups and terrorist organizations which intimidated and murdered other Americans. Politicians eagerly sucked up to racist leaders, knowing they could deliver thousands of votes with a single visit.

When they could no longer get any more mileage out of Communism and race mixing to rally followers, these anti-American haters shifted gears, inventing six new scapegoats to focus their hate on: immigrants, gays, feminists, international bankers, the UN and some fictional New World Order organization apparently derived from sci-fi comic books.

Most of this stuff was simply rehashed Birch Society hogwash from the early '60s. But it rallied new believers and cash donations like crazy. By 1980 every human seeking the GOP presidential nomination began by sucking up to allegedly Christian leaders Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, bigots of the most vile sort. Shameful. ' James Snyder, Central Point

Soccer for lives?

Twenty able-bodied Iraqi athletes trained for a year to compete in Athens. A TV ad approved by President Bush proclaimed their participation an achievement due to our incursion in Iraq ' 1,000 dead, 7,500 wounded, with 2,500 crippled for life with loss of limbs. A horrible trade-off.

Twelve weeks of Marine Corps training would transform these men into formidable fighting machines. It worked for me and I'm a slow learner! The team could be home fighting for their country, and 20 Marines could be in Athens on liberty. Now, this is a good trade-off.

After losing the bronze medal to Italy, the soccer team unanimously denounced our occupation of their country. Is this ungrateful or family values? ' Murph Rosenstein, Medford, Purple Heart recipient, Iwo Jima, 1945

Party differences

After watching and listening to the Democratic and Republican Party keynote addresses, there should be no doubt as to the inherent moral and political differences between the parties: The inspiration, inclusiveness, the hope and optimism of the future as personified by Barak Obama vs. the hate, innuendoes and falsehoods, divisiveness, and spirit of the past as exemplified by Zell Miller.

Which best represents what our country is, or should be, and which best represents you? ' Harry A. Freiberg III, Brookings

Can Dems win with hate?

The Democratic Party has energized their base with hate and anger. One their leading spokesmen, Michael Moore, is urging John Kerry to attack harder. Less debate and more hate.

At a Democratic fund-raiser that Kerry attended recently, Whoopi Goldberg made a joke using female genitalia to describe President Bush. Kerry thought it was funny.

Other celebrities took turns mocking and slandering our president. Kerry responded by saying: We are so grateful for each and every one of them for what they have done tonight. They took in &

36;7.5 million from the hate-fest.

Malice and hate toward Bush is standard operating procedure in the Democratic Party today. Agree or disagree with his policies, Bush is a likable person. You can't defeat him by just spewing hate towards him. That is political suicide.

No wonder Sen. Zell Miller (D-Ga.) is fed up. The liberals have ravaged his party. It's a mess! ' Ed Randles, Medford

Service doesn't qualify

I am a veteran of our Armed Forces. I remember the testimony of John Kerry back in 1971. I considered it treason then, and he has never apologized.

I know from personal experience that young officers write up their own medal awards all the time. I'll lay odds Kerry wrote his own awards. I knew a lieutenant in Grenada who wrote his own Bronze Star, and he got it. Didn't deserve it.

My uncle got a Purple Heart in World War II. He died for it. I knew a guy who fired a grenade launcher wrong, shell exploded exiting the barrel. Idiot got hurt.

I don't figure Kerry's Vietnam service qualifies him for leadership any more than Clinton's Vietnam service qualified him (Oh, sorry, he dodged the draft totally!) My brother used the 2S deferment, same as Cheney. So? ' Jonathan Edwards, Central Point

Grow up yourself

On Sept. 4, after you insulted every one of your Republican readers, and probably some grownup Democrats, with cartoons belittling everything and everybody related to the GOP convention, and Sept. 5, after people of faith being scorned by the elitist Les AuCoin on page 5B, you tell readers on page 6B to grow up and stop stealing campaign paraphernalia.

Hello, MT. What about the cartoon on 7B that paints Bush supporters as redneck hicks? Have you seen the Kucinich and Nader signs around the valley? It is not only Republicans who have disagreements with John Kerry.

Just maybe it's not Republicans who are pilfering Kerry's signs.

I cannot tell if it is just gross incompetence or that you don't read your own paper, or both. Will you stop at nothing to elect Kerry? Like your stepchild the Tidings, the Mail Tribune is becoming more irrelevant by the day. ' Bill Bartlett, Ashland

Miller flip-flops

Zell Miller delivered a vitriolic, angry speech despite praising Kerry's leadership less than three years ago. He said that Kerry would let Paris decide when America needs defending and mischaracterized Kerry's voting record.

This coming from a man who in 2001 referred to Kerry as one of this nation's authentic heroes, one of this party's best-known and greatest leaders ' and a good friend ... (who) has worked to strengthen our military, reform public education, boost the economy and protect the environment ... (who) has fought against government waste and worked hard to bring some accountability to Washington.

It does make one wonder what plum the Bush administration has promised Mr. Zell. ' Anita Stafford, Merlin

Bates listens

I urge voters to support Dr. Alan Bates in his state Senate race. His availability to his constituents has moved me, as I frequently speak with area residents who say such things about him as he returned my call personally!

His integrity is exemplified by his voting record, which documents that he voted as he thought best, not as instructed by party politics. Most important for the current race, he is able to represent us fully and capably from his first day as a senator as he is experienced and knows the lay of the land.

I have observed first-hand in Salem that when Rep. Bates speaks, people listen, and when people speak to him he does the same. Please support Dr. Bates for state senator. ' Rita Sullivan, Medford

Their real war records

I interpret Kerry's return of his medals as contempt for the political leaders (Johnson, Nixon, et al) who lied to us before and during the Vietnam War ' not contempt for his fellow veterans or the medals themselves. That was also 30 years ago.

Dick Cheney, a man who used five deferments to avoid service, just showed real dishonorable conduct when he spoke with such vehemence and contempt about Kerry's military service. Where did he earn the right?

By the way, readers can easily compare the released service records of Bush and Kerry at presidential platform is better for Oregonians and the country than Bush's last four years have been and his next four years would be. That's what's important. ' Mike Rice, Ashland, USMC 1970-72

Taxes to Halliburton

Every year I send my taxes to the government. Cheney and Bush sent it uncontested to Halliburton. Halliburton kept some, sent some back to Cheney and spent some supporting the election of Cheney and Bush. They even spent some giving a lavish breakfast at the Republican National Convention for the delegates of Texas. That's not how I would have spent it. ' Bob Wade, Central Point

Clever political games

In the Set. 6 Mail Tribune Jim Fritz writes that a few wealthy Bush supporters contribute enormous contributions, citing Bob Perry's donation to Bush of &

36;200,000 as compared to groups such as MoveOn supporting Kerry made up of tens of thousands of &

36;10-&

36;100 contributors.

I would draw his attention to the following Web site, wherein he can find a listing of the top 50 contributors to political action groups: .

It is interesting to note that of the top 10 527s listed, nine are Democratic groups, the first of which is Joint Victory Campaign with receipts of &

36;35,000,000 of which Geo. Soros contributed &

36;5,000,000. I suggest the giving of &

36;200,000 by Bob Perry pales in comparison.

When he speaks of clever political games by those who manipulate the rules one wonders to whom he is referring. ' Mack Gossett, Medford

Characteristic trademarks

Since the election of President Bush, the Rogue Valley war whiners and Bush bashers have consistently displayed their four characteristic trademarks:

1. Vociferous hate.

2. Whatever Bush does will never be right.

3. Never offer an alternate solution.

4. Don't let the facts get in the way of bias.

With the addition of 527 left-wing groups, life has definitely been good ' until recently.

With the current revelations of John Kerry's military record by the Swift boat vets, there have been legal threats against the media by the DNC and Kerry legal representatives, and of course, the typical attack the messenger, not the message. Interestingly, Kerry has now retracted his famous Christmas in Cambodia and Purple Heart accounts, but the smear campaign against the Swift boat vets continues. Is it possible the Swift boat vets are credible and John Kerry is a fraud? ' John Mittendorf, Medford