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Come on, school board

Now, the school board is thinking of hiring Phil Long as 549c superintendent? First, he home-schools his children because he doesn't think our schools are adequate or good enough for his children? Then, when asked about it, he declines to answer?

Come on, school board, let's get someone that is proactive in our community and believes in our academic system, not just a paycheck! ' John Grafwalner, Jacksonville

Hard to believe

I find it hard to believe that Medford will spend &

36;10 million dollars on a parking structure that will only benefit a few and not spend any money on our schools, which benefit the whole community. Go figure! ' Mike McGoffin, Medford

How does he do it?

How does Phil Long have the nerve to work as a district administrator and apply for the position of superintendent of the Medford School District, the fourth or fifth largest school district in the state of Oregon, and not have confidence in the teachers of MSD to teach his children? Why are his children being home-schooled? ' Jim Bailey, Medford

Appalled by Spellings

I am appalled by recent statements made by Margaret Spellings regarding a schedule cartoon episode from a PBS series entitled Postcards from Buster.

The episode is about a loving family that happens to have two women parents/partners teaching Buster the bunny how to make maple syrup in Vermont. Her condemnation of the lesbian partnership represents a closed-minded, separatist perspective which I find unacceptable in the person holding the title of United States Secretary of Education.

— Does Spellings want us to believe that only good heterosexuals know how to make good syrup? Never mind that they have good parenting skills and loving relationships? Oh, yeah ' G.W. appointee — now I get it.

According to Spellings, many parents would not want their young children exposed to the lifestyles portrayed in this episode. I, for one, question her definition of many, as I believe that the kind of love and acceptance portrayed in this PBS series is exactly what our preschool children need to be taught. By exposing our children to different lifestyles and cultures, we can promote the kind of society that has lasting peace instead of the fear and intolerance that brought us into the war in Iraq. ' Deborah Walper, Medford

Credit where it's due

Every day I open the Mail Tribune to see almost nothing in the letters but Bush-bashers. Now what do they say?

President Bush is a liberator. We have freed millions of people from tyranny; we have sent a strong message to the rest of the world: You can live in freedom.

Some obviously take it for granted what the Iraqi people are dancing in the streets about at this very moment. Are they all going to be like John Kerry (the sore loser) and downplay this awesome event in our lives?

I am proud to be an American, and especially proud of our soldiers, who have given their very lives for this event to take place. Hopefully we can now get our soldiers out. I would be very happy if my nephew didn't have to go back to Iraq for a second tour, but he is anxious to go back, he has been a big part of this and he is very proud to be a part of President Bush's mission to free Iraq.

You liberals sit back, take a deep breath, and maybe a day off from the Bush bashing. Give credit where credit is due. ' Gene Kitchen, Medford

Going the extra mile

On Jan. 12, I slipped on ice and injured my wrist. The Rogue Valley emergency department immediately made me comfortable and set my wrist. They made an appointment with Dr. Heidi Bloom, and when she saw the X-rays, said surgery was needed.

Surgery was scheduled for the following afternoon and completed after 6 p.m. and it was dark outside. We were concerned because we could not get up our driveway. Dr. Bloom asked where we lived and we said Jacksonville. She said she also lived there and would follow us home and make sure I got inside safely. She followed us home and we parked on an adjacent road, climbing between the trees, bushes, rocks and snow on the driveway till we made it inside.

We are fortunate to have medical providers like her in the Rogue Valley. Thank you, Dr. Bloom. ' Lillian Stedman, Jacksonville

Iraqi turnout admirable

Although I am not generally a supporter of President Bush, I must congratulate the Iraqi people, the Bush administration and our military leadership on the successful completion of (the Jan. 30) election in Iraq. The estimated turnout of 60 percent or more in non-Sunni areas is an admirable accomplishment.

The pictures of long lines of voters under the threat and reality of mortar attacks, car bombs and assassinations are profoundly moving. The turnout speaks to the yearning for stability, democracy and self-rule in Iraq and worldwide.

President Bush's inaugural speech articulates this as a long-term grand strategy for the United States. As a deep believer in American ideals, I support that vision.

I hope, however, that the second Bush administration can develop more positive, multilateral ways to implement these ideals. America has long been admired around the world for our democratic values and our good faith international attempts to implement them. We must return to that bipartisan, multilateral path toward a safer and more democratic world.

I also hope that the Democratic Party will take a lead in this endeavor and revive the robust internationalism and strong commitment to the support of democracy and freedom that it represented throughout the Cold War. ' Robert John Scheelen, Medford

Terrorists smuggle weapons

Greg Skoog (Jan. 23) raises the issue of Israelis bulldozing Palestinian homes in Gaza yet predictably leaves out any explanation as to why.

Israel demolishes homes to curtail terrorist smuggling operations. Homes are used to conceal tunnels connecting Gaza and Egypt bringing in literally tons of weapons: rocket-propelled grenades and launchers, rifles, explosives, ammunition and Kassam/Katyusha rockets used in startling increasing numbers to bomb Israeli cities. To avoid detection of the tunnels (at least 70 found to date), the Palestinians build them into civilian homes.

When Israel turned Gaza over to the Palestinian Authority in 1994, the PA initially worked to stop the construction of tunnels. But now, they actively support bringing in weapons to arm terrorist operations like Hamas or PFLP (helped by Iran).

Vast PA corruption and thievery (Arafat diverted billions to his own Swiss bank accounts) have left many Palestinians impoverished. They find involvement in the smuggling operations an opportunity to improve their economic situation. They're paid well to excavate the tunnels, transfer goods and allow their homes to be used to hide the tunnels.

Israel must defend its citizens' lives. A critical part of this is destroying terrorist weapons supply lines wherever they exist. ' Jody Zonnenschein, Ashland

No weapons left

Instead of talking about the ever-shrinking standard of living for most Americans or how to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush government is talking about going into Iran. Here we are headed for another absolute disaster, yet the American public has no legal weapons left to stop this government from doing anything it wants.

Who can we turn to for help? We can't go to our senators or congressmen, they're to busy pandering to the timber industry, the pharmaceuticals, the military contractors, HMOs and whoever else paid for their elections.

We can't turn to the executive branch, because they now run concentration camps and don't like any form of dissent. The courts? They are too expensive, and the Supreme Court is not on the side of the public anyway.

These wars are not Bush's war. These wars are bipartisan and reflect the policy of both parties: to use militarism and war as the foremost means of achieving global dominance and to hell with democracy and the needs of the country. ' Leon Guillotte, Williams

Drinking is the danger

Advocates/legislators hoping to ban smoking in bars and taverns are missing the point. The real danger lurking in bars and taverns isn't smoking, it's drinking. Duh! ' William H. Smart Jr., Talent

Democrats must change

So some Democrats have worked themselves into another hissy-fit again, imagining all sorts of paranoid evils and deluding themselves that to torpedo the Republican agenda will simply take an angry letter-writing campaign to state senators and representatives.

Don't bother, folks, it will avail you nothing. As long as they can keep their members corralled the Republicans will, for the next two years at least, win every fight in the House.

Despite throwing everything at the presidential election, the Democrats still came up short. The simple fact is that there are now three conservatives for every two liberals.

Unless the Democrats develop a center-right political platform that convinces independent conservatives that they have an agenda worth voting for, then forget it. They are destined to occupy the dunce's seat for as long as it takes for them to finally see the light.

Personally I will be in there pitching for John McCain or Rudy Guiliani come 2008, assuming of course that they run. For conservative independents to vote for the Democratic presidential ticket will require a candidate cut from the same cloth as Harry Truman. Someone far different and better than the likes of Howard Dean or Dennis Kucinich. ' Doug Forsyth, Ashland

We will continue to fight

Your esteemed columnist, Bill Varble, has again attacked the religious right and conservatives in general in his column of Sunday, Jan. 30. He states that we are working ourselves into a lather about silly little matters such as homosexual conspiracy, when (these are his quotes) We are untroubled by war, greed, poverty, Halliburton, fish genes in our tomatoes, torture and global warming, to mention just a few of our un-concerns.

How nice of Mr. Varble to place these invectives on a group of people as a whole. The conservatives and Christians that I know are very involved in making this a better world. We just don't want our 5-year-olds being taught in public school that it is OK for Billy to have two mommies and Betty to have two daddies.

The insidious ways of the seculars and liberal leftists to brainwash our children into believing that amoral behavior is OK will not be quietly accepted. The vote in the last election on marriage between one man and one woman showed that belief.

Despite Mr. Varble and the Mail Tribune's attempts to denigrate the moral majority in their tirades, we will continue to fight for what is right. ' Nancy Brousseau, Central Point

Council not concerned

It would seem our Medford City Council is not concerned about drunken driving here.

The members ' minus one ' voted to grant another new restaurant and liquor license. It is in a family neighborhood near OnTrack. The councilman for that ward didn't know what or where it was. He just voted for it. ' Margaret Jones, Medford