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Envision udder chaos

The Aug. 16 Since You Asked column compared gas prices to before the war in Iraq, bringing gas at our pumps from &

36;1.14 per gallon to the current &

36;2.60, of which maybe one third is taxes. Some say the reason is supply is down and demand is up.

The column asks, Should we consider vehicles that run on cow's milk as a cheaper alternative? Umpqua skim milk costs &

36;2.69 per gallon, and no taxes included. No telling what would happen to milk prices if the cows decided to produce less. Would that be udder chaos? By the way, at Ray's Food Place, fruit punch is on sale at 2 gallons for &

36;5.00. Bottled water costs over &

36;2.00 per gallon. Think about it! ' Art Jackson, Rogue River

It only sounds funny

I was reading the paper this morning about the beaches and the snowy plover listing.

Man! Who comes up with these species anyhow?

The spotted owl almost decimated the timber industry back in the '90s. the marbled murrelet rampaged the West Coast to the point of desolation and now the plover? What gives?

Does anyone out there understand what makes the economy thrive? It's not some wriggling snake or lizard. It is working folks like you and me. With all the restriction put in place by who are they, what is next?

— Man! I hope they (whoever they are) don't find a spotted, pink-lipped frog in the gas lines or we are going to be walking everywhere from now on.

It may sound funny now, but you should ask the unemployed mill worker or fisherman how funny it is. Wake up, America!! '

Harry Hershey, Medford

Bush is a bully

Time magazine: For months after Bush gave Rice her new job, he mocked her relentlessly, addressing her as 'Madame Secretary' whenever she entered the room. It goes on to say he likes to rib her, which is a sign of his affection.

Hardly! This man is a bully. Scorn is often expressed by sham deference. His nicknames for reporters are attempts to cut them down to his size, belittle them. All this aside, his calling Cindy Sheehan Mom, the mother camped outside his ranch, is beyond the pale, demeaning her role of mother to her son Casey, who was killed in Iraq.

He disrespects a fine relationship with his unbidden familiarity. At the least it is rudely discourteous and hardly befitting a president, but apt for one who flips the bird at a reporter as he did recently. ' Maxine Scott, Ashland

Oregon's lost WWII hero

One of Oregon's most important World War II stories celebrates its 60th anniversary this year in a tradition of obscurity because no one is certain exactly where it happened.

The soldiers who played out this drama were paratroopers from the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, the first and only African American paratroop battalion in American history. They came to Oregon during the war to work as smokejumpers, but their mission was closely tied to the increasing threat of Japanese incendiary bombs dropped in the forest by balloons.

Malvin Brown was a medic who, in August of 1945, parachuted into the southwest Oregon forest with other soldiers from the 555th to fight fires started by a massive lightning storm. As he approached the ground, his parachute was snared by a tall pine tree, leaving him hanging 100 or more feet above the ground. He fell to his death trying to get down and in that moment became the first smokejumper death in American history.

To this day, no marker or monument commemorates this important moment in World War II history, a reminder of how easily we forget the sacrifices made by Americans on the home front. ' Roger Brandt, Cave Junction

What 'noble cause?'

Yes, Mr. Bush, what noble cause? Please explain to us and their families how the deaths of American men and women in Iraq, now creeping toward 2,000, and the wounded, now well over 10,000 (legless, armless, blinded, neurologically damaged for life) make this war of your choosing a noble cause. ' Bud Carroll, Ashland