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Enough to make Molly sick

The Bush smear-team has loosed all its attack dogs (and puppies) to get Cindy Sheehan, a true patriot who may have a death-grip on Dubya and his gang of liars and hypocrites. Cindy, as we all know by now, doesn't smear easy.

So what can they do? Of course! The anti-Semite card!

Attack-puppy Susan Estrich, prot?g? at Fox News and ill-chosen stand-in for Molly Ivins, got the honor of playing it (MT, 8/25).

Molly would have puked. ' Isaac Walker, Ashland

Armstrong: All-American

Lance Armstrong was a worldwide sports hero until he went bike riding with President Bush. Suddenly the French attack him with 6-year-old urine samples. If only they had shown such fortitude against the Germans the United States might not have had to save their sorry asses in two world wars. ' Tom Brussat, Jacksonville

Easy to be a hawk

Again Jonah Goldberg (Mail Tribune, Aug. 17) states part of an issue and then uses specious reasoning and hackneyed phrases to discuss the rest of that issue.

— I, too, would study scholars like John Keegan to learn the how and why of war. But, if I wanted to learn the angst, pain and suffering of war, I would listen to combatants and non-combatants relate their experiences and fears.

It is easy to be a hawk when one's war experience consists of Hollywood movie-making or guarding Texas from attack by Oklahoma. To say I know war. I raised two daughters is to denigrate the experience and sacrifice of every veteran. The Colin Powells, Wesley Clarks, Max Clelands, George McGoverns, and George H.W. Bushes have different perspectives gained only from hard-earned experience.

War should always be the last resort. War should never be entered into by ideologues and party hacks who lack the experience, intelligence and imagination to fully grasp and comprehend what war can do.

As for moral authenticity, who has the greater claim: the parent whose child was killed in early adulthood in a war of choice or the parent whose child's early adulthood was spent searching for fake IDs? ' Harry A Freiberg III, Brookings

We cannot win

We are in a war that we cannot win. The enemy does not wear a uniform and who knows when the next bomb will go off? I cannot imagine the fear of walking down a street in Baghdad!

This government needs to be doing the following:

Use less gasoline so we are less dependent on foreign oil.

Make sure our troops get proper medical and psychological care.

Make sure they have the armor and ammunition they need.

Encourage a free and independent press to report the true facts.

Make sure prisoners that we capture are not tortured. If we torture their troops, they will do the same to ours, if not worse.

Don't be closing bases during the war.

Hold accountable any government official who releases the identity of one of our covert operatives. This is treason, which is punishable by death.

It is very easy to put a Support the Troops bumper sticker on your car, but real support is not there! This administration's abuse of power is not helping our young people in Iraq! ' Bruce Bauer, Medford

Creationism myths

Creationism taught alongside of, or in lieu of tested science is not a healthy choice for our future generations.

As Stephen Jay Gould writes: The argument that the literal story of Genesis can qualify as science collapses on these major grounds: the creationists' need to invoke miracles in order to compress the events of the earth's history into the biblical span of a few thousand years; their unwillingness to abandon claims clearly disproved, including the assertion that all fossils are products of Noah's flood.

Creationism is a collection of interesting stories from a time of less knowledge, but hardly a viable answer to our existence. Please don't expect me to welcome your church's myths into my children's schools. ' John Dowd, Ashland

Ecological clock ticking

We all know who's in charge these days ' the dissembling fools who dragged us into a deadly and costly mess in Iraq, rich politicians servicing their various corporate clients (like big oil), and evangelicals obsessing over abortion, gay marriage and the Ten (moot) Commandments ' none of whom seem focused on living-wage jobs, affordable health care, or skyrocketing deficits.

But here's the rub: A growing number of independent scientists around the world are learning that global warming is really happening, that the protracted use of fossil fuels is to blame and the results ' if unchecked ' will be catastrophic.

They're telling us that our children and grandchildren will face realities far more daunting than terrorism ' as in our own extinction, the ultimate abortion.

What should we do? Gas up the SUV and go shopping? Argue over intelligent design? We've only got one shot at getting this one right, folks, as the ecological clock ticks down to a point of no return. Let's talk about a real culture of life. ' S. Davis, Talent

Huss is irritating

The Mail Tribune should consider replacing Larry Huss with a bona fide journalist. It is irritating to read a column designed to represent one side of the political spectrum written by a political consultant, read: spinmeister.

Further, Mr. Huss' resume touts his political experience in seven states. Somehow that gives him the freedom to second guess the wishes of Oregon voters. Whether it's the death with dignity reconfirmed, criticizing the results of the Legislature, the constant harping on the PERS funding failures, Oregonian's choice toward quality of life, etc.; he continues to imply that he knows better than Oregon citizens what is best for them.

His inference that the professional work force largely are leaving Oregon for more money elsewhere is insulting. Larry, the physicians, CPA's, professor's, engineer's, etc. I know are here because they want to be. If the newspapers in those other six states wish to read his narrow-minded tripe, that's fine, but please contract an Oregon journalist to write on behalf of the political right who understands Oregonians. ' Cliff Meyer, Medford

Intellectual honesty

One of my biggest gripes in the news these days is reading about people who say that they support our troops but they don't support the war (in Iraq or wherever else).

Ladies and gentlemen of Peace House, Women in Black, etc. ' you simply cannot have your cake and eat it too. It's like saying that you support cops but you don't support their use of necessary force to catch bad guys.

The military's mission is to fight wars. When diplomacy fails, those of us who have signed up for military duty find ourselves with the unpleasant tasks of breaking things and killing the enemy in an attempt to convince them to cease and desist. Telling the troops that you don't support their mission, when the great majority of them believe in that mission, tells them that you think something is wrong with them for doing their jobs. And that is not the kind of support I want while placing my life on the line.

If you don't support the war, that's fine. I will continue to support your freedom of speech. But please have the intellectual honesty to stop right there. ' John F. Howard CDR, USN (Ret.), Medford

Drivers in a hurry

After living in the Rogue Valley for over 20 years, I have witnessed my share of accidents at the Highway 140-Kershaw Road intersection as I travel it almost everyday. I have also avoided my share of accidents there.

The bottom line, people are traveling 55-plus mph on Highway 140. Some motorists on Kershaw continue to be in a hurry and cross the highway way too close in front of the on-coming traffic. Others run the stop sign completely.

I agree that the best way would be to put a stop light there. Other suggestions would be to change the sign from side street traffic does not stop, to highway traffic does not stop. This sign is very misleading. Lowering the speed limit in that area to 35 mph would also help.

The intersection has been a lot safer to travel since the orange cones have been in place and you are required to slow down in this construction zone. We all just need to slow down and not be in such a hurry all the time. I hope this intersection will become safer to travel every day. ' Jeri Marlia, Eagle Point

Same old ideology

As a Republican frustrated at the far right ideology my party has embraced, and the inability to win the governorship that has produced, I too believe a fresh face is needed in the party's run for governor.

However, it will take much more than a fresh face. We need fresh, moderate ideas in order to win the state's highest office.

Unfortunately, given that Jason Atkinson was compelled to make Lars Larson ' and his followers in divisive, mean-spirited and greatly simplified right wing politics ' his venue for announcing his candidacy, I fear we are likely getting a fresh face promoting the same old ideology that has put Republicans in the also ran category in Oregon's governor's races for decades.

As the saying goes, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig. I guess time will tell if Atkinson is more than just a fresh face. ' Dave Strahan, Grants Pass

Creating an Islamic state

Reuters (Aug. 20) quoting a Kurdish politician: We understand the Americans have sided with the Shi'ites. It's shocking. It doesn't fit American values. They have spent so much blood and money here, only to back the creation of an Islamist state ... I can't believe that's what the Americans really want or what the American people want.

It's not. What we must now face is the possibility that the new Iraqi government will be much worse than Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Women's rights? Go to the back of the bus and don't forget your veil. Children's rights? Well, if you're a boy, you'll get the strictest Islamic education that fundamentalist madrassas can inflict. Sunni Muslims? Keep right on fightin' fellas! Kurds? Pick up a katyusha from the corner arms bazaar and start your own little civil war.

Americans? Kiss &

36;200-plus billions g'bye. Soon adios to 2,000-plus dead troops, etc. Impeach Mr. Incompetence. ' Terry Doyle, Ashland

All smoke and mirrors

Webster's definition of free is not subject to the control or domination of another.

Just about every aspect of my life is controlled by the rules and domination of the state. From what kinds of plants and foods I can use to how I treat my own body, to how and when I can travel, to whether or not and what kind of fence I can build on my property.

Americans are like galley slaves that love to be told how free they are. What a bunch of idiots. If there ever was any freedom in this country the fine print of the state has taken it away.

Get a grip, will you ' it's all smoke and mirrors anymore. ' Hugh Diamond, Trail

Dangerous intersection

Congestion on Highway 62 causes many drivers to use the alternate route of Foothill-Kershaw Roads. Couple that with population increases in White City and Eagle Point and it is obvious that the Highway 140-Kershaw Road intersection has become a bottleneck.

The current realignment project featured on today's front page may make some small difference, but eventually a real solution will be required. Over the years, accidents have gotten us a flashing yellow light, then that confusing sign saying side street traffic does not stop (is Highway 140 a side street?)

Continuing growth in the area will soon demand a traffic light, coupled with reduced speed on Highway 140 out past Kershaw or even Riley Road. So, c'mon ODOT, why not do it right this time? ' Frank J. Vetter. Eagle Point

Our own extremism

Pat Robertson's call for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez demonstrates clearly that Muslims don't have a monopoly on religious extremism.

How someone calling himself a Christian can pontificate about the sanctity of life when talking about unborn fetuses and then turn around and call for the murder of another human being is an astounding example of moral hypocrisy and a truly disturbing perversion of religion and spirituality.

Religious and political extremism of any kind that tries to impose its world view on others through force and violence are perhaps the greatest dangers our world faces. It manifested itself in New York City in 2001 when a band of Islamic extremists murdered 3,000 civilians and it manifested itself again in 2003 when a band of neo-conservative Christian extremists initiated a war against Iraq that has resulted in the deaths (so far) of many thousands of civilians and over 1,800 American soldiers.

Both acts were completely unjustified and unnecessary. No human being or nation owns The Truth and no human being or nation should attempt to assert its version of The Truth on others through the use of force. ' Claude Aron, Applegate

Jack Batzer remembered

To the family members of Jack Batzer: Thanks for sharing a terrific individual with members of the Medford community involved with youth athletics. Many youngsters received benefits because of his involvement and generosity! ' Leo and Loretta Noahr, Livingston, Texas

Co-op is needed

It looks very much like Medford is going to get a food co-op store in or near downtown. Some very dedicated people are bringing together the community, money and expertise to make the project a reality.

More than 100 people attended a meeting the evening of Aug. 11 to hear about the project. The overwhelming response from the people at the meeting almost assures success.

Like other co-ops, members will own this one. Anyone can shop at a co-op but members make the decisions and are the beneficiaries of any profits. Co-ops are not generally low-cost stores; they provide high quality produce, meats and packaged products.

Medford has been a metropolitan area for some years. Now Medford is becoming cosmopolitan. People from different countries and cultures are settling here. In some areas commercial businesses have not kept up with the potential. A hard search of Medford restaurants and grocery stores won't turn up any that specialize in organic foods. Things are about to change.

Visit to learn more about the new Medford food co-op and to keep track of their progress. I offer congratulations to the organizers; they are bringing a much-needed service to Medford. ' John Statler, Medford City Council member, Ward 3

Give credit to all

I was both pleased and irritated by the guest opinion editorial of Aug. 19 signed by Sal Esquivel and Dennis Richardson. Pleased by the accomplishments of our hard-working group of elected legislators and irritated that no mention was made of the other half of the team made up of Sen. Alan Bates and Rep. Peter Buck

These win-win scenarios would not have happened without the collegial spirit of compromise, cooperation and willingness to communicate between all four legislators. I am sure Dr. Bates' moderate and reasonable approach to problems greatly facilitated the process.

Credit should be given where credit is due. ' Tom Glatte, Medford

Legislature needs change

The editorial in the Mail Tribune on Aug. 10 is quite correct; a change of leadership in the state House of Representatives and Senate is necessary.

Because the elected legislators vote for the president of the Senate and speaker of the House, the change of leadership is the responsibility of the people through the legislators.

If the legislators don't have enough character, integrity or courage to refuse to elect an incompetent Senate president or speaker of the House, recall or ask them to step down, then the people should replace the legislators.

The president of the Senate and the speaker of the House are blameless. They will do whatever pleases them if there is no one with enough backbone to stop them as we have just seen.

It is inconceivable that the president of the United States is confined to term limits and a legislator in this state can ' regardless of his/her lack of skill ' remain as a legislator in the House or Senate for life.

Perhaps the 30-member committee that has been appointed ' for 18 months ' to reveal the legislative shortcomings will also include the inadequacies of the present system of leader selection and legislator retention. ' Charles D. Tisler, Central Point

Sheehan's agenda

Ms. Sheehan has had an agenda against the war and President Bush for a long time, and is using her valiant son to promote her agenda. Her son was a volunteer and believed in what he was fighting for, and she is denigrating his memory.

I am sorry for Ms. Sheehan in her agony, but I put her and all the other peaceniks in the same category as Jane Fonda. She is doing nothing but aiding and abetting the enemy, as are all of the peace protesters who want nothing but to bow down to the enemy.

Our enemies do not want peace, they want total annihilation of our country and our way of life. This is a war leading to the end of civilization, and we have to fight the battle or lose our country, dignity and hope for the future of our children and grandchildren. ' Nancy Brousseau, Central Point

Don't touch the dials

We live in dangerous times. Right-thinking patriots must remain vigilant. A careless moment could plunge you into the abyss. One wrong click on the television control, or a slip on the radio dial could send you outside the safe havens of Fox News, or Rush Limbaugh, and into the evil hands of America.

Before you are able to retreat, you might hear confusing facts such as:

Saddam's Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, and in fact, Osama bin Laden hates Saddam as much the USA.

The majority of Americans favor embryonic stem-cell research.

Most Americans feel DeLay, Jeb Bush and company should not have turned Terri Schiavo's death into a pander-fest for right-wing religious extremists.

That same majority feels we were subject to a breach of faith when the president led us into a war using intelligence that was flawed at best, and intentionally skewed at worst.

You'll hear that Karl Rove committed perjury when he testified before the grand jury.

You might even hear that Bush is a flip-flopper, who will waffle on his own strong statements just to protect his brain.

Do not touch those dials. Bush and Co. need you just as you are. ' John McKelligott, Grants Pass

Just political theater

Why should the president meet with someone who has already posted her opinions on the Web: That the Israelis pushed us into war with Iraq and the president was motivated by the opportunity for personal enrichment.

And just what are Cindy Sheehan's motivations? In reading European newspapers on the Web, I learned that her entire campaign was funded and orchestrated by an anti-war group founded by Ben, of Ben and Jerry's. Furthermore, her own family alleges that she views this as the beginning of her political career.

None of us knows if pulling our troops out now will give all Americans a better future than staying the course, but it seems obvious to me that this is nothing more than political theater. If our president were to meet with anyone, it should be the directors of this play and not the lead actress. ' S. Lowell, Talent

Dear idiot driver

To the man who was driving erratically on Interstate 5 on Ramp 27 to Exit 33 on Aug. 19th around 10:15 a.m. in the brown Oldsmobile: In case you didn't notice, the speed limit is 55 mph through most of this stretch of the freeway. Flipping people off and yelling at them gets nothing done. You tailgated several people, including me.

I hope that you don't cause an accident and seriously injure or take the life of a law-abiding citizen. I am sure the other people who witnessed your behavior were just as shocked and appalled as I was. Slow down! ' Andrea Noble, Medford