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Bring them home

If the article Lone survivor: Blast brings loss of second family, doubts about war in Saturday's paper (Oct. 1) doesn't make supporters of the Iraq conflict pause to consider that the choice to be there is wrong, then nothing will.

The story of the lives of the 14 young, dead soldiers and the grief of their remaining comrades should be enough to make anyone want to bring our soldiers home. Even the soldiers are questioning why we are there!

My heart breaks for the families and loved ones of those men, and all of the others whose lives have ended prematurely. I will never feel that their deaths were meaningful or have done anything to make our country safer or stronger. Quite the opposite! ' G. Putnam, Medford

Frist stock sale troubling

A News Brief in the Sept. 21 paper requires clarification. The story refers to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist dumping all of his stock in Hospital Corp. of America (his family's hospital corporation) about two weeks before HCA issued a disappointing earnings report.

Bill Frist has based his political career on being a physician. Is he in fact just another conservative politician who got rich by inheriting stock, and stays rich by dumping it based on inside information? ' Steven Wells, Ashland

Bird flu is a hoax

I think Asia's bird flu is a hoax.

— During the past two years, among the billions in population throughout all of southeast Asia, only 54 human deaths have been attributed to bird flu. That's 27 deaths a year. Whoop-dee-doo.

It seems thrifty inventive China gropes for bird flu as a pretext for killing the world's birds, and we should ask why. One year, after two people supposedly died from bird flu, China's officials went house to house throughout cities, villages and even into Hong Kong to kill all birds. Billions upon billions more domesticated and migratory birds have been killed by China's people than by any flu.

I think we have greater chance to let nature take its course to develop antibodies in the birds so that we may develop immunity to that statistically minor ailment, like how the milder cowpox provided immunity against smallpox and led to the vaccine. I wonder what commercial benefit China extracts from the dead birds. ' Patti Morey, Ashland

Blame solves nothing

In letters to the editor, Mr. James Snyder indicated his disapproval of our current administration trying to control rising fuel costs.

Be that as it may, in the Netherlands the price of regular unleaded gas is &

36;6.56 a gallon; most Scandinavian countries average &

36;6.46 a gallon. In Hungary the price is &

36;5.28 a gallon with an average income of &

36;11,440 year.

In Haiti most people earn less than &

36;1 a day, fuel prices average &

36;3.95. Japan, China and Korea average well above &

36;5 a gallon.

Most of these countries have excellent public transportation and use fuel-efficient, small cars. Maybe, just maybe, we should be thankful the way the administration has been able to keep our fuel prices down.

Someone once said, it is not what our country can do for us, it is what we can do for our country. Pointing blame never resolves any issues, solutions will. ' Ed Blokdijk, Central Point

Support counter-terrorism

As we are now engaged in a counter-terrorist action in Iraq, and many in this country believe that terrorism is our biggest concern as a nation, and we are all greatly offended by oppression through intimidation such as beatings, shootings, rape, torture and constant threats, perhaps it is time we support our local covert counter-terrorist special operations.

For those who aren't aware, there is an organization that has been courageously fighting terrorism and saving lives in Jackson County for 29 years. The organization is called Dunn House, and they are the most wonderful and caring group of operatives you will ever meet. Please continue in your support as we enter Domestic Violence Awareness Month. ' Joe Barrett, Central Point

Editorials shock the ticker

Whoa! Slow down! This is more that Southern Oregonians can handle! Two common-sense editorials in one week!

First the editorial board at the Tribune recognizes that Under God in the Constitution is not an establishment of religion. That was shocking enough! But then ' then ' on Friday, the board, which never met a tax it did not like, suggests that maybe Ashland should not create another tax! And their argument actually made good business sense!

Next time, warn your liberal constituency, so they can at least have some warning and whip out their talking points real quick! And warn the rest of us, so that it will not be such a shock to the ol' ticker! ' Tracy Van Hee, Eagle Point

What's green about it?

Regarding the Oct. — article in the At Home section: A newly constructed, 2,500-square foot McMansion for two people? How environmentally thoughtful!

So these forward thinking people feel that this obscene joke leaves a small footprint on the environment?

Ask yourselves the following questions:

How much fossil fuel was burned in order to extract, manufacture, market, distribute, ship and deliver all the materials used to build this display of green technology?

How much fossil fuel was burned by workers in their one-ton four-wheel-drive trucks, making endless daily trips up and down a steep hill for months, to construct this monstrosity?

Typical photovoltaic and solar panels put 20 times their weight in hydro- and fluorocarbons into the atmosphere during manufacture. The energy they produce would take at least 20 years to replace the net energy lost when they were made.

What a cute greenhouse! Notice that it contains no edible plants or herbs. The plants are for decoration only.

What kind of gas-burning vehicles decorate the inside of the two-car garage?

The mindset of these and most people is why civilization is going to collapse in our lifetime. If you want to leave a small footprint, live in a mud hut. ' Gaz Cullins, Medford

Address overpopulation

World Population Awareness Week is Oct. 17-23. At the second of this writing, world population is 6,469,981,381.

This is a time to put emotional, religious and political issues aside and think logically. Overpopulation is at the root of so many of our world issues and will continue to be a major factor for as long as our population grows.

We must think rationally about the quality of life and longevity of future generations. Slowing population growth must be one major area of focus.

Despite what many would say, choosing to be child-free is absolutely acceptable. Equally acceptable is choosing to adopt, giving a home and a future to a needy child rather than bringing new life into the world.

Having large families today is irresponsible. This is not a pro-life or pro-choice argument but merely a plea for all of us to take a hard look at our world and the future and make some intelligent choices.

Birth control and education must be available to everyone, especially the poorest individuals, on a worldwide basis. We have successfully populated the earth and supposedly ensured our survival; now we must slow that process and ensure survival by other means. Think about it! ' J. Ellicott, Jacksonville

The answer to all problems

We need to cut the pork! The answer to all problems! We just handed the oil companies billions in tax relief, but we really need to cut spending or we are un-American!

Hey, let's cut off aid to autistic people and the handicapped! Yeah! While we're at it, how about the unemployed and uninsured! Who needs 'em?

Let's all get on our cell phones while driving in our SUVs to tell our congressmen to slap down the poor, the elderly, and disabled veterans! Come on! Get behind Bush, Bennett, DeLay, Frist and all Republicans and give minorities the finger!

We really need to give oil companies more money for research and development at the expense of the least of these my brethren. ' Thomas Beatty, Central Point

The community responded

It was with such pride that I was able to submit checks and change totaling over &

36;8,262 to the American Red Cross as part of a Hurricane Katrina Relief drive that started at Kennedy Elementary School in Medford but grew to include citizens in the surrounding areas, young children sending in money from their piggy banks, teachers and staff members from both Ashland and Medford schools, and a large donation from Ashland's Helman Elementary art show. Once word spread that we had matching funds, people gave generously. Thanks to all of you!

Also, a huge thanks to Boise Cascade, who matched our funds. Without their generosity, this fund drive would not have been nearly as successful.

The motto Together Everyone Achieves More is so perfectly displayed by this community's gift of giving. ' Kim Gabriel, fourth-grade teacher, Kennedy Elementary, Medford