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Who would have thought'

Regarding George Will's Thursday column on Eugene McCarthy, I would never have thought that George Will would ever see himself as an object of condescension. ' Harry Freiberg, Brookings

Don't bash Wal-Mart

Why is everyone bashing Wal-Mart? People are saying that the wages are low; what about the other stores like Fred Meyer, Albertsons, etc.? Their wages are not that great either.

What about insurance? How many employers in this county do not even offer insurance, and if they do, you have to work for them for quite a while. In the letter from Arlene Aron she states that they drive out businesses ' name some. I have never known Wal-Mart to cause another discount store to close, in fact when they came to Medford, I personally do not remember any businesses going out of business because of Wal-Mart.

She talks about their products coming from China. I would say maybe 75 to 85 percent of all products are now coming from China, in fact in the company that I work for, most of their products come from China and then they mark them up by 200 to 300 percent. Can she name one store in this valley that does not get their inventory from China?

I am in favor of a Wal-Mart Superstore, the sooner the better, and do not worry, there will not be any businesses closing because of them. ' Kathy Mulry, Medford

Here are some facts

For you protesters teaching your children to hate the USA, our president and the military, here are some facts to teach them:

— Every war America has fought since 1924 has been against tyranny. America has never fought or launched a war against any nation governed by democracy.

We are the only country in the history of the world that has paid to rebuild the enemy we fought.

Since we went to Iraq, 47 countries have re-established embassies there, and 1.2 million Iraqis are employed by their government. There are 20 universities, 46 institutes and four research centers. They now have a navy, air force, counter-terrorist unit and commando battalion and over 55,000 fully trained and equipped police. Five police academies produce 3,500 new officers every eight weeks. Also, 96 percent of Iraqi children have vaccinations, and 4.3 million kids are in school.

There are 75 radio stations, 180 newspapers and 10 TV stations, and two Iraqi presidential candidates had a televised debate.

So come on, protesters, fight for something that matters, like protecting the lives of over 180,000 innocent unborn children aborted since 1980, one killed in every three live births. Now that's something to stand up and fight for. ' Nancy Brousseau, Central Point

Why this issue?

I read that Peter-John Courson and his followers at the Applegate Christian Fellowship have submitted a petition with 941 signatures to the Medford School Board opposing the introduction of new sex education into the schools' curriculum. I was raised to believe that we should all be tolerant and open to the fact that others may not believe as we do, but it appears that Courson is insistent on cramming his views and moral beliefs down the rest of our throats.

I certainly would respect the right of anyone to either have their children opt out of specific classes or curriculum that violate their religious or moral beliefs or have them schooled elsewhere, but what I strongly object to is their arrogant insistence that those beliefs be the law of the land for the rest of us. It is amazing that with all of the misery facing the world today ' starvation, AIDS, immoral wars, natural disasters, destruction of the environment, continually reducing funding here in the United States for the elderly, children and the poor, that Courson seems strangely silent on those issues but chooses to make a name for himself on this one. ' Tom Dew, Medford

Why ID always loses

I read Nancy Pearcy's argument on intelligent design (Dec. 6) with interest. I would have allowed the whole thing to go unchallenged if she hadn't brought up schools ' but she did.

First she tries to baffle us with language ' postmodernist notions, fact/value dichotomy, unity of truth. I'm sure many people talk in this manner. We common folk do not.

More importantly, she loses for the same reason intelligent design always loses in court. No proof. ' Jim Ross, Medford

Time for an answer

Much has been written about gasoline prices and whether the petroleum industry is price-gouging the public.

The fact that there are zone pricing activities going on in Oregon leads me to believe that the industry is in violation of Oregon Revised Statutes. ORS 646.040 makes it unlawful to price discriminate on commodities offered for sale in Oregon.

I am curious why no one has taken this issue up and filed a class-action lawsuit against the oil companies. The fact that there is a difference in prices in the large cities (Portland, Salem, etc.) and the rural areas of the state (as much as 30 cents a gallon) sounds to me like price fixing and discrimination. Maybe the attorney general could explain why this is legal in Oregon. ' Jim Key, Medford

Ayn Rand one-dimensional

Regarding Mr. Ferrer's Dec. 6 letter, I'm sure Russell Sadler is well aware of the rigid rantings of Ayn Rand, as are most intellectuals.

I read the novels of this self-declared prophet of capitalism as a teenager. Being young and gullible, I was captivated by her one-dimensional logic, to wit, that humans are by nature selfish and should therefore follow all natural selfish urges, especially for sex and power. Those who cannot, or will not, aspire to material aggrandizement should get what the animal world metes out to the weak or unwilling ' starvation and death.

Her concept of character is basically simian with nice housing thrown in to make it seem civilized. When I became an adult and began to develop adult notions about society and character, I realized that we humans have been put here for the amazing purpose of rising above our animal urges; moreover, that if we as a society fail to accomplish this, we are certainly doomed.

History is full of civilized societies following savage motives for the very reasons Rand suggests we should ' the glorification of the self, whether individual or societal. Fascism is an excellent example. The virtue of selfishness ' a true oxymoron. ' Christoper Lewis, Rogue River

Walden bill misunderstood

HR 4200, introduced by Rep. Greg Walden, has evoked some misunderstanding. The reaction by George Badura (guest opinion, Nov. 20), as an example, does not accurately reflect the intent of the bill.

HR 4200 would maintain wilderness protections, so 178,000 acres of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness would be preserved, i.e. no management. No sidestepping any environmental protections. National Parks and Monuments are protected. In the other 322,000 acres of the Biscuit, it would allow managers a range of choices including removing some dead trees and replanting, but in this bill, planting multiple species, not plantations.

HR 4200 allows making decisions quickly without removing appeal rights. Dollars from harvesting dead trees can be used to replant new trees like in the Tillamook Forest. Dead trees were quickly removed on the entire site and a forest replanted with no federal taxpayer dollars. Today it is a green, thriving forest.

In a poll by Davis, Hibbits, Midghall, 77 percent of Oregonians expressed an overwhelming desire to have forests restored. In order to do this, managers need to be allowed choices of how to manage.

Walden has gained significant support of Democrats and Republicans in Congress on this moderate bill. He has my support. ' Sue Kupillas, Medford

Choose the higher road

Introducing the sex-ed curriculum into the eighth grade supposes that the student majority need this information just in case curiosity wins them over.

Even if 50 percent of 13-year-olds had an irresistible urge to indulge their premature hormones ' what about the other 50 percent who have their minds more fixed upon learning math, science, English, history, reading, sports, music, hobbies, family, church, community service and the like? Perhaps some of us have become so myopic that we cannot even see or accept that there are others who think differently.

Is it a misconception to think the proposed sex-ed health curriculum should be about instilling values and life principles, not simply implementing a preventative measure for those who cannot contain themselves? If it is about the latter ' let's scrap it.

I appreciate the dedication and excellent work of our teachers and administration of 549c, but let us choose the higher road for our children. Let us show that we care enough about them that we will not give in to the flippant demands of a degenerating culture that insists on instant gratification at any cost.

Our local schools are better than this. We do not have to accept it. ' Dave Schwep, Jacksonville