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It was an assault

People are actually defending David Thumler's nipple twisting? It was assault, pure and simple. It's a painful, humiliating experience. A punch in the face hurts less, yet that would be considered assault by anyone.

Thumler got detention for not complying with his sentence. You can't pick and choose your punishments.

And as for the implications that Thumler's Yes, ma'ams and No, sirs make him an exemplary citizen, are you too young to remember Eddie Haskell? ' Scott Wright, Medford

Unfortunate cartoon

The Tribune's decision to print Ramirez's rather weak cartoon The State of Education in America is unfortunate. The cartoon attempts to cast the blame on the left for the poor state of America's education.

Are we not all in on this together? Perhaps the situation might be better served with a less divisive approach? ' Gary Pellett, Central Point

Underreported hypocrisy

For balance, we moderate Independents must discover underreported facts.

— Example: Peter Schweizer's Do What I Say (Not What I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy.

Shockingly, amidst demagogic I-feel-your-pain renditions ' the Clintons foreclosed on small-time Whitewater lot buyers who became ill and missed one payment. No hearing, no compassion, no equity!

Altruists Inc., resold the land. Sometimes twice. Clear why the scheme is illegal in many states.

Former Concorde-flier and Halliburton-stockholder Michael Moore stayed at the London Ritz but deceptively gave interviews in a dingy hotel down the street.

He's more obsessed with money than anyone I've ever known, reveals Moore's former Hollywood manager.'

Rooming-house Ralph Nader? Since the 1970s, he's resided in a &

36;2 million home. Away? Limousines and only the best hotels, recalls a travel arranger.

Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi? Daughter of Baltimore boss (her term) Big Tony. Hiring non-union grape pickers increases her &

36;50 million fortune.

The Kennedys (guarding &

36;500 million) own two oil companies.

Pentagon-basher Noam Chomsky? Took millions from ... the Pentagon.

Liberal moneybags Barbra Streisand fired and replaced her illegal workers requesting 25-cents-for-overtime raises.

Ad nauseam.

Ignore culture-wars' profiteers like Newt and Hillary. Instead, think outside the partisan box. ' Martin Seim, Medford

Read and learn

Perhaps a major distinction in the conservative right lies within the opening paragraph of Mr. DeVos' recent letter: I see them, but I don't read them.

When 9/11 happened, Mr. DeVos may have not have read about President Bush sitting numbly in an elementary school classroom for more than five minutes after being informed that the country was under attack. He may also have missed some of the Bush-bashing letters about the Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay prison torture scandals, the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe and cutting nuclear proliferation deals with India.

In Mr. DeVos' defense, I agree we should send prayers to Mr. Bush, because he truly is in dire need of them. And to our armed forces, as well as all the victims involved in this huge blunder of a war.

But the powers that be are ordained by God? Would this brash generalization also include past leaders such as Hitler, Pol Pot, Ferdinand Marcos and Nicolae Ceausescu? Come on, Mr. DeVos. Try reading a few of our letters now and then. You might learn something. ' Leanne Krause, Medford

Focus on women's rights

As a libertarian I believe the upcoming debate should not be about when, or if, any abortion should be allowed to occur but rather must be about the rights of women to have complete control over their own bodies.

It is a debate that hopefully will determine in the final instance that men have no place or authority in determining how women should behave as far as control of their bodies is concerned. Abortion is a personal issue for women to determine and for women only.

We all reserve complete rights to our bodies and how we use or abuse them, whether to be gay or straight, to seek or not seek medication when ill, or to seek euthanasia at the end of life. It must be determined that government has no authority in any of these matters and quite simply needs to butt out.

My hope is that women make this an issue that simply focuses on individual rights. A U.S. Supreme Court win in this matter will establish constitutional precedent for all issues where government seeks to establish societal norms for the individual where it has no authority given to it by the people and the Constitution. ' Doug Forsyth, Ashland

Ashland's Enron

Memo to Ashlanders: AFN has already cost you personally more than Enron ever will. Yet we know all about Ken Lay and Co., but have never seen the story about how Cathy Shaw and Co. rammed this bankrupt idea down Ashland's throat.

Rates are up, profits are in Neverland, nonusers are forced to pay, and the city attorney's brother just got himself appointed manager. Some project, eh?

There's never a federal prosecutor around when you really need one. ' Bruce Dicoskey, Ashland