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Letters to the Editor

Bush doesn't speak for meAfter the killing of hundreds of woman and children, the destruction of Lebanon's infrastructure and the use of cluster bombs, phosphorus and depleted uranium, Bush says his support of Israel is still unshaken.

That's easy to say, Mr. Bush, when it is our money and our weapons that you keep sending over there to continue this madness. But the plain truth is that you do not speak for me in this regard. The Constitution does not allow you to speak for all the people in terms of who we support or do not support.

We are not yet the dictatorship you're trying so hard to establish, and the plain fact is that the war in Lebanon, like the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and Vietnam, were started with lies and deceptions, and we the people know it.

If you want to support Israel, please resign your office, take your neo-cons and your Democrat friends and move there! We need a president who supports America, not a poodle for the international oil, manufacturing and banking interests. &

8212; Barry Leisure, Yreka, Calif.

Reduce foreign oilOur increasing dependence on foreign oil puts our national security at risk.

One barrel of oil from ANWR is one barrel of oil we don't have to purchase from the Middle East.

In 2005, over $175 billion American dollars were sent overseas for imported oil. In 2005, the U.S. imported an average 10.3 billion barrels of oil per day.

If ANWR oil had been flowing through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, we would have imported nearly 15 percent fewer barrels of oil per day. &

8212; Richard Holt, Ashland

Suspicious of WaldenGreg Walden is campaigning again. His recent press release proclaims his work for veterans. His actual performance in the House, however, has rated a zero (0) from the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).

Walden's Veterans Affairs press release says White City's improvement is a great accomplishment. We must pay attention to what's really happened.

I read the press release on his alleged project to build new facilities at White City with interest.

However, it actually states that there is no timetable and no budget. Before declaring an accomplishment, show me the money, Greg! Even if the "project" does get written into a timetable and is budgeted, what will keep the administration from cutting the VA's budget, as it consistently has?

I am a little suspicious of Walden's claims and motives. &

8212; Nadine Brown, Medford

Appalling pot ignoranceLt. Tim George's ignorance concerning medical marijuana (Mail Tribune, Aug. 7) is appalling, as is his condescending attitude towards thousands of Oregonians who rely on this medicine.

His ridicule of the possession limits and of such legitimate maladies as chronic pain is wholly inappropriate. But what can we expect from folks who get their medical information from the DEA?

As one who has worked statewide on medical marijuana issues, I assure you that medical marijuana is not laughed "out of the room" in all Oregon cop shops. Most professional law enforcement officials accept the revised law and understand the "bright line" it draws for all parties. Only in Oregon's "deep south" is commentary like George's common.

Selling marijuana is forbidden under the law, so if Dep. Fagan knows of persons selling it, he should have no problem proving it in court. But where are these cases?

As appalling as this display of collective, willful ignorance is, worse is their apparent distaste for having to do their real job, protecting law-abiding citizens from attacks by criminals. Blaming law-abiding citizens for having items of value instead of working to apprehend the criminals who steal them is despicable. But it is easier. &

8212; Laird Funk, Williams

The truth about marijuanaIt's not surprising that medical marijuana interferes with enforcement of Reefer Madness laws based on fictions like:

"The primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races."

"Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality and death."

"Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind."

"(Smoking) one (marijuana) cigarette might develop a homicidal mania, probably to kill his brother."

See the U.S. government lies used to outlaw marijuana, at

No doubt enforcing absurd marijuana legislation is more difficult when faced with the truth about medical cannabis. &

8212; Richard Givens, Medford

Too young for MySpaceYou are supposed to be a minimum age of 14 to get an account on MySpace.com. Today I read in the paper that Jeffrey Chandler Beattie was arrested for "attempted sodomy on a 13-year-old Medford girl" via MySpace.

The girl shouldn't have had to deal with this and it doesn't make Chandler Beattie's actions acceptable; however, I hope there were consequences for the young girl who lied in order to get on MySpace in the first place. She should be held accountable for her actions as well. &

8212; Steve M. Ryan, Medford

Gambling is for dreamers

The report on the Oregon lottery's first billion dollar year (Aug. 10), should be read with the recent New York Times report about the big expansion of local bank offices nationwide, in the attempt to attract the shrinking pool of savers. The lottery represents the darker side of that phenomenon: Fewer and fewer Americans are able through their jobs to achieve the "American Dream." The lottery pot of gold is their only hope. And so it goes. &

8212; Gerald Cavanaugh, Ashland

Phoenix needs a new leader

Before the city of Phoenix ends in disaster like "The Flight of the Phoenix," it needs to be rescued with a new leader. Start thinking about this now! &

8212; Marilyn Connolly, Phoenix

Music lover manhandled

On July 29, I was at the Bear Creek Park for the Sunday night concert. There were several people up in front dancing to the music, including an Indian fellow. They seemed to be having good, clean fun. A few minutes later the Indian came up to where we were sitting and told us they kicked him out. We didn't know why because he wasn't doing anything wrong.

A few minutes later, a policeman came up to him and told him to leave. He didn't respond fast enough for the policeman and he grabbed the Indian's hand and twisted it behind him, then put handcuffs on him. He got him a few feet away and twisted his hands so far back knocked him to the ground. The Indian was in pain and couldn't get up. Another man came up and helped the Indian up.

I have never seen such manhandling in all my life. The policeman was way out of line, for the Indian wasn't doing anything wrong that we could see, and was very nice and mannerly towards us. What's this country coming to when a policeman has the right to manhandle someone when they aren't doing anything wrong? &

8212; J. Terry, Medford

Let's practice here

The AP article in the Aug. 2 Mail-Tribune discusses our plans for Cuba after Castro. Listed are "detailed plans for upgrading health and education systems, ways to modernize Cuba's aviation, railroad and maritime infrastructure, assistance in holding free elections, fighting corruption and establishing independent trade unions."

Wow, that sounds really great. I wonder if we could practice by doing some of that stuff in the US of A? &

8212; Walt Marsh, Ashland

Another Head Start

Thank you for the excellent informative article on Head Start and the preschool programs in the Rogue Valley. I would like to tell you that there is another Head Start center in Jackson County, Migrant Head Start.

We are located in Ashland and serve 96 children during the year. Our program is available to the families and children of the agricultural worker. We are a part of Oregon Child Development Coalition, which is a statewide, non-profit organization boasting a 35-year history of providing early childhood education and related services to children and families as a catalyst for growth, development and independence.

Even though our center serves a specific population of children, we have seen an increase in demand for our services. The benefits to children who have had preschool are tremendous. Hopefully our state Legislature will provide this funding in 2007 to give our children the education they deserve. &

8212; Don Williams, Jackson County director, Oregon Child Development Coalition