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Greed has triumphedOnce again, corporate greed has triumphed and customers are placed in a "take it or leave it" predicament. I refer to Charter cable and the recent redesign of their channel lineup.

Since cable providers are required to provide "basic" cable packages at more economical rates, Charter has devised a ploy to adhere to the letter of the law, if not the intent. They have simply removed virtually every channel of interest other than the local broadcast stations!

This action is clearly a transparent ploy to force viewers to upgrade to their more expensive "expanded" category. Consumers are left with two choices; give up the channels you enjoy, or pay Charter more. &

8212; Robert Lowe, Gold Hill

The truth about Walden

Maybe you, too, received a mailing from our Republican Congressman Greg Walden, telling the great things he's been doing in support of rural health care, education, forest restoration, etc.

Then I found on the Internet that Walden's vote broke the tie and thus enabled passage of H.R. 4241, which cut many rural programs, health care, college student loans, Medicaid, etc. Also, he voted "yes" with Tom Delay to pass H.R. 3010 &

8212; with 22 Republicans voting no &

8212; which cut funding for rural health care, community college grants, education, etc.

On top of this, Walden earns only a 12 percent rating from Republicans for Environmental Protection. So, where is the truth? It's obviously distorted in his letters to constituents. And we won't find it in open forums with his Democratic opponent, Carol Voisin, because he's too chicken to face an honest, intelligent adversary in public! Log onto and get the truth! &

8212; Marge Sutton, Ashland

Vote for VoisinThe mental gymnastics of it all ... is it safer to elect a Republican or a Democrat?

With this administration's policy of rhetoric that promotes fear, a policy that has divided our friends and united our enemies, a policy of calling nations evil which could elicit conflict, is it time for a change? Many have written letters critical of this administration but that seems to be all. Enough of the fear-mongering, let's make a change in this upcoming election for Congress.

Close to home, it's time to retire a loyal Bushite, GOP Rep. Greg Walden! Let's look to a fresh new voice! Let's vote for Carol Voisin for Oregon's 2nd District. &

8212; Marijo Bob Harr, Medford

Write your representativesNot that it will do any good, but those of us being screwed by Charter Cable should write our congressmen, senators and the FCC.

Since the ol' antenna on the roof is no longer a viable option, and we are forced to pay these outrageous prices for even just plain basic service (which now is pretty much useless &

8212; 24 hour golf channel &

8212; get real!) &

8212; then it should all be commercial free!

The saying used to be, "The airwaves are free" &

8212; OK fine, if I'm watching for free, I won't complain about the commercial interruptions. That's how the stations made their money. If they are now making money by forcing me to pay to watch TV, I shouldn't have to pay to be interrupted by commercials!

Commercial-free TV &

8212; now that I would gladly pay $47 a month for! &

8212; L. French, Medford

A false choiceBush's false choice: War or terrorists at home.

Iraq posed no threat , wasn't a haven for terrorists, had no connection to 9-11, no weapons of mass destruction. $300 billion spent, 2,600 American lives destroyed, thousands of soldiers wounded, 17,776 Iraqi civilians killed in 2006 alone. Now Iraq is terrorist training ground.

Bush refuses to talk with North Korea or Iran, who now have nuclear capacity. We are spied on in the name of freedom and hated around the world. Our first responders can't talk to one another, our security agencies can't and often won't communicate with each other, 6 percent of ships' cargo is inspected, consisting only of checking seals, we don't scan for nuclear materials until ships have landed at our ports, millions spent unsuccessfully on tamper-proof security badges.

Chemical plants, railroads, oil storage facilities are vulnerable, airplane cargo is not screened. Are we safer under this administration? Hell, no! &

8212; Mari Morsell, Medford

Peeved at Charter"Peeved" was a very nice way of saying how many feel about what Charter has done to their lineup. Yes, they took off one of my favorites &

8212; Hallmark &

8212; and moved it to digital. Now to get what many had, you have to get digital hook-up? With a box at extra charge, and an additional monthly charge for the group you want that has channels you enjoyed watching?

Television manufacturers and cable companies apparently work together, since TVs have been made cable-ready for several years, making it necessary to have some kind of server to even get local channels. So, of course, Charter won't have a large subscriber decrease; people want to watch television. &

8212; Pat Wright, Medford