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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

I'm bereft of a vocabulary to express my outrage at this administration's cavalier treatment of our men and women in the Armed Forces. They were sent with inadequate armor and faulty Humvees into a questionable war, and even as roadside bombers and snipers were severing their legs and shattering their arms, watering the desert sand with their blood, their commander-in-chief was signing a bill slashing their medical benefits.

Where is our national integrity? At what point did we decide that medical care, including physical, mental, emotional, and vocational rehabilitation was not included in the cost of waging war? By whose rhetoric were we persuaded that money needed to properly equip and care for our warriors was better spent rehabilitating Iraq, pacifying Pakistan, mollifying China? Have we sunk so low that we expect our young men and women to pay the cost of this war in maimed and forfeited lives, unaided by the nation they have so loyally served? — Sally Kundis, Medford

I am noticing more calls to cut more timber on our forest land as a solution for the lost O&C money. Seems that this is the point of cutting off O&C replacement funds. A little squeeze play by the feds and big timber.

On the one hand, we are extolled to plant more trees to offset global warming and on the other, if we are to have libraries, we need to cut down more trees. I would guess that someone stands to make a lot of money from those trees and we will get our little cut to keep our libraries open and the environment and we the people will lose more than libraries.

I think we can find better solutions. — Diane M. Werich, Ashland

I have been reading all the letters about the library closure and how we should vote a new levy to keep the libraries open. I for one will not vote for this, not because I don't like libraries, I do, but because I feel my tax dollars have more important uses. For instance, health care and health insurance for those who don't have it or can't afford it.

There are many, many people in our valley with serious illnesses who don't have insurance and can't get health care. There are people dying right here in our valley because they don't have health insurance.

Our community health department is great and do what they can, but when special tests or treatment are needed, a person without insurance is told they cannot have the tests without cash up front. I believe in libraries, but believe my tax dollars could be spent better. — S. Strusz, Medford

My husband and I purchased a used vehicle for our daughter from a large auto dealership in Medford. When our auto insurance renewal came due, my husband noticed a substantial increase in payment. When he spoke to the insurance agent, he was told that the auto had been in an accident several years ago. We did not own the car at that time.

My husband then spoke to the salesman who sold us the car. He referred us to the manager who asked us if we were having a "problem" with the vehicle. My husband stated that was not the point. The manager informed my husband that Oregon had no law to inform, and so he did not have to reveal a prior accident. To be precise, "I don't have to tell you!"

I have called our state senator regarding creating such a law.

That was last November.

The consumer has a battle with every major purchase. This is one skirmish that can be avoided with a law to inform and protect the consumer. — Florence Slomowitz, Medford

A recent letter expressed disappointment with our U.S. senators' vote concerning the war in Iraq. The well-intended letter expressed many beliefs but few facts.

The fact is, we did ask for this fight — we invaded Iraq because of WMD. Oops, there weren't any. The fact is, this invasion was being planned before 9/11. We've already killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi people, and killed or wounded thousands of our heroic soldiers. Why must we win a war based on lies/mistakes? Why? The war is not going well and most experts say there is no military solution.

Terrorists? Fact: The 9/11 terrorists were mostly Saudis, none were from Iraq. There was no connection, Cheney's implications notwithstanding. Fact: Osama bin Laden is still a free man. Fact: Military assets were diverted to Iraq. Fact: U.S. oil companies will soon be pumping Iraqi oil for profits in the billions. Halliburton has already made billions.

Assuming we still have a democracy and not a military dictatorship, the American people sent a strong message to the Bush administration last November, yet Bush continues to exploit our brave soldiers.

Support our troops! Give them the best medical care and bring them home! — David E. Asche, Medford