Stark truth and courage

When Pete Stark stood up to accuse the president of the United States of having no conscience about the deaths of the thousands of valiant troops he sent on a criminal war mission while at the same time stealing medicines out of the mouths of babes, not a word was voiced in protest by the Republicans, because they knew Stark was right.

It was not over the top, and there was absolutely nothing wrong with Stark's choice of words.

He was talking about a president who, when he was not being obstinately surly, has snickered his way through every press conference since he lied to convince us into invading Iraq, who was making funny faces into the camera in the seconds before he went live on the air to announce the assault.

The Republican leadership now wants to condemn Stark. This is the same leadership that has mercilessly obstructed every congressional action of merit, even where that action was supported by the overwhelming majority of the American people, has done nothing to hold the White House accountable for their lies and shredding of the Constitution through illegal wiretaps and use of torture, not allowing even investigations in these matters. They use our troops as political props, while exploiting them for the profit of their war profiteer contributors.

It is deplorable that the Republican leadership seeks to hold others to a standard of decorum that they themselves grossly and repeatedly violate. Thank you Pete Stark for having the courage to speak out.

Teresa Giacomini

Campfire danger in the watershed

The terrible disaster that took place in Southern California could happen here, as affirmed by Chris Chambers on the local CBS TV news on Oct. 23. Of course, natural phenomena such as lightning could cause such a fire storm here. However, it is absolutely negligent not to address the potential known human causes of such fires, such as campfires in the Ashland watershed.

The Ashland City Council, Mayor, and Daily Tidings have persisted in thwarting removal of these campers, despite their knowledge of this ongoing illegal activity. The one raid some months ago took place after a month of hassling, time enough for the campers to hide for awhile.

There would plenty of time and resources available to hold those legally accountable for such illegal activity if and after such a fire would break out due to such negligence. However, I am absolutely positive that all citizens would prefer that such incidents do not occur if proper vigilance is regularly exercised.

Again, this is not an issue of "Ashland politics" but of public safety!

Lester Ingber

Green's rant is right

Recently Tidings Content Editor, Mike Green went on a rant about the rant of Mr. Limbaugh and his condemnation of soldiers who express their disagreement with the current war (Oct. 26). I use the word "current" as an identifier because a future one looms more imminent with each passing day.

Mr. Green goes on to blast, with equal ferocity, the Democrats in congress who refuse to deny funding while claiming to be in opposition.

I believe him to be correct on both counts.

The bandying about of the word "patriotism" is a sure sign of charlatanism. Perhaps this can be said about those who continue funding an action with which they claim to profoundly disagree? It looks like "supporting the troops" has carried the day, and somehow political perceptions have it that Americans believe that to "support" them, we have to keep on fighting, indefinitely I guess.

With a 160 thousand or so troops, and an approximately equal number of mercenaries in the country, and the biggest, baddest embassy in the world under construction, who will get us out of Iraq? Anyone who might is not electable. What about Iran?

Edward Colbert