June 30, 2006 Cockburn column biased, hateful I think that Alexander Cockburn’s column (June 28) condemning Israel was the most biased, one sided and hateful condemnation of Israel I’ve ever read in the western press. Cockburn

Cockburn column biased, hateful

I think thatAlexander Cockburn’s column (June 28) condemning Israel was the most biased, one sided and hateful condemnation of Israel I’ve ever read in the western press.

Cockburn’s obsession with andhate of Israelare surpassed, in my opinion, only by the Arab press.

Cockburn isn’t bothered by the Chinese occupation of Tibet, or the threat by Iran to wipe Israel off the map, or political oppression throughout the Arab world, or persecution of women in the Muslim world.

His focus on Israel and his recent condemnation of what he sees asexcessive influence of American Jews, make it reasonable to ask if Cockburn is an anti-Semite.

Maynard Telpner

Rad adds to

Hummer article

With regard to realtors and commissions, I do believe that commissions paid on house sales in Ashland are too high. In the spirit of the marketplace I would encourage sellers to bargain with the realtor they might want to list their home with. There is nothing sacrosanct about a 5 or 6 percent commission.

I was quoted in Tuesday’s paper as saying, “Realtors are making a lot of money.” What I did say is, “There are realtors making a lot of money.” High commissions are a cause.

Rad Welles

Speaking out against sales tax

We all lament the financial plight of our schools and municipal services in Oregon. And while we all benefit from these services and wish to fully fund them, we cannot support special purpose sales taxes to fund these needs in Medford, Grants Pass, Ashland or anywhere else in the state.

How unfair it is to tax any single business segment to fund unrelated services. And, why is it that we are looking for ways to foist our own education and municipal service costs on visitors? Shouldn’t we be paying for the services that we require to live here?

Targeting restaurant meals with the notion that they are strictly frequented for discretionary spending is nonsense.Medford City Manager Mike Dyal was recently quoted in the Medford Mail Tribune as saying, “I think it’s perhaps the fairest tax we have for one reason: It is totally discretionary.” On the contrary. According to the National Restaurant Association, nearly 57 percent of all U.S. food dollars are spent on prepared meals today, as contrasted with 25 percent in 1955!Purchasing meals in restaurants and from other retail providers is often less costly today thanpreparing equivalent meals in the home when you factor in the time necessary to shop, cook and clean up. If you consider spoilage and uneaten leftovers at home, dining out may well be a bargain!

Can you imagine the outcry if instead the proposal before the Council was to tax residential real estate transactions in excess of $300,000, or personal automobiles priced over $20,000 because anything more than that is “totally discretionary?”

Seriously, can you imagine each town in Oregon having its own combination of targeted business segments and intended uses for sales tax? Not a pretty picture.

I urge you to vote against implementing a sales tax in Medford, unless you’ve had no qualms about paying it here in Ashland!

Emile Amarotico

President/General Manager

Standing Stone Brewing Co.

Keep watch for the future

I am an Ashland property owner who hopes to reside there in the next five years.

Meanwhile, I read the Ashland Tidings from my home in a city where there are two murders a week. Here, every family gathering is laced with new stories of guns, beatings and stomach-churning abuse. When I read that the police force in Ashland is “watching” two dozen citizens who have had brushes with the law, I am filled with yearning that we in my city did not keep “watch” back when my grandfather was Park Commissioner here.

I am filled with sadness that in my city, we are being forced from our ancestral homes by inappropriate behavior that has gone unchecked — due to political correctness — until it developed into crime, andbecame more the norm than lawfulness. Do keep watch.

Eleanor Gipson

Memphis, Tennessee

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