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Letters to the editor

Decline to sign

Our struggling economy has put low-income Oregonians in double jeopardy: incomes cut below livable wages, and slashed state social services, due to dwindling revenues. Yet special interests want to strip another &

36;800 million from critical services. If successful, 85,000 people will lose benefits under the Oregon Health Plan. Day care, mental health, and foster care services will be eliminated or cut.

For the sake of Oregon's families, decline to sign the anti-tax referendum petition. ' William Glaser, Medford

A serious issue

Molly Ivins combines a keenly honed sense of irony with her native charm and wit to call attention to a very serious issue: the dangerously corrupt and destructive policies of the Bush administration. Those who find the facts too discomforting don't have to read them.

I hope the Mail Tribune will not allow its choice of columnists to be influenced by the grumbling of some disgruntled dittoheads. ' Michael Steely, Medford

Column made assumption

When did patriot and protester become mutually exclusive? In the Oct. 10 Since You Asked, your un-named columnist falsely disconnects these ideas, and then assumes protester equals left-wing.

— I'm sure your author believes left-wingers don't like the United States because of the individuals responsible for the 9/11 attacks. No, wait, they were religious fundamentalists. But there was that left-winger who caused the Oklahoma City bombing. Hold on, that can't be Timothy McVeigh. Seems like destructiveness isn't limited to the lefties.

Well, at least I know why protesting is unpatriotic. There's the long history of anti-American protesters who caused such horrendous outcomes as universal voting rights, an end to slavery and child labor — Hmmm. That doesn't seem right either.

Frankly, I don't know what point the IX/XI Revolution posters are going for. But if the posters are, in fact, encouraging damage, there must be a better description than left-wing protester ' I suggest violent radical.

In the words of that left-wing, unpatriotic protester, Thomas Jefferson: [R]esistance to government is so valuable ?. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. ' Karen Lollis, Medford

Oppose health plan bill

There is recognition that small businesses and groups of workers have difficulty accessing affordable health insurance plans; however, a federal legislative proposal to create Association Health Plans is a flawed attempt to meet this need.

Ostensibly, these bills would reduce costs to small employers by allowing them to create or join self-insurance plans called A.H.P.s. A.H.P.s would be exempt from current state laws, which balance the pool of sicker and healthy individuals to make health care affordable for all small businesses.

Consumers could lose coverage for important state-mandated benefits (mental health conditions, maternity care, mammogram, well-child care). Furthermore, these plans could result in the deregulation of vital HMO reforms allowing consumers second opinions, access to specialists, and continuity of care.

This potential for cost-shifting and reduced benefits is opposed by the unlikely alliance of the National Small Business Association, the AFL-CIO, and Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Please urge Senator Smith to join Sen. Wyden in opposing S.545. ' Gayle Y. Lewis, Jacksonville

Hanes crosses the line

Hanes has crossed the line with their underwear commercials.

We see things every day in public but normally this is not underwear as Hanes portrays on TV. We normally see clothes on people in public, not underwear. This is a type of clothing worn in private, not in public.

To portray that we wear underwear in public without clothes is to send a message to our children ' clothes aren't necessary as long as your underwear is on. This is overstepping privacy and public exposure.

We cannot commend this for our people across this nation. Pornographic material is presented. ' Garry Hardway, Medford