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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Regarding Saturday's "Restoring America" rally: It's sad to see so many people look to liars like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin — both recipients of PolitiFact's Pants on Fire award — as models of American values.

On the other hand, they make a killing by spreading fear and anger, so if that's what people think America is about, I guess it makes some weird kind of sense. — Michael Steely, Medford

In a recent letter, M.W. Bowen asks if someone can tell him where the separation of church and state appears in the Constitution. I can.

It's in the title and the first sentence of the First Amendment. The title of the amendment is "Religious establishment prohibited. Freedom of speech, of press, right to assemble and to petition".

Mr. Bowen is correct that the phrase "separation of church and state" does not appear in those exact words. It appears in these exact words: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

Apparently this phrasing is too complex for Mr. Bowen to understand, so allow me to translate. What these words mean is that there is to be a separation of church and state. I can find no other way to interpret these words, and neither can the Supreme Court.

I agree with Mr. Bowen that we should stop spreading myths because our children are paying attention. I just hope they're paying closer attention than he is. — Anthony Nelson, Ashland

I think our government representatives have misused the authority we have granted them to act on our behalf.

First I read that they fined a couple because of a pile of dirt on their property. It apparently was partially washed into a creek by a rainstorm and it caused silt in a creek that empties into a river. Then, the state, during it's investigation, determined a business had actually moved the dirt into the pile, so they fined it, too.

Now I hear the federal government fined Mercy Flights because its ad said "our" when it referred to a helicopter that it leases rather than owns. The fines are in the tens of thousands each. I guess they need more money than they collect from us in taxes. — Ronald Quadros, Central Point

The situation on Garfield Avenue is hard to believe in our county in this day and age.

Some ideas come to mind so folks will know what they're in for, what with a main highway beginning at one end and the new high school at the other. They could change the name to "Serpentine Drive," or how about "Third World Thoroughfare"?

I have one more idea that may actually have some merit. Hold a "gravel drive" — have everyone that uses the road donate a large bucket of gravel to pour into the tire-busting potholes. It would be temporary but would work for awhile! — Lorna Eskine, Jacksonville