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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Is there no end to "not in my backyard" reactions to affordable apartments proposed near single-family housing?

Somehow, denizens of banal econoboxes in undistinguished tracts see themselves as a privileged class entitled to special treatment with respect to neighboring projects designed to serve people of somewhat lower income than themselves. It seems they expect such folks, children and all, to find housing in the slummier neighborhoods, and as deserving of nothing more.

They promulgate myths about the negative impact of the economically disadvantaged and their spawn as though they constituted a plague. Never mind that the housing agency is constrained by standards and policies which do not include relegating economically distressed but otherwise qualified families to the slums or to living under bridges.

As with prisons and toxic waste dumps, self-important single-family dwellers don't want them po' folks living nearby for fear of social contamination and lowered property values — neither of which are factually likely. Projections of increased traffic, school overcrowding, overused parks, noise and other bugaboos represent the usual unjustified fear-mongering. Their reaction is always the same — and always constitutes petty class warfare.

Tract dwellers, get over yourselves! You just ain't that special. — Gary R. Collins, Jacksonville

Our country has been polarized by much manipulation, whether it is by the press or politicians.

A strange oxymoron of ethics pervades. Words like "evangelicals," "tea partiers" and "conservatives" are thrown about. Representative of these ethics in politics are issues such as being against environmental protections, against health care reform, and as a symbolic form of prejudice: against gay and women's rights. In the fine print, they also want to do away with Social Security.

All the conservative "right" has to do is press a giant red button that says pro-life and people will vote for them. These are philosophical and personal issues that have no business in politics. Yet, time and time again they are the forefront topics in a political debate.

The time has come to use critical thinking to sift through the emotional rhetoric and really think about what is important to us as Americans. Truly ethical decisions should be integral in thinking of what kind of country we want to live in.

If you are pro-life you should support social services and health care for all, along with environmental protections that ensure the future generation's healthy life. Don't take the easy way out. — Kathy Lambie, Medford

Regarding the Jan. 5 Mail Tribune article, I was just wondering how Dr. Kerwin had the nerve to be a co-plaintiff in Tom Dimitre's suit against the Ashland Gun Club over alleged lead contamination while residing in a monstrosity of a hillside "home" containing more than 19,000 square feet? Talk about contamination! — L.A. Mancuso, Grants Pass