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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

For a very long time now, America's runaway immigration policies have been taking a toll on both the environment and the quality of life for U.S. citizens. But many of us who would have expressed concern over these issues have been silenced because we didn't want to be associated with extreme right-wing factions whose antics and proposals seemed both inhuman and tinged with racist underpinnings.

Now, however, we have a choice and an avenue to move forward. There is an organization called Progressives for Immigration Reform. This group has separated the hateful elements of the ongoing immigration dialogue from the scientific and meaningful issues that need to be addressed. They can be found on the Internet at www.progressivesforimmigrationreform.org. — Bob Messinger, Grants Pass

I was horrified by Ron Smith's letter admonishing us to "get history right." Smith suggests "true history" would lead us to conclude Nazis were a bunch of rock-throwing lightweights, and the most devastating conflict in world history was a cakewalk.

By late 1941, Hitler's war machine controlled most of the major European capitals. The Nazis were bombing London nightly and would advance within mere miles of Moscow. While Europe was dangerously close to conquest, the United States entered World War II after Pearl Harbor. We fought and won a global two-front war that threatened free world — losing 500,000 fathers, sons and brothers in the process. The Russians, albeit under Stalin, lost 20 million fighting the Nazis.

My father fought the Nazis in North Africa and Italy in a unit that suffered nearly 70 percent casualties. As a boy he told me the horrors of warfare, along with the absolute necessity of crushing devils like Hitler. I bitterly resent anyone who mistakenly lectures me that the proper celebration of D-Day is "dreamland." We all need to continue to celebrate the heroes of D-Day and World War II, and the remember what that victory meant for America — and what it ultimately cost. — David Spear, Medford

For the holiday, I visited family in Oregon. They said the Fourth of July parade in Ashland is a "must see" experience. So my wife and I joined the crowd and I was very impressed by the community-based themes of the entries, and the bands were great.

The only downside to the parade was the ear-splitting noise from the motorcycle that was in one of the entries. I saw little children holding their hands over their ears; the noise was actually painful to my own ears.

The Oregon Vehicle Code addresses this violation in section 815.025. To have a vehicle in the parade that flouts the law sets a bad example to youngsters and was inappropriate. — Carman Gentile, Arcata, Calif.

On July 4, the Mail Tribune published the full text of the Declaration of Independence. How ironic — less than a week before some of our independence was taken away with the Supreme Court upholding Obamacare. Tyranny won while liberty and individual rights lost due to Chief Justice Roberts' twisted logic.

Only Congress can make tax law. If Obamacare is a tax then it is unconstitutional because Congress did not pass it as a tax. If it is not a tax but a mandate it is unconstitutional by Roberts' own analysis.

As the dissent said, Justice Roberts did not rule on what the act was, but what it could have been but wasn't. This is writing law.

The dissent argued correctly that the words "mandate" and "tax" do not mean the same. Each word has different ramifications. Roberts conflated the two to make an incoherent, ambiguous conclusion. Words have specific meanings and represent concepts.

Roberts' conclusion at best is a pathetic attempt to have it both ways. At worst it is an intellectual crime. Roberts' decision sanctions the violation of individual rights—the opposite of what he has sworn to do. June 28, 2012 — a day of infamy. — Gordon W. Dickerson, Medford