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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Note to Ms. Wheeler regarding her NIMBY crack in the MT's Friday edition: If she's going to resort to sweeping generalities, she should at least get her locations, demographics and drugs of choice straight. I think she has us confused with Ashland. We specialize in saloons here in Jacksonville, not pot dispensaries, and when it comes to mnemonics, we have one of our own: MYOB. — Jay Halverson, Jacksonville

There is a West Indian saying about people being like crabs in a bucket. When one tries to get out, another one grabs it and pulls it back down. This is my impression about the authors of some recent letters against the Medford teachers.

People use their own challenging circumstances during the recession to justify keeping the teachers down. Wouldn't it be great if they'd devote that indignation to people who most clearly don't merit their pay: bankers, pro athletes, CEOs, hedge fund managers, pharmacy executives, movie stars, stockbrokers, etc.

Do you really believe the impression being painted of teachers as overpaid? While I appreciate the difficult position of School Board members, it is too much to ask to respect their propaganda campaign. Clearly though, they have won over some citizens judging by letters in this paper.

I'm sure School Board President Jeff Thomas owes a debt to school teachers for being educated enough to write his recent letter full of spin, obfuscation and statistical bait and switch. Working folks, unemployed, underemployed, and children would do well to stand out in the cold, rainy weather in solidarity with teachers during their strike. — Doug Huston, Ashland

Teachers are important in the lives of our community and children, and good teachers deserve to be suitably compensated. But it's not reasonable to assume that we will pay any price "for our children." What is suitable compensation?

Average teacher pay in Oregon is more than double that of private sector workers. Teachers also have a benefit package the likes of which most of us only dream about.

While teachers are paid guaranteed 3.5 percent annual step increases and generous benefits, too many of our parents and other taxpayers are struggling to hang on to much lower-paying jobs in the private sector. This is a recipe for budgeting difficulties. And it doesn't go unnoticed that graduation rates are low.

The one legitimate problem I see is that starting teacher pay is too low. But the answer should lie in rearranging the elements of the pay and benefits package of the most recent contract. The answer should not lie in demanding that the school board fund more teacher benefits against the interests of our children.

Also, I wonder if there would even be a strike had teachers been allowed to vote with a secret ballot. Hmmm ... — Kristin O'Driscoll, Jacksonville

There goes Ms. Arvette again tilting at inimical windmills (Jan. 5). The proofs cited against an uncaused cause (prime mover, God, etc.) presume and rely on some prior, pre-existing, (uncaused) existence. This is modern, and ancient, atheistic argument at its illogical best.

In short, Ms. Arvette's statements can be summarized as: "Because the law of gravity and a quantum vacuum exist, therefore, the universe will create itself from nothing."

Or: Because something and something else exist, therefore some other thing will create itself from nothing. Most see this as contrary to reason and logic.

If something came about because of something else, it follows that something was caused by something, not by nothing.

Many people labor under the false impression that belief in a higher being and science are at odds. Yet many people have been led to a belief in a higher being by science because of its orderliness, beauty, complexity and majesty. Many see them not as mutually exclusive, but complementary.

Is it that difficult or humiliating to acknowledge there is a higher intelligence at work than ours? Does such an admission threaten or diminish your existence?

I pose a question: Why is there not nothing? — Dennis V. Sinclair, Medford