While I cannot respond to every letter, and certainly am willing to accept criticism and occasional praise by writers on this page, I must respond to the letter from Mr. Robert Key of Applegate.

It's one thing to criticize my position on an issue; it is another to falsely accuse my staff of rudeness. My staff field hundreds of calls daily and together we annually help thousands of people resolve problems with federal agencies.

These professionals are trained to handle many situations. We work for you, the taxpayers, and do our best to treat everyone with respect.

Mr. Key has called before. According to our records, he often is irate and confrontational. In fact, the young woman who listened to his outburst instantly recalled the conversation when his letter ran and has a much different account of their conversation.

If Mr. Key wants to launch personal attacks at me, that's his right. It seems that's how some think policy issues should be debated. But don't falsely accuse the people who work for me and please, stop being abusive when you call.

A little civility goes a long way. Unfortunately, it is too often missing in public policy debates. — Congressman Greg Walden

I read George Will's recent column on the threat of political social workers. I find it ironic that anytime an organization representing the poorest folk in our society stands up to the political machine, the conservatives feel we are somehow trying to destroy the fabric of our country.

As a "social worker" in the field of chemical dependency, I am very political in my beliefs. Mr. Will is a political columnist and he too is very political in his beliefs, but you don't hear the homeless, the poor and the infirm calling his beliefs a danger to our children.

I feel that Mr. Will is on a political witch hunt to try and preserve a culture that is based on the wishes of the richest as the all-seeing and benevolent masters over the rest of us. What is the solution? I feel it may be time to challenge the status quo to remember what we learned in the past. Question authority. — Mark W. Scharff, Medford

On my way home from dropping my child off at school, I heard a radio host on 98.9 The Wolf telling a story about a mom who drank beer while driving a group of cheerleaders to a game. Of course, nobody on air or probably listening as well was agreeing that this was a good idea.

Following the segment, however, the radio host said, "I see this a lot in White City. You know, moms drinking Jim Beam at the games."

This stereotyping is very hurtful. I am only glad my daughter was not in the car to hear it.

My husband and I both have college degrees and hold down responsible jobs. We live in White City because that is what we can afford, simple as that. (News flash to the radio announcer — if you had moved here in the height of the housing boom, you might be in White City, too).

This radio announcer owes me and everyone else with a White City address a sincere apology. — Denise Kerr, White City

The "government-take-care-of-me liberals" have been at it for some time on SCHIP. Never once have they factually presented their argument; typical of liberals.

Since when is it the "constitutional" responsibility of the federal government to take care of your daily needs? Let alone those making $82,500 annually. President Bush and Rep. Walden made the correct vote and saved us $35 billion over five years; what else can you say. Get educated. — Gary Endicott, Trail

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