In his guest opinion Dec. 11, Nick Patterson asks, "why haven't you joined us?" (the Occupy movement). My answer: mistrust.

What is not discussed speaks louder than what was said, starting with the word "occupy." In my view, this implies the threat of force if not actually condoning it.

To justify their actions, the occupiers vilify capitalism and profits. They indiscriminately demonize all corporations. These are straw men to knock down to hide their nihilistic ideology.

Mr. Patterson has tried to soft-pedal this view and, except for vague references to liberty and the founders of our country, fails to identify the system of government the Occupy movement is for. Without capitalism we are left with either anarchy or some form of collectivism such as socialism.

Socialism and capitalism are alike — both require capital. Socialism requires capital to confiscate. Capitalism requires capital to create wealth.

Mr. Patterson says we must demand a better life. From whom? He advocates putting others before self-interest as a virtue separating the Occupy movement from the rest of the evildoers.

Wrong! It is self-interest that motivates a person to pursue the value of liberty, not self-sacrifice. — Gordon W. Dickerson, Medford

There is an important, unexamined consideration surrounding the proposed sale of a portion of Jacksonville's watershed to the Motorcycle Riders Association — fire protection for the city.

Professional forest management practices (e.g. fire breaks, thinning, brush removal, planting) have been carried out on the approximately 1,800-acre property during the past 20 years to help minimize wildfire hazard. It can be argued that breaking up management of the tract could compromise elements of the city's wildfire protection. — Bob Stevens, Jacksonville

The Oregon monopoly on liquor sales is a cash cow that the politicians and bureaucrats love.

Even in good times they never have enough money, so they are really desperate now. And anyone who believes Lindsey's comments regarding consumer experience probably also believes in the tooth fairy. Lindsey is just another bureaucrat trying to protect his cushy job.

Even with a sales tax, liquor prices are lower in adjoining states. More evidence of the cash cow. — A. Hobson, Talent

Each year, the Kiwanis Club of Ashland buys Christmas gifts for the girls and boys who reside at the Lithia Springs Schools in Ashland. Up to $600 is spent on clothing such as jackets and sweatshirts.

This year, several local writers donated to Kiwanis several books they have written so that they may be packaged along with the Kiwanis clothing items. On behalf of Kiwanis and the Lithia Springs Schools, I would like to thank these writers. They are Jahnna Beecham, Malcolm Hillgartner and Gordon Javna. Thank you! — Ron Parker, Ashland Kiwanis

Thank you, Jacksonville churches, for the wonderful Nativity scene presentations at Bigham Knoll. We hope it becomes a tradition. It is marvelous that someone had a vision and mustered the cooperation between churches to do this! — Ed and Anne Nicholson, Medford

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