Is corporatism taking over?

Is corporatism taking over?

The debate about whether capitalism still serves democracy in a town of so many millionaires, with a library begging for money, is pretty funny. Capitalism is corporatism now, and it already ate democracy for lunch.

Closing the library is really about the end of any public services at all. Our once three-tier society is becoming a two-tier society, and we no longer wonder about how the "other half lives," but the other 5 per cent. They live liberal, vote conservative, and they don't read.

We live in a corporatocracy serving those with "disposable" income forever in search of grotesque junk unnecessary to life. Then there is everyone else with no disposable income, barely able to stay alive. Both lifestyles are deadly.

The "we" society of the founding fathers is now the "me" society of corporate monarchies. The corporate take over, takes all public ownership, even ownership of water, not only in helpless third world countries, but here. Why have a library, post office, park, newspaper, at all if they are not making money for corporate stockholders?

Capitalism competed to see which company could create the best products for what the people needed. Corporatism creates cheap needs in people. Why not privatize the library, advertise, add Coke machines, have corporate-sponsored shelves of books that corporations published! Overwork and underpay the staff, forbid unions, and end any free service?

Consider dirty, irregular, public transportation, post office shootings, prisons-for-profit, advertising in schools, and most nightmarish of all, the private mercenary armies that torture and serve under the flag of the red, white, and blue.

Two great nations were tricked into WWIII by a few culturally ignorant people. There is a connection between building wars and tearing down libraries. We are a species tied to a railroad track, fighting about which train has the right name for God, not seeing that a train is coming.

Wondering if capitalism still serves democracy is like wondering if the servant serves the master, when the servant has already taken out a third mortgage on the house.

We can't save the planet if we can't save ourselves from our own stupidity.

For the many who educate themselves in libraries &

tough luck. However noble independent bookstores are, they are not open universities. Middle- and low-income Old Ashland would never have allowed the library to close.

For shame, for shame.

Leah Ireland

Vocational classes vital in career choice

Hands-on automotive and metal working classes are essential to AHS students! It's true that these classes provide an incredible opportunity for kids who aren't academically inclined; but, they are also an absolutely priceless experience for students looking to excel in engineering or other technical and science-related fields. These classes instill an intuitive understanding of modern fabrication techniques, and how complex mechanical systems function. Beyond this, the hands-on projects create lifelong bonds between students and a passion for technical projects.

Books will never create this passion; you have to get your hands dirty, and shop class is the only place high school students are given the resources to make their dreams come true. Inspired by Mr. Titus' engine experiments, my dream in high school was to build a jet engine. With the support of Mr. Cooney, I ordered plans and built a pulse jet for my senior project. This project was key to gaining entrance to Cal Poly and earning a BS in Aerospace Engineering.

Since then, the technical skills I learned in AHS shop classes have put me far ahead of my peers, opening up a wealth of opportunities from traveling around the world designing kite surfing equipment, to developing spacecraft echnologies, to startinga sport aircraft company.

None of this would have happened without the incredible support of Mike Titus and Bill Cooney and the irreplaceable resources they make available. My story is not unique; I have many close friends that I made in shop class that have gone on to do incredible things. Thank you, Bill and Mike; I hope Ashland realizes how much you mean to AHS students!

Go Grizz.

Henry Swales

San Luis Obispo, Calif.

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