Letters At Length

Sound the alarm, America is at risk!

The North American Free Trade Agreement and North American Union are two internationalist intents of the global elite to gradually merge the United States, Mexico, and Canada into one major security and prosperity partnership, or SPP. Though this may appear to be benign, it isn't!

It's obvious this corporate-controlled socialist conglomerate cannot come into completion without ultimately abolishing and replacing our constitutional system, and the economic prosperity formerly enjoyed by a free America. The question is: Will a sufficient number of Americans wake up, become pro-active, and empowered in time to keep our republic from losing its sovereignty?

When NAFTA was implemented on its supporters boasted it would create 200,000 new jobs and expand the manufacturing base throughout our nation. The opposite happened! 20 months after its passage NAFTA caused the loss of one million American jobs. Because of NAFTA millions more Americans have lost their jobs. Many had to settle for less desirable employment with lower wages. Domestic manufacturing didn't fare better either.

From textiles to automobiles, including washing machines and vacuum cleaners, the once great industrial American giant is now on life support. I could continue with this, but won't.

What can the average American do about this? They can begin by becoming informed on this issue by accessing and reading William F. Jasper's article in the April 16, 2007 issue of The New American titled, "From NAFTA to the NAU"(see ). More detailed information available on this can be found at .

Finally, since both houses of Congress and both major political parties are rightly to blame for this sell out, its time American voters consider switching to an honest third party and terminate the "Republicrats!" The Constitution Party at would be a good start.

James A. Farmer

New perspective on library support

Like many others, I'm a fan of the Tiding's On Faith columnist Scot Dalgarno. His May 19 column nicely encapsulates much that I find unsupportable about the library funding issue. Frankly, I'm not sympathetic to his contention, "It's not a library &

it's our community center. It's the heart of our town." Or, "Today, libraries have evolved from merely loaning out books to providing Internet access, reading hours for babies, community centers and art galleries."

Depending upon the context or the cause du jour, the coveted title of the Town's Heart is as easily claimed for the Plaza, Lithia Park or the OSF bricks. It's only natural for a library habitu&


169; to feel that the library is the city's community center, while someone else's lifestyle may favor a coffee shop or club, a child's athletic venue, the SOU student union or the AFC.

In truth, it's more than possible to be a well read, informed, active member of Ashland without going anywhere near the library.

Mr. Dalgarno's heart aches for the 100 laid-off library employees. That does him credit, but as someone in the throes of his third lay-off in twelve months, I feel qualified to observe that it happens. Indeed, most Americans are only one layoff, one debilitating injury or illness, one economic downturn, one school expense from being in the hurt locker. I'd love for the local library to be all things to all people, but it's personally and socially not prudent for me to be the financier for some other adult's mystery-reading habit, with a warm, ADA-compliant, art-filled room thrown in to discuss it later.

From its inception, the remodeled Ashland library has been the wrong building, on the wrong site, while it's supporters knowingly promised more than a dwindling annual budget could ever hope to provide. It's time to reassess what the hundred-year-old Carnegie library model has become.

John Gaffey

New enthusiasm for Ashland's 'undesirables'

After reading recent articles in the Daily Tidings about the growing concern about Ashland's "undesirable element" I wondered if I had been paying attention. So, for several weeks now I have been searching the Plaza for undesirables. I have come up short handed.

I was still trying to give these outspoken critics quoted in the paper the benefit of the doubt. Maybe my eyes have become as liberal as my heart, so when my 70-something parents came for a visit, I asked them if they felt unsafe in downtown Ashland. We all had a good laugh and then they went and spent some "tourist dollars." So much for the urban legend.

This fascinates me. It appears a caste system exists in my lovely little town. So I didn't give up. Numerous times now, I have gone into the Plaza and watched people. I finally decided that maybe I am just missing these shady, panhandling folks. So my infant daughter and I walked down to the Plaza and sat for a while.

As we sat there, I thought I found one. A motorcycle parked near us and a longish haired man got off the bike. As he passed by us, my heart sank a little as I could see he wore a T-shirt that advertised one of the restaurants on the Plaza and was just going to work. I kept looking, determined to finally see what others have been talking about. A teenage boy passed by, smoking a cigarette none-the-less. I thought he could surely be an undesirable, until I saw that he noticed the baby and quickly moved his smoke away from her. So much for the teen element being mean.

I saw a few middle-aged women with shopping bags, but as hard as I tried to fear them, I just couldn't jumpstart those emotions. The older couple coming out of ABC with drinks was not frightening either. By now I was getting as bored and tired as Grace was, so we got up and headed home.

As we passed the Methodist Church I was thinking about how ironic it is that we are bank poor but wealthy beyond our imaginations. We're raising our family in this town and we've invested in causes that we believe in. Ironically, if classism is an Ashland value, I guess I only needed to look in the mirror to see an undesirable.

At least I figure that I am in good company.

Vanessa Houk

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