Letters to the editor, April 24

Disappointed in Tidings coverage of heroin overdose

I was disappointed that the Daily Tidings chose to run the very sad story regarding the heroin overdose, by putting it in the most prominent spot and tying the incident to a specific business (see April 20 article "Man hospitalized after heroin overdose at Creekside Pizza"). I have been a frequent patron of Creekside Pizza Bistro for many years. My family has used the restaurant as a venue for birthday parties and post-game celebrations and has always enjoyed the friendly atmosphere and great pizza.

I was in the restaurant Friday night, and I commend the quick actions of the staff. Without their cool heads, the outcome may have been fatal.

Suzanne Gargus


Time to re-evaluate nation's priorities

We as a country really need to re-evaluate our priorities. We complain about the cost of medical treatment, yet think nothing about paying an actor millions of dollars for one movie or sports players for playing a GAME! A lot of these idiots are in rehab or overdosing on our money. We "fix" roads that are fine — every time I get stuck in traffic I see at least a half dozen guys standing around BS-ing. During this time of recession (my husband and I are both unemployed) we need to really look at what is important. President Obama really took on a huge task getting this country back on track, and I wouldn't wish his job on anyone. And we will continue to pay the person who got us in this stink hole until he dies. We are greedy and stupid people and should learn to leave well enough alone. It is ironic that we are now going green, but I hope it isn't too late.

Linda Goins


How can the nation be debating torture?

What a long way we've come as a nation, when our leaders are seen to debate the efficacy of torture. There was a time when such a debate was unthinkable. The U.S. represented the uncontested beacon to the world of justice, liberty, humanity and a government of, by and for the people. We were the proof that those values could work, that a nation could be founded on such principles and succeed.

What a long way we've come. The Republican Party has morphed into the Torture Defense Party and it is ludicrous to see. Dick Cheney's latest justification for "enhanced interrogation techniques" (torture) is that such techniques worked. In other words, as Machiavelli put it, the ends justify the means. But in truth, the techniques didn't "work;" they made us less safe and less respected in the world. And, to the extent that the 9/11 terrorists provoked us to abandon our essential national values, our commitment to the Geneva Convention, and our basic understanding that torture by any name is immoral — to that extent, the terrorists of 9/11 won. I want no part of a nation that rationalizes torture as the means to any end.

Nancy Parker


How do we take care of each other?

We are living through a time of extraordinary financial stress. With the loss of jobs comes loss of health care and so much more. Here in Ashland, many school district employees are coming to terms with this reality. Neither the messenger nor those affected by the cuts are ultimately to blame, nevertheless, the vitality of those who are left is greatly impacted by the loss of their very important colleagues.

How do we take care of each other? Author, storyteller and medicine man Martin Prechtel tells of a time while living in a Guatemalan village in the 1970s: When missionaries brought radio to the village for the first time, they were exposed to news of devastation in distant places they had never even heard of before. In an innocent and beautiful way, they were strongly affected by the pain of others and wondered how to help these people. They wailed, feeling the despair of the folks who had experienced such a loss.

In these times, we tend to be so desensitized to the pain that I think we have forgotten how to stay present to not only our own pain, but the pain and loss of others. So, again I ask, how do we take care of each other during times like these? How do we not get enlisted by our own fear which can cause us to become reactive and stingy? How do we stay respectful to one another? These are important questions we have to grapple with individually and collectively. I say, when you find your answer — act!

Mary Shaffer


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