July 8, 2006 Focus on the real issues I'd like to take a moment to clear up a couple of these 'issues' Republicans keep trying to convince us are of utmost importance. 1. Flag Burning. The power of the flag is what it represents, no

Focus on the

real issues

I'd like to take a moment to clear up a couple of these "issues" Republicans keep trying to convince us are of utmost importance.

1. Flag Burning. The power of the flag is what it represents, not the physical cloth. Flag burning is a legitimate form of protest, and is usually done when people feel the policies of the U.S. are in conflict with American values and ideals. Incidentally, The U.S. Flag Code states that "No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform" and also prohibits the embroidering of the flag on items such as hats, handkerchiefs, etc. No more "Made in America" or "These Colors Don't Run" shirts for you, Middle America.

2. Gay Marriage Ban. This is an equality issue at best, and one of bigotry and a total lack of understanding at worst. Seeing as the main argument for this is based in Christian theology, I would just like to point out that Jesus taught peace, love, and understanding. Besides, homosexuals have every right to be just as unhappy in a marriage as heterosexuals. And, for those of you who believe that homosexual marriage undermines "the family" (Define 'family'), take a look at the divorce statistics in this country, and take another look at how sacred the family institution is.

It is my hope that we can move on and talk about something that matters now.

Craig Stephens

U.S. conservation plan is bunk

President Bush used his latest State of the Union address to rhetorically hijack a progressive platform — including yet another rhetorical call for energy independence.

The President's track record on energy reform shows a consistent failure of reality to match his rhetoric. Last year's energy bill represented a stunning failure of leadership. It did nothing to reduce our dependence on foreign oil or lower energy prices.

All Americans should scrutinize the President's latest energy reform rhetoric and look to see whether his newest crusade for energy independence backed by a full tank of gas or — once again — whether George W. Bush is running on empty.

Take back America Apollo program is the biggest advocate for energy reform immediately or in the next 10 years will have a total disaster that no man has ever experience.

Books over the last century have been trying to warn us but it has come to an international crisis.

Alex Kazazean

Talent

Jets bring terror instead of pride

Tuesday morning as I tied my tomato vines, I heard the distant roar. I live on the outskirts of town beneath the air space used for the annual Fourth of July fighter jets to bank into position for their fly-by over the parade route.) Within seconds the sound became deafening. The ground shook. My body began to tremble and tears instinctively gathered in my eyes.

"Come here!" Come here!" I heard a father calling excitedly in the distance, clearly eager for his child to see the massive machines of death now streaking into view. I couldn't help but think of the parents in so many far flung places who had beckoned with those same words out of fear for their child's life. My heart pounded wildly; my mind reeled. I wondered how it was, at this time when conservation of fossil fuel is so vital, that such a blatant display of waste was being so flaunted. I wondered about the roots of the adrenaline "thrill" experienced by those gathered downtown as those planes flew over. The thrill of — what? Power? Killing? War? I wondered how it can be, in a time when the world so desperately needs new solutions to the age old vicious cycle of violence, that the very machines of death were being celebrated. Even cheered!

The Independence Day we need to hail is the day humanity is free from war. As a hush again settled around me, a soft breeze played on my skin and the sound of the stream soothed my quieting mind: May all beings come to know their One true nature and live in abiding peace.

Alberta Powell

Props for

leash laws

I've lived in Ashland for almost 30 years and have never felt the leash law onerous. Yes, I have a dog that's in a fenced yard to keep her safe. If we walk anywhere, she is leashed and not a hazard to other pedestrians nor cars nor other wheeled vehicles. When I walk in Lithia Park, I don't have to dodge doggie doos, which I appreciate. These laws don't hinder me, but enhance my life.

Maxine Scott



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