Letters to the editor

It's a mad, mad democracy

The western world has gone utterly mad, forgetting reason and history to follow the new fangled fad of giving every animal in the jungle equality. The gorilla-like man who's never read a book has the same say as the learned scholar; the foolish woman who has her children forsook marks the same ballot as a devoted mother.

Remembering the myriad crimes of tyrants, so many embrace the opposite madness, escaping from eons of withering heat to chatter in a freezing, modern abyss. For as every American child knows, no one applies themselves when no profit or distinction follows, the same meal given to giants and elves.

But this applies not just to communism (which was mostly veneer) but far more in lands, like here, where the barbaric dollar is king and from every hillside commercials ring. Do the poor benefit from absolute democracy? The rich control their votes like puppets on strings, playing to their ignorance with theatrichypocrisy.

But never think I advocate a return to rule by an aristocratic few, a forsaking of liberal progress to return to the worldview of some draconian date. No, the common folk should have a say; every street-sweeper should some vote enjoy, but tomorrow will be worse than today ifthe reins of power continue to be every man's toy.

Sean Lawlor Nelson

Addressing needs of the homeless

The recent, untimely death of Ashland's beloved homeless street comedian and sock-puppeteer, Bennett Tanner, is truly a tragic reality-check for a kind and intelligent community, which usually faces its elemental dramas with metaphor and stage-craft at one of our world famous theatres.

Bennett was a simple man who wanted mostly to know a sense of community, and to touch his fellow townspeople with light and ennobling sentiments, outrageous comedy routines, and several recently published philosophical essays.

Bennett died alone, and remained alone for weeks before his body was found, by his tent, in a grove of small trees just outside the boundaries of the old quarry site that local homeless advocates, including Bennett himself, have been proposing, for more than five years, be used as a homeless campground and eco-village.

Certainly there remains no better time than the present for this community to hear the reason and logic for supporting the concept of a homeless campground.

A five-member panel will be meeting this Thursday, Feb. 21, at 11:30 am. in the Ashland Public Library to consider and discuss possible solutions to the homelessness problem in Ashland. Advocates, activists and members of the homeless community would welcome anyone interested to let us know what you think.

Randy Dolinger

Heatfelt thanks for Holocaust


I am writing on behalf of the Havurah Shir Hadash community to express our deep gratitude to Mr. Leo Leyson, Holocaust Survivor, who spoke on Feb. 16 to a captive audience that filled our sanctuary. His words and his presence had a very deep impact that will not be forgotten.

Our heartfelt thanks to Dawn Lemanne on violin and Jennifer Schloming on piano for playing the theme song from the film "Schindler's List" in honor of Mr Leyson. We thank Deborah Rosenberg of SOU for introducing us to Mr. Leyson, and we especially wish to thank all those from Ashland, Medford and from as far away as Gold Hill and Grants Pass who came to honor and support this wonderful man in having the courage to share his story with us.

Last but not least, we are so grateful to Richard Moeschl, Revels editor, Myles Murphy at the Tidings, The Medford Tribune and Jefferson Public Radio for helping us publicize this important event with such short notice. Thanks to all of you.

Ayala Zonnenschein

Havurah Program Director

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