Letters to the editor

As the Tao fluctuates, the rich benefit

Lately, people have been talking a lot about the Tao. The Tao is up, they say, or, the Tao is down. But Lao Tzu said the Tao is neither here nor there, so who can understand it? Little decimal-pointed numbers flow by on the screen, what does it all mean? Philosophers abound, diverse amid their fanciful theories that matter not. The only stark truth is: The crying baby still needs his or her milk. Period.

The day gold rose to $1,000 per ounce, I was standing in line to sell a 10K gold wire friendship ring. The lady ahead of me was buying gold coins. The store guy was carefully lowering stacks of them into a box for her.

"Bet you're selling a lot of those," she said.

"We can hardly keep up with demand," he said.

"Hedge against inflation," she commented as she left.

I got $12 for the ring. Woo-hoo! But I've been thinking about that lady's top-dollar purchase ever since she started losing money on her investment from day one.

Now, the stock market's acting just like the gold market, going up and down like a yo-yo. Very interesting. I wonder who might benefit from the "crisis." Like gold coins, only people with lots of liquid assets can buy foreclosures from the auction block. The rich benefit all the way around. Companies fire employees to make their stocks go up.

But I wonder where do all the people go who lose their jobs and their homes? I pray they are treated very kindly.

Patti Morey


Thanks for Navickas' vote against Mt. A

My thanks to Councilor Eric Navickas for his opposition to the Mt. Ashland expansion and for voting against the $85,000 settlement with the Mt. Ashland Association.

Ashland has a pristine water source, an extraordinary treasure most other communities lack. Replacement sources are inferior in quality and not subject to our control.

As global warming is accelerating and water is becoming the world's most precious resource, acceding to any threat — ski area expansion or any other — to Ashland's drinking water is self-defeating. It is the City Council's duty to "interfere with the expansion" for the long-term benefit of its residents and visitors.

Frances Dunham


Snowless Mt. A does not need expansion

Alongside the file photo from January 3, 2004 of snowy Mt. Ashland that appeared in Wednesday's (Dec. 3) Tidings, it would have been sobering for readers to see a photo of Mt. Ashland as it is today: totally bare of snow, with only sunny skies predicted for the coming days. Mother Nature may be warning us about global climate chaos.

Does expansion make sense? I don't think so.

Dot Fisher-Smith


A poetic look at a nasty parasite

Something has to be done when the public trust falters. Such is the case now in an Ashland city park.

Mistle Epistle

In Lithia Park a walk today

Shows startling colors and liquid light;

All those maples and golden oaks

Standing tall and free of blight

From the green-toed parasite

But, away from the city center's crowds

Another park on its oaky knoll

Has golden oaks now dying green

So neglected have they been

Deciduous becoming evergreen ...

... and dead!

Beautiful oaks, now a pitiful sight

From the green-toed parasite!

That this park is also a golf course matters not at all to the resident trees dying there awaiting care. An earlier letter to the Mail Tribune had no effect whatsoever. Here's hoping the Tidings resonates better with the city's caretakers.

May the muse move you!

Ron Snowden


It's time to get in the Christmas spirit

I'd like to make a few suggestions on how we as a community can make this a brighter and jollier Christmas season.

Before I say anything controversial, I'll put it out there that I like Christmas, not only the spirit of charity and humanity, but the opportunity to splurge on awesome gadgets and gifts. I like raindeer, elves, spiked eggnog and merry, colorful lights.

But huge displays of lights are a caricature of the Christmas spirit. The energy required for these and other extravagances has to be extorted from all around the world at missile point. Ashland businesses may think they're impressing locals and tourists with their ocean of holiday light, but the more thoughtful fish will swim off in search of a more conscientious, down-to-earth place. I tell you the truth: We invaded Iraq to power Christmas light displays.

Next, I'd like to urge those who can to help the community in two ways.

One is by helping out the inmates of the Jackson County jail, where the treatment is inhumane and the food inadequate. (They've now even cut voluntary AA and NA meetings.)

Secondly, RVMC's psych division will close if they can't raise millions. In our society, many people have breakdowns and need help getting back on their feet. The staff there really go the extra mile and it would be a shame.

On a lighter note, a holly jolly Christmas to you all!

Sean Lawlor Nelson


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