Letters to the Editor

Compassion necessary amid changes in society

Ashlanders and other locals are properly concerned about adults and children who are homeless and hungry. But let us avoid demonizing those among us who are victimized by conditions over which they have little or no control. And, please, let's not mention "the impact on tourism" or we shall soon find "enemies of the people" amongst us.

Since the founding of this nation, there have been centripetal social forces that bound us together as a community (omitting, as we prefer to do, slavery, racism, and the genocide of American Indians), but for more than 100 years now, the centrifugal forces have dominated or even exploded, driven by the corporate capitalist, "free market," self-seeking, "every-man-for himself-and-the-devil-take-the-hindmost" philosophy.

In short, the idea of "community," if not actually dead, has been vitiated and attenuated by selfishness, consumerism and economic anxieties generated by our economic philosophy and by the takeover of our media and our politics by the forces of greed and selfishness.

Reminder: "Who is my neighbor? Those who show compassion." Americans like to believe that is how they are but the test is when push comes to shove. In a time of economic depression, when the top 10 percent of our people have more than 80 percent of all wealth, and when there is depression-level unemployment and underemployment — a collective or social problem, not an individual one; and when our economy is still shifting jobs overseas: and when our weak and fragile social security network is under continual attack — then social pathologies such as homelessness proliferate.

The need to act collectively and socially and with compassion grows even more necessary. Joining together and sharing our resources proportionately (that means the richest must contribute out of their superfluity), we can rationally and effectively provide the essentials for those in need, and all this without disturbing the peace. This is not only a challenge; it is a duty.

Gerald Cavanaugh


Which party is really

fiscally responsible?

The Republican Party has long referred to itself as the party of fiscal responsibility. According to debt information laid out in fiscal years and provided by the OMB — Office of Management and Budget, a non-partisan department of government, nothing could be further from the truth.

Democratic presidents:

Carter (1978-1981) -$0.143 trillion

Clinton (1993-1996) $0.733 trillion

Clinton (1997-2001) -$0.235 trillion

Obama (2010) $1.785 trillion

Total: $2.140 trillion

Republican presidents:

Reagan (1982-1985) $1.288 trillion

Reagan (1986-1989) $1.355 trillion

Bush Sr. (1990-1993) $1.531 trillion

Bush Jr. (2002-2005) $1.794 trillion

Bush Jr. (2006-2009) $3.142 trillion

Total: $9.110 trillion

Folks, that's 4.25 to 1, in favor of the Democrats, including all the money Obama had to spend in an effort to clean up George W. Bush's mess.

I feel much more comfortable getting information about the debt from the non-partisan Office of Management and Budget, rather than from Fox News or the John Birch Society.

Ed Dillon


Political correctness does injustice to Christians

As per your article on Christmas tree decor, in paragraph 11 it states no Christian or Jewish religious symbols such as angels, nativity or menorahs should be on the tree. Yet it goes on to say other religious symbols from other religions can be used!

What is with this? In all your political correctness you are discriminating against the very faiths that brought us Christmas. If one voice makes a difference, then, "I object."

Barbara Adams


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