Government makes it hard to feel pride
As I watched the July parade and afterward walked among the booths I felt a strange disconnect.
Amy Goodman's July 6 column hit the nail on the proverbial head. She verbalized my growing discontent about our government's actions. How can I feel pride in my country on July Fourth or any other day when our government "has been the prime global opponent of democratic movements" and "drone strikes and the prison at Guantanamo are crimes committed by own government," as Goodman asserts.
The Obama administration seeks to silence whistleblowers like Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden who revealed our government's war crimes. Instead of honoring Snowden, we get a snow job of official lies. The NSA has become the laughing stock of the world. It might be funny if surveillance of all our actions were not prelude to a police state.
I applaud the Tidings for having the courage to print Goodman's columns. As she says, "Grass roots justice movements are the hope, the beacon, the force that will save this country." Each of us must ask ourselves, "What am I doing to counter our government's propaganda and lies?"
Letting others get a word in edgewise
Happiness is in large part a product of how well we relate to other people. Talking is basically how we do it.
This letter is about helping the quiet people among us — especially if there's a young child living in a talkative family. Most of us are better talkers than listeners. That quiet child ("QC") who may be in your family has thoughts that want to come out. But, for many families there's seldom a lull in the conversation when our QC could get a word in edgewise. And, if our QC thinks more slowly, Great Scott and Little Fish Hooks, that sliver of opening zaps by, leaving our QC unspoken.
To those who talk easily I beckon you to frequently zip the mouth/ego and allow several seconds of quiet to go by, ask "How do you do ..." questions of interest to the QC and listen closely to what s/he says. You will be helping to make a child happier.
P.S. I read of a family reunion when everyone was an adult. When the more talkative members asked a quiet member why s/he hadn't shared more, s/he said "I never had the chance."
Please don't block mobility walkway
With the Ashland Chamber of Commerce's Fourth of July parade behind us, can we talk about access and courtesy? Maybe even — as we near the 23rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act — can we talk about respect for the law?
On Wednesday afternoon, the day before the holiday parade, several people obstructed the mobility walkway that leads to Jackson County Library Services' Ashland library. The walkway was cluttered with blankets and boards, creating an uneven surface and obstacles to safely navigating the path.
I believe these obstructions would have entirely blocked someone using a wheelchair. As it was, they posed a tripping hazard to this patron, who walks assisted by a cane.
I urge library workers to please monitor the walkway during hours that lead up to a parade. And I urge Ashland residents to please keep the walkway clear.
A community tradition of staking your claim to curbside viewing space does not allow you to entirely obstruct a mobility access walkway. Your convenience does not trump my right to safely access public facilities. Thank you for reading.
Beware ye who would drive, park
Driving and parking in Ashland is not for the faint of heart!