'I did support public education'

Contrary to Diarmuid McGuire's July 5 letter, I did not assume that "reach" schools meant rich ones; Diarmuid did. I did assume that Ashland High School guidance counselors gave suitable advice to seniors; Diarmuid did not and may be right.

Contrary to Diarmuid's letter, I did (and do) support public education, which is why I ran for the school board. The problems of a quality education at AHS, which I sought to address, abide. For even with a "geographical" advantage, even most of the best AHS students cannot compete at the better eastern schools &

a comment on education in Ashland. Many cannot gain admittance to major Oregon universities, themselves not among the best, only deemed so by Oregon's rah-rah boosters.

Typical of Ashland, Diarmuid thinks that criticism reflects a lack of support rather than a support for something better than the district's failed and still-failing policies and practices.

Good luck to future students in a city and district in which adults, especially parents, are unwilling to talk straight about problems at home or at school, only about those far away &

in the Middle East or the mid-Atlantic states.

Michael L. Hays

Treatment of parade animals

I enjoyed Ashland's Fourth of July parade until a beautiful horse and his rider stopped in front of me to perform a "trick."

The red smear on the horse's belly where the rider had been applying his spur was most certainly blood.

According to a Web article entitled "How To Choose The Correct Type Of Spur For Horse Riding": A spur is not to inflict pain on to a horse, it is to help with precision movements and to allow for a subtle cue rather than having to kick the horse.

In the future, I hope parade officials will pay closer attention to the humane treatment of all the animals used in our parades.

Karla Clements


Anthem about War of 1812

One thing that drives me absolutely crazy is the knee-jerk far left and the ultraconservative far right pointing out supposed "facts" to prove their very weak position. Case in point is Ambuja Rosen's July 6 letter.

First of all, she has the wrong war; the words to our national anthem were written during the War of 1812. Secondly, it was the British doing the "bombing"; Francis Scott Key wrote this as he was being held by the British aboard a ship while Ft. McHenry was being bombarded by the British. When dawn broke, the American flag was still flying. During this war, much of the U.S. was occupied but the British morale was low, and it looked as though the American experiment might fail.

Key's words expressed his pride in this new nation, the definite underdog during this conflict, holding its own against what was then the world's mightiest empire.

Now to more errors &

the colonists didn't "bomb" anyone. Unlike the current conflict in Iraq, civilian casualties were minimal (probably more died in Mel Gibson's "The Patriot"). Murder? Only in the stupidity of the British wearing bright red coats, which made them a very visible target. The war was not won because one side killed more of the other; many factors besides colonial chutzpah contributed to the American victory. As to artificial boundaries &

this would take another letter, but I am sure some Scottish and Welsh nationalists could give you an earful.

Now, does anyone know the other verses?

Debra Barth