No more paving; Health care reform; Education for all

No more paving

I read the Aug. 13 article "RVTD eyes rapid transit" and need to express myself in regard to the idea of Jackson County doing more paving work. Already so much paving and redoing has been going on in this area that seemed unnecessary; the money could have been better spent on helping troubled schools. I believe that it would be a grave mistake to do more and more paving so that buses could be used to transport people between Ashland and Central Point. We already have the railroad tracks.

As a former long-time resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, I fully believe in rail systems to help traffic congestion. It would be a waste of money to pave such a distance, plus more pollution would be created, adding to the serious effects of greenhouse gases and global warming which should have been thought about 25 years ago. Humans need to wake up to the fact that global warming is a true immediate crisis. By adding gas-guzzling, smoke-producing, polluting buses we would be adding to the serious problems already existing.

Nina Council

Ashland

Health care reform

The spectacle of people protesting against the very health care they want and need is a cruel demonstration of how effectively information can be manipulated to keep things as they are, and how politicians can work openly, not for better health care, but to thwart a new president. Health care quickly stopped being about health care and became a strategy for a defeated party to swiftboat anything proposed by this administration.

The opposition is not about facts. It is about keeping profits flowing using any means necessary, including sabotaging truth. We are the only modern nation that does not have a government-run health care system for all. We do have Medicare — a single payer, government funded system — that is popular and successful. Yet the rest of our health insurance is controlled by private entities whose profitability can only be made by dumping sick people and denying claims. Perhaps most tellingly, no member of Congress is willing to give up their current government-provided health care for any plan being proposed for you.

If a health care bill passes without a government-funded public option, it is not reform.

Allan Peterson

Ashland

Education for all

The first Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients of the Obama Administration were honored this month. Three of these agents of change honored by the president — Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mary Robinson and Muhammad Yunus — have called for the creation of a global fund for education to ensure every child has a chance to go to school.

Seventy-five million children, over half of which are girls, are still not in school. Education is a basic human right and essential to the development of healthy children, strong communities and productive countries. Studies show that each additional year of education for a girl beyond grade three or four will lead on average to 20 percent higher wages and a 10 percent decrease in the risk of her own children dying of preventable causes.

Prevention of HIV/AIDS is so strongly associated with school attendance that education has been called a social vaccine against the virus.

President Obama should heed the call of the moral leaders he has just honored and make good on his campaign commitment to create a Global Fund for Education.

Daniel Guy

Medford