MOAG opposed

Well, isn’t this just special. A squirrel, identifying himself only as “Rocky,” tricks an unsuspecting Tidings’ subscriber into submitting to this paper its manifesto denying its species’ responsibility for the Good Friday Attack on the Ashland electrical grid. The Tidings contributes to the enabling by characterizing the submission as a “guest opinion.” The Unabomber must be thinking: “Hey, what about my stuff?”

The submission also denies two centuries of rodentology and even threatens military action. Need I do more than just note the marked similarity between a squirrel’s hairdo and those of Kim Jong Un and Steve Bannon?

Equally predictable, but more disturbing, was the human response to my letter of April 17 urgently advocating for the development of MOAG — the Mother of All Grids. For those who missed that letter, this plea followed the Good Friday Attack when a squirrel on a suicide mission (jihadi or Russki yet to be determined) entered a transformer and blew it, causing an electrical blackout in north Ashland for several hours. (The squirrel’s manifesto is nothing more than fake news and alternative facts.)

Not surprisingly, opposition on behalf of the squirrels’ constitutional right to travel (Art. II, Privileges & Immunities) swiftly and fiercely developed. A group of two dozen protestors arrived in the Plaza yesterday morning to let the public know of their outrage. They carried signs, e.g.: “ ’Nuts’ to MOAG”. They chanted the predictably familiar: “Squirrels were here before we were!”

Then, upon a secret signal, they suddenly became as quiet as, well, church mice. Suddenly, a spry woman clad in tie-dyed overalls and a Davy Crockett hat bounded onto a bench. She led the group in remarkably harmonious renditions of “The Chipmunk Song” and “Rocky Racoon.”

Just as unsurprisingly, the protesters were soon confronted by an equally boisterous counter-group consisting of transients and travelers. The latter are apparently angry that squirrels can sleep in the parks and they can’t. (Unwittingly raising equal protection and due process arguments under the 14th Amendment.)

The rodent rights crowd was undeterred. They turned to face the Ts and promptly changed their chant to: “We were here before you were!” A passing heckler challenged: “Squirrels aren’t people!” Three in the crowd retorted: “Are you familiar with Congress?”

Grab your Gideon bibles and stay tuned, ‘cuz “Rocky boy, this is a showdown.”

Craig McDonald


Walden's message

Obvious messages from Rep. Greg Walden’s town hall Friday were:

While he understands carbon (dioxide) is a problem, he disregards the effects of methane, a climate pollutant worse than carbon dioxide that escapes when gas leaks. Though natural gas is touted as ‘clean energy,’ this claim constitutes disinformation from the energy industry because the leaking methane absorbs heat like a blanket, making earth warmer. We can’t tolerate this much warmth!

The energy industry is one of Walden’s top contributors. Is this why he refuses to acknowledge that leakage from shale-fracked natural gas makes it worse than burning coal?

And then there’s his claim to be protecting our forests. Remember Smokey Bear? Though wildfire is a problem primarily driven by global warming, suppressing fire has added to the risk. But Walden blames fires on forest management and ignores the primary cause.

While acknowledges global warming and its human cause, he ignores the science. His support for climate deniers in Washington negates everything.

Walden should read the 2017 Third Oregon Climate Assessment Report, which concludes: “Oregon is warming and the consequences are, and will be, notable. A majority of Oregonians thinks that global warming is happening and is worried.”

Louise D. Shawkat


Thanks for key return

Let’s blame this whole thing on the dog, shall we? After all, the kids are too old to blame things on.

Said dog, recuperating from a surgery, allowed me to take him for a walk between Morton Street and the library. Flummoxed as I was, having to somehow attach his leash to a monstrous “healing” collar supplied by the vet, I was too distracted and dropped my keys, which as we all know, cost at least a whole paycheck to replace.

After walking all the way back to my very uphill Ashland abode with said dog, I proceeded to ransack car, dog and myself, to no avail. Lo and behold, and this is too good to believe in the “hard times” we live in right now, a good Samaritan found my keys and turned them in to the Ashland Police Department. I got a call, and people might not believe this, but the police drove my keys to my house!

I feel like I have won the lottery; not sure about that because I’ve never won. But thank you so much and you know who you are.

Leslie Levy and Sprocket


Walden dodges the question

I attended Congressman Greg Walden's public meeting in Medford last week and appreciated the opportunity to see and hear him in person.As the only Republican member of the Oregon congressional delegation, he has a special responsibility to represent his constituents interest in the face of massive change in federal activity related to air and water pollution.

The Republican leadership is on a campaign to weaken hard-won environmental pollution regulations in order to serve up a reward to the corporations which helped them gain power. One of the first actions of the president was to suspend the Clean Power Plan, which provided protection for thousands of people who might otherwise die prematurely from micro-particle air pollution.

When asked about this both in public and by letter, Walden responds by talking about how he has helped preserve scenic wilderness. This totally dodges the question, which is about air and water pollution. I wrote this in response to Walden's letter to me:

"I would appreciate a direct answer as to what you are doing for fine-particle pollution related to fossil fuel burning, like coal and wood, which kills Americans every day. The president, with the apparent blessing of your majority in Congress, has started to gut specific regulations designed to protect us from killing air pollution. Please consider opposing this unwise plan which is a threat to every American family. This is not about wilderness and beauty; it's about killing air and water pollution, which is invisible. Weakening air and water pollution regulations does not create jobs, but it does kill people!

Thank you for listening."

Larry Cooper