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Letters to the Editor, Jan. 23

Grateful for LNG opinion 

I was grateful for Diarmuid McGuire's thorough, accurate and very important commentary on the proposed natural gas pipeline across southwestern Oregon that Canadian oil companies are trying to pass off as a "public benefit."

Addressing the damage fossil fuels have done and continue doing, and the dreadful impact of the pipeline itself, he described in detail how this would be the exact opposite — indeed, a public disaster. I hope everyone who can will get or find their copy of the Jan. 21 Tidings, and read his comments or find the piece online at http://bit.ly/1ySzpch — then call, write or visit our political leaders and strongly urge them to refuse this plan!

Denise Miller, Ashland

Drop ski expansion

Eric Navickas’ suggestion to take the Mt. Ashland Ski Area expansion plan off the table is a virtual olive branch offering a way for our community to bind its wounds (Guest Opinion Tuesday, Jan. 20). We will be challenged enough, as warmer snow-less winters from climate change are likely to continue threatening our sturdy little Ark, the Mt. Ashland Ski Area.

I’ve seen friend Eric take a lot of heat for his persistence in defending the integrity of Ashland’s precious watershed, for which I honor him. I also honor the members and staff of the Mt. Ashland Association who give their best to provide a setting for the enjoyment of winter sports.

However, during many years now, since first proposed, I've watched our community become increasingly polarized over the issue, which hangs heavy like an albatross around our neck. I have suffered from the ongoing strife, having been both avid skier and wildlands and environmental advocate.

Now, the evidence is in and we cannot avoid it. Climate change is impacting snow and ice conditions, not only here but worldwide (ref: Chris Honoré: The Lewis Glacier on Mount Kenya — an elegy). We feel relieved at the prospect of the Mt. Ashland Association removing its albatross, the expansion plan, to restore peace to our community, and joining ranks to collaborate in creative responses to this pressing crisis of our times.

John and Dot Fisher-Smith

Bravo to the Tidings

The Tidings printed a cartoon with Muhammad pictured in it! Bravo! (Voices section, “Another View” cartoon by Rogers.) In it, a ravaged Muhammad bemoans the killing in his name. An over-fat Buddha decries the genocide in Burma in his name. Jesus, looking frazzled, mourns over the Crusades and the Inquisition in his name. Thank you, Tidings, for honoring Ashland and the victims of violent attacks in the name of religion.

If every paper or media outlet in the world would publish a cartoon, joke and/or writing the day following an attack, even deluded, violent fanatics would learn that their actions hurt rather than help their cause. Free speech is mankind's greatest liberty because all freedoms follow. Hitler, Stalin, all psychotic maniacs wouldn't last a minute against free speech.

This cartoon speaks to all age groups, nationalities, faiths and literacy levels. Wordy news often confuses more than it explains, especially talk TV. Cartoons convey truth through irony. They are opinion, but often go right to the heart of the straight story. In the wild West, many a newspaper against slavery was shot up. In Mexico now, papers against drug cartels risk murder and destruction. This proves that the pen remains mightier than the maniac.

Every time a journalist is jailed, tortured or murdered anywhere we, as a democracy, are the victims. If the world reacted together decisively, the terrorists' weapon of fear would be useless instantly. Humor is the silver bullet against crazy bullies. No insane dictator, Aryan Nation screwball or religious zealot can take a joke about themselves because they are, innately, so terribly ridiculous.

Let's hold up the mirror to evil together, world. Show ugly, absurd, mass murder for what it is. Follow the example of the Tidings. Bravo!

Leah E.V. Ireland, Ashland