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Letters, Sept. 11

Barone’s dishonesty is dangerous

As he often does, Michael Barone seems to think that math and logic as well as science are a Democratic conspiracy. In his column, “Were the coronavirus lockdowns a mistake,” he makes several erroneous conclusions.

First, he seems to think that 186,000 coronavirus deaths in the U.S. are not a problem.

Second, in comparing the current .055% death rate of coronavirus in the U.S. to the total death rate of the Asian and Hong Kong flus, he forgets to calculate that those epidemics lasted on average for two years, whereas we are less than eight months into this pandemic. Having a similar percentage of deaths already, and many more dying daily, is definitely not “about the same magnitude as those two flus.“ Even a straight-line extension of the math would show that the magnitude of this pandemic in the U.S. will likely cause at least three times the percentage of deaths, more than both of those epidemics put together.

Next, he assumes that if the states had not had any “lockdown,” the current U.S. death toll would not be higher, which is a startling assumption. Many states with no shutdowns experienced much higher numbers than states that had early shutdowns.

He appears to subscribe to the notion that recommended protocols are just Democrats being “risk-adverse.” This is a worldwide issue in which every country, including Sweden, has demanded some level of shutdown. We are in a global pandemic. The virus doesn’t take sides. It is the administration in Washington and pundits like Barone that have turned it into a political controversy instead of a well-coordinated, highly supported national effort.

Spreading these dishonest claims is not only wrong, but dangerous, as the numbers in our country continue to rise dramatically, Jackson County is currently on the governor’s “watch list,” and in Ashland alone the COVID positive cases have increased 50% in the past two weeks!

It is commendable that the Tidings publishes alternative views, but not when they spread misleading and dangerous information.

Kathryn and Barry Thalden


Choosing democracy

Corporate interests own our so-called democratic system. The only way we’ll ever have a democracy is when we’ve amended our Constitution to institute a direct popular vote, eliminating the Electoral College altogether; outlawing political parties and donations exceeding $2,500 from any source outside the IRS-allocated funding; and reversing the Citizens United decision, declaring only human citizens have constitutional rights.

If Biden wins, there’s a chance we can create a groundswell of unity to demand peace-making in place of war; justice in place of the cops/courts/prison industry; and community-building to supplant the despicable exploitations of our culture’s profit-and-control obsession.

If Trump wins, we’re likely in for more cold war with China and North Korea, empire-building by Russia, isolation from our former allies and a possible invasion of Venezuela. Militancy of the police will increase, along with further erosion of our liberties. When Trump’s monarchy ends, we’ll be cast into utter chaos.

James L. Moore


Ashland City Council

Whatever the merits of the policy of “fiscal responsibility” may seem to be, the determination of the ACES alliance to shanghai the Ashland City Council through an affiliation of four candidates with a united and uncompromising agenda is a bad idea. A political bloc such as this would possess sweeping autonomy in all areas of local policy beyond economic theory.

Furthermore, the introduction of political shenanigans despised at a national level seems wholly unproductive when attempted locally, particularly at this time of considerable distress. Indeed, we do not need further controversy, and many among us are obviously exhausted by continual bitterness.

Fortunately, we do not have to vote for a political faction, as other candidates with individual and open-minded perspectives are willing to offer their services. Required is calm, wise representation, considerate of all points of view, that can inspire and strengthen the community towards a better tomorrow.

Julian Hamer


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