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Published: Friday, 12/22/2000

Powell appointment sends wrong message

Don't get me wrong, I like Colin Powell. I might have even considered voting for him had he chosen to run for president. After all, one of the roles of our nation's top office is that of commander in chief and some of our presidents have had military careers before moving into the Oval Office.

But I find George W. Bush's nomination of Gen. Powell as secretary of state to border on absurdity. The secretary of state is to be a diplomat, by the very nature of that office. It is antithetical to appoint a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as our nation's top foreign policy adviser, and it sends the wrong message to other countries. It is the job of the State Department to improve foreign relations and prevent war.

Gen. Powell is the wrong man for this job. I would respect and honor him as the secretary of defense in the new administration. His long career within the military should preclude his appointment as secretary of state. The remarks he made at his nomination show him to be a militarist. It frightens me to think of how this will be perceived by the rest of the world.

With the kind of logic Mr. Bush used in this appointment, possibly he will look to the CEO of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. to become the secretary of Health and Human Services.

CAROL A. SCHWARTZ

Cloister Court

It is interesting that the liberal media consider the color of someone's skin or their ethnic background more important than their credentials. The announcement of Colin Powell's pending appointment as secretary of state failed to mention that he is articulate, well respected, intelligent, and knowledgeable. He is also probably one of the very few people in this country capable of re-establishing trust and respect that has been wasted by the Clinton-Gore administration over the last eight years.

Our liberal multiculturist friends are always telling us that we should all be treated equally and that color should not make a difference. Yet, when we sit down to read the paper or listen to the news, color or ethnic background seems to be the first thing that is important to them. When will they ever figure out that honesty, responsibility, and integrity are much more important than the color of a person's skin?

George W. Bush is picking a Cabinet, not filling a bunch of colored squares.

ALAN KINKER

Cherrylawn Drive

We are literally talking apples and oranges when grocery stores are the only place to get a flu vaccination.

Since stores such as Kroger and Food Town purchased most of Toledo's flu vaccine, there was none available for my mother's doctor. Thus, Mom found herself waiting in a line towered over by walls lined with boxes of Reunite, chips, and Bounty towels. She received her vaccination between cartons of Campbell's mushroom soup and Pillsbury Pineapple Cake mixes. We were accompanied by persons aided with walkers, canes, artificial legs, hip replacements (we talked a lot), and wheelchairs. One feisty lady needed assistance when her legs could no longer support her.

I understand the stores have ordered flu vaccine for next year. How nice that our elderly, frail, and at-risk adults once again will be standing in a cattle line to receive flu shots. How sad that they will not be able to make appointments at their doctors' offices and wait in warm, comfortable chairs.

Yes, I'm sure there are people who need this public service to receive their flu shots. And I appreciate that. But it is selfish and irresponsible for food providers to place health providers in a position to say, “Get your flu shot wherever you can. I can't get any vaccine - it's all gone.”

JODY GOINS

Sylvania

Your editorial “A tainted prize” altered the dissent of Justice John Paul Stevens in a way that supports your point but perhaps not his. Justice Stevens wrote: “... the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.”

You wish to make this a condemnation of the U.S. Supreme Court. What you neglect is that Justice Stevens agreed with the majority in both cases that the Florida Supreme Court was wrong with regard to the rule of law. His dissent in the second case was about the remedy. His comments are at least equally aimed at the Florida Supreme Court as his own colleagues.

I think that your vitriol would be better turned on the Florida Supreme Court. Had it stayed with the deadlines set out by the Florida legislature, this case should have reached the Supreme Court 7-10 days ahead of the Dec 12 deadline and a full, fair recount would have been possible.

Under those circumstances, I believe that a 6-3 majority would have ordered such a recount. The hurry was not for legal justice but political advantage. The Florida Supreme Court and the Gore legal team recognized the powerful edge that certification represented in political terms and they were willing to risk the legal process in the hope of gaining that political edge. That is the departure from the rule of law which ultimately defeated Mr. Gore before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Thankfully, Vice President Gore has more grace and concern for the nation's future than The Blade exhibited.

JOSEPH McGEE

Sylvania

Your Dec. 15 editorial “A tainted prize” reflects a mind-set of sour grapes and whining. Your candidate lost the election based on the law of the land and the Electoral College vote. Vice President Gore certainly echoed the feeling of most of the country in his fine concession speech. It's time to support the president-elect and help make this country better than the wonderful land it is.

How will the country benefit if a total recount is conducted by the press? They have been quite visible on most fronts in their opposition to President-elect Bush. I have no doubts that a true recount would prove that Mr. Bush won Florida.

Please give us no more negativity. Try some encouraging words for a change.

CHARLES L. CROMLY

Greenridge Lane

As usual The Blade forgot how to count. George W. Bush won the vote and two recounts in Florida, but the Florida Democrats, assisted by Democratic carpetbaggers, kept trying to count Mr. Bush out. Thankfully it was too much even for our liberal Supreme Court to stomach, and they put a stop to it.

President-elect Bush won the election, and all the moaning and groaning cannot change it.

The Blade should set the proper example by offering the new regime its full support.

RALPH W. BAILEY

Bateman Street

Every morning and evening, I drive past the Toledo Museum of Art, and my heart breaks. Please, someone explain the museum renovation - cutting down old beautiful trees, ripping out marble stairways, and purchasing a $4.1 million hunk of metal that has no relevance to the museum or its environs. Toledo is not home to the Guggenheim, the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, or the MOMA.

Alexander Calder is one of my favorite artists. I especially love his mobiles. However, this particular orange dinosaur-look-alike would look better on the streets or in a park in Chicago.

In the museum's rush to be au courant, it is losing perspective on its historical and cultural place in Toledo.

SANDRA KIRKLAND

North Cove Boulevard



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