The Fourth of July, the most bittersweet of all holidays, is soon upon us. It's bittersweet when you think of how the brilliance of our Founding Fathers was wasted on the American people.
For example, a woman once asked Benjamin Franklin, “What kind of government did you give us?” As if having a premonition that the American people would get stuck on stupid, he replied “a republic, madam, if you can keep it.”
Today, ask anyone on the street what kind of government we have and they would either fog over or wrongly tell you a democracy. Only a handful of Libertarians and patriots would correctly tell you it's a constitutional limited republic.
Ask the purpose of government and only Libertarians and patriots would correctly answer: to protect our pre-existing rights of life, liberty, and property.
To see how far we have slipped, we now have a full-court press on our personal rights by everyone from the Supreme Court and its horrendous medical marijuana opinion to John McCain's assault on the 1st, 2nd, 9th, and 10th amendments, to Toledo's assault on personal property rights with the smoking ban and gun-control legislation.
Our economic freedoms have also been compromised. Through the legal plunder of government we now are provided with everything from sex-change operations to stadiums. We have become little more than sacrificial animals at the altar of the state, at the whim of those who have bonded or given to their favorite politician. Everyone now lives at the expense of everyone else - which is socialism, and socialism has been a complete and total failure throughout history.
This year patriots will be watching the rockets' red glare through tears spawned by the thought of a country that could have been.
Sen. James Jeffords is a modern-day Benedict Arnold. This senator from the liberal, socialist state of Vermont jumped ship - more precisely, he was bought off by the Democrats. Our liberal friend from Vermont well knows what he has done and is nothing short of a traitor. He has been around from the time of the President's father and the agenda has not changed. He did not change parties then. Now all of a sudden, he wants us to believe he just had to change parties as a matter of conscience.
When the Democrats were the clear majority and he could not get the influence from tipping the balance of power, he was content to stay a Republican. Now that it just so happens he can get himself a really important chairmanship of the Environment Committee, he has a problem with his conscience. What bull! Welcome to the new, 21st century, Benedict Arnold of America!
I believe the state of Vermont should demand a new election. Anyone changing parties (in either direction) after an election is not representing his or her voters' direction. Senator Jeffords was elected on the Republican Party ticket and platform. Vermont should take this one to the courts if necessary. He has no credibility with his peers, his voters, and his fellow countrymen. As a lifelong Republican, I say good riddance.
Sen. James Jeffords' action was fully legal and involved no moral issues. Still, his action would have been less complicating at election time or at the annual startup of Congress. It did mean the loss of Senate control by the Republicans. Losing his position as majority leader tends to justify the early negative remarks by Sen. Trent Lott.
The Democrats, while obviously pleased with the improvement in their Senate status, accepted the change with some reserve. The new majority leader, Tom Daschle, is to be commended for his attempt to further the bipartisan attitude within the Senate. Should this develop further, some benefit will be gained from this power transfer.
Finally, from the standpoint of our country it has been good to observe how well all concerned reacted both politically and legally in line with the Constitution. This transfer took place calmly and with no anger or demonstrations. To the credit of the United States, no turmoil, as might well take place in other countries, was required. All Americans should be proud that the aftermath of the startling decision could be fulfilled in such a quiet and peaceful manner.
OLAN D. SNAVELY
Many Republican political hacks, whether local or otherwise, claimed the Democrats were sore losers when they lost the election. Now the time has come for Republicans like Rush Limbaugh to complain about Sen. James Jeffords' sudden change in party affiliation. I often wonder if Senator Jeffords may have bolted the GOP for selfish reasons, but to suggest that he should resign rather than give the Democrats control of the Senate is irresponsible.
Let this be a lesson for those who vote. The American people should start voting for candidates' views on the issues, rather than the political party he or she belongs to. What goes around, comes around. Nobody likes a sore loser.
MICHAEL M. CASSIDY
Regarding the loss of the Southwyck Art Cinema, it is unconscionable that a metropolitan area the size of Toledo seems unable to support even one venue for showing the very best of what is arguably the most potent, versatile, democratic, and universally compelling and beloved of contemporary art forms - motion pictures. Surely a community that is able to garner support for so many other worthy cultural organizations and institutions can afford to subsidize a viable and permanent art cinema.
Perhaps the local arts, film, and business community can find some way to ensure that at least one screen in the Toledo area will remain dedicated to bringing a steady flow of highly acclaimed alternative films to our area (hints that the Franklin Mall 6 Theater may pick up some of the slack are at least encouraging).
As someone who absolutely relishes everything from classic Herzog, Fassbinder, Fellini, Kurosawa, Bergman, and Woody Allen art/foreign films to edgy contemporary works like Requiem For A Dream or American Beauty and even lush, evocative “chick flicks” like Remains of the Day, it is difficult for me to imagine how people are not literally marching in the streets to demand more such fabulous films, both from the major studios and from independent film makers.
However, the repeated failures of local art cinemas indicate that there are serious economic and logistical problems that need to be addressed here. Proactive outreach, education, and promotion, such as that undertaken by the Toledo Museum of Art vis- -vis the visual arts, for example, might help generate a much larger and more enthusiastic audience base for a permanent Toledo art film venue. In any case, there simply must be a way. Toledo deserves nothing less.
Due to the numerous negative comments on the editorial page and in the Peach section, it looks like The Blade has revised its policy regarding political attacks on the president's children since George Bush has been in the White House.
Right on, Linda Bowles! Right on, Rush Limbaugh! Go against nature instead of working with it. Profits are to be made, right on. Water the deserts for fruits and vegetables. Pave the prime farmland for subdivisions and malls, right on. Disregard the loss of flora and fauna, even though the loss be our history, heritage, or a medicinal cure. Carbon dioxide for air, arsenic for water, right on. Global warming and low water levels are not related. No clear plan for disposal of nuclear waste is better than solar and wind energy, right on.
The “right on” right was never so wrong and off.