On July 4, we celebrated the 225th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, when the original 13 American colonies decided to separate themselves from England. Our Founding Fathers considered the constant meddling in colonial affairs by the British government too restrictive and oppressive. Within a few short years after winning their independence, a constitution was adopted and the United States was founded. Filled with a spirit of freedom and independence, the people of this new nation began expanding westward across the continent.
Considering the modern American citizen's increasing dependence on the federal government, one wonders, “How did these early Americans do it?”
Without waiting for a Department of Transportation to build roads for them, they forged ahead into the wilderness.
They built towns and villages without the aid of a Housing and Urban Development Department.
These early settlers cleared land for farms and felled trees for material to build their homes free from an intrusive Environmental Protection Agency.
Lacking a Department of Education, they were still able to build schools and hire teachers to educate their children.
Most important of all, by their own efforts and hard work, these settlers were able to feed and clothe themselves and their offspring with no governmental aid.
How different the attitude of many modern-day Americans. They demand more and more federal programs in their lives - national health care, prescription drug aid, housing assistance, school lunches, educational assistance, and on and on.
Aided and abetted by power-hungry, unscrupulous, liberal congressional politicians who are willing to buy votes with more federal assistance, many citizens are willing to give up more of their freedoms and independence for these handouts.
How many years will it be before, instead of celebrating Independence Day on July 4, we will be observing National Dependence Day?
VINCENT R. RICHARD
Talmadge Green Road
My refund check arrived today. Thanks to my “ever caring” President Bush, it is the incredibly generous sum of $39.75!
Hey, I'd better not spend it all in one place. Perhaps take the neighbors' idea and send it to help Dick Cheney pay his electric bill. Sure won't pay my bill.
Could be another IRS computer glitch and decimal in wrong place, resulting in $39, not the promised $300.
Only in America can a goofy presidential election create these goofy pitiful checks. Do they need it more than I do? No way!
Maybe I'll mail it to my leader, George W., and let him splurge.
Is it really necessary for the government to have two mailings regarding the tax-relief checks - one to tell us how much we are getting and another sending what we are getting? I'm sure the cost of printing, paper, clerical time, etc. add up.
Then I read in The Blade that some of the letters are wrong and corrections need to be sent. Undoubtedly there are bigger examples of waste in our government, but savings need to start somewhere. Maybe taxpayers should send letters containing the adage “pennies make dimes and dimes make dollars” or “a penny saved is a penny earned” to all of our government agencies and offices.
As a single mother of three boys who works fulltime and receives zero child support from the boys' father, I was eagerly awaiting my refund check. Oh, the things we could have used it for.
Then I got the letter informing me I will not get a refund, but there is always next year.
So if there are any Republicans out there who are so confident in George W. Bush that they don't want theirs, I could really use it.
Why a tax refund? There is a better way.
The tax refund money would be better spent by reducing our national debt and/or shoring up Social Security.
I'd like my children to have a debt-free government and be able to count on Social Security when they retire.
Someone asked me what I planned to do with my tax-cut refund. I told them I was going to pay my Perrysburg water bill with it. Kind of adds a new meaning to “taking a bath on your taxes.”
Maybe when Carty Finkbeiner has finished his term he could get a job as the mean and evil troll that would guard the new bridge being built from Maumee to Perrysburg.
His job would be to see that not one drop of water crosses over to Perrysburg without the residents paying an extraordinary premium.
I know he would do a great job. He's been doing it from downtown for years.
I have a name that would be perfect for the new I-280 bridge: The Ernest M. McSorley Memorial bridge, in honor of the Toledoan who was the captain of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, which sank on Nov. 10, 1975.
Or possibly name the bridge the Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial Bridge. Twenty-nine men lost their lives that day; 14 were Ohioans, four from Toledo.
The tragedy of this vessel is known worldwide. Many visitors would recognize the name as they crossed that bridge. To ignore our ties to this historic event would be doing our city a great disservice.
Another fact to consider is that the Fitzgerald always docked near the Craig Memorial Bridge. During my teen years I would often visit those docks and gaze in amazement at that ship, its immense size always fascinating me. If my understanding is correct, the new bridge would cross near those docking areas. This new structure would be a perfect monument to the Fitzgerald and her crew.
MARK D. FUQUEA
I am a veteran who served in Vietnam and I certainly honor all those who have served and sacrificed in our armed forces. However, placing the tired and overused appellation of Veterans Memorial Bridge on this new and unique structure crossing the historic Maumee River is no tribute to anyone and will relegate this wonderful bridge to the same obscurity as all other structures with similar names.
I believe that local publicity-seeking politicians, and professional veterans should bug out.
The bridge should have a name of historical significance and importance to this area like that of Edward Drummond Libbey or Peter Navarre, Mad Anthony (I like it), Morrison R. Waite, Maj. Gen. James B. Steedman, Maj. Gen. James W. Fuller, or “Golden Rule” Jones. Even the name of Lincoln's favorite cartoon character in The Blade, Petroleum V. Nasby, might be considered. There are many other possibilities.
When an obviously right-wing Republican extremist wrote in to say that she would be glad to take any unwanted tax-cut checks, it made me think of a quote by Mort Sahl:
“Liberals feel unworthy of their possessions, but conservatives feel they are entitled to everything they've stolen!”
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