Our brains are dull. After 9/11, anything goes.
The misery we will have upon invading Iraq, with no provocation, will be immense and unending.
You can hear the war machine cranking up, with all its rationalizations. Major killings will be unavoidable, and disastrous. More war and killing will follow.
Will President Bush commit his daughters to fight this war? Of course not.
Will Richard Perle commit his family to fight this war? It's always someone else's son or daughter that must do the killing, and be killed, not the politicians'.
We are a nation with many weapons of mass destruction. Who decided we are the nation of the virtuous?
Look around. In our immense wealth, where is our commitment to help the poor nations of the world and alleviate their suffering?
That's the place to start, not bombing the hell out of innocent citizens of Iraq. But that is what your elected politicians are about to do.
The Blade's July 14 editorial on the Ohio Drug Treatment Initiative sums up opponents' arguments against it. Readers will want to consider information in support of this issue also.
The initiative would provide treatment instead of prosecution or jail time for non-violent, first- or second-time drug possession offenders only. Drug traffickers, violent offenders, and drivers-under-the-influence would not be eligible.
Treatment is not required for those who reject it or screw up. They would go to jail just the same as they do now. Judges are given that authority, contrary to what opponents claim. A copy of the initiative can be found at www.ohiodrugreform.org for verification.
Drug treatment instead of prison will save money. Prison costs six times the cost of treatment for a year in Ohio. Thousands of young Ohioans get a “scarlet F” (felony) record for drug possession. This disqualifies them for student loans and many job opportunities.
This initiative has nothing to do with legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana or any other drug. What is proposed is the logical extension and expansion of the present drug court system. Only half, or 24, of Ohio's drug courts process adult felony offenders. These courts only serve a total of about 1,500 of the 6,000 Ohioans charged with felony drug possession each year.
The initiative is a constitutional amendment as any Ohio ballot issue that appropriates money must be. Ohio voters have passed 18 previous appropriation amendments to address other social problems.
Why not an amendment for this important social need?
Legislation similar to this initiative has not received a hearing in Ohio. A ballot issue - with funding - is the only way to address Ohio's drug problems.
EDWARD J. ORLETT
Director Ohio Campaign For New Drug Policies Columbus
Regarding the boosting of the hotel occupancy tax in Lucas County, the SeaGate Centre expansion must happen in order to compete for our share of business. However, the assertion that the increase of 2 percent to 10 percent would not affect local residents is flawed. A small but growing number of local people make reservations in our hotels. These people are looking for a special getaway weekend. Insurance companies pay to put people up during a power outage, and other local guests attend weddings and other group functions.
Yes, the room rate average might be around $70 in Toledo. You must understand that this takes into account those properties that charge around $29 per night to the premier hotels downtown that charge up to $159 per night for some rooms.
Correct, we are not Columbus nor do we wish to be. But be careful before reporting on the level of hardship that might be afflicted upon our hardworking residents.
SCOTT A. ROBINSON
There they go again! The “Science Excellence for All Ohioans” group advocates “teaching the controversy” (Readers' Forum, July 14) where, in fact, no controversy exists.
No one is debating evolution within the science departments of Ohio's fine public universities, and nowhere is there more academic freedom.
Any so-called “controversy” over evolution as fact has not arisen from or among cutting-edge scientists, and therefore has no place in the public school science classroom.
That is the objective fact.
Where would science teachers get information on “scientific alternatives like intelligent design,” ideas not taught in college science classes? Books by Dr. Behe and Dr. Dembski cited in the July 14 letter are not science books. Their content has not been reviewed and deemed accurate and acceptable by scientists. One book reviewer calls Dr. Dembski's book “mathematical mumbo jumbo” and “pseudoscientific rhetoric aimed at an unwary public.” As a mathematician, Dr. Dembski knows the rigor required to establish a mathematical theorem. His failure to present his proofs to journals for other mathematicians to evaluate suggests that he knows his ideas do not measure up.
We have seen in the Readers' Forum (and will again, no doubt) that it takes little to push intelligent design proponents from their carefully crafted (so as to avoid religious references) arguments to scientifically indefensible positions regarding an earth that is only 6,000 years old and a global flood, ideas that would not exist were it not for widespread theological errors in understanding the Book of Genesis.
The Blade is correct in linking the intelligent design movement to its fundamentalist roots and ultimate objectives.
DONALD J. STIERMAN
Professor of Geophysics
University of Toledo
Recent news articles have pointed out the travesty of President Bush's threats to punish corruption when he and Vice President Dick Cheney are so deeply entrenched themselves. I agree, but while the news media are exposing hypocrisy they should first acknowledge their own culpability in this issue.
While long-standing laws regulating business were being reversed by a corporate-run Congress, the newspapers were too busy with Monica Lewinsky to cover it. And while millions of hours were spent investigating Whitewater, the only result of a short inquiry concerning Mr. Bush and Harken Energy was “No enforcement action is contemplated,” with no further explanation given or asked for.
Our “liberal media” should explain why Harken Energy or any of the other illegal and underhanded business deals of Mr. Bush or Mr. Cheney never made the news, even during a presidential election that focused on character. Now, CNN is actually polling us to see if we think Mr. Bush is guilty of wrongdoing. How could we know if the facts are suppressed? And if their polls deem him innocent does that let him off the hook?
The media have a responsibility to report honestly. When they are negligent or allow blatant deception, it's as bad as our government leaders' scheming with corrupt big business.
Being a shareholder in America's biggest corporations can be a profitable experience. It can be much more profitable, however, if you happen to be an insider, such as a CEO, a George Bush, or a Dick Cheney.
These same corporations have been exploiting their employees for decades. Now the shareholders can bleed a little, while the insiders laugh all the way to their off-shore banks.
I still firmly believe we all live in the best democracy money can buy.
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