Well, we have proved to the world that we can effectively topple a regime whose army is under-trained and under-armed. What next? Well, Syria is close to Iraq, per Bush logic, let's go bomb it sky high, too!
So far, the war has done nothing for the economy except cost us taxpayers a lot more money in the long run, paying for escalating military costs.
This is where we as Americans need to make a stand. Let us stop wasting our efforts and money in foreign countries.
Let us stop worrying about the rest of the world and start solving the problems we have at home. Social Security, homelessness, unemployment, corporate malfeasance, rising education costs, rising housing costs, exploitation of the American working class - you name it, and we have a substantial problem with it.
Let us not worry about Iraqis, Syrians, Israelis, Palestinians, Canadians, etc., and let us start worrying about Americans.
I am not ignoring the potential threat from the countries we are going after, but I fail to see the proof of this threat from any of these countries. Where are all the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? They must have disappeared just like our rights as human beings are disappearing.
Nearly 8.5 million personal passenger vehicles are registered in the state of Ohio. Each one of them has two license plates. This is an outright waste of Ohio drivers' money. When was the last time you heard of a getaway car leaving a robbery driving in reverse?
My point is this: The front license plate on our personal vehicles is ridiculous. We are one of a few states in the U.S.A. that waste time and money on a front plate for passenger vehicles.
The front plate is not required for trucks, motorcycles, motor homes, RV's, etc. Why not eliminate the front plate and leave the plate fee as is? In doing so the state would cut its plate expense in half while reaping the profits.
If the state spends $2 per plate before mark-up, it is spending $34 million on plates. By eliminating the front plate and leaving the price the same, the state could realize a profit of $17 million a year, all the while saving on mailing costs, storage, shipping etc.
Perhaps Gov. Bob Taft and the pack of trough-feeders under his command should look at paring down some fat before they simply pass along the costs of their ineptitude to the gentle people of the great state of Ohio through higher taxes on gasoline and drivers' fees.
THOMAS J. BRADY
We've all heard the expression “saving the best for last.” That's exactly what happened at the annual National Multiple Sclerosis Society walk. The Riverside Jets, under the guidance of their teacher, Ms. Deitra Hickey, organized themselves as a team. What happened after that is most impressive. A T-shirt design contest was held, pledges were solicited, money collected, forms completed, rides secured, and so on. It was obvious that much planning and preparation went into this project.
When these beautiful children were finished walking (the last team to cross the line), they were awarded a well deserved medal for their efforts.
What I couldn't help noticing as they were relaxing afterwards was the pride on their faces, the excitement in their voices, their respect and kindness for each other, their teacher, and all of the adult volunteers assisting on this day.
In all, this group raised a whopping $2,600 for a worthy cause. All of the Jets lifted their wings and soared high, high above! Together, they have made all of northwest Ohio proud.
It should be known that Riverside Elementary School is located in Toledo's central city.
TERI L. VOLK
So many people who oppose the war against the dictatorship in Iraq have forgotten that we, the United States, once found ourselves needing the help of another country to expel an unpopular government; a government that jailed us without a trial, a government that did not allow us the freedom to speak out against it; a government that had no problem with cruel and unusual punishments.
One only need look at the Bill of Rights to realize that those rights were put into that document to ensure that we would not be subject to the arbitrary acts of the new federal government.
And yet, some Americans want to monopolize the ideals that we have established as the foundation of democracy. We are the best example of democracy in the world. Who better to go and plant its seeds?
I equate democracy with a lush and beautiful garden where opportunity blooms and in the air lingers the scent of freedom. So many have died trying to get past the gates and into our garden and so many more have been turned away. We must go outside the garden gate into the community beyond our own, and plant some blooms so others can nurture and enjoy a garden of their own. We must help others because once upon a time someone came to our land and helped us to plant our very own garden.
I don't know whether it's bullheadedness or a genuine inability to understand the distinction, but I'm compelled to take one final shot at clearing it up. So here it is, once more, nice and slow: It is neither unpatriotic nor contradictory to love your country and question its government.
The misguided “love it or leave it” crowd has it backwards; if they want to live in a country where questioning the government is impermissible, they may find Cuba more to their liking. Our great country stands ready to welcome them back when they are ready to live up to her ideals.
I want to express my appreciation for the excellent writing of your science writer, Jenni Laidman. Her recent articles on the exploding super novas are simply wonderful. As a professor of literature and writing myself, I find her science reporting unique in its vision, its sensibility, and its style. Rarely have I found stories that read more like intelligent, well-crafted “essays” in any newspaper. I regularly teach a course of “Writing for the Popular Media,” and I plan to have my students read her contributions as examples of rhetorical grace, coherence, and force.
Professor of English
University of Toledo
Ann McFeatters makes the statement that federal deficits raise interest rates. If this were true, today's interest rates should be sky high, although people taking out home mortgages today find them to be near all-time lows.
When George W. Bush took office in January, 2001, with a budget surplus, the interest rate on federal funds was 6 percent.
In contrast, this same interest rate on April 4, 2003, with a federal deficit, was 1.22 percent. How did this happen if what Ms. McFeatters proclaims is true?
Or shouldn't we believe everything we read?
PAUL L. ARNDT
Did carmakers just reinvent the wheel?
During the 1930s I got most of my automobile rides in my dad's 1929 Willys-Knight. For its day it was very dependable. It was also quite inefficient, boxy in appearance, heavy, and high enough that one had to use running boards to climb up into its interior.
There are a lot of similar vehicles on the road today - they call them SUVs.
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