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Published: Friday, 7/18/2003

It's clear that Bush lied to Americans New title for Taft

Which is worse: lying about having an extramarital affair or lying about evidence to justify going to war?

While Republicans were willing to force an investigation costing $70 million to try to impeach former President Clinton over his private affair with Monica Lewinsky, they are stonewalling, scapegoating, and concealing information regarding the Bush Administration's case for going to war with Iraq.

It has now become known that CIA Director George Tenet removed the false information linking Iraq to African uranium from Mr. Bush's Cincinnati speech three months prior to Mr. Bush making this same assertion in his State of the Union Address. Clearly this shows that Mr. Bush knew the fallacy of his statements and that he blatantly lied to Congress and the American people.

His only purpose in falsifying this information was to drum up patriotic support to justify a war that did not need to be fought. To date, Mr. Bush's war has cost more than 200 American soldiers and 3,000 Iraqi civilians their lives and failed to capture Saddam Hussein and restore order to Iraq. Add to this the $3.8 billion a month it will cost us to occupy Iraq for the next several years and the damage to our country in terms of military readiness, economic recovery, and international reputation is devastating.

The answer is clear. While lying about personal transgressions falls far short of the “high crimes and misdemeanors” demanded of impeachment, lying about matters that jeopardize the peace and prosperity of the United States does not. Congress and the American people should demand a full accounting of the Bush Administration's rush to war and bring to justice those who have so cavalierly wielded American power.

ALDEN CRADDOCK

Bowling Green

“Bush weighs in against `frivolous' lawsuits” was the title of a recent Ann McFeatters article, and if anyone has any doubts about bias in reporting they should read it. Presidential hopeful John Edwards is a trial lawyer, and Ms. McFeatters proceeds to report as fact that advocating tort reform is simply partisan politics aimed at John Edwards.

The staggering costs of asbestos liabilities have forced 67 firms into bankruptcy. So far they have destroyed more than 50,000 jobs and ruined innumerable 401(k) plans invested in company stock. Today's asbestos suits have now migrated into other industries - beverage and food, glass, iron and steel, metal goods, paper and textiles.

Doctors are staging strikes and cutting back services due to an out-of-control malpractice system. A Harvard Medical School study of 30,000 New York City cases showed that 80 percent of the lawsuits filed were without merit. About 20 percent of these did not even involve an adverse event, yet they tended to be settled for an average cost of $29,000.

There is a burgeoning trend across the nation of lawsuits lodged against youth leagues and coaches. They're suing for players not winning MVP, not getting enough playing time, being slotted in the “wrong position” - basically everything imaginable.

There have been a number of lawsuits filed against fast food distributors for making their customers obese and unhealthy. Be prepared to pony up a lot more for your McBurger because the fat guy behind you will be suing.

Left unchecked, it's rather obvious that all manufacturers, vendors, and anyone with deep pockets will ultimately be at risk. It's a shame Ms. McFeatters didn't make a respectable journalistic effort to cover the real story, rather than pass this off as just a big political ploy to derail one of her presidential candidates.

M. OVERHOLT

Sylvania

In a June 28 article, “Diocese to update its Media Division,” the Rev. Thomas Quinn, director of communications since July, 1999, was quoted as saying, “The biggest news, of course, is the death of our bishop. And then there's the sex scandal.”

It is no wonder that the Toledo Catholic Diocese is in the mess that it finds itself when the communications director ranks the sexual molestation of children second to the death of an individual, no matter how esteemed that person. The biggest news needs to be the indelible mark left by the clergy sexual abuse scandal and coverup on the lives of innocent children who were traumatized by trusted church leaders. Those who have been hurt within the institution of the church should not be an afterthought or a footnote. They should be a priority.

Where is the heart of the church? Where is the foundational love that guides our thoughts and actions so that victims are treated sensitively, compassionately, and honestly?

ANN DUNKLE

Deerpointe Drive

I have been told repeatedly that “the economy has not been doing well,” so all costs are going up. My favorite is “medical costs are skyrocketing.”

Medical costs have always been high regardless of the state of the economy.

As a small-business construction owner, I have experienced the “problems” of the economy up close and personal.

First my health premiums are increased 25 percent and I am given less than a 30-day notice for the said increase. I called to complain and was told “to go elsewhere if I was dissatisfied.”

Then the Bureau of Worker's Compensation informs me of a 9 percent increase. This is a vague increase that will allow them the right to be discriminatory with the actual set-in-concrete rate they will charge.

If you are a large company (i.e. state or health affiliate), and you need to recoup the income lost during slow economic times the answer is easy:

Just squeeze the little guy.

Everyone has lost money. Some just happen to be in the business that has others by the throat.

This is the opinion of a blue-collar worker who pounds nails for every dollar he earns.

BRUCE T. SHEPPARD

Sylvania

I cringed when I read a Readers' Forum letter complaining about neighborhood fireworks frightening him and his pets. “Police should enforce the ordinance prohibiting fireworks, especially two weeks before and after the Fourth of July,” he said.

Would the writer prefer his neighbors celebrate their independence from an oppressive government by waving the American flag?

Or would he prefer they stop celebrating altogether, and anyone caught lighting fireworks be arrested and taken to jail?

FRANK ALBERTS III

Brooke Park Drive

Ah, yes. Summer has returned to Toledo. Picnics in the park, orange barrels, loud motorcycles, car stereos you can hear a quarter mile away, and the annual underwear show by young urban men. What is so attractive about walking around with your butt hanging half out of your pants?

I'm middle-aged and overweight. If I walked down the street with my butt hanging out, I'd be in jail in less than an hour. I fail to see the fascination of looking at other people's underwear. I asked a young man a while back what it all meant. He said “it's a G thing.” Next obvious question: What is a “G thing?” It can't be a “gay thing.” I know gay men; they don't dress like that.

Someone offered that it stood for “good.” That doesn't make much sense. If these young men like looking at each other's underwear so much, maybe they should take it indoors, or start a club or something.

I guess I'm just a dinosaur and can't relate, but pull up your pants!

RICK PAQUETTE

Monroe Street

The vote is in, the polls have closed; it's unanimous. Governor Taft's new title is and shall be Governor Tax.

DORINE and DARRIS MOSLEY

Gawil Avenue



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