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Published: Sunday, 10/5/2003

Editorial selective in use of facts

In its editorial “Blown Cover” The Blade once again is selective in its use of the facts. As usual, the Democrats will distort this story to discredit President Bush.

Before Robert Novak wrote his commentary he called the CIA. He was told that disclosing Valerie Plame's name would cause no harm. The same day The Blade's editorial appeared Robert Novak wrote in the Washington Post that it was an open “Washington party circuit” secret that Joseph Wilson's wife worked for the CIA. It may be dumb but not illegal to validate what is already known.

If Valerie Plame was outed in mid-July, why did it take until almost October to become an outrage? Why is Joe Wilson showing outrage running around the media circuit at this time and not in August? In Seattle he blamed Karl Rove for the leak. On Good Morning America he backtracked on this statement. Along with his current inconsistency, it is also reported that he gave an oral, not a written, report about his Africa trip. If Ambassador Wilson was right about Iraqi attempts at getting yellow cake, why then does the British government still stand by its own intelligence report, the one used by President Bush in the State of the Union address?

President Bush, as former President Ronald Reagan did during Iran-contra, has ordered full cooperation in the investigation. We will see if this administration follows the Clinton administration by claiming executive privilege and appealing it all the way to the Supreme Court only to get shot down.

However, I expect the Bush administration to actually cooperate fully.

JOHN F. MILZ

Perrysburg

Tuition isn't the only item taking a hit at the University of Toledo these days. Ticket prices for the UT-Pittsburgh game were raised by an average of 60 percent. No doubt it costs more to bring in the big name schools, but 60 percent?

DENNY SHEA

Sylvania Township

Now that all of America is noticing the latest Rush Limbaugh debacle, it got me thinking.

Isn't it amazing how the FCC wants to loosen restrictions on media conglomerates so they can not only own more radio stations, but also newspapers in those markets.

Great. Now we can not only listen to the arrogant “Republicans and President Bush can-do-no-wrong” talk show hosts and have it backed up in print, too. Forget that at one time on most AM radio stations you could actually listen to music or get at least equal time for other opinions.

Now talk radio tells us what to think - and to follow an agenda that has hurt this country, its economy, and respect around the world.

No one political party can ever claim to have cornered the market on wisdom and leadership.

May the 2004 election hurry and get here!

EVAN J. CHASE

Wildwood Road

Though I've always agreed with The Blade's assertion that it is “One Of America's Great Newspapers” (even with the preposition capitalized), I have often wondered how it is that Eileen Foley is on the payroll. But, on balance, I've come to expect her ranting and misinformed opinion as part of the cost of doing business with one of America's great newspapers.

However, after reading her Sept. 18 piece, I really wonder if she doesn't need a vacation. For instance, while criticizing our citizens' fuzzy thinking and blaming our “stereotypic thinking” for connecting Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, she then flies off in untold directions using “stereotypic thinking” of her own liberal beliefs to draw a bizarre connection between Charles McKinley's shipping prank, Star Wars weapons, the 2000 election, the electric grid, and medical care.

Huh?

As all readers of The Blade know, Ms. Foley has an agenda. It's a rarely well-thought-out agenda, given to publishing rumors of dubious veracity, and unmatched in its fervent march toward the downfall of Republicans. However, the irony of labeling her piece “Mental laziness betrays us in the end,” was not lost on me. A short refresher course in college-level writing might help her focus her thoughts and write more forcefully.

GEORGE BAUM

Maumee

Academic emergency! A two-word sound bite painting a dismal picture of chaos and failure within Toledo Public Schools. Two words easily echoed by those who have issues with TPS.

Not as quickly explained is the scale used to grade Ohio's schools, a measurement designed by our state legislature. Although items like attendance and suspensions are considered, the bulk of the points come from the proficiency tests.

Why are the proficiency tests still being allowed to grade our schools? They are being phased out and replaced, having proven to be problematic. Who would continue to use a faulty bathroom scale? Yet how much more is at stake for our school systems when Ohio continues to use a questionable tool for measurement?

For those who have not viewed the proficiencies, these are not your parents' standardized exams - those clear cut, simplistic tests still used by many of the private elementary schools. No, the proficiencies are a complex set of tests demanding high-level analysis.

One statistic that reflects their difficulty: 75 percent of fourth graders reading at a 6.7 reading level will pass the Reading Proficiency Test.

That generates many questions. Why is the bar so high? What hope does a fourth grader reading on a fourth-grade level have to pass? Should we not applaud how many students actually pass these tests?

Whether the replacement tests being designed for Ohio's public schools will prove better than the proficiencies is yet to be discovered. Finding fair and balanced tests is a major concern, but not the only challenge. More unfunded and unrealistic rules and mandates are spewing not only out of Ohio but Washington.

Public education is in a state of emergency not because of schools failing to teach, but from those who wish to destroy it.

RON and PAT ZIELINSKI

Mapleway Drive

Maybe President Bush is taking a lesson from the past to fight terrorism. When OPEC cut back on oil to the West in the 1970s to raise oil prices, Saddam increased Iraqi oil to the West and Iraq got rich quickly. (Iraq, after Saudi Arabia, is the country that produces the most oil in the Near East.) Soon Saudi Arabia increased its oil to the West to regain its share of the West's wealth.

But Saudi petrodollars recruit potential terrorists by promoting radical (Wahhabi) Islam in their schools and in their sponsored mosques worldwide.

Wahhabis believe that Judaism and Christianity are remnant cults unacceptable to Allah. To limit the spread of this intolerant, radical perspective of Islam's neighbors, President Bush may have a plan.

The Bush Administration is reluctant to relinquish U.S. control of Iraqi oil to our United Nations partners. This gives the United States unilateral leverage over Saudi oil supplies from the Near East again. By translating this leverage into economic and political pressure on Saudi Arabia he might use it to limit Saudi support of radical Islamic movements. This would reduce a major source of terrorism around the world.

J. MURRAY STEWART, JR.

Shoreland Avenue

Thank you, Rush Limbaugh, for explaining it so eloquently. The next time I use the "n" word to describe a black person, I'm not being bigoted — I'm attacking the liberal media.

BILL PIEPER

117th Street



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