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Published: Monday, 10/27/2003

Pols fiddle while mom splits pills

Except for a brief period as a liberal Democrat followed by a briefer period as a right-wing Republican, I've tried to steer clear of politics. I've found that increased knowledge of politics breeds increased disillusionment and exponentially increased depression. But I need to comment on the ongoing debate in Congress involving the Medicare prescription drug benefit. It's business as usual, the Re-PUD-licans and the Demo-CRAPS are wrangling over ideologies while my mother splits pills to make her medications go farther and begs samples from her doctor.

Our officials don't feel rushed on this issue because they will never have to worry about Social Security checks that don't stretch far enough to cover medications. They do not pay into Social Security or collect from it.

Their medications will be paid along with drawing full pay at retirement for the remainder of their lives. Their separate benefit plan increases with the cost of living, cannot ever be plundered for other uses, and best of all, is paid for by the taxpayer.

It's time for people to wake up to awareness of what some of our elected officials (operative word, elected) are up to with our tax dollars. Some of our senators and congressmen will draw $7.8 million and more in retirement while most of us will be splitting pills and waiting in stuporous patience for life to get more affordable.

My 15-year-old son is forming a political watchdog club to monitor things being slid under the rug in Congress, and all I can say to Congress is watch out. A new group is just around the corner that won't settle for the status quo, but insist on quid pro quo. I just might ask my son if parents can join.

LORI MARKO

Maumee

As you go to your polling place to vote on your school levy, please carefully consider these wise words by James Baldwin: “These are all our children. We will all profit by, or pay for, whatever they become.”

KURT J. VAN METER

Liberty Center, Ohio

Editor's note: Mr. Van Meter is a learning consultant for Toledo Public Schools.

I was seriously amused by a recent letter concerning the comments of Molly Ivins. The writer concluded her remarks with “[President Bush] treats the White House as if it were his own.”

Personally I could not have phrased it any better myself. In simple truth, Mr. Bush views the entire United States as just another possession of the mega-wealthy, of which he is a prominent member in good standing. Americans' sole purpose in life is to serve the interests of this group.

This same “ownership of country” thought process is most noticeable if one observes the royal family of Saudi Arabia. Which provides the backdrop for the well documented close ties between the Bush family and those who rule (own?) Saudi Arabia. It was this common bond that saved Saudi Arabia from the wrath of America following 9/11. Despite the fact that, unlike lowly Iraq, Saudi interests footed much of the money, as well as most of the manpower, to carry out the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil ever.

KARL WALTERS

Fostoria

The letter writer who recently criticized Mona Charen could do with a bit of fact-checking herself.

First, Israelis accepted the 1947 United Nations partition that created two states, one Arab and one Jewish, in the former British Mandate of Palestine. It was the Arabs who attacked and, in the ensuing war that they themselves had started, lost land to Israel.

“Millions” of refugees were not created, it was more on the order of 800,000 at most, according to United Nations figures, or about the same number of Jews that were kicked out of Arab countries at that time with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

Also, however rough conditions may be in the West Bank and Gaza, to compare Israeli policies to that of the Nazis is a despicable slander, as even the most sophomoric student of World War II history would attest. If such a comparison really were accurate, there would be no more Palestinians, to say nothing of Yasser Arafat.

And by the way, speaking of leaders, while Ariel Sharon may not be Santa Claus, at least he was elected (which is more than can be said for any Arab leader).

If advocates for the Palestinian cause want to be taken seriously in public discourse, they can start by dispensing with hysteria and hype that flies in the face of obvious historical facts that can be readily verified with even the most cursory research.

ROBERT VINCENT

Perrysburg

The Toledo-Lucas County Public Library has suffered severely as a result of state budget cuts, and the public is suffering right along with it. This can only get worse if more cuts have to be made. Of course, there are those who never use the library and feel they are not going to lose anything at all, but the majority of people realize how important it is to keep the library going at its full capacity - the hours that it is open, staff levels, public materials, and information.

Let us not forget the many programs that are provided for the children in the community as well as the adults. Many of us who love to read but cannot afford to buy our books have felt continually blessed to have the library. I can't imagine not having the Information Line to call on, and I realize how much the Special Services Department, which operates the bookmobiles, means to the disabled. It is the only means many have to get books, books on tape, and other materials. Without these, their lives would be even more limited and dismal. How cruel it would be to deny them the simplest of pleasures.

We all take many things for granted until they are not there for us. Hopefully we will not find this out the hard way.

SANDY FLICK

Rose Acres Drive

I, too, am a citizen for Sylvania. I just happen to disagree with the demolition of the Lathrop House, and I do believe this will happen should Issue 16 be passed. Never before have I witnessed a more deceptive campaign, and this from a church no less.

First and foremost St. Joseph states passage of Issue 16 will save taxes. How? What taxes? The house would be restored and maintained by the Metroparks. There would be no new taxes.

Second, it claims passage would protect our property rights. How? They are already protected. It is a function of the city council to protect historically significant property in the interest of the citizenry. That's why eminent domain exists. The value of the Lathrop property is well documented.

A church representative terms its significance “anecdotal.” I find his characterization asinine. Also I sincerely doubt he fears the town will now begin indiscriminately seizing properties. I believe he knows better, as do I.

Lastly they propose a yes vote will help save and move the house. Why would I believe that now? I am not na ve enough to believe the church administration ever considered the house any more than an obstruction to plans to build a campus.

I do believe the church would like to move it, say six feet under. Without the protection of eminent domain they would be free to give literal meaning to the term “Underground Railroad.” Would Nov. 5 see a bulldozer on site? Let's not find out.

ROLAND SMELTER

Sylvania

I have always loved the way The Blade reports the news - until now. I think it is wrong to drag out a 30-year-old story about the tragedies of the Vietnam War. I am sure bad things happened on both sides. If any of your writers have ever been to the memorial wall in Washington, I do not know how they could be a party to writing such a piece.

CHRIS SWIATEK

Perrysburg



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