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Published: Sunday, 2/1/2004

The world really is a better place

A recent writer was so certain that we are now all grateful to local peace activists for their suffering last winter that he omitted any mention of what we should be grateful for. To spur his thought process, I present the following reasons that I am grateful the President ignored his position.

We have eliminated a cruel and dangerous regime in Iraq, whose leader will be tried for his crimes.

Iran has accepted close international monitoring of its nuclear program.

We have eliminated U.S. military presence in Saudi Arabia, removing a major irritant in a front line state in the war on terrorism.

Libya has agreed to destroy its WMD.

Syria finds itself isolated and compelled to refashion its relationships with its neighbors.

North Korea finds itself isolated and compelled to refashion its relationships with its neighbors.

The leadership of Pakistan has gained strength internally against its extremists and can initiate a dialogue with India over Kashmir.

The terror networks, attacked on so many fronts, have wasted their assets trying to show their presence everywhere they are confronted.

This has all had a cost, which, as another writer pointed out, we have vividly reported to us. For comparison, the combat deaths last year in Iraq were roughly a third of the number of murders in Chicago and New York (combined). Perhaps the writer who clearly thinks globally should try acting locally.

JOSEPH McGEE

Sylvania

I still believe that the peace protesters are traitors, liars, and do not know the meaning of honor and country. Anyone has the right to not agree with why we went to war, but once that decision is made it is the duty of Americans to stand by our troops and the commander in chief. There is plenty of time to debate the war once it is over and the troops are home.

These peace lunatics would not condone any war, be it against Nazi Germany or a brutal dictator in the Middle East. They will not believe that Iraq was in bed with any terrorist group and fail to understand that Iraq under Saddam was the definition of terrorism and a terrorist state. Howard Dean's grotesquely anti-war campaign is actually getting more soldiers in Iraq killed. Whenever the terrorists see people like Mr. Dean in total opposition to our troops and the war effort, it gives them more reason to continue the attacks, believing that if they keep it up America might crack.

If we stay the course and Iraq does become a viable democracy in the Middle East, it will be one of the defining moments in world history. Some things are worth fighting for.

KIP BROWN

Cherry Hill Road

Will the Toledo Public Schools system supply students with uniforms? You may think that mandatory school uniforms will reduce peer pressure and encourage a learning environment, which will be for another discussion. However, have you considered the additional costs of these mandatory uniforms to the students and parents?

Uniforms are expensive. As a parent of four elementary school children who attended Grove Patterson Academy, I can tell you that our clothing bill almost tripled.

Will you let your children come home and play in their uniforms. Would the children want to? Therefore, you must also buy play clothes for them. Before you consider the panacea of mandatory uniforms, look into your children's closets and dressers. How many pairs of pants and shirts do they have that you bought at the beginning of the school year? Can they still wear them? Have you looked at what sizes, styles, and colors are available? If I wanted my children to wear uniforms, I would send them back to Grove Patterson or maybe to a military school. They are doing fine at Longfellow and Deveaux and they do not have uniforms.

HERMAN C. BURMEISTER, III

Revere Drive

A recent economic forecast in The Blade should have reported all the salient parts in the entire Institute for Supply Management report, noting that companies still plan to "move many jobs overseas," "not rehire laid-off employees," and that "present gains are mostly in the service sector," where average hourly wages nationally are $7.80 per hour.

Because it will take 250,000 jobs per month to climb out of our present unemployment and economic stagnation, the reported 125,000 new jobs last month fall far short.

The newest productivity reports from CBS MarketWatch state "unit labor costs fell at the fastest rate in 20 years, dropping 5.8 percent, rather than the 4.6 percent decline originally estimated. Unit non-labor costs (including profits) rose at a 14.2 percent rate.

"Over the past four quarters, productivity has risen 5 percent, with unit labor costs falling 2.2 percent. Strong productivity is the foundation of economic growth and rising living standards. With greater productivity, firms can increase both profitability and wages without raising prices."

However, read between the lines. Reduced labor costs mean not rehiring laid-off employees and relying on overtime. That plus shipping so many jobs overseas means these firms can indeed show high productivity. The third quarter growth of 7.2 percent - as originally reported - was due to the $400 per child bonus just in time for a back-to-school uptick. We can expect the same uptick for the end of fourth quarter because of Christmas shopping.

Reading all these rosy forecasts and reports makes one wonder how there can be more families below the poverty level than in decades, more families seeking food and a warm place to sleep in homeless shelters and food kitchens, and more unemployment since Hoover.

Today, America is not a land of opportunity, but a land of opportunists, starting at the top.

SANDRA KIRKLAND

South Cove Boulevard

In response to your Jan. 21 editorial, More smoke and mirrors," the line reading "… suddenly benevolent bar owners, ostensibly to benefit …" really caught my attention. My, what big words you use.

The "looming threat of a smoking ban" has been around for a very long time. Didn't former Councilwoman Linda Furney start this controversy long before smoking was banned within 500 feet of a government building?

The editorial was correct in saying that bar owners never expected that the City Council would have the nerve to impose the ban. Bar owners actively participate in the economy of Toledo. Why wouldn't they be a little upset by council's attempt to lessen their income?

The editorial mentioned bar owners who are playing a "fools' game of delay." Fools? Gee, name-calling. But, they are not alone. Fortunately, they have the means to front the battle for each and every bar owner. Right down to the little neighborhood bar owner.

Bill Delaney and Arnie Elzey were described as making "a transparent, hypocritical attempt to ignore public sentiment."

Whoa! I don't think there is anything insincere about the businessmen's attempt. "Public sentiment?" Didn't the people of Wauseon vote "no" on this same issue? This is not a "charade." This is not make-believe. It's freedom of choice. If you don't like the smoke, don't go.

Have you thought of opening your own bar? Of course it would be advertised in big bold letters: No Smoking! The Blade has been making it sound like people would throng to the business! Its editorials show a biased view. Hopefully this is not a strong-arm tactic.

GAYLA SMITH

Sylvania

I agree with the letter writer who said it is a waste of police and court time to arrest students who do not follow the dress code at TPS. The people who should be arrested are the parents who buy the clothing and let the students go to school wearing it. Yes, I do know how hard it is to find clothing that meets the standards, but it is possible.

In addition the writer wants to make the teachers responsible for enforcing the code. Teachers already have to teach morals, truth-telling, manners, respect, etc. When are we going to let them teach what they've been hired to teach? Parents need to take back the responsibility for teaching these things and learn to say no.

JUDY WILLCOX

Perrysburg



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