With what I have recently seen in the Readers' Forum and in other news media, I thought it would be a novel idea to actually state some facts.
The economy grew by 4 percent in 2003, 25 percent greater than the 20-year average.
Some 112,000 net jobs were added in January, the fifth consecutive month of job gains.
The unemployment rate is at 5.6 percent, the lowest level in two years.
The Dow-Jones index and NASDAQ recently hit their highest levels since June, 2001.
In 2003 the Dow index grew by 25.32 percent, the NASDAQ by 50.01 percent and the S&P 500 by 26.38 percent.
The federal deficit stands at 2.7 percent of GDP, which is right at the average since 1980 and significantly lower than the 6 percent deficit in 1983.
A significant majority of Americans will pay less tax per dollar earned this year than they did last year.
The recession is over.
One of the bloodiest tyrants of our time has been captured, removed from power, and will now face justice.
Saddam Hussein was in defiance of numerous United Nations resolutions.
The intelligence agencies of France, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, and many other countries all came to the same conclusion as the U.S. intelligence agencies: Saddam Hussein had WMD.
I can understand if you do not like President Bush based on philosophical and political reasons, but have the courage to say so and not hide behind innuendo, false pretenses, and lies.
Speaking of lies, and contrary to what the Democratic Party would like us to believe, I have yet to see one bit of information that proves President Bush has lied about anything. So if you know something the rest of the country does not, please feel free to share.
Our one-line wonder President Bush is at it again. The man who gave us "wanted dead or alive," "if you're not with us you're against us," "mission accomplished" and "bring it on" has now given us "I, too, want to know."
The man who started America's first pre-emptive war and scared the nation into believing an imminent threat from Iraq's massive weapons arsenal was real, now wants to know why those weapons never existed.
This is what happens when an ideologue becomes a powerful politician. When faith is fact, truth doesn't matter. Even the search for truth becomes a waste of time.
George Bush only listened to the voice in his head. His ideology told him WMD must exist and no other point of view mattered. And when you hear Vice President Dick Cheney, as recently as a week ago, still claim that Iraq possessed WMD, again we hear an ideologue at work.
Americans must overcome their fear and be outraged by their government! Demand that the blood of our children is not spilled for a lie. Demand accountability of our leaders.
They certainly won't demand it of themselves.
Is it just me, or was anyone else bothered by the recent article concerning the mayor and village council of Swanton electing not to take a stand on the school levy issue?
I believe it is a sad commentary on the state of our community when four of the seven elected officials of Swanton, who were voted into office for the purpose of protecting the best interests of the citizenry of the village, apparently do not feel the vitality of our school system is a cause worthy enough to show support for.
Ironically enough, my daughter's third-grade class is currently studying a section on government in communities in its social studies lessons. A section regarding local government reads, in part: "Mayors and city council members are community leaders. These leaders help people in their community.
"People choose leaders who they hope will make good decisions for their community. Local government works with citizens in many ways. It helps to make life better for people in the community."
Remember these third-grade social studies lessons when you next exercise your right to vote for your community leaders.
Let's face it. If you read between the lines, it's quite clear that a decision not to take a stand on an issue that is crucial to the heart of our community can be likened to "no" decision.
AMY L. SEEL
I once had a dear friend who was lesbian. From that friendship I learned two things: First, that I am not lesbian and, second, gay and lesbian people are just born that way. They become aware of their sexual preference early in life.
I have been trying to think of an approximate comparison to explain their situation. Left-handedness occurs to me. Left-handed people also "are just born that way." They show their left-handed preference early in life.
Wouldn't we be ashamed if the legislature passed and the governor signed a bill declaring that no left-handed person could marry or even have the legal protection of a civil union? Wouldn't the injustice make us angry that their family members could never be certain of inheriting property or even of visiting each other in the hospital?
Would we really do this to our left-handed neighbors? I doubt it. So shouldn't we protect instead of attack our gay and lesbian families?
RILMA OXLEY BUCKMAN
Creek Run Drive
I am a cab driver in this city, and since the smoking ban has been in place, I have noticed a significant drop in the number of people I pick up from bars. The other night I was sent to a bar and was shocked to see smoking going on as if the ban wasn't in force.
I informed the bartender that smoking was illegal until she reminded me that that particular establishment was exempt, because it was under the established square footage set forth in the law.
It occurs to me that those who want to smoke could seek out these small bars. I think that they need the customers as much as the customers need them. It's a very simple solution to a not-so-complex situation. I, for one would be happier if the smoking public would begin taking taxis again. Lord knows, the cab business in Toledo could use a shot in the arm.
If you want to smoke, find a small bar. You might just be helping to save a small neighborhood bar, without any of the "Taverns for Tots" nonsense.
Did the Toledo City Council pass a law that they did not read (or understand), or did they discriminate against the Taverns for Tots association?
For four months they let all other membership associations smoke in their own facilities, without ever mentioning the fact that these associations should register with the environmental services of Toledo before they could allow smoking in their facilities.
It wasn't until Tavern for Tots tried to become a "membership association" that any club, such as the Toledo Club, Yacht Clubs, or VFWs for that matter, was asked to register with the EPS. It seems the only "sham" is the leadership of Toledo's City Council, who passed an ordinance without knowledge of content.
I ask myself why would City Council pass a law against life-threatening second-hand smoke and allow any exemptions. The only reason I can come up with is that they didn't want to create havoc with the good "voting" citizens, just with us "immorals," who most likely won't vote. So City Council's jobs are safe and the public feels good about them, but does anyone in Toledo care about discrimination? I bet they do.
A Lucas County "uni-gov" should be interesting to Sylvania Township residents. Rather than accept a 1.5 percent wage tax in a union with Sylvania, they'll be pleased to send 2.5 percent downtown.
As the township taxpayers continue to contemplate their pocket fuzz, all it takes is some yahoo in Columbus to say "do it," and their dollars will be funding potholes on Buckingham Street.
Can Sylvania Township see this tunnel at the end of the light?
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