I would like to applaud the public relations genius who invented the term "special interests" and then made it seem evil and unique to a targeted candidate.
Here's a news flash: Every dollar that goes to every campaign is a special-interest dollar.
No person, organization, or company gives money to an entity that won't act upon those issues that are of special interest to the donor. The reason the money is sent in the first place is that the candidate already espouses views that agree with the goals of those sending the money.
The money isn't sent in the hope of changing a candidate's mind on issues. It's sent to help promote those who already are in agreement.
If candidates are close on certain issues, many times both sides get money from the same source because both sides are in harmony with the special interests of the donor.
On Election Day, people vote for candidates and issues that reflect individual special interests. People do not vote for or against anything out of disregard for what affects them individually or collectively.
So forget the special-interest PR garbage. Examine issues and candidates so you can intelligently vote on what or who impacts your special interests.
The April issue of Smart Money magazine had an interview with Sir John Templeton, in which he was asked "Are you concerned about inflation?" The first part of his answer was, "Long term, because we have more and more democracies in the world, we're going to have more and more inflation. Politicians who are willing to spend too much are the ones who get re-elected."
I think (and not only because of future inflation) that:
We should have term limits. I suggest one 10-year term for Congress and two five-year terms for the president. If he is not doing a good job, five years is enough.
Only those who vote may contribute to a person's campaign, say a maximum of $100 per year. This leaves out companies, organizations, unions, etc. This would reduce the campaign time length.
Only people who reside in a candidate's political area may give money to the candidate's political campaign.
I can only write this letter. I wish that somebody who could "run" with this would.
ANIESE E. SEED
A Forum writer complained about the Social Security trust fund being raided to pay for other government programs.
Hey, people, there is no Social Security trust fund. The government takes the money in for Social Security and pays it right out.
A Social Security trust fund does not exist. It is a lie made up by Democratic politicians to make uninformed Americans think that Republicans are raiding their Social Security savings account.
You should explain that a trust fund does not exist and never print another thing about it. The future viability of the entire program and cutting benefits is what should be talked about as the baby boomers reach retirement age, not some nonexistent fund.
The mayor may tack on a monthly charge for garbage pick up. The Blade article said that the current garbage pick up is "free" to Toledo households.
The article would lead one to believe that the City of Toledo is providing its citizens with a perk that does not cost the taxpayers anything. If that is truly the case, then we should be able to balance our woefully inadequate income tax shortfall by selling all of the garbage trucks, laying off all the employees, and resorting to a private garbage company. Then I suppose we would get a tax rebate with the savings windfall.
Garbage collection is the one thing in Toledo that works well. Our collection people do an incredible job, in all kinds of weather, and I have never heard them complain.
If the additional tax were going to them instead of bailing out other Toledo financial disasters I would not object to an increase for this service at all and neither would most others in my neighborhood.
The crews deserve it.
Richard H. Hayes
John Kerry wants to win back friends abroad but clamors for economic isolation. George Bush practices unilateralism but calls for free trade.
The job outsourcing issue has generated more heat than light.
Job loss is painful and only those who experience it know its hardship, as have families of our soldiers who have lost their loved ones abroad.
Outsourcing is another symptom of underlying factors at work in a world of global interdependence shaped by uncontrolled advances in technology, the most recent affecting particular middle-level white-collar jobs shipped through the Internet.
As usual we ignore history, causes, and scream to hit at the symptom as we did in Iraq.
Free trade benefits us in price, product proliferation, competitive quality enhancement - autos for example - and in exports. Computer prices are almost that of early hand calculators. Any complaints? How many U.S. made parts are there in them?
The loss of jobs must be viewed in its historical context. Now middle-level skills are outsourced. From energy dependence, to blue-collar skills, to white-collar skills, eventually to higher-level skills.
Get the point?
An actress makes $15 million, and a pro basketball player $13.5 million, while a school teacher gets $44,900. Graduate schools have a hard time functioning without foreign students. I had that experience at my university.
The failure of specific skills to catch up with the pace of technology, no longer the monopoly of any country, is a greater threat than weapons of mass destruction. Less obsession with sports and sex. More serious study as in developing countries.
A drastic reordering of the priorities in spending on education and manpower planning are all needed. Since no one knows how to spend, cut taxes. Don't spend!
It takes lot more will than label chasing and jingoism, of which we get a bellyful.
If the intern program of the Toledo Plan of the Toledo Federation of Teachers is so effective and worthy of national acclaim, why are the children in "academic emergency"?
Ethnicity is not among the most important characteristics of an effective teacher. First and foremost is genuine caring for the children, along with a thorough knowledge of the subject matter. In the case of mathematics, that has not always been true with elementary teachers.
It is interesting to note that a strong component in the establishment of the American Federation of Teachers were African-American teachers who joined AFT because they were denied membership in the National Education Association in southern states.
Having seen several documentaries about teachers who have done remarkable jobs with students from less desirable family situations, one wonders if there is at least one teacher in TPS who is getting extraordinary results from disadvantaged children.
I couldn't believe what I read from a Sylvania reader who commented about the Spanish people protesting against terrorism, and us, the U.S., being called to war. He then asked: Does that tell you anything about us as a people?
I'll tell you what that says about us as a people. When sucker-punched we don't cry about getting punched. We ball up our fists and beat the hell out of whoever punched us. Only weak-kneed pacifists would take a beating without fighting back.