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Published: Friday, 6/11/2004

America has lost respect of the world

After watching the dedication of the World War II Memorial, with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes, I was both proud and saddened. As a naturalized citizen of this great country for over 45 years and a veteran of the women's branch of the British Army, I have watched presidents, statesmen, and politicians play out their roles on the world stage.

We have been admired, envied, and respected by millions of people. A haven of freedom that so many people from countries ruled by fear and hunger have struggled to reach. I have, until now, always been proud of my adopted country. Now, I pray we will cast off the politicians and their war-profiteering cronies who are leading this country down a twisted and dangerous spiral of bad policies and bad judgment to bankruptcy and worse, both moral and fiscal.

We have little left of goodwill from any quarter of the globe. Our enemy is outside the gates and within. The carefully tailored speeches of our leaders meant to reassure and glibly slide over their miscalculations in starting a war that has no end in sight now sound frighteningly hollow and lack credibility.

The World War II Memorial honors men and women of that conflict both living and dead. It was a war that united us and was not of America's choosing. If any war can be termed "just," that surely was the one. Not this time around!

I want to live long enough to see our country admired and respected again by the rest of the world, engaged in peace-building, not destruction. Time may be running out.

JOSEPHINE DRESSER

Oregon

Clean house at the elections board

It is time for a change at the Lucas County Board of Elections. I began working at the board during elections in 1962; hired as a young person not even able to vote, by former Director of Elections Harry G. Levy, a personal friend of my family's. I still work elections as a judge at the polling place and never have I seen the lack of management as shown by the current board members.

I am a very strong Democrat, an elected member of the Democratic Party Central Committee for Springfield Township Precinct 3, and also Springfield Township ward chairman.

Many people ask me when Paula Ross and Diane Brown are going to be removed? I feel that this is why there is so much voter apathy. Only 15 percent of Lucas County voters voted in the March 2 primary. People don't trust the Lucas County Board of Elections and its leadership.

There is something that we all can do, and this is undertake a major letter-writing campaign to Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell. Also, clubs and organizations can send petitions with cover letters requesting the removal of Ms. Ross and Ms. Brown for incompetence. These clubs and organizations don't have to be political. Allowing these two to remain is costing the taxpayers of Lucas County many thousands of dollars.

MICHAEL L. FRIEDMAN

Dorr Street

Brower wasn't only minority in picture

Meaning to take nothing from the marvelous story covering Bill Brower's life, I wonder if anyone else noticed the other minority in the May 31 photo of the Blade newsroom. The lone female was Dr. Jean Douglas Furth, who for several years was a well known female trailblazer employed by The Blade.

ELIZABETH DOUGLAS WAGNER

Amara Drive

Difficult to accept same-sex marriage

I think many will agree, God put desire in a man and woman to mate and reproduce. We enter into a loving and blessed union called marriage. Now we have gays and lesbians wanting the same things.

Lesbians go to sperm banks to be able to have babies. They don't want a man, but accept their sperm. The poor children never know who their fathers are.

Maybe I've lived too long. I find it difficult to accept this. My only hope is that the younger generation holds on to some of the values they were taught growing up.

Now that I've had my say, I'll go take my nap.

NORMA WOOD

Glenbrook Drive

We have misplaced set of priorities

I read in the June 3 Blade an article about how Ohio and Michigan are rated among the worst air polluters in the country, another article about Governor Taft signing a bill that limits suits against "the potentially fatal silica," a third article concerning the Oregon coke plant debate concerning pollution, and, last but not least, a list of bars charged because of the smoking ban.

But wait.

I now have just read the June 4 paper. I read "Taft signs a bill curbing asbestos suits," another story concerning Michigan objecting to the coke plant because of potential pollution, and yet another one about additional bars being assessed fines because of the smoking ban.

Doesn't anyone else here see the hypocrisy in this? Apparently, it's OK for big business to pollute the air that 100 percent of the people have to breathe 24 hours a day, but the small-business bar owner has to suffer dwindling profits and fines because of people who object to a couple of hours of secondhand smoke.

These people had a choice whether they wanted to enter that bar. What about when they walk out the door and start breathing the "worst polluted air in the country"?

I can agree with the "family friendly" restaurants supporting the smoking ban, but a locally owned bar and grill should not have to suffer from this misplaced directive.

There are a whole lot more problems out there regarding public health than a smoking ban on the small number of establishments (in comparison to the number of restaurants in Toledo) who wish to have their own smoking policy.

Marie Vitou

Sylvania

We can't let Bush get away with it

I'm not certain that President Bush knowingly, deliberately, and maliciously lied to the American public about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction; I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. It is conceivable that, as he has stated, he relied on faulty intelligence. Granted, to put the lives of tens of thousands of American soldiers and innocent Iraqi citizens at risk based on faulty intelligence, especially when firsthand information from United Nations weapons inspectors was readily available, is undeniably an impeachable offense, but I'll accept that he may have just used terrible judgment as opposed to deliberate prevarication.

(Incidentally, Bill Clinton was impeached for using admittedly terrible judgment, but that put no one's life in jeopardy. Why is Mr. Bush immune?)

However, Mr. Bush and his cronies are without question deliberately disseminating an out-and-out lie to the American public every day - and those of us who buy into it should be ashamed of ourselves. I am referring to his pointed and deliberate misidentification of the occupation of Iraq as a "war on terror," in an attempt to legitimize it in the eyes of the American public.

Our "war on terror," quite obviously, is a war with al-Qaeda, the terrorists who attacked us. Our war in Iraq, however, is being fought for any variety of reasons, none of which has anything to do with terrorists. Personal vendetta? Perhaps. Removal of an evil dictator? Absolutely. Oil, democracy, Middle East stability? It's arguable. But a war on terror?

Let's stop nodding our collective heads, blindly accepting his words as Gospel, and start using our collective brains instead. The man is lying to us to cover his mistakes. Let's not let him get away with it.

joel speiser

Holland



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