George W. Bush is doing a good job of helping me hone my fact-checking skills with regard to his "approved" political commercials.
The most recent of the ads charges that John Kerry missed chances to vote to ban frivolous lawsuits which would reduce health-care costs and in voting for authorization of defense spending and "funding our troops in combat." The third charge is that John Kerry worked against passing the Laci Peterson Act.
On the first charge, there is little support that the bill would have lowered health-care costs. Most studies show that putting a ceiling on malpractice awards would have little impact on medical spending. There were actually two votes on this bill. Mr. Kerry's vote was not needed on either of them. The final vote count on both was far short of the 60 needed to pass.
The second charge of not voting to "fund the troops" passed overwhelmingly anyway with a 95-0 count. Mr. Kerry's vote would not have made any difference.
The third charge is egregiously misleading and scurrilous because it uses as a springboard the widespread sensational publicity of the current Scott Peterson trial and the awful murder of a young pregnant woman.
What is most deceptive about the ad is that it does not point out that John Kerry, as well as half the Senate, voted for an alternative bill, called the Motherhood Protection Act, which would carry an additional offense if infliction of violence on a pregnant woman caused the termination of pregnancy. This measure failed in a 49 to 50 vote.
That is far different than the misleading "approved" political advertisement. This ad carries the horrible stench of attempting to gain political advantage through deceit and the callous use of publicity surrounding this shocking and tragic murder.
Michael A. Vanderhorst
Did President Bush lie about the reasons for going to war against Iraq? Despite efforts by The Blade to cover up or distort the truth, the answer is a resounding "no." Weapons of mass destruction were only one of many reasons to liberate Iraq, but let's consider them here.
The CIA (and the entire world) was wrong about the extent of WMD stockpiles, but a Senate report confirms that Mr. Bush did not pressure the intelligence community to "coerce, influence, or pressure analysts" to justify an Iraq invasion. The same report, corroborated by a British commission, shows that Clintonite Joseph Wilson, now an adviser to candidate John Kerry, lied through his teeth when he accused Mr. Bush of "twisting" the facts about Iraq's efforts to obtain uranium in Africa. It turns out that Iraq was doing just that.
Arms inspector David Kay called Iraq "even more dangerous than we thought. We know that terrorists were passing through Iraq" and the chance "of a seller and a buyer [of WMDs] meeting up would have made that a far more dangerous country than even we anticipated Iraq shipped some or all of its biological and nuclear WMD program through Syria to southern Lebanon's heavily fortified Bekaa Valley." A United Nations commission has verified this. Mr. Kay called Iraq's WMD programs "a gathering, serious threat to the world."
Saddam Hussein himself thought WMD stockpiles existed. Iraqi generals told us that while their unit didn't have WMDs, neighboring units certainly did. We've found large stockpiles of WMD-related equipment: mobile lab equipment, protective suits and masks, antidotes, and the like. We are engaged in a deadly race with the terrorists to locate hidden stockpiles of artillery shells loaded with poison gas.
The Blade is "twisting" the facts to get John Kerry elected.
The national anthem is not a show tune to showcase the voice of the performer. It was written as a patriotic anthem by a true patriot while being held as a prisoner by our enemy. It should be sung the way it was originally written and not altered in any way. If people want to compose an anthem they can do it and see if the nation will accept it. God bless America.
Kenneth A. Reihing
West Alexis Road
The only thing clearly presented in the article, "Shock devices under scrutiny," from the New York Times and printed in The Blade, was the continued bias toward law enforcement in general.
Once again, you had everything except a grieving mother telling the world what a "good boy" her son was and, of course, the rest of the facts. Why did the officers have to get involved? There was a crime in progress.
Perhaps rather than use the Taser, officers could use other alternatives? Maybe they should just talk to subjects in a kind, understanding voice, a sort of "I feel your pain," until suspects comply. Or is this the Old West? Are officers supposed to square off in a one-on-one "fair" fight with every suspect to avoid offending anyone? I suppose one swift blow with a five-cell flashlight would subdue most suspects. That always looks good on the 6 o'clock news. Or use the baton. That seemed to work on Rodney King.
The officers on the scene of an incident cannot simply leave. They have to make decisions in a split second. They have to use the force necessary to control the situation. Too little force and they get hurt, and so do the taxpayers. The next step after the Taser is most likely the gun. I am willing to go out on a limb and say a 40-caliber bullet is fatal far more often than the Taser.
The Taser is intended to be used as an alternative to deadly force. Take the Taser away, and there is one less alternative.
Oh, and the best way to avoid being injured by a Taser?
Don't become a criminal! A simple "Yes, sir, officer" might help, too.
The people of the United States, including Lucas County, should be providing the best medical care in the world to the world. We have the intelligence, we have the money.
There is a great possibility that stress over health care is becoming an added illness to many.
Everyone in the health-care field should stand up and be accountable.
Why are so many health-care providers failing to emphasize the middle word: care? I hope the financial gurus of these facilities step up to the plate.
In regard to the lawsuit being filed against ProMedica, pay the money back, revamp the program, and offer more funding to the schools of Lucas County for their clinics. Put people who have studied the varied fields of medicine in charge of the caring. Put the financial minds back in the offices.
And some day, over the rainbow, maybe those who can afford it will pay and those who can't will be helped by others. And just maybe those who pay could get some kind of a tax break. A little something to use to send their kids to school or to build their businesses so they can continue to make money to help others.
Beth Ann Robinson Poll
The next time President Bush or Vice President Cheney talk about evil trial lawyers and the benefit of experience, let us not forget that Abraham Lincoln was a trial lawyer and only served two years in the House of Representatives before he was elected president.
I've had it up to my eyeballs with those wags who refer to our mail delivery system as "snail mail" and worse. We have one of the best mail delivery systems in the world and don't realize it.
We should be thanking our U. S. Postal Service, not making bad jokes about it.
My wonderful mother-in-law, who came from Germany after World War I, often would say Americans don't know when they are well off.
PHILIP S. LUETKE
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