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Thursday, December 25, 2014
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Published: Thursday, 8/26/2004

Try to put yourself in Bush's place

I still hear Democrats and Bush-bashers screaming how the President lied and misled the American people, how he led us into an unnecessary war because he wanted to.

Take a moment to put yourself in the President's place.

Imagine you are the President. You have just watched 3,000 innocent Americans murdered on our own soil. You are told by three intelligence agencies that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction and you are told there are links between terrorists and Saddam. You don't know that he hasn't given these weapons to them already.

You sit and wonder if the terrorists will strike again. You wonder how many Americans will die this time. You try and perform U.N. inspections, but Saddam continues to lie, mislead, and hide facts. Meanwhile precious time is ticking away, time during which the terrorists could be planning another attack and moving into the U.S. with WMDs that you can't account for.

You wake up each day responsible for millions of American lives. You wonder if today will be the day that another attack will occur.

In these circumstances, if you were the President, what would you do? If you have honor and if you care about your citizens and want to protect them, you will remove the threat. President Bush removed Saddam. He had the leadership to do what was prudent even if it wasn't politically safe. He didn't bow to political pressure even though it would have been easier to do so. We haven't had another terrorist attack since 9/11. Pray that we never do.

On Election Day I hope you will remember that President Bush had the honor, leadership, and courage to protect you and your children, possibly at the cost of his presidency.

MICHAEL TEMPLE

Sylvania

The hiring by Bowling Green State University of President Sidney Ribeau's wife leaves me dumbfounded. It would seem that with a salary of $286,000, a housing allowance, and expense account, Dr. Ribeau could himself compensate his wife for any "first lady" responsibilities.

The explanation put forth by university officials that other universities are paying their presidents' wives for "first lady" duties is just plain lame.

Then to add insult to injury, Mrs. Ribeau is given a position in the office of student affairs, where three full-time positions and one part-time position have gone unfilled because of a hiring freeze necessitated, one would assume, by budget considerations. It is hard to believe that a qualified and needy local person could not have been found for this opening.

The whole process smacks of "good-old boyism" and nepotism of the worst kind. It really does not bode well for the university to expend funds in this manner during a time of financial difficulty. In view of this move by the university, I as an alumnus will be forced to reconsider any future financial contributions to BGSU.

John M. Stewart

Maumee

I was standing in line at the post office the other day, next to a young black mother and her little son. I smiled and waved at the child, but he just stared at me with his big brown eyes. Finally, I said to his mother, "I was hoping to see him smile."

"Oh, I think he is smiling inside" she replied.

Then I asked how old he was. "He will be two years old on Aug. 25," she said.

I said, "I will be 82 on Aug. 26!"

Suddenly I started wondering what this boy's life will be like by the time he reaches my age. Will he have had a safe environment to grow up in? Will he have had quality schools? Will there have been good jobs to support a family? Will he have had health coverage so that in his later years he won't have to forgo taking his medications to put food on his table?

One step we must take now to assure a better life for this child, and for my own grandchildren, as well, is to say no to the Bush Administration and its anti-environment policies, favor-the-wealthy tax cuts, and lack of job creation at home. And we must do it on Nov. 2.

The boy's mother said "Happy Birthday" to me as I left the post office.

Arthur S. Johnson

Aldringham Road

The referendum on President Chavez in Venezuela was a powerful demonstration of the shortcomings of a closed voting system. Even though its touch screens produced a paper audit trail, the gap is likely too wide for a manual recount and the losing side is claiming fraud.

This is a perfect example of how a closed, secret voting technology undermines voter confidence. When the system is closed, subversion is harder to detect. No one really knows how the electronic votes were tallied on election day. The software could have been altered or written to behave differently during the election. Even the Carter Center is citing exit polls as their justification for accepting the results.

This also neatly demonstrates the fact that this is a completely nonpartisan issue. In this case the incumbent is on the political left (a populist) and the opponents who lost are on the right. Here in the U.S., the incumbents are on the right and there have been accusations that the left is waging a partisan war against touch-screen systems.

In both cases, the current minority inherently mistrusts the incumbents who theoretically could influence a closed, secret election (witness Republican Wally O'Dell, CEO of Diebold). Real or perceived, the implication can only be convincingly dismissed with an open audit. It has nothing to do with left versus right. Transparent elections, confidence in the result, and the concomitant political stability of the democracy benefit everyone.

Whether touch screen or not, the people of this democracy deserve no less than a completely open and auditable election system. The sanctity of the vote is above all notions of corporate competition and proprietary technology. I want open source code, open audits, and transparent elections. No less.

Jason Bechtel

Ryan Road

A recent letter writer was complaining that a candidate for the U.S. Senate was leading a campaign to boycott a Bruce Springsteen concert because he does not agree with President Bush.

I would also say that that candidate was expressing her free speech. If anyone wants to boycott any concerts by any artist because of political views and tries to get people to join the boycott, that would also be freedom of speech.

Everyone knows that what they say can be detrimental to their career. That is a chance they must take whether they are entertainers or work in an office or factory. If you don't want to jeopardize your career, keep your mouth quiet. If you don't care about repercussions, keep talking and suffer the consequences of others' free speech.

Kathleen A. Cousino

Nebraska Avenue

In the most recent election, voters in northwest Ohio turned down 75 percent of the new and renewal levies on the ballot. Is there a correlation between the "growing economy" currently touted by Bush supporters and the general public who simply cannot afford these additional taxes?

Sad as it is to see the many cuts required by the various school budgets, I believe that under improved leadership of national domestic affairs, people would be more able, confident, and willing to fund these expenditures. The job market is surely more manageable than we have witnessed in the past four years. To me, there is only one answer and that is simply to make a change in a leadership that has failed in so many social issues.

George Drewyor

Dunstans Lane

Learning that Bowling Green State University President Sidney Ribeau's wife is being given a comfortably salaried administrative post without being required to undergo the rigors of competition makes me ask if the school is planning a new degree program in nepotism.

Deborah Ryan

Aldringham Road



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