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Published: Wednesday, 9/1/2004

Kerry lacks the stuff to be president

John Kerry's strategy to become president was to establish an argument that he was a "Decorated War Hero" and hence qualified for the top job. Regardless of what he did during his four months in Vietnam, this argument is childish. On that basis every combat veteran in the country is qualified for the job.

The important question is "What executive or management experience has he had, and where are his credentials for the job?"

As a senator he had no executive experience. He never had the responsibility to make anything work effectively. All he had to do, like any senator, was to talk and pontificate on economic and social matters. There is no accountability attached to the job of senator, unfortunately.

This is not so with the job of governor. To be successful in that job and get re-elected demands a considerable exercise of management executive talent.

One must search quite a bit to find a president who came into office via the Senate, did an outstanding job, and was re-elected. Truly effective chief executives such as Teddy Roosevelt, F. D. Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan came in as ex-governors. Some presidents who were ex-senators were Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, and John F. Kennedy. Harry Truman came in as vice president when FDR died and had the job thrust upon him.

ROBERT J. LAUER

Sulphur Spring Road

George W. Bush has accomplished his mission in Iraq. His father's enemy is vanquished, his corporate sponsors reaped huge war profits, oil has never been more expensive, and a Catch-22-like police state has enveloped not only the conquered territory but also our own homeland.

If only Mr. Bush was as interested in capturing the enemy of the American people as he was the enemy of his father. Instead he let Osama bin Laden get away and personally sent the bin Laden family back to Saudi Arabia. Otherwise we might have let him get away with Iraq.

As a lifelong registered Republican, I'm deeply saddened by the ignorance and arrogance of this administration.

It failed us in defending our country.

Bradley G. Berger

Oregon

The Aug. 22 Associated Press article that appeared in The Blade, "Museums publicize works believed stolen by Nazis," may have misled some readers.

This article referred to the American Association of Museums' Nazi-Era Provenance Internet Portal, but it failed to mention that a work of art's listing on the portal contains no implied or real suggestion that the work was stolen.

Museums participating in this project simply acknowledge that they have incomplete information about a particular object's history of ownership. In fact, most works of art that survive over decades and centuries have episodes of ownership that are unknown, undocumented, or untraceable.

The Toledo Museum of Art was among the first museums in the United States to voluntarily contribute its research to the portal. Most major museums in our country that have works of European art in their collections have also contributed research.

The portal allows museums to share knowledge regarding works of art and their ownership history, so that we may all learn more.

Readers wishing to learn more about the portal can visit www.nepip.org or the Toledo Museum of Art's Web site at www.toledomuseum.org.

DON BACIGALUPI

Director

Toledo Museum of Art

Editor's note: Mr. Bacigalupi is chairman of the NEPIP Advisory Committee.

The retrograde attempt by Citizens for Common Sense to repeal many of the provisions of the year-old smoking ban in Toledo is an attack on the health of all citizens for the economic benefit of a few. Toledo needs to continue its progressive stance against tobacco interests and for policies that ensure safe, healthful workplaces.

An insidious provision of the proposed ordinance would allow smoking in bowling alleys. Bowling alleys are favorite gathering places for children and young adults. Children deserve better.

Secondhand smoke contains thousands of chemicals, including hydrogen cyanide, a poison; 250 of these are either toxic or cause cancer. Secondhand smoke is among the leading causes of preventable death in the United States.

Some argue that this is a civil liberties issue. In fact, it is not.

The liberty to smoke is not at risk, the physical space where one chooses to smoke is restricted. Most would agree, however, that smoking and secondhand smoke are a public health menace.

What is needed are creative ways to create more opportunities to compensate small bar owners in the short term as Toledoans wean themselves from the smoking habit.

It's ironic how the political concept of pre-emptive war is accepted by many, resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands, and yet pre-emptive measures to prolong life and well-being are opposed by others out of self-interest.

Unlike the blustery, fear-mongering rhetoric from our president, we truly have clear proof of a peril in our midst that comes in the form of a blue cloud, a real threat we should not ignore.

Renoir Gaither

Scottwood Avenue

If smoking is so bad, why is it not a banned substance like pot or crack?

We spend so much time and effort to segregate smokers from nonsmokers. Smoking should be banned, but the high up muckety-mucks don't want to lose their way to pay for everything.

Darrin wachowiak

Walbridge Avenue

Election reform bills currently focus on campaign finance rather than the actual voter's perplexity at the voting booth. I have been a precinct worker, and a presiding judge, so it's easy to understand voter frustration on Election Day.

Here are several suggestions regarding obvious problems on Election Day:

1. Declare a national holiday for the general election on Columbus Day in October, when the weather is nicer.

2. Declare a national holiday for an open primary the day after the Russians parade their hardware in Red Square. What a contrast.

3. Extend a voting tax credit and assess a non-voting tax penalty.

4. Offer a "no-confidence" voting slot in every candidate race.

5. Offer a "confused lingo" voting slot in every issue race, such as when yes means no and no means yes.

Let's put Toledo in the limelight of intelligent voters. Let's challenge the political candidates' credibility from the primary to the general elections.

The most important family issue is quality time. Perhaps become a precinct worker. Our children learn better from positive experience.

Let's not act foolishly and allow cramped schedules and short tempers to prevail on Election Day.

THOMAS WESTMEYER

South Detroit Avenue

With more than 6,000 people voting in the Anthony Wayne District on Aug. 3, we precinct officials were busy.

Let's hope we have scanners or the old voting machines for the Nov. 2 presidential election. I'd hate to be counting and recounting votes that night.

MARY ANN KEENAN

Waterville

I have read of people calling President Bush stupid because he is not a smooth talker. In Exodus 4, Verse 10 (NIV Translation), we read "Moses said to the Lord, 'O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.'"

While Moses may not have been a smooth talker he certainly was one of the greatest leaders of all time. Talk doesn't get the job done.

ROBERT GREEK

Montpelier, Ohio



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