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Published: Monday, 9/20/2004

Bush shows signs of strength?

It's clear the Republicans have decided President Bush's strongest selling point is his "resolute" refusal to change in the face of monumental evidence that his chosen course in Iraq was and is a disastrous mistake.

Somehow they have managed to convince millions of Americans who should know better that real strength consists of being "decisive" (ignoring the facts that don't fit one's simplistic black-and-white view), rushing into a misguided war, and then steadfastly refusing to admit one's mistake when the disaster that wiser people warned of comes about (that would be "flip-flopping!").

Would you stay with a surgeon who resolutely insisted on amputating your leg, based on a few faulty X-rays, ignoring the evidence and the multitude of desperate warnings from all sides that this was not only the wrong treatment, but also the wrong patient? (Fifteen of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudis; none were Iraqis.)

Would you consider it a sign of strength if this surgeon steadfastly refused to admit he had made a mistake, and even tried to glorify the debacle by claiming God told him to do it?

Would you still consider him worthy of your trust if the misguided "amputation" cost not one person's leg but many thousands of innocent people's lives?

And squandered hundreds of billions of dollars that could have funded better health care and education for Americans?

And actually made us less safe by enraging thousands of potential terrorists, and alienating our former allies in the fight against terrorism. This is strong leadership?

Ironically, another pet target for the Republicans' scalpel is "frivolous lawsuits" in malpractice cases.

What recourse do the American people have in cases of catastrophic presidential malpractice such as this? How about the ballot box!

PHYLLIS PALMER

Lambertville

Listening to what the current administration says, some ironies are evident.

President Bush said in his speech at Fort Meigs that home ownership for more Americans was important to him.

Five days earlier his Labor Department enacted new "streamlined" overtime rules, denying millions of workers just compensation for their efforts. How would that help those people make their house payments?

Ironically, 12,000 ticketed guests were allowed into a soggy Fort Meigs to support Mr. Bush, while 10 times that many people, exercising free speech in New York, were denied access to Central Park. They might ruin the grass, it was said. Don't both these parks belong to all citizens?

Eliminating lawyers' malpractice suits will help create jobs. If that occurs, will doctors and Congress then turn their eyes to the insurance industry, which is charging huge premiums?

Doubtful. Can you say "lobbyist?"

The irony is, patients who may have legitimate claims will still be the ones vilified and scrutinized.

The President said retraining is the key to putting people to work. Small businesses are big employers.

Will the 63 managers downsized from Davis-Besse benefit from more skills? How about the hundreds of unemployed Timken workers in the Canton area? Retraining them to work at the local scrapbook shop should allow a smooth transition to the "new economy." Talk about "fuzzy" math.

Soon more national wildlife refuge areas will be opened to hunting and fishing. Again, what's the definition of the word "refuge?" Reminds one of the phrase " fish in a barrel."

Amending our Constitution to ban same-sex marriage is critical. People like Vice President Cheney's daughter surely appreciate its significance.

Dismissing these issues, saying they're just another slap at George Bush, is choosing to bury your head in the sand.

Ralph Weilant

Perrysburg

It was with great interest that I read the stories concerning the upgraded test scores of Toledo Public Schools. The students, educators, staff and Superintendent Eugene Sanders deserve congratulations for their collective hard work to make these scores a reality.

Toledo's Realtors know that the correlation between the school system and the values of real estate is measurable. We are equally convinced that the value of the pride of a sustained, continuously improving Toledo Public Schools to the community is immeasurable.

CHRISTOPHER L. HALL

President

Toledo Board of Realtors

South Republic Road

I applaud each student, parent, employee, paraprofessional, teacher, administrator, superintendent, and school board member of Anthony Wayne Local, Maumee City, Oregon City, Ottawa Hills Local, Perrysburg Exempted Village, Rossford, Springfield Local, Sylvania, Toledo Public, and Washington Local Schools districts.

Congratulations for achieving total improvement status in education across the districts as recognized by the Ohio Department of Education School Report Card.

This effort has taken an extraordinary amount of work, commitment, and dedication to achieve this recognition.

As a representative in education, I am extremely proud to be a part of the best region in the state for quality education.

I'm especially proud to work with such talented people who diligently guide, support, and, most important, educate our children and our grandchildren in northwest Ohio.

THOMAS B. BAKER

Superintendent

Lucas County

Educational Service Center

How can we control the people who cheat and take advantage of programs created for low-income families?

The coupon program for free fruit and vegetables is probably worse than all of them.

Applicants are required to sign a form stating that their income is below the amount required for eligibility.

The word is, "go ahead apply for the program, nobody checks on your income."

Many of the people do not qualify. It really upsets me to see that many who are eligible are turned down because the cheaters were the first to apply. As a result, the needy suffer.

As a taxpayer, I really resent this type of fraud. There has to be a way to expose the people who take advantage of these programs.

Paying a fine and reimbursing the program for all coupons received could possibly discourage these "cheaters." There has to be an answer.

M. BEATTY

Perrysburg

Even though the Democratic National Committee picked up the tab for Mayor Jack Ford's boondoggle to New York, the trip was obviously for the purpose of political posturing and did nothing for the betterment of Toledo.

Because Mr. Ford has failed to attract new business opportunities for Toledo and has relied on antiquated union support for his mayorality, he's all but admitted his utter incompetence.

Mr. Ford would do well to read the Constitution to try to find where one person located hundreds of miles from Toledo has the responsibility to maintain a local manufacturing base.

The Blade article coddled the mayor as he whined about "mission not accomplished." Doing things the same way and expecting different results is a recipe for insanity.

Opportunity and change need to begin locally to build a vibrant Toledo.

Our change should start at One Government Center.

Randy Sroczynski

Swan Creek Drive

If some other country or countries were to invade the U.S.A. and try to take over as we do elsewhere, would we not also fight back and try to preserve our nation?

Let us bring home our troops as rapidly as possible and make democracy work here first and set a shining example. A star in the West to be followed by others.

W.B. MORAN

Wendover Drive



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