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Published: Thursday, 10/7/2004

Make 'none of the above' an option

What is it about the electoral process that turns seemingly intelligent and honorable individuals into blithering idiots?

If the first debate is any indication, my guy won, your guy lost.

If you believe the hype, here are your options:

Option A: A Republican who wants to stay president, married well, didn't find Osama, didn't get rid of terrorists, got us into an ugly war, is hated by folks all over the world (and us along with him), may or may not have been totally honorable in his military service, and put the economy in the dumper.

Option B: A Democrat who wants to be president, married well, wasn't even looking for Osama, not sure he is for or against the war (among other things), isn't sure who is or isn't a terrorist, hasn't done anything to get us hated or liked by folks around the world, may or may not have been totally honorable in his military service, and put the economy in the dumper.

Option C: A maverick, who wants to be president, isn't married from what I can tell, hasn't said much about Osama or the war or terrorists, did get rid of the Corvair, is hated by General Motors and just about every other manufacturer in the world, hasn't declared that he was ever in the military, and put the economy in the dumper.

How on earth can voters make an intelligent choice, when intelligent choice in choosing politicians is an oxymoron?

The solution:

Option D: None of the above. Kick the bums out and start all over again!

Joe Thomas

Hurley Drive

I have just seen the lowest ad in almost 50 years of watching politics. The Texas Swift Boat Veterans for "Truth" have an ad directly saying John Kerry betrayed his country. They even stuck in Jane Fonda (even though she and Mr. Kerry don't know each other). His crime: telling the truth about Vietnam. How Orwellian that the only presidential candidate who fought for his country is accused of betraying it and the one who didn't fully do his service is made a "hero." This is a new low in politics.

MICHAEL WATKINS

Bowling Green

After listening to the latest libel from the Swift Boat Veterans for "Truth," I can't help but wonder what these men fought for in Vietnam. Surely it wasn't to uphold the American ideal, constitutional right, and national heritage of freedom of speech. They apparently believe that only they - and those who agree with them - have the right to speak out in protest.

They describe John Kerry as "a man who betrayed his country." They should turn the mirror around. Their charge takes them beyond the fringe of the far right's political correctness; it places them squarely as treasonous to the ideals they allegedly uphold.

Kathryn Bowman Simoni

Blairmont Avenue

Mayor Jack Ford said the city could not afford the expense but promised efforts to rejuvenate the Erie Street Market. Where is it mentioned that Mr. Ford demanded that the current vendors in the market move to the food court so that the current vending area can be turned into a banquet hall? It seems to me that Mr. Ford is set on a course of destruction, not reconstruction.

Look around you as you drive on the washboard streets of Toledo looking for work. Where is the new sports arena that was voted on years ago to be located on the East Side? Mr. Ford is still debating the location? Why? Does that mean the East Side might have to be recognized and improved?

All around us business is leaving, jobs are gone, people are moving, but Toledo will have a banquet hall. Let 'em eat cake, Mr. Mayor.

WHIMS IVEY

Vinal Street

The turnpike commission told us trucks would go back on the Ohio Turnpike if the speed limit was raised. Yet ask truck drivers, especially the independents, what route they are driving and I'll bet they are driving the same route they drove before. It's the tolls, stupid.

Now ODOT is saying that more signs on westbound I-475 are going to alleviate the congestion that begins forming long before rush hour.

Brilliant!

There was little congestion until some brilliant engineer had the bright idea to change the traffic pattern that has been in place for more than 30 years.

Whatever accidents might have occurred before will be matched by all the rear-end accidents that will occur as people are forced to jam on their brakes instead of merging into traffic.

ODOT shouldn't put up more signs. It should remove the signs it erected a couple months ago, scrape off the paint, and put things back the way they were. It should then turn its efforts toward building new exits at Corey or Holland-Sylvania roads. That will ease the traffic. Ask anyone who drives it every day.

What has been done has created more problems and made the I-475 split less safe.

Dick Fotoples

Cloister Road

George W. Bush joined the National Guard in May, 1968. Almost immediately, he began an extended period of training. Six weeks of basic training. Fifty-three weeks of flight training. Twenty-one weeks of fighter-interceptor training.

That was 80 weeks to begin with, and there were other training periods thrown in as well. It was full-time work. By the time it was over, Mr. Bush had served nearly two years.

Not two years of weekends. Two years.

After training, Mr. Bush kept flying, racking up hundreds of hours in F-102 jets. As he did, he accumulated points toward his National Guard service requirements. At the time, guardsmen were required to accumulate a minimum of 50 points to meet their yearly obligation.

According to records released earlier this year, President Bush earned 253 points in his first year, May, 1968, to May, 1969, (since he joined in May, 1968, his service thereafter was measured on a May-to-May basis).

Mr. Bush earned 340 points in 1969-1970. He earned 137 points in 1970-1971. And he earned 112 points in 1971-1972. The numbers indicate that in his first four years, he not only showed up, he showed up a lot. Did you know that?

DALE K. ANDERSON

Ottawa Hills

Your description of the Lucas County prosecutor's office as "timid" was right on! Being the mother of a murder victim, I watched the person who robbed and shot my son get a plea bargain for involuntary manslaughter, with no gun specification.

How is it that you kill someone with a gun and get the gun charge dropped, and commit murder yet plea to involuntary manslaughter? Just ask the prosecutor's office.

I didn't want a plea bargain. I felt 12 years was a slap on the wrist. I would have rather gone to trial. But, as I was told, this wasn't a crime against me, but against the state, and although the state sought my input, the choice was its to make.

So look out. This person will be walking among us again.

PAMELA HAYES

Chelsea Court

In looking at childhood obesity, nobody has yet commented on the fact that longer school days, longer school years, and homework from kindergarten on cut into children's time to be active and could be a contributing factor in childhood obesity.

It was with horror I read about the idea of schools tracking and reporting on childhood obesity. What would it accomplish beyond emphasizing and embarrassing children with weight problems? Telling children (and their parents) that they have a problem they already are aware of and burdened by isn't going to solve a thing. Only a person who has never struggled with a weight problem would expect such a simplistic idea to work.

Janet C. Barley

Perrysburg



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