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Published: Sunday, 1/23/2005

What were those voters thinking?

President Bush recently stated that the 2004 election validated his decision to go to war with Iraq. As much as I hate to admit it, he makes a good point. More than half the voters essentially endorsed the war by voting for Mr. Bush, even though the original justifications given by the Bush Administration proved false. There were no links to 9/11 and no weapons of mass destruction. The voters knew it. They didn t care. So what if a lot of innocent people died needlessly. Stuff happens.

Even though we elect leaders to make these life-and-death decisions, as Americans we all bear responsibility for the consequences. I m still haunted by the memories of all those young children killed by our bombs. It shouldn t have happened. I m especially saddened when I hear people continue to cite 9/11. What are they thinking?

People in our country were prosecuted for attacking Muslims, Sikhs, and others as targets for their rage and desire for revenge following 9/11. Yet, the Bush Administration essentially did the same thing by attacking Iraq. And on Nov. 2 we said that s OK.

BOB PACER

Delta, Ohio

Important points concerning our present war on terrorists are either intentionally or ignorantly omitted from media coverage. Populations of countries or nations do not start wars. Small fanatical cores of uncompromising leaders declare wars and enlist others to fight against their enemies within and without a society. To win such wars, defenders require a total commitment to exterminate these enemy leaders.

For example, post World War II showed us that Axis populations desired peace, but could only achieve it with the help of the Allies who won and then removed Axis leaders. People are naturally peaceful everywhere and only rogue leaders must be controlled or eliminated for the general welfare of others.

Our country is at war with a very small number of powerful fanatics within the Muslim nation. These individuals, who are by their own admissions hell-bent on killing us, must be eradicated. We must fight a no-holds-barred war against the religious crusade that they declared against us, and we must win for the benefit of all societies.

Power and intelligence are the keys to success in war. We have the power but we need to adjust our intelligence gathering techniques, as required, for the protection of our country and the security of us all.

JAMES M. STEWART

Shoreland Avenue

We have public parks in Ohio so that the public is able to enjoy Ohio s public resources regardless of income. That is why public tax dollars were used to purchase and support them.

I support Ohio s parks, but their operation and maintenance is an obligation the state should honor through the taxes already paid by Ohio s hard-working men and women. The parks are one of the few benefits that all of Ohio s taxpayers can enjoy.

Where does it end? Will we implement meters at the doors of public libraries or charge 25 cents to borrow a book? Charging the public to use what it has already paid for is nonsensical.

The last state budget increased spending to an all-time high, and Ohioans overwhelmingly objected. Now I am afraid that the new status quo will be to disguise tax increases in the form of user fees. Ohio s hard-working families deserve better.

It is the principle and not the amount of the fee that is important. Requiring Ohioans to pay a parking fee is just another type of tax.

TIM GRENDELL

State Senator, 18th District

Chesterland, Ohio

Recently I had the opportunity to have lunch with a small group in the lodge at Maumee Bay State Park. I found the food to be quite good, the wait-staff attentive, and the prices fair, though a touch pricey.

Unfortunately, the dining room was almost empty. If the state institutes a $5 per vehicle entrance fee, I fear that this sort of dining experience will go elsewhere. Should the day-use fee be instituted, I hope there s a waiver included in there for this type of activity.

ROBERT P. DUTKOWSKI

Shallowford Drive

Michael Woods Jan. 3 column ( Antibiotics aren t always the answer ) correctly pointed out that, in addition to the inappropriate use of antibiotics by patients and doctors, inappropriate agricultural uses of antibiotics also foster the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

In addition to boosting feed efficiency (i.e. promoting slightly faster growth on less feed), the other non-therapeutic agricultural use of antibiotics as feed additives for poultry, swine, and beef cattle is to compensate for unhealthy conditions on factory farms. More than half of those drugs are identical or closely related to medicines doctors need to treat human illness.

The public can help curb this problem in two ways. First, consumers can choose to purchase meat and poultry produced without antibiotic feed additives.

The nonprofit Eat Well Guide (www.EatWellGuide.org) features more than 5,000 listings of producers, markets, and restaurants offering meat and dairy products produced without antibiotic feed additives.

Consumers also can urge their state and federal legislators to protect the public by passing laws curtailing agricultural overuse of antibiotics. State Sen. Robert Hagan (D., Youngstown) recently introduced a bill that would ban school lunch programs from buying poultry treated with Cipro-like antibiotics because this antibiotic use spurs the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can cause food poisoning.

The bill would also require animal feed distributors and drug retailers to report their sales of animal antibiotics. U.S. Rep. Sherrod Brown has vowed to reintroduce federal legislation that would phase out the use of antibiotics that are important in human medicine as feed additives.

The American Medical Association, Academy of Medicine of Toledo and Lucas County, Ohio Association of Boards of Health, Ohio Family Farm Coalition, Ohio Nurses Association, Ohio Osteopathic Association, and Ohio Public Health Association are among the more than 380 groups nationwide that have endorsed this bipartisan common-sense measure.

JAN LANIER, RN

Director of Health Policy

Ohio Nurses Association

Columbus

Your recent editorial, Choices, conflicts for Europe, contained the same misinformation that you have printed before on several occasions. You insist on creating two nations that do not exist.

The first is Greek Cyprus and the second is Turkish Cyprus. There is a country known as the Republic of Cyprus, a new member of the European Union. Yes, it is composed mostly of ethnic Greeks. he northern one-third of the Republic of Cyprus is occupied by the Turkish army, which invaded the island more than 30 years ago ostensibly to protect ethnic Turk residents of Cyprus.

The northern, occupied portion of Cyprus attempted to establish another nation. This nation is recognized by only one other country in the world Turkey.

The citizens of northern Cyprus want to become part and parcel, and participants in, the prosperity of the Republic of Cyprus. They are being buffeted by outside forces.

Your insistence on referring to the existence of two nations on the island of Cyprus is a page from the foreign policy of Turkey. Somehow Turkey (and The Blade) will have to accept the reality of the Republic of Cyprus if it is to succeed in its accession to the EU.

DON E. STATHULIS

Oregon

Every day I read The Blade I see a story about some type of government raising taxes, fees, etc. Why don t we fire all the politicians and replace them with monkeys that are trained to push a button labeled Increase Taxes. The result would be the same.

KEVIN McLAIN

Oregon



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