I never met Gov. Bob Taft, but he seems to be a nice guy. Maybe too nice. The problem with "nice guys" is that they are easily persuaded, manipulated, and, as some people say, "worked." People take advantage of nice guys.
I'm not saying that nice guys finish last. Absolutely not. There are plenty of nice people who are extremely successful in business, law, education, medicine, and politics. How do they do it? They have a very "tough side" or business side to their personalities. They know when to say "enough is enough" and they also know how to say "no."
Unfortunately, many people who belong to the privileged class do not receive this training. Some people would call this type of education "street smarts."
Street smarts is usually not something you can learn at a college or university. It must be learned through personal experience out in the real world. Some members of the genteel society realized the importance of this type of education. Joseph Kennedy made sure that his sons were both "book smart" and "street smart."
Is Bob Taft a bad guy or a good guy who was misled? I don't know. Time will tell. One thing about the truth is that eventually it comes out.
GEORGE W. WEIDNER
In regard to the Aug. 28 article on old rockers, they should go immediately if not sooner. They reach back trying to restart the fountain of youth, but the fountain is dry, it's over.
They are coming out of the woodwork, coming out of hibernation, coming out of the nursing homes. And when they come back from the dead, I'm out of here.
As long as there is a gullible populace willing to pay the freight to endure these old timers, they will keep coming back and encourage others to come back until "death do us part."
I take exception (and offense) to a recent Kirk cartoon portraying the United States government dropping the ball for the Hurricane Katrina victims. My husband is with the Ohio 1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team, (DMAT). The team is in Covington, La., working in a shelter, treating some 100-plus patients a day, in addition to assisting local medical personnel care for some 500 residents in this same shelter.
When the team arrived on Aug. 29, the very day the hurricane hit, there were already four teams in place in Memphis, Tenn., awaiting further orders. The plan was put into motion as soon as humanly possible for assistance to be delivered to the good people of Louisiana.
It is not George Bush's fault that some folks did not and would not leave their homes in the days before the hurricane hit, even after being warned and warned again.
It is not FEMA's fault that enraged people were rushing buses so that the drivers were afraid to stop and pick up passengers.
It is not Congress' fault that shots were being fired upon the helicopters which were attempting to bring aid and supplies to these storm victims.
I wait for the Ohio 1 DMAT to come home safely after their job assisting these people in such terrible conditions is completed, only to have them send another team to help, and another and another in the coming months.
ALISON L. VanRYNEN
Paul Krugman's Sept. 5 column mentioned reporters in Biloxi hearing of tales of death and survival while Air Force personnel across the street were playing basketball and doing calisthenics.
Mr. Krugman needs to gather all the facts before telling his story.
Keesler AFB, at Biloxi, is an Air Force training base. The base took a direct hit from the storm and the base commander has to do what he can to protect his people. The majority of the people there are students learning the skills that will be their Air Force jobs.
Relatives who work at Sheppard AFB, Texas, and Maxwell AFB, Ala., have told me about the number of students their bases will be housing until the infrastructure at Keesler is repaired and they can safely return to resume classes.
The personnel seen were probably students and to attempt to use them for the rescue and recovery efforts would be counterproductive. They are students, probably waiting to be moved, and are not trained in rescue and recovery. The jobs that need to be done right now require persons with specific skills to complete them.
Contrary to a Sept. 6 letter, there was no gas rationing in the 1970s. The last and only time there was gas rationing was during World War II. That was from 1939 to 1945, with rationing from 1942 to 1945.
Congress did go so far as to print up rationing coupons, but the coupons never made it out of the printer's warehouse in the 1970s.
Ever since oil became a commodity, more than 25 years ago, it has been purchased through the commodity futures market, thus allowing large fluctuations in the daily price of oil. Before that, oil was sold in a market in which the actual cost to produce it was considered in the price. Now it is a supply and demand market.
The oil refineries in America are, or rather were, before Katrina hit, running at or near 97 percent to 99 percent of capacity. In the 1960s and even the 1970s they were running somewhere in the 65 percent to 75 percent capacity.
What that translates to on the market is that if even the smallest refinery has to shut down, or has a fire at a refinery, or a large hurricane hits or some other disaster, the demand for refined oil in America exceeds its ability to produce refined oil.
Therefore, in a commodity market, the price goes up to force a lessening of demand. There is a plentiful supply of oil, for now. The problem is with terrorists constantly destroying Middle East pipelines and insufficient refining capacity.
Worst of all is President Bush's mandate of only U.S. flagged vessels delivering to U.S. oil ports, as there are not enough ships to meet the demand.
I recently took my car in for an oil change and asked the guy why the price isn't $50 to $60 because of the high cost of oil. I'm paying the same as I did last time I had it done, $14.99, and I noticed that on the shelf a can of oil has stayed the same price. How can that be?
Yes, it was a good question, he said, but he had no answer.
When the oil companies find out about that little can of oil mistake, oil changes will costs $49.99. We don't want to deceive the public, do we?
This is an idea advanced by former University of Dayton coaching great Dan Donoher. I personally think it's an idea worth implementing now.
There can be no question that Bob Nichols is the most noteworthy basketball coach in the history of the game at the University of Toledo. I know there was Harold Anderson, Jerry Bush, and currently Stan Joplin, but none can equal Nichols in longevity, dedication to the program, or, for that matter, victories.
The time has come to honor him by naming the basketball court in Savage Hall "Robert Nichols Court." Let's do it now while he is still around to know how much we appreciate his efforts.
Let's see. Fuehrer Bush is a racist homophobe who purposefully delayed aid to Katrina victims so that Halliburton could get large multibillion-dollar contracts for Dick Cheney and all his oil buddies.
Hey, liberals, did I leave anything out?