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Friday, December 19, 2014
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Published: Sunday, 9/18/2005

Holding our leaders accountable

I would like to commend the President for taking personal responsibility for the federal government's failures in the Hurricane Katrina recovery. That isn't to say he is the only one who is responsible, but hopefully this will end the shameful blame game that others in his administration have been playing with local and state officials.

There is more than enough blame for everyone to shoulder and it was refreshing to see him stand up and take his fair share of it.

While he's at it, I'd like to see this President acknowledge that he is also ultimately responsible for misleading us about the threats that Iraq posed prior to our invasion. I'd like to hear him explain why global terrorist attacks have increased during his watch when we are supposedly winning that war. He should tell us why this economic recovery increased the ranks of the poor by 11 percent, added 6 million more uninsured, and reduced median household income for the fourth straight year.

I'd also like to hear him speak just as honestly about why gas prices have doubled over the past year, why our trade deficit will soon reach an all-time high of $700 billion, why my share of the national debt is more than $26,000, and why permanent tax cuts for the rich are still a good idea.

It's our patriotic duty to hold our elected officials accountable for doing the basic things that we elected them to do - defend us, manage our resources wisely, help those who are unable to help themselves, and leave our children something better than our parents left us. Hopefully, Mr. Bush will demonstrate that his new understanding of the President's public accountability extends well beyond failures in the Katrina tragedy.

Jeff Beamsley

Monroe, Mich.

To my knowledge, this is the first time, since he became president, that George Bush has publicly admitted to any failures on his part or his administration's. He acknowledged that he was responsible for the failures of the federal government's reaction in dealing with the Katrina disaster.

I bet that Karl Rove had to talk to him long and hard to get him to make such a statement because, as you well know, Mr. Bush is always right.

Mr. Rove probably sold him on the fact that Mr. Bush's poll ratings are in the tank, and that he best get out there, looking contrite, and admit to his leadership failure. After all, the President certainly wouldn't want the Republicans to lose control of both houses in 2006, and a little PR on his part couldn't hurt.

I would also hope that when Mr. Bush is in front of his mirror, practicing his facial expressions (caring, compassionate, earnest, steadfast, stern, etc), that he will look himself in the eye and say the word "wrong."

I would hope that once he is able to get the word out of his mouth, he might do some soul searching and come forth with such statements as: "I was wrong to invade Iraq, my policies on the environment are wrong, my tax cuts for the wealthy are wrong, my funding cuts for the poor and aged, for education, for underprivileged children, etc., are all wrong."

Better yet, once he is able to make these admissions to himself, I would hope that he uses his office to correct these and many other issues. I believe anything is possible and that he can truly make these tough decisions. I also believe in the tooth fairy.

Dick Cheney

Maumee

There has been much publicity, fault-finding, and finger-pointing at the "alleged crime" of Gov. Bob Taft accepting golf outings. I don't condone his actions but I think there is enough guilt to go around.

I am sure I am safe in saying that there are very few politicians who have not accepted gifts from a giver with the hopes they will gain favor from the official.

Under the word "bribe" I found this in my dictionary: (1) Any valuable consideration given or promised for corrupt behavior in the performance of official or public duty. (2) Anything given or serving to persuade or induce. Then the verb to influence or corrupt by a bribe.

Two things I see here.

There is no dollar value set when a gift becomes a bribe. So it seem to me that a small amount is just as much a bribe as a large amount. A bribe is a bribe. So the law should forbid all except family gifts to public officials. The second thing is the giver is just as much a lawbreaker as the one who accepts it.

We Republicans have taken a lot of abuse for all the ills today. One thing we can't be blamed for is Toledo's sad state of affairs.

ROBERT GREEK

Montpelier, Ohio

Jack Lessenberry's columns are insightful and absent of the partisan vitriol that is often found on the opinion pages. Because he is able to make law, politics, and the Constitution relevant, I have been able to use his columns with my high school government students at Clay High School.

His column last summer on Dr. Jack Kevorkian sparked a lively debate among my students regarding the importance of the Ninth Amendment and the implied right to privacy in the Constitution.

Undoubtedly he is helping to make my job - getting 16-year-olds interested in politics - much easier.

Steven Kwiatkowski

Social Studies Teacher

Clay High School

Oregon

Our city leaders should give serious thought to building more hiking/biking trails in Toledo.

The way fuel prices are going, we need them, the sooner the better.

W.B. MORAN

Wendover Drive

Differences between Islam and Christianity are often emphasized, even exaggerated, while basic similarities are rejected or ignored.

Both faiths trace their roots back to Abraham, Moses, and the God of the Hebrews. Both faiths have a large following that sincerely worship the same God. Both faiths recognize the entire Bible as authentic revelations from God.

The Bible's book of Genesis states that God was with Abraham's son Ishmael as he grew, promising to "make him a great nation."

The people of Mecca, the Holy City of Islam, claim to be descendents of Ishmael. Muhammad, born in Mecca several hundred years after Christ, authored the Qur'an, Islam's final authority, referencing Jesus nearly 100 times.

The Christian faith actually comes from the New Testament, the life of Christ, and the belief that he is the Son of God. Christian and Islamic faiths both promote peace, love, and helping the poor.

Yet, both faiths are plagued with hypocrites promoting personal agendas of violence and greed in place of God's agenda of peace, love, and charity.

The destruction of the World Trade Center buildings and the deaths of some 3,000 people were promoted by individuals proclaiming themselves Islamic. The terror of "shock and awe" needlessly killing 100,000 men, women, and children in Iraq without provocation, was promoted and supported by people proclaiming themselves Christian.

Such ludicrous claims of religious faith while supporting violence are offensive, disrespectful, and serve only to create a dark division between the people of two great religions, people who believe in and worship the same God.

A greater emphasis on the common ground between these two great religious faiths might increase respect, while further promoting the biblical mandates of love, charity, and quest for peace.

DAVID A. WARNER

Rowland Road

Our beautiful America has taken a pretty good hit that will take years to recover from.

Do you think the "evil ones" are watching the mess we're in - and planning another attack? I do! Then what?

Bring our troops home to take care of our business now! We are still in danger.

SUE TOBIAS

Camden, Mich.



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