The present debate over whether George W. Bush lied or distorted prewar intelligence should be replaced with a debate over how competent the Bush Administration has been over the last five years.
I personally do not wonder whether George W. Bush lied because I expect all politicians to lie or distort the truth, as we saw recently in our own local election for mayor.
What concerns me is that Mr. Bush and his advisers believed all the stuff they were being told, even in the face of contrary information, e.g., the expert opinions of Scott Ritter, Hans Blix, and Joe Wilson. What is even more disturbing is that Colin Powell went along with this "cabal." If anyone should have known better, it should have been him.
So let's stop accusing Mr. Bush of being a liar and a "misleader." Instead, let's label him for what he is: "an incompetent boob" who did not understand the intelligence he was given, who did not properly plan the transition from war to peace in Iraq - his biggest mistake being the alienation for more than a year of the Sunni community - and who continues to be unwilling to reach out to the rest of the world for help in extricating the United States from this military fiasco.
Jeffery L. Irvin, Jr.
Is George W. Bush a better president and American than Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, John Kerry, and Bill Clinton? For all the true Bush lovers, I have four questions.
1. Is he a better president than Mr. Reagan?
2. Is he a better Christian than Mr. Carter?
3. Did he have a better military record than Mr. McCain or Mr. Kerry?
4. Does he have a better economic structure than Mr. Clinton?
To those of you who answered yes to all of these questions, you are a true die-hard Republican with a closed mind. The real answers to all of the above are NO!
Three cheers for National Amusements (Westfield Franklin Park Mall Cinemas) for exercising its right to show any movie it wants. Although the Toledo Police Department requested that Get Rich or Die Tryin' not be shown at its theater, the company did what it was supposed to do and stood firm. Didn't the TPD realize that this movie was not going to cause a riot or shootings? People cause riots and shootings.
The riot last month was caused by someone not taking the initiative to obtain a court injunction that would have or could have ordered the intruders to march downtown in a public place, just like they are going to have to do this month. It wouldn't have taken a rocket scientist to come up with this conclusion.
Did anyone really think that National Amusements was going to lose all that money to the Maumee theaters? Come on, don't be ridiculous!
Rapper 50 Cent's movie, Get Rich or Die Tryin' has cost one life in Pennsylvania.
After Toledo had gone through one riot, Police Chief Mike Navarre had to write to Westfield Franklin Park Mall and theater operator National Amusements, expressing concern that some individuals could use this movie as an excuse to engage in violent acts.
At the mall, amidst heavy private and police security, midnight showings of the movie were cancelled. Levis Commons in Perrysburg also reported extra security would be available.
Apparently, it's "pc" to show a movie that glamorizes gangsta violence, regardless of the cost in human life and the extra financial burden for security placed on the cities and the theaters. But it's not "pc" to show a film that has a message of hope and healing - Twist of Faith.
What unbelievable hypocrisy!
Were you aware that in the Toledo Public High Schools not even one social studies course is devoted to Asian studies, Latino studies, or Middle Eastern studies? No global economics. Geography is not required for graduation.
Students are not routinely taught how to open a checking account, write a check, or produce a household budget, unless they are fortunate enough to choose an elective in family and consumer science, marketing, or business.
Unfortunately, these classes are not devoted specifically to college prep and are not covered on the revered Ohio Graduation Test, so many college-bound students think they do not have the time in their schedules to take them or that these courses are not important.
Have you ever been amazed that when the computers fail at various stores some of the younger cashiers cannot count change?
Because consumer math is not covered on the state graduation test it is no longer taught in Toledo Public Schools. In fact, if a student is not able to pass basic algebra, remedial math is not offered to shore up math skills. Students who come to high school needing remedial help have very little chance of graduating from their traditional high schools.
Do you still wonder why we lose at-risk students to charter schools or to the streets?
Many requirements public schools must adhere to are waived by the state for some charter schools. Same tax money.
If students cannot take the courses they need to live and thrive in the real world in their public schools, they look elsewhere or drop out.
ELIN R. RICHARDSON
I think that Superintendent Eugene Sanders has made a tremendously positive impact on the Toledo Public Schools system. He has helped to bring the district out of academic emergency and our ranking continuously improves.
As a product of the public school system and a parent now, I believe we need to have continuity and a superintendent and school board who work together, not waste their energies against each other. My feeling is that Mr. Sanders underestimates the power of his supporters.
Bringing a student through the school system is a group effort: you need the student, parents, teachers, administrators, and school board all working toward the common goal, which is, lest we forget, the betterment of the child.
I sincerely hope we do not lose someone who has been a positive reinforcer of that goal.
With a majority of citizens now opposed to the Iraq War, and with a majority in Congress still favoring the war, this democracy should be seeing one of its finest and defining hours, i.e. there should be public protests and real citizen involvement.
A dictatorship runs itself. A democracy does not.
If we just sit back and say to ourselves "well, I do like the way that congressman is speaking out" or "that little vigil for our dead soldiers and the appeal for peace was really nice," but then we just leave it at that, we do not deserve to live in a democracy, and there is a real question whether this democracy will last.
DONALD A. KELLER
At his swearing-in ceremony, Michael Sessions, Hillsdale's new teen mayor, unwittingly referred to our mayor-elect as Carty Fendbender.
Perhaps he'd heard the horror stories of the old Carty's penchant for pummeling the psyches of his staff and other unfortunates who crossed his path. But in the spirit of Christmas, let's pray that, like the transformed Ebeneezer Scrooge, our new mayor makes good on his promise for a kinder administration.
Out with the Fendbender; bring on the Fendblender.