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Published: Monday, 7/3/2006

Why expect world to do our bidding?

Americans have generally grown up with the conviction that their country was special, the best of all countries. Perhaps three historical circumstances lent truth to this belief.

First was free land and untapped natural resources. In Europe, if you were not the first-born son, you were landless. In America land was free for the taking. Europe's coal and timber had been despoiled for centuries. In America it was practically unlimited.

Second was hardy immigrants. Only the bravest and most resourceful dared a one-way voyage to an unfamiliar land of strange language and customs. The flood of immigrants to America in the late 19th century brought the cream of the world to build a strong and energetic nation.

Third was two World Wars, which devastated Europe, but left America untouched to build its industrial might.

Now, in 2006, America's free land is taken. Our population, mostly three or four generations removed from those hardy immigrants, has grown complacent. The nations devastated by World War II have had 60 years to recover.

America now must compete on an equal footing with the European Union, China, and India, each of which has a population greater than our own.

Foolishly, we still expect the whole world to dance to our tune. We are enforcing this hegemony by spending far more than any other nation on military power, financing it by selling our land and our basic industries to foreign interests. Meanwhile our competitors are investing in their basic infrastructure and the health and education of their citizens.

Military power unsupported by a strong industrial base and an energetic citizenry will not long prevail. The post-World War II era, when America called the shots, is over.

We had better learn to cooperate with other nations and stop trying to bully them into doing our bidding.

DANIEL METZGER

Lambertville, Mich.

I applaud former Police Chief Jack Smith for not tolerating the verbal and emotional abuse he was subjected to from Mayor Finkbeiner.

Such abuse seems to the rule rather than the exception when it comes to the way Mr. Finkbeiner treats his management personnel. The citizens of Toledo are fortunate that Mike Navarre is willing take over as chief again.

Each time Mr. Finkbeiner becomes mayor, the same questions come to mind. How many managers will he fire this time? How many will quit due to his bizarre, abusive treatment? Most importantly, are there enough qualified and competent people still around who will work for him this time?

Mr. Finkbeiner was quoted as saying "The taxpayers of this city want results. They're not interested in the personalities of any of us."

This may be true, but we are interested in the city employing qualified, competent and dedicated managers.

Not many such candidates can be left locally and, considering Mr. Finkbeiner's talents at managing personnel, what qualified person outside of the city of Toledo would consider employment under his reign?

RICHARD BULLARD

Angel Avenue

Here's one Toledoan who hopes Carty apologists stop using the word "passion" when defending his behavior.

It's not passion; it is ego and arrogance. There are plenty of examples, including his 52 "Welcome to Toledo" signs, his behavior with Jack Smith, and his actions and attitudes with Costco.

It's not about Carty. It is about Toledo and its citizens.

TED ROUGH

Goddard Road

Mayor Finkbeiner has once again ignored a basic principle of good management: Hire good people and let them do their job. I am not surprised by Chief Smith's resignation, and as soon as I stop laughing I am going to paint a "Jack Smith for Mayor" sign for my lawn.

CELIA ORTIZ

Sunnyside Drive



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