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Published: 7/30/2006

A few more numbers to chew on

Just a number, the White House asserts. Yet for months, beginning with the State of the Union address, Americans had to endure a President reminding us daily that he was about to turn 60 years old. So what - it's just a number.

How about some more "just a number" anecdotes to chew on?

More than 14,400 Iraqi civilians killed during the first six months of the year.

More than $300 billion spent and more to come to support Mr. Bush's Iraqi folly.

More than 2,500 American men and women killed in Iraq; more than 18,000 soldiers wounded in action with many suffering serious mental disorder.

Again, so what? Just numbers.

And as for number 2,500, that number has a face and a name: Marine Cpl. Michael Estrella. That number was someone's loving son.

And what did we hear about for this ultimate sacrifice? It's just a number.

Well, I have a number to ponder - Jan. 20, 2009. That's when we can quote another American, Gerald Ford, "our long national nightmare is over."

ANTHONY THIROS

Lambertville

White House spokesman Tony Snow recently said in reference to President Bush's opposition to embryonic stem cell research, "the simple answer is he thinks murder's wrong."

It is well-known that the fertility industry discards thousands of embryos every year. By White House logic these clinics are committing murder at an alarming rate.

As defenders of law and order, the administration must begin rounding up every doctor, nurse, and patient involved in these so-called murders, and give them the jail time they deserve. Otherwise, President Bush's veto of funding for stem cell research might be seen as cynical election-year politics.

DAVID J. JACKSON

Virginia Street

Thomas Walton's idiotic defense of Mike Ferner's conviction is consistent with journalists like Walter Durante, Eason Jordan, Dan Rather, and their ilk. They simply lie to themselves and us with half truths, omissions of fact, and, of course, outright lies.

Mr. Walton talks about "a morally wrong and undeclared war." I will not address morals with someone who has none. He sounds like a shrill al-Qaeda mouthpiece more than an American.

The "undeclared war" part is such an outright lie as to be laughable. Mr. Walton may want to research U.N. Resolution 678 which authorized force against Iraq in 1991. This resolution has never been withdrawn. He may also want to check U.N. Resolution 1441 from 2002 finding Iraq in "material breech" of its agreed upon obligations.

Finally, Mr. Walton may want to "investigate" the U.S. Senate, which overwhelmingly voted for war against Iraq.

Head-in-the-sand "journalists" are so blinded by their hatred of the President and America they cannot even tell the truth about the uranium removed from Saddam's laboratory, artillery shells loaded with lethal chemicals, MIGs buried in the sand, and an ammo dump, all violations of U.N. Resolutions 678 and 1441.

Propaganda ministers like Thomas Walton will project their lies to the gullible leftists no matter what sin they have to commit. It's been going on since George Washington's time. Recall Benedict Arnold anyone?

MIKE COON

Edgewater Drive

The Blade prints emotional, anti-government/antiwar/anti, etc., opinions of liberals in its Pages of Opinion daily. The bridge painter trial was a case in point.

Mike Ferner printed the same opinion The Blade does every day, but on bridges instead of paper.

JAMES M. STEWART

Shoreland Avenue

The deal reached between the White House and Sen. Arlen Specter (R., Pa.) concerning the Bush Administration's warrantless eavesdropping program is a "compromise" only in the sense that it compromises our fundamental freedoms as Americans.

Under the bill, warrantless wiretaps would not be limited to Americans "talking to al-Qaeda," which current law already governs, but would sweep in innocent Americans who have done nothing wrong.

If the Cheney-Specter bill passes, President Bush and future presidents will be able to wiretap without showing a court that an American is conspiring with al-Qaeda or any foreign power - eliminating the mandatory judicial check required by federal law to protect constitutional rights.

CYNTHIA MAHAFFEY

Bowling Green

I'm hoping Ohio newspapers will publish the new rules regarding voter identification sometime prior to the November elections, as a public service. If The Blade's staff could translate these rules from legalese to standard English, that would be helpful, too.

I had hoped Secretary of State Ken Blackwell would inform the public about the new requirements prior to the election in November, but Mr. Blackwell and his staff, although they are charged with voter education, seem unwilling or unable to do this job.

I fully expected a statewide effort to educate voters about the new rules, but time is growing short, and our legislature and secretary of state seem unconcerned with informing the public of rule changes.

Perhaps if The Blade and other Ohio newspapers pick up the slack, and perform this service for the secretary of state's office, there will be less chaos and confusion at polling places in November.

Ohio voters needn't be accidentally disenfranchised, or shunted to a provisional ballot, simply because our secretary of state dropped the ball and neglected to inform voters of the new rules the Ohio legislature saw fit to impose.

Ohians now know what to expect from a Blackwell-administered election. We know from experience there will be a flurry of confusing and contradictory directives handed to county election boards prior to the November elections. Add confusion about the extensive new requirements for voters who seek to cast a ballot, and we have the makings of electoral chaos in November.

This is avoidable.

Voters need and deserve information about the new requirements.

Let's give Ohio voters at least a fighting chance of casting a valid ballot, and having it counted, this time around. Please publish the rules.

CHIARA DUGGAN

Bryan, Ohio

I read with pleasure your recent editorial on the sleight of hand behind the latest federal deficit projections. Your analysis of the fiscal sleight of hand the Bush Administration is pulling here was dead on.

The only (minor) complaint I'd raise is that the editorial followed the Bush Administration's convention (and, sadly, the numbers used by Democrats such as Harry Reid) by presenting the unified budget deficit of just under $300 billion as the best estimate for this year. It's important to remind people that the number is only that low because we're borrowing $174 billion from Social Security this year. Add that in and you're looking at an on-budget deficit of $470 billion this year.

As a response to this almost universal media confusion over how big this year's deficit really is, we released an analysis titled "How Big is the Deficit - Really?" at www.ctj.org.

MATT GARDNER

Citizens for Tax Justice

Washington, D.C.

If there were no Mike Ferners, we would still be part of the British Empire. Our country is in far more jeopardy from sanctimonious judgmentalists.

The Blade's point was that Ferner's jury was not fully advised of its options.

JOHN DAVIES

Wyndwood Drive



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