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Published: Tuesday, 8/29/2006

Kerry took bad rap on flip-flop vote

In Karl Rove's recent visit to Toledo, he once again dredged up John Kerry's flip-flop on the War in Iraq, in which Senator Kerry was "for the war before he was against it."

How many Americans understand exactly what Mr. Kerry was for and against? While I would never expect Mr. Rove to clear things up, I remain deeply puzzled by both the Kerry campaign's and the media's inability or unwillingness to explain this matter. So let me try to set the record straight on John Kerry's "infamous" flip-flop.

There were two bills before the Senate in September 2003, both of which requested $87 billion in funding for the war effort. In one bill, the entire $87 billion tab would be charged to the U.S. taxpayers. This was the bill that Mr. Kerry voted against (and the bill that finally was passed). The other bill stipulated that $20 billion of the total $87 billion tab would be paid for out of Iraqi oil revenues, thus sparing the US taxpayer considerable expense. This was the bill that Mr. Kerry voted for.

Cleary, Mr. Kerry was not so much against funding the war as he was against adding to the average American's tax burden.

Isn't it amazing how the Republicans succeeded in demonizing Mr. Kerry for trying to save U.S. taxpayers a big chunk of change? And isn't it amazing how the Democrats rolled over and played dead?

Stephen Christman

Cloister Court

It is more than a little surprising to find a right-wing Republican contributing a letter which praises Joe Lieberman by invoking the names of FDR, JFK, and HHH as"giants and great men."

But then the writer proceeds to badmouth Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Marcy Kaptur and others as leftists. Any rudimentary knowledge of history will tell you that Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Humphrey were among the most liberal, and if you choose to use the term, leftist. Much more so than Mr. Reid, Ms. Pelosi, and Ms. Kaptur.

But maybe the letter illustrates what is known by many. The Republicans are called by many names these days, but "giants and great men" are not among them.

James Falbush

Findlay

The Republican machine is churning out ads and campaign rhetoric that depict Democrats as soft on security. Ratchet up the fear, paint the opposition as weak on terror, and continue in power. This premise that Republicans' strong suit is security, and they are tough on terror has some big problems in reality.

I cannot understand why the media haven't exposed the administration's "Osama bin forgotten" policies. Despite the Bush rhetoric of "dead or alive" and "we'll do whatever it takes," a little-reported shutdown of the CIA unit Alec Station (whose sole mission was to hunt for bin Laden) confirms that the Bush Administration has no intention of getting Osama. He is more valuable to Karl Rove for political posturing than if he were captured and defanged.

Although this unit began tracking Osama in 1995, and in 2001 we heard George Bush declare his cowboy toughness, in recent years this unit has been victim of CIA turf wars, with agents reduced from 25 to eight. It was set up to fail under President Bush's appointments and policies.

Finally in December (but only recently revealed), the CIA Osama unit was officially disbanded. (Where is The Blade report?) Is this just another example of Bush incompetence or do Republicans see political advantage in keeping terror alive?

With thousands of dead American soldiers, and many billions squandered in Iraq , how have Republicans made us safer?

The 9/11 commissioners says the intelligence agencies have not significantly improved communications. Homeland Security is spending wildly but not securing our borders, not providing explosives-screening technology to airports, and not screening containers at our ports. No one is looking for Osama.

Republicans are not about security. But do get ready for their next big scare.

Sheila Campbell

Perrysburg

My family has a long tradition of picnicking at Oak Openings. Recently we gathered at our favorite Mallard Lake shelter house, and we made a huge mistake in not clearly communicating to the band of young siblings and cousins where they were allowed to go and how to keep us informed of their whereabouts.

Three youths, ages 9-12, set out on a round-about exploration trek in the briefest moment when three generations of adults were all looking elsewhere. In just a few minutes they were out of shouting range, and we were out of our minds with worry.

A park naturalist, Bunny Rossnagel, encountered us as we fanned out to search, and she called for a ranger before hiking up trails to look for our children. Officer Becky Woodcock came immediately and used a network of other rangers, with the help of an angel disguised as a local bike rider, to find our beloveds having a grand time in the sand dunes.

We all can't bear to imagine what this experience could have been like without the help of the professional park staff that was there that day. I plead with the Metroparks of the Toledo Area to keep naturalists and rangers on site and available to the public it serves, and I encourage the public to wholeheartedly support the parks system.

Rebecca Conklin

Findlay

An Aug. 24 editorial states: The (tobacco) industry lost in court but will keep right on selling a product that, when used as directed, causes suffering and death.

Never in my 50 years as a heavy user of tobacco products (perfectly legal I must point out)have I received any directions with them. Perhaps The Blade could publish such aforementioneddirections as a public service.

Delmer O. Gasche

Morenci, Mich.

Many Lucas County homeowners received new property valuations that appear to be unrealistically high. The old saw that "I'll sell you my home today for the market value you have placed upon it" springs to mind as we learn what the county auditor believes to be a realistic market value of our homes.

There are good reasons for increased valuations, such as building an addition to a home. Also, we have the right to appeal by visiting an auditor's representative, filing an informal appeal, and possbily a formal one.

I suggest we put the shoe on the other foot. When we receive a new valuation that we believe is not realistic, we should not have to prove the auditor wrong. If the auditor believes our property has increased in value, he ought to be required to list the reasons on the notice to the homeowner; e.g., "you built a bedroom-bath addition to your home."

Would it not be much more fair to require the auditor to say to us "Yes, we believe the market value of your home has increased because " Under my revised state law, each item used as a basis for an increased valuation must be listed.

In any event, if we believe our increased valuation is unrealistic we ought to appeal and pressure the auditor's office to give us solid reasons for its valuation increase.

Realistically, my suggested change in state law will happen when elephants fly. It did seem like a good idea at the time.

Clark H. Reber

Sylvania

I remember a conversation with my mother and grandmother more than 50 years ago in which they shared the mnemonics they had learned to memorize the planets: "Mary's Violet Eyes Made Johnny Sit Up Nights" was my grandma's device. My mom added "Praying" since she learned the solar system after 1930.

With Pluto's newly diminished status, I'll probably go back to my grandma's system, although I must admit I'll miss the mnemonic I've been using for the past 5 1/2 years: "Many Very Erudite Men Justly Scream, 'Unenlightened Numbskull President!' "

Cathy Wirzylo

Eastwick Drive



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