President Clinton's behavior during his Fox News appearance was an embarrassing, telling, display of his lack of character. His angry temper, whining, and finger-pointing at Chris Wallace was unbecoming of a former president.
Mr. Clinton's attitude was that Fox was doing the bidding of the evil right wing and that it was "a conservative hit job" aimed at him. None of us should be surprised by his childish, pathetic display. This is classic Clinton temperament.
Mr. Clinton's actions further enforce the stark difference in character between him and George W. Bush. Like most Americans I would like to think well of our former commander in chief. The questions posed by Mr. Wallace were not controversial. Mr. Wallace has gone after the Bush Administration with far more pointed questions.
The interview clearly displayed to the nation, Mr. Clinton's obsession with building his personal legacy. Under far greater pressure during his administration than Mr. Clinton's, President Bush has humbly and honorably led our nation undeterred. Mr. Clinton blames the Bush Administration, FBI, CIA, etc., for not killing Osama bin Laden.
President Bush has always spoken graciously about his predecessor and Sen. Hillary Clinton. Mr. Clinton cannot accept blame for poor decisions. President Bush has openly acknowledged his weaknesses and mistakes during this war. Marked by infidelity and affairs, Bill Clinton has displayed a total lack of commitment to his marriage. President Bush adores our First Lady; their marriage is solid. President Clinton loathed our military; President Bush honors our troops at every occasion. The list could go on.
To Mr. Clinton, polls, focus groups, and liberal media are necessary to define his leadership. Mr. Bush prays to God and does what is right no matter what the Democrats, polls, or some in his own party desire.
Go ahead, try to buy an 'American' car
Domestic automakers have been in retreat for a generation since the oil embargo in the 1970s. It was then that the rules changed and Detroit didn't take notice.
Detroit let the bottom end of the business erode, while the imports (mostly Japanese) saw an opportunity to win new friends for a lifetime of transportation business.
Detroit cried foul and said that they couldn't build them with American labor. Well, Accords have been built by Ohioans for 25 years, many shipped overseas. Camrys soon followed in Tennessee, Corollas in California, BMWs in Carolina, Subarus in Indiana. Later, Nissans in Mississippi, Mercedes and now Hyundai in Alabama.
Detroit dug in, saying if it wasn't profitable, they wouldn't build it. Meanwhile, Toyotas and Hondas grew in quality and stature. They spawned the larger Camry and Accord directed squarely at our needs. These cars have fought for many years as the number one car sold here. Not particularly stylish, powerful, or cheap, they've become benchmarks for quality transportation at a good value, providing resale rates better than Cadillac.
Buy American? Most "domestic" vehicles are assembled from offshore parts. Go buy an "American" Chevy Equinox, or Pontiac Torrent SUV with a Chinese engine. There were Canadian GM sedans here years before the gas crisis, followed by Chryslers and Mercurys. Now you can get Mexican-built PT Cruisers, Chevy or Dodge pickups, and more.
What's an American car? If the first VIN number is "1," it's U.S.-built. A "2" is Canada, A "3" is Mexico. And don't complain about "where the profits go." Just look at who's making jobs and reinvesting here.
PAUL C. PETERS
Airlines do their customers no favor
My wife and I left for an eight-day trip to Las Vegas. It was a multi-event trip to include formal dress and other various clothing changes so we had four bags and one garment bag. The four bags made it on, but the garment bag was going to cost an additional $80! Yes, the airline was going to charge $80 extra for this one bag.
I told them no way and used it as a carry-on. My question is, why the $80 for an extra bag when there was no charge to have it as a carry-on? Isn't it on the same plane? Why didn't the person next to me with only one bag get an $80 discount?
And what is up with a 3 1/2-hour flight that does not even give you peanuts (or even a movie that they charge for the headsets)? They had food available for purchase from $2 and up. For the charge of $80 for just one additional bag, they could have given peanuts to all the passengers and still had enough money for the parking meter at the airport.
Somehow the term "paying customers" and "customer service" has been lost in the flight manuals.
Dale R. Perne
No free parking for Race for the Cure?
My wife and I joined the 17,000-plus at the Race for the Cure. Parking downtown can be a challenge. The added challenge should not be reaching for your wallet to park. I saw several lot owners wanting three dollars to park. Come on! This is the annual Race for the Cure. Lighten up! Put up pink "Free Parking" signs. And smile.
Prove me wrong this year. Business owners who charged to park on Race for the Cure should donate their proceeds to the American Cancer Society.
Chavez' sentiments were anti-President
A recent front-page article, "Venezuelan chief taunts Bush, U.S.," stated that President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela expressed anti-American sentiments at the United Nations. I would just like to clarify that his sentiments have not been anti-American, meaning against the American people, but rather specifically against President Bush. In 2002/2003 there was a coup attempt against Mr. Chavez that, at the least, had collaborative support from the CIA - this against a democratically elected leader.
What Mr. Chavez has rallied for all along is the Venezuelan people's right to self-determination and their right to control their own country's resources and benefit from them, which includes vast oil reserves.
What he is against is President Bush and Exxon Corp. setting the priorities for Venezuela and controlling that country's resources. On this point Mr. Chavez is beginning to get a stronger following from a lot of other countries around the world.
What Mr. Chavez is also promoting is stronger multilateralism in international relations in which the U.S. is one among many players rather than controlling the world stage.
Pope John Paul's shoes too big to fill
The Pope exhibited poor judgment by repeating a 600-year-old quote he never specifically expanded on nor repudiated. Unfortunately, he made an even bigger mistake by giving such a half-hearted apology. It has been reported that Pope Benedict XVI apologized for how "Muslims were offended by the words" that were chosen.
How is that showing remorse? Making oneself accountable seems important in any apology, and I just don't see any of that here. Something along the lines of, "I'm sorry I chose those words, they are mean-spirited and out of date," would have been easier to digest.
Maybe too much is being expected of the papacy. Maybe the shoes left behind by John Paul II are simply too big to fill. Regardless, too much progress has been made by the church in the last 30 years to let an indiscriminate remark cast a larger than necessary shadow at this critical point.
I commend Pope Benedict for reaching out to Muslim envoys, and for making an effort to begin constructive dialogue before relations become irreparable.
Joshua Z. Singer
Regarding the current argument about staying in Iraq, there is this to be said by an ancient source, acknowledged to be the tops in military tactics:
"It is never beneficial to a nation to have a military operation continue for a long time." - Sun Tzu, The Art of War
I'm sure our generals have read The Art of War. Too bad President Bush has seemingly not bothered.