One of the biggest and most passionate rivalries that exists in Toledo-area high school sports is the one between St. John's Jesuit High School and St. Francis de Sales High School.
Both schools have excellent academic and athletic programs, producing great tradition and positively affecting many young men.
However, there is one area in which there is a discernible difference between these two schools: the important issue of sportsmanship.
On Feb. 16, The Blade reported on St. John's winning the district swimming championship, breaking St. Francis' 42-year ownership of this title. This was the longest continuous ownership of a district athletic championship in the nation.
St. Francis' swimmers were obviously disappointed. However, as the reporter noted, "the Knights did a great job of controlling their emotions. Many members of the team joined the crowd in applauding the Titans during the ceremony."
Compare that sign of sportsmanship to the comments from two St. John's basketball players who told The Blade that to lose to St. Francis would have been the joke of the year and they had special incentive in that game since they did not want St. Francis to qualify for the City League semifinals.
When you look at those comments, you can understand why St. Francis has been the only winner of the OHSAA sportsmanship award for the last two years.
Don't let charisma influence your vote
As a medical student at Ohio State University, I was appalled that my hometown newspaper supported its endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama by claiming that he could better handle the health-care crisis in the United States because he was a "younger and more physically vigorous man."
Only one remaining candidate has superior experience and knowledge in the health-care field, with a well thought-out, practical health-care plan that covers every American.
That candidate is Sen. Hillary Clinton. Dismissing Senator Clinton as a "product" of the Vietnam period and for "fighting its battles" diminishes the accomplishments and struggles of the Vietnam War veterans she has fought for during her political career.
Tomorrow, I urge voters to recall eight years ago when a charismatic, likeable candidate promising change in Washington was running for president of the United States and was elected.
That man was George W. Bush.
As a nation, we have struggled since.
Obama endorsement lacking in substance
The recent Blade endorsement of Barack Obama was fascinating for its lack of substance and its disingenuousness.
The most substantive reasons for The Blade's support of Mr. Obama appear to be these: 1) Hillary Clinton is a cold, calculating looter of china and furniture; 2) The Blade needs a signal that the Vietnam War is over; 3) Mr. Obama will somehow inspire America's youth to lose weight; 4) The world needs a signal that the United States may be living up to a promise of being just and pluralistic, and 5) Obama is " the strongest possible candidate to run against John McCain."
I can't argue with the first point, although I have no horse in this Democratic race.
Regarding the second, I'd like to offer my assistance to The Blade: The Vietnam War is over.
As for the third, does this mean Richard Simmons deserves the vice presidency?
The fourth reason is interesting. First of all, does The Blade doubt that the United States is already the most just nation on Earth? As for the second half, I've searched through the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and have yet to find a reference to a promise of pluralism. Maybe it was an undocumented promise to undocumented immigrants.
Finally, The Blade's one substantive reason for endorsing Mr. Obama flies in the face of its earlier comment that "We are not yet ready to say who we will endorse in November."
Well, if the paper wants Mr. Obama for the Democrats to beat Mr. McCain, and Mr. McCain is the "presumptive Republican nominee," who else does that leave?
Obama's 'freshness' no reason for a vote
Why should the American people base their voting decision about a candidate, such as Sen. Barack Obama, just because he seems to provide a "breath of fresh air"?
This has nothing to do with the issues nor does it pertain to how he will fix the United States.
I agree that our country needs to change from what it is now, but what if that something new everyone is saying we need turns out to be disadvantageous for the country, the economy, and the people?
It's hard to disagree with the fact that the United States was doing well during President Clinton's years in office. So why sacrifice the chance of having that type of country again, when people had jobs and could make and save money, for a complete overhaul of the government, leaving people clueless as to how our country will turn out?
Here we are praising Senator Obama that he quit smoking, saying that he should be an inspiration to millions, but we don't hear anything about the thousands of Americans before him who decided to quit.
We decide to make a man who quit smoking an inspiration, instead of talking about all the people who beat cancer or those who are living with HIV/AIDS who are the real inspirations.
This election is becoming too much about race and gender.
The day that we can focus on the two individuals from the Democratic Party and not how those individuals lookis the day we can start working toward making the United States a better place.
GOP a little too late to endorse McCain
Sen. John McCain is one of the most honorable men in this country, but his time to be the Republican nominee for president was in 2000.
Unfortunately, he was swift-boated by the competition and abandoned by his own party.
Now the first President Bush endorses him and states, "Few men walking among us have sacrificed so much in the cause of human freedom. And I'm happy to help this remarkable patriot carry our party banner forward."
My question: Aren't we a little too late for this?
Renewing TPS levy will help students
I am writing in support of the Toledo Public School District's renewal levy on tomorrow's ballot.
Schools across the state of Ohio are struggling to provide all their students with a high-quality education. TPS is no different.
The passage of Issue 7 will allow TPS to maintain smaller class sizes and personalized instruction; support district-wide safety plans with increased security funds; continue essential programs that affect student achievement; improve classroom support services through tutoring and enhanced technology; update textbooks, instructional materials, and classroom supplies, and maintain a stable funding cycle.
This renewal levy, which will generate about $16 million for the next five years, is a good investment in your schools and your community.
I urge residents of the Toledo Public School District to support high-quality schools and vote "yes" on Issue 7.
Ohio School Boards Association
Can someone tell me why telephoned political commercials are not prohibited by the "do not call" list? These recorded calls only guarantee that I will not vote for the candidate in the call. What may bother me the most is that since it is a recording, no one hears the pleasantries I have to say back to them.