As a Blade reader, I sat watching the Oberlin fireworks on Independence Day and thought about the cannon fire and rockets they represented.
Those cannons and rockets were aimed at the British in 1776 because our Founding Fathers wanted to be free of the British Empire and independent of their militaristic ways. I also thought about the War of 1812 that our ancestors fought against the British again. Those Brits had come back to get us, but Andy Jackson stopped them. This anti-British sentiment was popular before the British pop invasion: the "Battle of New Orleans" by Johnny Horton was the number one pop hit on the radio in pre-Beatles 1960.
Fast-forward to today. U.S. troops are waging war hand-in-hand with the British against former British colonies such as Afghanistan and Iraq instead of helping them. The British queen and her princes are U.S. media darlings. Instead of opposing the British empire, Americans now provide the muscle to a new U.S.-powered British Empire. How did we come full circle?
You'll want to research British covert operations to suck us back into "the family" during WW II. For example, our CIA was born in London in 1947 and everything about it is British. Today our country is ruled by turncoats. Tony Blair whispered WMD, and President Bush hasn't stopped throwing bombs and missiles on Mr. Blair's behalf.
George Washington must be rolling in his grave.
In defense of The Blade's interpretation of the bumper sticker slogan "Don't Mess with Texas," it's unlikely a poll taken anywhere in America, except perhaps Texas, would understand it to be part of an anti-littering campaign. It's in perfect harmony with the image Texans promote about themselves, and if the message had read "Don't Mess with Me," the meaning would be unmistakably "angry and in your face."
"Don't Mess in Texas" conveys a much milder message and might have avoided the stigma now attached to The Blade's bumper-sticker research department.
President Jimmy Carter delivered this speech on April 18, 1977:
"Tonight I want to have an unpleasant talk with you about a problem unprecedented in our history. With the exception of preventing war, this is the greatest challenge our country will face during our lifetimes. The energy crisis has not yet overwhelmed us, but it will if we do not act quickly. It is a problem we will not solve in the next few years, and it is likely to get progressively worse through the rest of this century. We must not be selfish or timid if we hope to have a decent world for our children and grandchildren. We simply must balance our demand for energy with our rapidly shrinking resources. By acting now, we can control our future instead of letting the future control us."
Over the years President Carter has been constantly maligned by the right-wing propagandists, i.e., Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and other syndicated entertainers.
This president, I believe, was the only one to propose an energy policy truly in the best interests of all Americans, not just the well-connected or well-funded. For the complete speech visit http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/carter/filmmore/ps_energy.html. It will be an eye-opening experience. I promise.
Ottawa Lake, Mich.
As friends and former fraternity brothers of Tim Russert, we enjoyed the poignant portrayal by Marilou Johanek in "Tim Russert kept politics simple and real," in the June 20 edition of The Blade.
We first met Tim in February, 1969, shortly after he worked for Sen. Robert Kennedy. Tim served as the Erie County Youth Chairman for the Kennedy campaign in Buffalo, N.Y. We were students at John Carroll University in Cleveland, and we belonged to a local fraternity, the University Club, which Tim joined.
With a great political name like Cormac DeLaney, Tim insisted that Cormac had to run for public office. Appropriately, he became a political science major and ultimately was elected president of the student union.
The fraternity brought in top rock 'n' roll bands for concerts throughout the year. Tim had a particular passion for rock 'n' roll and was instrumental in bringing in an unknown musician, "the Boss" Bruce Springsteen, to John Carroll.
His personal characteristics were laudable. He never forgot his friends and liked to "decompress" with his JCU buddies as often as his busy schedule permitted. He was also deeply religious and true to his Irish-Catholic heritage.
Tim had other wonderful attributes. He was loyal, because he recognized loyalty as the first thread of the fabric of society. He remembered his parents, his teachers, his hometown, and his alma mater, and he believed no matter how far he went in life, he did not get there by himself.
We last saw Tim in October, 2007, at the Notre Dame-Boston College game in South Bend. He remained the same: jovial and friendly. In the 1960s he was, and despite his unparalleled success continued to be, just one of the guys.
Martin E. Mohler
Cormac B. DeLaney
I didn't bother replying after the first Readers' Forum letter was printed regarding reopening Portside. However, with a second letter expressing the same wish, I felt compelled to throw in my 2-cents' worth.
I, too, fondly reminisce about how Toledo's downtown was 20 years ago. I especially enjoy remembering watching the hydroplane boat races from the outside second floor deck of the Real Seafood company. I, too, would welcome the days of "Party in the Park" Fridays again, but do these forum contributors actually think that the people who sank their money into the many businesses in Portside pulled the plug despite being profitable?
All attractions are popular at first. It's the continued patronage after the initial surge that keeps businesses open. Toledo is full of first-class dining and shopping. If you want sustained patronage, you need something else. Can you say casino?
While reading a recent article by staff writer Jon Chavez in The Blade about area water parks, I couldn't believe that the only local water park wasn't even mentioned. Splash Bay, which opened last year, is in Maumee. For anyone looking to save money on gas and still have a fun family time, it is a great option.
Some of the features at Splash Bay are a children's area, a lazy river, and three tunnel slides. Day passes are available, and I have taken my 10-year-old and some of my nieces, all of whom had a great time and wanted to stay for the whole day.
Attending Splash Bay in Maumee, as opposed to going to a water park farther away, would not only save Toledo-area residents money on gasoline but would also support the local economy and local jobs.
Regarding Scott High School, has anyone considered refurbishing the main part of this historic building and eliminating the side wings? This would take care of the declining enrollment and hopefully the funding and fond memories.
It s a good thing many of Sen. John McCain s supporters don t care much about issues, because their candidate has been changing his position on them with dizzying speed.
Senator McCain has fl ip-fl opped his position on tax cuts for the wealthy, immigration, Roe vs. Wade, ethanol, torture of detainees, and his own campaign-finance reform.
How do you know what Senator McCain really believes in?
Plum Leaf Lane