Thanks to The Blade for printing the Declaration of Independence in its entirety on the Fourth of July, reminding us of what really counts where our lives are concerned. I can't think of a more significant contribution to the celebration The Blade could've made, but I'd make a substantial bet that most of us haven't read the entire Declaration since middle school, if then, and many have never even glanced at it or have any real knowledge of its message or the reasons for its creation.
Now, if The Blade can just entice Joe Sixpack away from the ball games long enough to give the Declaration even a cursory bit of attention, perhaps the true value of our freedom to vote on individuals and matters that affect our lives will begin to displace the reliance upon hearsay, rumor, and follow-the-crowd tendency among those to whom perception trumps reality where voting is concerned.
Loren L. Pace
WWII taught it is better to be prepared
Last month, The Blade printed a column by Robert Scheer titled "U.S. military preparing for enemy that doesn't exist." It's safe to say Mr. Scheer wasn't drafted into the Army the first months of 1941.
It's easy to rush men into service and train them in a few months to fight. It takes years to develop the equipment to fight effectively. At the begining of World War II, many of us were issued World War I and Civilian Conservation Corps uniforms. Nearly all our rifles were also from WW I. We had a 30-caliber light machine gun but no tripod to mount it on. It fired 450 rounds a minute but the Germans had one that fired 950 rounds a minute and they replaced it with one that fired 1,250 rounds a minute.
We practiced with signs on a Jeep saying "this is a tank." Frankly, the Jeep was just about as effective as the few tanks we had. Our tanks were a joke, unable to face a German tank. It was late in the war before we had tanks that could slug it out with a German tank. About the only weapon we had early in the war that was superior to the Germans' was the M1 rifle.
The price the armed forces have to pay for arms and equipment seems unreasonable, and I think it should be investigated. But I never want to see our Army thrown into a war so unprepared as we were.
Many young men were committed into combat about four months after induction. The equipment they needed took years to develop. I hope we won't be caught again so unprepared by an enemy that doesn't exist.
Why would anyone vote for McCain?
According to many who frequent this forum, Barack Obama should not be president because of his preacher, his wife, his inexperience, he's elitist, he's Muslim, etc. What I haven't heard is why I or anyone else should pick John McCain for the job. I keep hearing that he's a war hero. How so? Because he was a POW in the Vietnam War after being shot down. He made President Bush escalate the war and now we're winning in Iraq? Right. He'll keep us safe from the terror? Whatever.
It's amazing how the same people who hate Mr. Obama will hold their collective noses and vote for another Bush term. Everyone who voted for Mr. Bush and now plans to vote for Mr. McCain should just stay home in November. I'm sure the rest of the country would appreciate it.
Asian countries take advantage in trade
I had to laugh at the reports about South Koreans protesting the importation of U.S. beef because of fear of mad cow disease. People watch CNN in Korea too. They know there is no danger of mad cow disease from our beef. They just want to protect their beef industry, the same way they protect their auto industry.
There are virtually no American cars in South Korea. There are virtually no Japanese cars or European cars in South Korea either. They protect their industry at home while our politicians lie to us here about having free trade with all of these countries.
Politicians tell us that if we stop letting South Korea dump its products here it will start a trade war, but it seems to be OK for South Korea to find reasons not to let U.S. products on to its shores. Both major parties have been hiding the truth about "free" trade treaties we have with mostly Asian countries. NAFTA is nothing compared to the abuses our country tolerates from Japan, South Korea, and China.
London Ridge Court
Sylvania has much to offer vacationers
May I please take the writer of Homegrown Vacations, a guide to 50 great attractions in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan, on a tour of the Sylvania area since there was no mention of any Sylvania attractions and we have many.
Other suburban cities were mentioned as historic. Sylvania is not only historic but it has a Sylvania Historical Village with a Heritage Museum and train depot with actual railroad cars.
Olander Park was not mentioned. It is a 60-acre oasis in Sylvania. Its spring-fed, 28-acre lake is a popular destination for fishing, boating, and swimming. There is a paved loop around Lake Olander that is ideal for walking, jogging, and bicycling.
Fossil Park is the home to a unique park. This park, one of just a handful in the country, offers visitors a chance to get down and dirty and dig for fossils in a safe environment, and admission is free. Families of all ages can enjoy this awesome experience.
At Lourdes College's Appold Planetarium, it is possible to zip 365 million miles to the planet Jupiter and watch its moons orbit away an entire year in a matter of seconds. The Spitz SciDome, which displays stars and movies on the planetarium's white conical screen, offers an opportunity for real-time 3D sky simulation, full-dome shows, and multimedia presentations
The Sylvania Sports and Exhibition Center at Tam-O-Shanter provides a safe environment with high integrity, excellence, and hospitality. TAM-O operates as an arm of the city of Sylvania for athletic and exhibition events in the community.
I welcome everyone to find out more about our dynamic city at the Sylvania Chamber website, www.sylvaniachamber.org. We welcome you to the Sylvania area and hope you take a look at all we have to offer.
Sylvania Area Chamber
No one wants to live downwind of plant
A letter writer who wants a red carpet rolled out for the FDS coke plant forgot to mention one thing: He lives upwind of the plant.
I wonder if he is interested in buying one of the many homes for sale downwind from the plant in Oregon or Harbor View and would like to move there with his children and grandchildren. I have yet to talk with someone who, knowing what the coke plant spews even under EPA restrictions, looks forward to living downwind from it.
Let's build that plant two miles from Ottawa Hills and see how quickly the red carpet would come out.
Proud of service as Vietnam draftee
I'm writing in regard to the June 30 letter in The Blade's Readers' Forum that read: "As a former platoon sergeant and retired soldier, I wouldn't want draftees in my platoon."
When I served as a platoon medic in Vietnam most of the men in the platoon were draftees. The career soldiers were smart enough to know how easy it was to get killed and stayed away from the field.
I did know a lot of draftees who did spend the rest of their lives in the Army. They went in at 19 and died at 20 or 21.
Throughout history, the draftees have done their job or died trying. I'm proud of my service as a draftee.
Eugene A. Bihn
I was born and raised in Toledo and have never thought of leaving. In fact, I still live in Toledo for the same reason people slow down and gawk at car wrecks.
Edwin John Marok