Like a growing number of Americans, I wish to express dissatisfaction with the politicians of both political parties for refusing to acknowledge the facts about the costs and availability of energy resources and what this country needs to do to attain energy independence.
As a professional geologist, I can assert that the United States cannot drill its way to energy independence by opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge or the outer continental shelf to oil development (as John McCain asserts), and that tax rebates (recommended by both political parties) and releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (suggested by Barak Obama) are short-sighted policies that in the end will make oil dependence worse, not better.
Clear vision and clear thinking are required in a crisis, not soothing words and being lulled back to sleep. Both sides are pandering to the lowest common denominator among us rather that empowering us with facts and leadership. We need to face the reality of impending global depletion of oil and natural gas, coupled with population growth and rising standards of living in China and India.
If you believe in free enterprise, then the realities of supply and demand apply here. Expect to pay more for heat, electricity, and transportation. The sensible solution is to raise, not lower, federal gasoline and other consumption taxes. This encourages us to conserve energy by reducing use and sets a market value that permits sustainable growth of alternative energy technologies. These technologies hold the hope of energy independence but will take decades to bring to full-scale commercial application. In the meantime, demand to be treated like adults and tell politicians of both political parties to get real about energy. This is not, unfortunately, a partisan issue - neither side thinks you're capable of intelligent thought.
Slowing down saves lives and gasoline
With all the talk about how to lower our gasoline consumption, why not start with a no-brainer - cut the speed limit to 55 miles per hour. When we had the 55 mph limit, it was reported that we saved on gasoline and lives were saved as well.
Initiative is assault on the Constitution
The move to "Shift the electoral equation," as presented in the July 27 Behind the News section of The Blade, is a direct assault against the Constitution of the United States.
The present system of the Electoral College gives to smaller states a voice in the national presidential elections that would be lost if a popular vote initiative were to become law. The decision of who should lead this nation is best served by allowing each state, no matter how small in population, to have a say in the decision and not be absolutely bound by the popular vote. After all, Adolf Hitler was elected by a popular vote.
If this initiative were to pass, it would effectively change the Constitution without the prescribed two-thirds requirement for amendment and would ensure that people running for president who spend the most money, regardless of qualifications, would win.
The United States is a democratic republic, not a democracy (thank God) and our system of government has made us the greatest nation this Earth has ever seen. Let's not screw it up now.
Electoral College has lost its usefulness
Abolishing the Electoral College is a refreshing idea. Maybe, if the presidential election was decided by the popular vote, people would actually feel their votes do count. The Electoral College has lost its usefulness. The voters aren't uneducated anymore.
Maybe this idea should be used for primaries too, instead of superdelegates making the final decisions.
Voters need to contact representatives about this bill.
Don't blame chief for response times
In response to the July 28 letter writer who questioned why Chief Mike Navarre just doesn't fade into the sunset Hollywood style, here goes. I am not in law enforcement but I have ridden many times with the Toledo Police Department. In layman's terms, my understanding of a call to 911 is:
1) You call
2) The dispatcher gleans several bits of information from you such as location, weapons present, potential danger to you and the public, and descriptions.
3) Your call is put through to the officers on the street with a priority.
What Primetime failed to mention was the priority of the call placed by the teen's aunt. My understanding was it was rated as "check the safety," which is a low priority call. "Check the safety" can mean "I haven't seen my neighbor in several days and I'm worried about her. She may be dead. Or she may in Phoenix."
However, if a beating with a deadly weapon is occurring across town, that's getting service now. The neighbor waits.
Please don't disrespect the TPD officers working the streets who are as frustrated about response time as you are. Spend your energy asking for a new police class or two to bring our safety forces up to the numbers needed to answer calls for service on a timely basis.
As for Chief Navarre, cut him a break. He had a 20-second sound bite.That's showbiz.
Jo Ellen Locher
Police right to ticket cars at garage sale
I fully support police giving out tickets during the Cedar Creek Woods' garage sale in Northwood.
I agree that the situation was a mess, but it was created by the stupidity of those who felt they had to park near the subdivision entrance, in front of fire hydrants and blocking driveways, even though there was considerable parking space farther back in the development. If an emergency had occurred, access to the rear of the subdivision would have been difficult if not impossible, which is not acceptable.
When a shopper refused to unblock a resident's driveway, the police were called. When some shoppers refused to cooperate with police or gave them lip, the police started to write tickets. That is what I expect them to do and has nothing to do with "making money for Northwood."
Bar owners should decide on smoking
Responding to the July 27 editorial, "No smoking exemptions," how would The Blade like it if an environmental group got a law passed that said no more trees could be cut down. Where would its business be? What if the voters passed a law telling The Blade which stories it can run? Do it want someone telling it how to run its business?
Let the bar owners decide if their business will be smoking or nonsmoking. Put a sign on the front door saying this is a smoking bar or a nonsmoking bar.
The editorial mentions the twin vices of smoking and drinking. Is it suggesting a prohibition on cigarettes and alcohol? It did not work in the 1920s; what makes The Blade think it will work now? Eighty-five percent percent to 90 percent of customers in bars are smokers. The Blade says advertise to the nonmokers. Not in the bars.
The editorial also said there wasn't any confusion in the 2006 general election. We were confused but, being in the bar business, the ballot was explained to us. Does The Blade think other voters had the ballot explained to them?
The Blade has had front-page stories about businesses shutting down and people losing their jobs. The smoking ban has caused quite a few bars to close. If our bar shuts down today, five people would not be able to pay their bills. What then? Unemployment, welfare, or is The Blade going to give us jobs?
To the list of those who will greatly miss Toledo radio personality Bob Martz, you can add all of the surviving members of the Waite High School class of 1950.