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Published: Monday, 11/24/2008

I'm ready to do my part for America

The only possible way we can wake up from the nightmare we are living today - the loss of American values and the American dream - is to stand behind our president-elect and work together for the common good. The answer is not more-of-same divisiveness - Democrat vs. Republican, management vs. labor, race vs. race, religion vs. religion - but rather to set aside our myopic ideology and work toward what is right for all Americans.

Debate is good but after the debate we must negotiate to the middle and move on. That requires flexibility, understanding, and empathy, along with a willingness to sacrifice a little for the good of the many. We can no longer be motivated by greed and what's-in-it-for-me attitudes, which are precisely what got us into this mess. We must have compassion and a willingness to create an America where everyone can prosper and grow and the disadvantaged have a safety net to help stave off ruin.

My message to President-elect Barack Obama is that I stand ready, willing, and able to do whatever I can, whenever he needs me, to help rebuild America. And I choose to no longer remain silent and blindly accept the future as designed by the greedy, the perverse, and the criminal elements that dominate today. I start now, shouting from the highest rooftop that I will demand better from myself and all Americans - to become involved and be part of the solution. It starts with me; it starts with all of us.

If we regain our moral compass and restore government, corporate, and individual responsibility, then maybe we really can make lemonade from the lemons that have soured our American dream.

Dan Dimas

Waterville

I was pleased to see the reaction of conservative Gerald McRaney in Liz Smith's column in the Nov. 13 edition of The Blade. He said: "Well, clearly my guy didn't win." We will "hope for the best. I think beating him up already is pointless."

Such a reaction from the Hate Radio Right is hard to find. They are issuing "gloom and doom" forecasts even though the official changeover has yet to occur. If they aren't sure about what President-elect Barack Obama might do, they speculate wildly, spewing one invective after another. They repeat terms they used during the campaign, including friend of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Muslim (aren't those mutually exclusive?), terrorist with William Ayers, and socialist. They also blame the "liberal press" for helping Mr. Obama win the election but fail to admit their role as talk radio hosts.

These people certainly have the right to complain about their defeat, and it appears that the new president will not have a "honeymoon." Unfortunately, they seem unwilling to accept Mr. Obama's hope (like Mr. McRaney) that we all work together as Americans. That is indeed unfortunate.

Edward J. Nussel

Glaston Oaks Court

It's difficult to believe that one of the nation's great newspapers can't make an effort to use facts in its editorial opinions. The Blade's Nov. 18 editorial, "Defensive budget," citing the cost of fielding 10 interceptor missiles and a radar in Eastern Europe as "$50 billion" is ludicrous. The cost is projected to be $4 billion, which is easily found in a host of other sources, including Congressional budget documents.

Also, it is disturbing - and sad - if The Blade believes that Lt. Gen. Henry Obering, director of the Missile Defense Agency, is somehow acting outside his purview by taking a "public position on a political issue." Providing the nation and our allies with the means to defend against a catastrophic missile attack is not a "political issue." It is the very practical matter of trying to develop and deploy technology that may be the only thing that will someday keep a missile from striking an American city, killing perhaps hundreds of thousands - even millions - of people in an instant.

There is perhaps no greater priority for our nation than having the ability to defend itself from what has become a very real threat. Improvements to infrastructure, health care, and education are meaningless if our cities become piles of rubble.

Rick Lehner

Missile Defense Agency

Washington, D.C.

The Blade obviously doesn't understand how military planners work. It took Lt. Gen. Henry Obering to task in a Nov. 18 editorial because he defended a military defense system that he, as the director of the Missile Defense Agency, has a duty to support, based upon sound strategic staffing when it comes to force protection.

The Blade may disagree with him, which it does, but its rationale that this is a political issue is way off base. Force protection is the general's duty. He could care less about "competition based on overall national priorities." Those decisions are above his grade. Further, he is simply executing orders several pay grades above his rank when it comes to the defense of our forces and our allies. He is just doing his duty.

Should the president decide that the missile defense is inappropriate, so be it. If that be the case, the general would simply say, if asked; "Yes, sir," salute the flag, and continue to march, not "be replaced promptly" simply because he doesn't agree with a presidential decision. Do we really want only "yes men" in our military? I would hope not. That is not how the military operates.

As a retired Army officer, let me say that every military officer is sworn to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and further sworn to obey all the lawful orders of those appointed over them, which in this case would be a superior officer or the Commander in Chief himself. We don't resign, nor are we relieved of duty because of a change in the White House. We are simply doing our sworn duty.

Kenneth Foss

Holland

As I understand it, Sam Wurzelbacher, aka "Joe the Plumber," is not licensed in the City of Toledo, or in other local municipalities. I further understand that he never served an apprenticeship. Yet a recent Readers' Forum contributor admitted that Mr. Wurzelbacher completed not one but two jobs at his residence on Adella Street. My map shows that location to be squarely in Toledo. As such, this work should have been performed under the auspices of Toledo's licensing laws.

I've been an electrician for 25 years. I spent my first four years in an accredited apprenticeship program, after which I passed Toledo's journeyman electrical test, subsequently receiving my license. Recently mandated update courses are required by the city to maintain this license.

My point is that in life there are two ways to accomplish things: honorably and dishonorably. People who achieve their goals by taking the "high road" are honorable; those preferring the "low road" are dishonorable. I wouldn't expect anyone to hire me to wire their home or business if I wasn't licensed. Consequently, I most certainly will never allow an unqualified, unlicensed plumber to enter my humble abode.

James Szczerbiak

Maumee

How the heck can United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger say, while pleading for billions from U.S. taxpayers, that the UAW will not give any more concessions? Americans from every walk of life are biting the bullet, taking concessions, and struggling to make ends meet. He refuses to ask the rank and file to take deeper cuts but he doesn't mind asking taxpayers in the same position or worse to ante up to protect and save auto workers' jobs.

Here's a wake-up call: Not gonna happen.

Gabe Renzo

Dearborn Heights, Mich.

When the high-tech jobs and places like Owens-Illinois and Pilkington left Toledo a few years ago, there was no bailout to protect my job. There is no need now for government intervention for the Big Three, and Mayor Carty Finkbeiner certainly does not speak for all Toledoans.

I ve talked to several actual Toledoans, and they re embarrassed, as am I.

RANDY SROCZYNSKI

Ryewyck Drive



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