The Blade's issue of Sept. 8 was a real eye-opener. The cartoon picturing the President as the victim of a vicious assault followed by the thought provoking article by Reg Henry of your sister paper beseeching us to rescue our country from those people (portrayed as irrationals and wackies) was stirring.
I also got a chuckle from the article on GOP hypocrisy and Medicare. Thinking I might be one of those people, my denial mechanism set in and I went to the crosswords and puzzles to erase this thought and retain my mental acuity. It didn't help, and I returned to reality as I knew it. Who am I, was my dilemma. Let's see, I am an 80-year-old man of moderate means, sound of mind, a rickety body (thank God for Medicare), married 54 years, fantastic wife, one daughter, (an educator), and two great teenage grandchildren.
I am a veteran of the Korean War, hold a master's degree in science, am a retired health-care administrator, and was once an avid Democrat but am now more right to the center of the new dynamic developing in the town hall uprisings.
This represents a constructive reaction that may well be our salvation toward an even better America. Many of these so-called rabid protesters are like me. Many are not zealots or Republicans or Democrats. There's a lot of old geezers like me who are disgusted with politics and question those lawmakers who are supposed to represent us. We're sick and tired of political wrangling and are angry about these frustrations. There is an impression that the elderly are expendable and could be the victims of insurance actuarial studies indicating we make our health-care costs too expensive. Let the people speak.
William R. Williams
An item in The Blade last month about Lauren Tenney, a ballerina who has been invited to join the European Ballet, calls for comment.
So often in today's world we only hear stories of youth out of control. Lauren's success speaks for the hundreds of young men and women in our community who, when given the opportunity, dedicate themselves to seeking higher standards, whether it be in the arts or other disciplines.
With the right encouragement and nurturing, we are going to see more stories such as these in community-minded newspapers like The Blade, with its active encouragement of the arts.
It is no coincidence that in addition to Lauren, Leigh Anne Albrechta and Shauna Cook, also former students of Nigel Burgoine and Anne Marie Getz of the Ballet Theatre of Toledo, have made significant steps in their chosen careers in the field of ballet. Shauna has been accepted by the Pittsburgh Ballet School and is now studying with them and Leigh Anne is with the Louisville Ballet.
We can be grateful to the dedicated professionals and teachers throughout Toledo who nurture tomorrow's artists and the newspapers with the vision to be pro-active in this field with their support.
I do believe the youth of today, with this encouragement, are in the very best of hands.
ROXANNE RUTLEDGE SMITH
Manoa Lane North
The Blade story that “U.S. slaps drug giant with $2.3 billion fine” probably was just a slap on the wrist for drug giant Pfizer. The bigger concern is the druggization of America.
When I was a kid 50 years ago, there was a bar on every other corner. Today there's a drugstore on every other corner with new ones being built continuously. That's innovation without change, except that the profit goes to the drug giant rather than to the local tavern owner.
Drugs are drugs, especially when it comes to the ones that have the same purpose as alcohol, that is, to alter one's feelings. I'm not against drugs — I am against deceit. All drugs, prescribed or not prescribed, change how we feel without changing how we are. That's why drugs are so popular — they make us feel different without being different. Instead of my taking responsibility for changing my way of being from inside out, an external substance changes my feelings for me. And the brilliant move on the part of the drug companies is calling these mind and mood-altering drugs medicine.
Most alcohol manufacturers can't get away with calling their drink medicine, but we've bought into the drug company line that the drug they sell is medicine. The real medicine that we need is to look at self, take responsibility, and change our way of being, which also would go a long way toward stopping the druggization of America.
David S. Doane
In response to Marilou Johanek's Sept. 4 column:
Ms. Johanek: “... some idiots… a handful of reactionary dimwits… these lemmings… They came to parrot the vitriol … sore losers…”
Response: Calling “We The People” names is what the “elite” do when they have lost a debate based on facts. We are not “sore losers.”
Ms. Johanek: “…I even plowed through H.R. 3200 for kicks.”
Response: You didn't cite a single sentence from the bill. We also read it and exercised our right to speak against it — just not for “kicks.” The people are not “parrots.”
Ms. Johanek: “Problem is, in the last month few people were really debating the more salient proposals on the table.”
Response: You did not cite a single “salient” sentence in the bill. How dare you chastise us for voicing our opinions? You voice your opinions in The Blade and get paid for it. We (unpaid, non-organized) came to exercise our right to speak against the bill with specifics. We are not “lemmings.”
Ms. Johanek: “I wanted to hear how the most prominent cost concerns of both health-care providers and consumers would be addressed.”
Response: You read the bill. What more do you need? We have already seen what elected officials have done. We are not “reactionary dimwits.” We also are not “un-American,” a “right wing mob,” or “Nazis” as our public servants have said.
Ms. Johanek: “instead of learning more about how lawmakers proposed to fix an acutely dysfunctional medical system, we learned how some idiots could keep constructive public discourse about reform from ever occurring.”
Response: “We The People” have already seen what lawmakers have done and think by keenly watching their legislative action. We are not “idiots.”
Ms. Johanek: “Hey, I'm just getting warmed up.”
Response: Me too!
A picturesque night, with a glowing moon on the horizon. A team, not going to the playoffs with a record barely above .500, struggling to make their final home game of the season memorable.
Indeed, it was! Our beloved Mud Hens once again proved their show is the best in town. Battling back and forth with the Columbus Clippers, our team was nearly brought to victory. With Mike Hessman on the mound (9 positions in 9 innings), the crowd moved and cheered with every pitch. A great offensive show, with hope for next season, our team has an ongoing love affair with this city. A sellout crowd for a final, meaningless game, Toledoans showed the Hens that we appreciate their efforts, we applaud their play, we dream their dreams.
We look forward to 2010, and will savor 2009 in the meantime. If a fan can make a request for 2010: Let's make sure Mike Hessman is back.
Thank you for soldier's sacrifi ce
To Army Pfc. Eric Hario and his parents — thank you for your service.