In the wake of the terrorist assault on the Christmas Day Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight, the airlines once again race to countermeasures without identifying root cause.
This is more smoke-and-mirrors propaganda to not only provide a false sense of security to the traveling public but also gain in cost savings from less congestion in the cabin, less usage of their toilets, less blanket cleaning, and an increase of revenue-generating checked bags along with that all familiar general command and control mentality which does little to increase security.
Here is a thought: Let's resume profiling and hit these terrorists where it hurts them. I would likely be first targeted, as I have that Middle Eastern look at times (dark hair, mustache, heavy eyebrows, etc.) and would have no problem being singled out along with other "look-alikes" and, all in all, we would all board faster and fly safer.
Isn't it ridiculous to pat down the mom with three kids in tow? Has there been one isolated case where the nun or the sweet old lady contained the bomb? Absolutely not.
Right or wrong, if your father alerts authorities that you have terrorist tendencies, your ticket is one-way, and you're carrying a small carry on, are we really infringing on civil liberties if the Transportation Security Administration starts asking questions? We are looking like bumbling buffoons and being laughed at by al-Qaeda and rightly so. I read where the terrorist had the syringe of the explosive sewn into his underwear. I am waiting for the TSA or the airlines to post a new requirement for us all to fly "commando." Meanwhile, I will keep quiet and arrive three hours early for my business flight only if I cannot get there as fast by driving.
Had the person who stole the Salvation Army donation kettle applied for assistance, I am sure he would have obtained it.
Accosting a person volunteering their time is not the way to do it. I have been involved with the Shriner's annual fund-raiser to provide free health care to children in northwest Ohio for a good number of years. We have no paid positions and rely on volunteers. Thus, this person is really taking from those who need it the most.
As the saying goes, when you think that you have it bad, just look around.
Someone has it worse.
I really liked Blade sports writer Matt Markey's comparison concerning two ineligible Ohio State football players for the Rose Bowl published on Dec. 29.
Mr. Markey wrote, "If this was a symphony orchestra, the No. 3 and No. 4 violins are missing, and you are scheduled to perform the Haffner Symphony by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in just four days."
As a violinist with the Sylvania Community Orchestra who has had the pleasure of performing several Mozart symphonies, I "get it."
However, Mr. Markey should be aware that one danger of making such comparisons is that some people may not "get it."
The other danger is they just might.
Sen. George Voinovich is the sole Republican vote to raise the debt ceiling, but I remember when the Associated Press reported on Christmas Eve that the Senate voted to raise the ceiling of government debt to $12.4 trillion, with Senator Voinovich casting the sole "Yes" vote on the side of the GOP.
But I still remember Mr. Voinovich was one of the reasons a second round of Bush tax cuts were reduced by half in 2003. As it turns out, Mr. Voinovich was wrong and conservatives predicted the effect of the Bush tax cuts correctly - the cuts boosted the economy and created the largest two-year revenue surge since the tax cuts of the 1960s. Indeed, capital gains tax revenue doubled after the Bush tax cuts on capital gains in 2003. Imagine what the full Bush tax cuts could have done for the country, and deficit, if not for politicians like Mr. Voinovich. I still remember sitting at a Lincoln Day dinner in Wood County when he explained that he opposed the cuts because he thought deficits should be controlled. Now he's the only Republican voting to allow the Obama deficit to climb higher?
I'm not the only one sick and tired of "Republicans" like these. I can't work against Mr. Voinovich in 2010, because he decided to retire rather than face certain defeat. But I'm prepared to work hard in 2010 to make sure others like him are defeated by conservatives in the GOP primary. It's time to take our party back.
Chad D. Baus
Does anyone still think we have a democracy? Last year, the American people voted overwhelmingly for change, giving Democrats a significant majority in Congress and the presidency. But what did we get? More of the same with the Republican minority blocking every Democratic attempt at change.
Polls show the majority of Americans want real reform of our health-care system with a public component to limit the power of greedy insurance giants to impoverish people. What do we get? A fabulous gift to the health-insurance industry of 30 million new customers who are required to buy their product at escalating prices, with precious little protection for consumers. One corporate-owned senator can deny us and our President the reform we so desperately need.
A growing majority of Americans want to end these costly, unwinnable wars, bring our boys home, and reinvest those billions here in providing much-needed jobs, education, health care. What do we get? Another escalation of the Afghan war, to "finish the job." Sound familiar?
Most Americans are outraged over Wall Street moguls gambling with our money to make quick fortunes for themselves, taking our economy down, along with our jobs, homes, and retirement security. Instead of punishment, they get a bailout from taxpayers to resume business as usual. When the President summoned profligate Wall Street CEO's to the White House woodshed, only half showed up.
FDR warned that our democracy cannot survive when private power becomes stronger than government. President Obama may have come to Washington with noble intentions of reforming the way business is done, but he has slammed into the impregnable fortress protecting the real core of national and international power: our titanic military-corporate complex.
It's becoming clear who is really running this country, and it's not "we the people."
Rocket fans must be patient and give coach Gene Cross the time necessary to put a good team and program together. Our Rocket men's basketball team is the youngest in the nation. We fans can see that progress is being made; we also see the strain Coach Cross endures while his young players are adapting to his system.
He is bringing in young men who are serious about their academics and young men whom the Toledo fans can admire and respect. So we devoted fans and the casual fans need to give this coach the necessary time and solid support that he deserves as he strives to reach his goals.