How interesting it was to read about teachers being fired for refusing to work for free ("Rhode Island schools teachers are all fired," Feb. 25).
A day later I read about investment bankers whose banks received huge taxpayer-funded bailouts as a result of their ruinous failures, but collected tens of billions of dollars in bonuses ("Wall Street bonuses rise in '09 to $20.3B," Feb. 24).
Comparing the penalties and rewards reveals priorities that don't bode well for the future of our country.
What is The Tea Party's true agenda? Are the people who have rallied in the streets, questioned politicians in town halls, and met in conventions for real change in government, or are they just anti-Obama?
When I watch these people on TV, I see signs showing caricatures of President Obama as Adolf Hitler. They call him a socialist but cry out to "leave our Social Security alone."
It's time for this group to get more scrutiny.
Sen. Jim Bunning made a clear statement in defining conservative Republican philosophy toward working people. His foul-mouthed statement about the unemployed says it all.
Grosse Pointe Parkway
Retiring GOP Sen. Jim Bunning's hold on a $10 billion package that included unemployment benefits once again highlights the fact that an institution of a democratic republic, the U.S. Senate, is not democratic ("Bunning ends delay tactics; Senate extends jobless aid," March 3).
Senator Bunning was not elected by anyone outside his home state of Kentucky. He should not have been allowed to hold the other 49 states hostage.
He got away with it, as others have before him, because a Senate rule letshim or any other crank stop in its tracks any bill they don't like. This is offensive to democratic processes we've all learned to expect.
Rules that butt heads with democratic precepts need to be scrapped.
Future U.S. Senate wannabes must commit to scratching them - filibuster included - in return for voter support.
Your Feb. 25 article "Plan aims at political giving by companies" reports Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner advocating regulations that would require corporations and unions to provide her office with advance copies of their political ads.
It appears that Secretary Brunner believes that if these groups are being good Americans they should not mind the law because, after all, what have they got to hide?
The issue is not what Americans have to hide. It is that government has no business requiring groups to preview their political speech to government officials - thereby giving them an advantage over their critics.
Notably, the secretary does not propose that politicians must preview their political advertising to their critics. This fact exposes Ms. Brunner's proposal for what it is: an attempt by politicians to make sure that the rules of the political game are always rigged in their favor.
The First Amendment provides that "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech." What part of "make no law" doesn't she understand?
Institute for Justice
Your March 2 article "Teen alcohol, marijuana use found on rise" states that the director of strategy at the Partnership for a Drug Free America is "worried that we may be seeing a trend."
You do not need to look far to see alcohol served. You can purchase it to take home at groceries, carryouts, and gas stations.
Alcohol is served not only in bars and restaurants but also at many social events. You find alcohol sometimes at local mental health agency fund-raisers. Wine is served at some church dinners.
Physicians and health professionals state that drinking alcohol in moderation is beneficial. The problem is that many people are unable to stop and cannot drink moderately.
If you wonder why the teenage use of alcohol has increased, it is because alcohol is everywhere they go. We need to be worried about it, and to do something to stop teen drinking.
My family and I have attended numerous events at Lucas County Arena. It is a first-class facility.
Whatever happened to the naming rights? That revenue was counted on to run the building in the black.
A recent Sunday TV talk show featured the topic of fixing a broken government. It was in response to political gridlock in Washington that has prompted a number of centrist officeholders to say they have had enough and announced their intentions to leave office. The panelists put together a laundry list of strategies for "fixing" our government.
I thought as I watched the host of pundits that this isn't the right question. We have representatives in government who are more interested in shouting each other down than working together to solve difficult problems.
They often seem to carry the banner "it's all about me" rather than work for the common good. They are willing to spend more than they can afford, whether from the left or right, and they play endless rounds of the blame game.
Maybe this is a mirror and what we are seeing is a reflection of what we have become as a people. Of course, it is much easier to act as if the problem is out there, than to acknowledge that in some ways we all share responsibility for a "broken government" that is a reflection of all of us.
Not so long ago, almost anyone could graduate from high school and apply for and get a good-paying job. The American company you worked for provided all the essentials: health care, a pension, and a wage you could live comfortably on.
Labor unions fought to make working conditions better. We worked an eight-hour day, five days a week, and had breaks and a proper place for lunch. What happened?
We have been slowly sold out. How many jobs have we lost in Toledo and the surrounding area? Toledo is no longer the glass capital of the world. It's somewhere in Mexico or perhaps China.
Drive down any street and look at the abandoned houses and vacant businesses, then ask why the city is in financial crisis.
You can't blame the police, firefighters, schoolteachers, or refuse collectors for our demise. I don't think it's fair to ask them to give up what they have.
Bring good-paying manufacturing jobs back to America before it's too late.