Common sense should tell us to shut down every nuclear power plant now ("Japan nuclear crisis: Evacuations under way for U.S. personnel," March 19). Their dangers far outweigh their benefits.
Earthquake could threaten Lake Erie
Earthquake fault lines extend from Buffalo to Toledo along the Lake Erie shoreline. Fault lines also extend from Toledo to Detroit and from the mouth of the Maumee River upstream to Fort Wayne, Ind.
Also, salt mines under Cleveland could extend well into Canada. Could earthquakes cause the salt mines to collapse, allowing millions of acre-feet of water to drain into the mines? That could make the western basin of Lake Erie a huge mud flat from Toledo to Detroit to the Lake Erie islands.
Salt mines under Detroit also could collapse. It could take months for the Detroit River to replenish Lake Erie to pre-earthquake levels. The salt contamination from the mines could change Lake Erie into a saltwater lake.
Toledo, Oregon, and other communities would be left without drinking water. The federal government might construct a rubble causeway from Marblehead to Canada to separate the fresh water from the Detroit River and hold it in the western basin. That would result in the western basin being fresh water and the rest of Lake Erie being salty.
Japanese stoicism to be admired
The stoicism of the Japanese is admirable.
Television images reveal concern and fear, but no visible panic, no wholesale looting, and no pushing or shoving in the very long lines of patient individuals waiting to get food, water, and gas. The respect Japanese have for each other is obvious.
I saw the same traits in Tokyo and Yokohama in 1945, just weeks after the end of World War II.
I hate to contemplate the actions of some people in our country were they faced with such destruction, based on behavior in our recent past.
Toledo depends on auto industry
Toledo has always been an auto town. To a large extent, the city still depends on the auto industry.
So it was amusing to read the March 12 Readers' Forum letters from teachers and city workers trying to rationalize why they buy foreign cars.
If they feel no guilt, why write the letter? They shouldn't have to explain to anybody, but the next time they hope to pass a levy to save their jobs, they need to look in the driveway.
Small-business owners who wonder why they do not have more customers also should look in the driveway.
Parents and grandparents who complain about their children moving so far away because there are no jobs in Toledo should look in the driveway.
We all depend on each other. The sooner people realize that, the better this country can become.
SB 5 costing Ohio before it's passed
My wife and I are teachers. We have decided not to purchase a new car because of the uncertainty caused by possible passage of SB 5. Between the purchase of a new car and the sale of our old car, I estimate the state would have received more than $2,000 in sales taxes.
I hope the politicians who support SB 5 have a plan to replace all the lost sales tax dollars that would have been generated by hard-working Ohioans who already are beginning to curtail their spending. There will be thousands of stories similar to ours, and millions of dollars will be lost in state sales tax if this bill passes.
S. M. Wojtowicz
Ohio has dictator, not governor
The people of Ohio didn't vote for a dictator. That's what Gov. John Kasich has become. He said early on that you'd better ride his bus or it will run you over.
Public workers got run over because they wouldn't agree with what he wants to do about collective bargaining ("Labor-rights supporters rally in Toledo," March 15).
Mr. Kasich says he is not against unions because his father belonged to a union. But he didn't learn too much from his father about unions. He didn't learn that through collective bargaining, his father got better wages and could raise his family with a better living standard.
Andrew R. Feyes
Workers' rights are fundamental
The right of every person to join a union is stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.
The rights of workers in America to organize were recognized in 1935 when Congress passed the National Labor Relations Act. Then- President Franklin Roosevelt noted that denial or support of the right of collective bargaining was the choice between despotism and democracy.
The Wagner Act did not apply to public employees. Many state legislatures subsequently corrected this defect by passing legislation that recognized the right of public employees to organize and bargain.
Today, many states and the federal government face huge deficits. For decades, irresponsible politicians of both major parties have cut taxes, especially on the rich, but have not cut popular military and domestic spending programs. Many people supported wars and accepted government benefits and services — and were quite happy not to have to pay for them.
Public employees now are used as scapegoats to provide cover for those whose real agenda is to protect the rich and powerful.
Unions may be imperfect, but the right of every employee to organize and bargain collectively is an important tool in preventing government of the few, by the few, and for the few.
Editor's Note: The writer is a former mayor of Fostoria.
Left wing keeps switching position
Every few years, left-wing politicians try to make drastic changes to the U.S. Constitution to subvert what they call the "outdated" and "archaic" document.
It's amusing that many of these people, who oppose Senate Bill 5, now scream "unconstitutional" the minute they believe that document supports their argument.
King hearing shed light on terrorism
The March 15 Readers' Forum letter "Attack on Islam reveals ignorance" falsely depicts Rep. Peter King's hearing as "anti-Muslim and race-baiting."
We are at war with religiously radical, Islamic jihadists who want to kill Americans because of who we are and what we represent.
The writer said there are criminals in all religious groups, but that doesn't mean every member should be suspected of being a criminal. He should have said "terrorists." Calling them criminals shows a lack of understanding of this evil.
Representative King's hearing sought the truth. Our intelligence agencies confirm that radical Islamic fundamentalists are actively recruiting in American mosques. They want Muslim youths whom they can convert into terrorists to kill Americans.
I thank Mr. King for his courage in shedding light on the darkness of terrorism.
Broder served with Army in Austria
Your March 10 obituary of Washington Post columnist David Broder failed to note that he served his country in the Army from 1951 to 1953.
He was with the U.S. forces in Austria at Camp Roeder near Salzburg and was the editor of the USFA Sentinel, the newspaper for GIs in Austria. I was at Camp Roeder at the time and was one of his faithful readers.