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Published: Saturday, 7/2/2011

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Return to ideals of a republic

Our government is a non-representative Democratic bureaucracy where the majority rules. This encourages business, industry, and union lobby groups to spend huge sums of money to elect politicians who will carry out their agendas.

Our Founding Fathers worried about the abuse of majority power, so they designed our government to operate as a republic.

In a republic, citizens elect a small body of officials whose main purpose is to prevent any power group from abusing citizens' rights as defined in our Constitution.

Every politician pledges to uphold the Constitution. However, some are taking the liberty to ignore it and claim it does not apply in current times.

Many politicians also are confused about rights and privileges that are clearly defined in our Constitution.

We should not vote in politicians whose agenda is to serve only those who pay to get them elected.

It is time to get rid of this messy Democratic form of entitlement government we have created. The 2012 election is an opportunity to elect politicians who will give us the change we were promised in 2008.

Mike Charchol

Rossford

Government is not the solution

Not so long ago, the big thinkers in Washington lamented the fact that Americans saved so little compared to people of other countries. A penny saved was a penny earned.

Now everyone is urged to spend, spend, spend ("Americans hold back on spending in May," June 27). If you don't have it, borrow it.

Even the President scolds consumers for hanging onto their money. Throw away the old and buy new.

But who benefits when most merchandise is made in China, Taiwan, Korea, Mexico, and other countries?

We're also urged to buy "green." So Americans invest in cheaply made foreign products that use slightly less energy but break down easily and can't be repaired. Even if the product doesn't break down, its life expectancy is a fraction of what the old product was, so where's the gain?

A few years back, the government put restrictions on new toilets so they would use less water per flush, and they did. But you had to flush two or three times to get the job done.

You would think that by now we would have realized that government is the problem, not the solution, but instead we are faced with socialized health care.

Isn't it a little scary to put people who don't understand how a toilet flushes in charge of life and death decisions for the rest of us?

Americans need to wake up and start paying attention. There's an election next year.

D.F. Heimrick

McCutchenville, Ohio

Monthly art walks simply wonderful

The Third Thursday art walks in downtown Toledo are a must-do this summer. My wife and I have been enjoying the variety of painting, sculpture, pottery, and photography.

Some of the galleries offer wine to sip as you browse. Sidewalk vendors and performers can be seen and heard along the route.

Be sure not to miss the Collingwood Arts Center, which offers art as well as engaging conversations with the artists who work and live at the center. Enjoy the building's architecture while you're there.

Thanks to the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo, which has created a vibrant event for all of us.

Tim Kreps

Semoff Drive

It's the politicians who take us to war

It's disturbing when politicians try to justify wars by saying it's a fight for our freedom.

Do these people understand that even with 9/11 and Pearl Harbor, we have never had an unprovoked attack on this country? Then why have we been constantly at war?

The reasons for war vary. Presidents try to build an empire, raise approval ratings, please the military-industrial complex, control natural resources, or divert attention from sexual affairs.

Shouldn't there be some sort of threat? It's not the soldiers who take us to war; it's politicians.

Our Founders abhorred war. James Madison had much to say about war and how it allowed for government to expand its power and for freedom to contract.

When people are slaughtered on both sides, parroting the feel-good phrases of politicians must square with reality.

Jim Boehm

Drummond Road

Tax shifts key for global economy

Analyses of climate change, the economy's ecological supports, and projections of resource use by Lester Brown in his 2009 book Plan B 4.0 indicate that the western economic model -- the fossil-fuel-based, automobile-centered, throwaway economy -- will not last much longer.

The key to building a global economy that can sustain economic progress and tells the ecological truth is creating an honest market.

We have to reduce taxes on work and raise taxes on carbon emissions and environmentally destructive activities, incorporating indirect costs into market prices.

Tax-shifting on coal would incorporate the health-care costs of mining it, of breathing the air it pollutes, and of damage from acid rain and climate disruption. It would simultaneously encourage investment in clean-energy sources.

The best model for incorporating indirect costs is cigarette smoking. In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control calculated the cost to society at $10.47 a pack. New York smokers now pay $4.25 a pack in taxes, with Chicago not far behind.

The Industry Council for Tangible Assets figured indirect gasoline costs to society at around $12 a gallon, but we have yet to see much progress in that direction. Some 2,500 economists, including Nobel Prize winners in economics, have endorsed the concept of tax shifts.

Countries that have cut carbon emissions by eliminating fossil subsidies include Belgium, France, and Japan.

In a few months, the United States restructured its industries to succeed in World War II. A similar mobilization can be done if enough people become convinced of the need for an ecological future.

We are in a race between political tipping points and natural tipping points.

Bill Saunders

Carriage Hill Drive

Funeral procession shown disrespect

As a member of a law enforcement agency that led the funeral procession for a local fireman, I was disappointed but not surprised to see how rude people can be.

As the procession left the church, we traveled through Rossford and Oregon to get to the cemetery. With overhead lights on all vehicles, you could not miss us coming up the road. Yet our lead car was almost hit. After that, it just got worse.

Cars were cutting in our line, and others were honking their horns, apparently to signal their impatience. As I was traveling down Navarre Avenue, a car pulled up and I was asked whether it was OK to go ahead of us.

Why? Other than an emergency, waiting another 10 minutes would not make any difference. It was as if none of us was there, that we were invisible to everyone. Rudeness seems to be in style.

Our fallen hero touched many lives in many ways. Whether he touched your life or not, he deserved respect.

We are in the me generation: If it isn't about me, it doesn't matter.

The next time a call comes in for a firefighter or police officer to respond to your home or business, I hope no one cuts in front of the vehicle or doesn't pull over.

We have become disrespectful, rude, and self-centered.

Tom Bialy

Perrysburg

Zoo should have tried some flattery

If management at the Toledo Zoo had named the baby elephant Woody instead of Lucas, perhaps the good citizens of Wood County would have been more receptive to a levy to support the zoo.

Ed Marentette

Maumee



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