'To the editor'


TV commercial has it wrong

The Democrats appear to be trying to re-write history. One TV commercial which has been running for quite some time shows the "comeback" of the auto industry, and contrasts the Obama "rescue" with the advice of Romney at the time. Romney said that "Detroit" should file bankruptcy.

The ad implies that something terrible would have happened if Romney's advice had been followed. Joe Biden echoed the same sentiment in his acceptance speech at the convention. The problem, of course, is that as it turned out, GM and Chrysler did file for bankruptcy.

In the words of Bill Clinton, "it takes a lot of brass" to criticize a guy who gave the same advice that was followed. Did the commercial producer and Joe Biden both have memory lapses or are the Democrats trying to re-write history to make Obama look better?

It baffles me that the "comeback" commercial continues to run when the implications are just wrong!

John Goldenetz


Students need to learn the basics

You could have knocked me over with a feather after I read Tuesday's Defiance City Schools (DCS) article.

I hope this is not the mindset of the teachers in DCS, and you have to wonder what Mr. Struble was thinking when he made his statement about the third-grade testing. He stated "This is not well thought out by the state. To hold a child back based on one test is fundamentally wrong."

Really Mr. Struble? Using his logic then all the kids that don't pass the proficiency test in high school shouldn't they be allowed to graduate? Same basis on reason using his words. The reason for these tests is to make sure the kids have a grasp of education, not just pass them on as a feel good measure.

When I graduated in 1980, we had kids that were given diplomas saying they completed the basics, yet they could not read and some could not even sign their name. It is this kind of thinking that has students in countries like Bolivia and Peru beating the tar out of U.S. students in American history.

A recent survey by Time Warner-USA Today clearly showed that less then 40 percent of students in high school and college could name their members of Congress, a sitting U.S. Supreme Court justice or even their local state representatives. Over 85 percent of them were reading at a fifth-grade level or below. This needs to be changed ASAP!

We need teachers and leaders that will require that students know and be able to preform the basics before being "promoted," or they stay there until they do. This passing people just as a feel-good measure needs to be stopped, and if that means firing the ones that do, then so be it. This does not do the child any good nor does it add to the reputation of DCS.

Yet I did notice that the hand was stuck out to the state for more money so the school board can try to talk us into placing ourselves and the city into bankruptcy by them wanting to seemingly try yet again to convince us we need yet another new school building. Sadly this is becoming more of the norm then it should be.

Daniel Gray


Bin Laden on billboard raises concern

I recently called home, and in the course of speaking with my mother -- who still lives in Defiance -- we talked, among other things, about the decline of basic civility in politics. She was particularly upset about a new billboard that has been erected on my parents' daily route to their office, which boldly states that GM is alive, and Osama Bin Laden is dead.

I must admit, that on social issues I lean left, though on fiscal issues I lean to the right. And also I must admit, I will be voting for the president's re-election in November.

That said, it gives me great pause to think that our nation would revel in the death of a human being, even one that had wrought such terror. I fear that, in some ways, we have lost our way. I think we can see that in our political discourse, which seems like so much caterwauling, and I think we can see it in our actions, like killing an unarmed man in a sovereign nation, against which we have not declared war.

Regarding the latter, I often ask friends if they would feel comfortable with, say Pakistan (the nation in question), conducting similar operations within the borders of the USA against their enemies, because, frankly, were it to do so, we would hold no moral high ground upon which to oppose their actions as we have already taken the same course of action ourselves.

I think we are at a unique crossroads, and we need to be very careful which route we decide to follow. Either we can heal the divides in our broken system, learn to cross the aisle and do what is right for America, or we can continue to go it alone, forget the words of Abraham Lincoln and become a house divided against itself and continue to disregard our own Constitution.

I think we will be a stronger nation, and a safer one, if we project our power by wielding the Constitution as our standard. If you mess with America, we will bring you to justice, but we shall do so through our law, which is fair, just and transparent. Somehow or other, I had been naive enough to believe that I would never need to scold anyone in our nation over summary execution. I thought anyone could see that is not the American way. I am saddened to see some folks who I have held in very high esteem erect a monument not to America's valor, altruism and intellectual fortitude, but rather to her ability to summarily execute an "enemy of the state" without charge or trial. That, I think, should give us pause.

And it should be noted here that I am not out to defend Osama bin Laden, who committed horrendous acts of terrorism, so much as a defense of the rule of law. When we stray from the rule of law in favor of vigilantism, we lose. Not only do we lose our credibility, but we lose our very identity.

Brian Barnett

New York City

(Editor's note: Brian Barnett is a former Defiance resident.)

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