It's about time the zoo industry admitted that zoos select which species of animals to display based on what they think will bring people - and their wallets - through the gates, rather than which animals are most in need of help ("Zoos rethink role as wildlife's keeper," Sept. 25).
Most animals in zoos are not endangered, and while confining animals to zoos keeps them alive, it does little to protect wild populations. Returning captive-bred animals to the wild is difficult and costly, and most zoos can't even attempt it. Breeding programs usually produce a surplus of animals because many zoos breed simply to provide cute baby animals to draw big crowds. As a result, zoos often find themselves overcrowded, and older animals may be warehoused or sold at auctions where they are often purchased for use in canned hunts.
The large sums of money wasted on captive breeding would be more responsibly directed toward nonprofit sanctuaries that rescue and care for exotic animals but don't sell or breed them, and legitimate conservation groups working to reduce the main factors contributing to the decline of the species in the wild.
Captive Exotic Animal Specialist
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Profiling is an important law enforcement tool. It covers a wide variety of subjects (i.e. men commit more crimes than women). Critics of law enforcement agencies regarding alleged racial profiling theorize without supporting data. To accept their reasoning, one would have to accept the fiction that all racial and ethnic groups commit crime at the same rate.
RICHARD F. BAILEY
Boulder, Colo., has recently made 25 living units available for musicians from New Orleans who lost their homes and livelihood. This was brought about by a musician from Boulder who grew up in New Orleans. After the devastation brought by Katrina became evident, he approached the mayor of Boulder, suggesting that they house musicians.
Toledo has its Jazz Fest and a tradition of jazz music. It might be beneficial if our town would provide displaced artists from New Orleans housing in the Toledo area. It would benefit the artist, and as many studies have shown, an influx of artists into cities increases the vitality and economic strength of the town.
EDWIN L. NIRDLINGER
Possibly the emergency response to the zone of Katrina's wrath could have been better, quicker, and more efficient. Definitely some aspects should have been dealt with on the local level long before the hurricane hit our coast, such as the known instability of the levee and the need for more organized and enforced evacuations, especially of patients of nursing homes and medical facilities. Also more effective control and protection for victims from the depraved criminal element that utilized a crisis situation to take advantage of the innocent. This is all very obvious now and would have greatly reduced needless injuries and deaths.
But much like 9/11, our preparedness for a catastrophe on our own soil is greatly diminished and rarely plays out as planned. It is only during an actual incident that the most seemingly infallible plans fall through and show us areas that are severely lacking, poorly organized, completed haphazardly, or make our nation more vulnerable than necessary.
Americans expect a standard of spontaneous response and protection that just can't be accomplished.
Every plan and response can be improved upon. Still, the response from emergency crews, FEMA, and military units being what it was (not perfect), filling less than 10 percent of the anticipated 25,000 body bags across three states is not a complete failure as some try to make it seem for political reasons.
Let's grieve for the loss, make accountable the senseless, and recognize the triumph in this tragedy. No, it wasn't a perfect response, but it was an effective one that we have learned from. It could have been and was expected to be a lot worse. With Rita the plan was improved and implemented all because of what we learned from Katrina's devastation.
Brook Point Road
The "dove" who recently advocated the immediate pullout of Iraq is typical of those who live in a dream world where world peace and love of one another is the goal. Though admirable, it's not very realistic, and I guess that is the fundamental difference between the so-called "hawks" and the warm fuzzy crowd who daily grace the pages of The Blade Readers' Forum.
It is now and always has been the responsibility of our country's warriors to fight and kill those who, if given the chance, would bring death and destruction to our shores. Anyone remember 9/11?
Our men and women in the armed forces understand this and bravely fight terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan so that we don't have to fight it on the streets of Toledo. They fight so that the "doves" can have their little peace marches and flash the peace sign on the streets of this great city without the fear of their TARTA bus exploding suddenly or the water they drink being laced with any of a thousand poisons or the nuclear power plants we are surrounded by exploding in a mushroom cloud.
The following quote from 19th century philosopher John Stuart Mill sums up my point:
"War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing is worth war is much worse.
"The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made or kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
Accurate, concise, timely, and relevant.
Columbia Gas of Ohio finds it necessary to correct a recent Blade editorial ("No drilling in Lake Erie," Sept. 25).
First, our president did not testify, at a recent Ohio House Public Utilities Committee hearing on natural gas prices that a 20-year supply of natural gas exists beneath Lake Erie, as the editorial stated. The reference was made by another Columbia representative during a question-and-answer session with reporters following the hearing, and what he said was also misstated in the editorial. His comment was that it could take up to 20 years to extract the natural gas reserves under Lake Erie, not that those reserves would supply consumers for 20 years.
Finally, Columbia did not and has not called for an end to the ban on drilling in Lake Erie, as the editorial implied. The ban on drilling in the lake was used by our President as an example of the dilemma facing both the energy industry and consumers: find ways to being new gas supplies to market or face the prospect of high prices for the foreseeable future.
Columbia Gas welcomes and has promoted the public discussion of high energy prices and what can be done about them. We encourage The Blade and other Toledo media to make sure that they report and editorialize based on the facts, so that their coverage sheds light, rather than heat, on this extremely emotional issue.
Columbia Gas of Ohio
Given the premise that a president has the right to propose a judge who represents the same values and political philosophy as his own, Clinton nominee and ACLU-trained Ruth Bader Ginsburg was approved 18-0 by the then bipartisan Senate Judiciary Committee. Fast forward to Bush nominee John Roberts, and that same committee (minus the bipartisanship) approves 13-5, the five being the usual suspects, of course. And the temper tantrum goes on and on.
EDWIN F. DURIVAGE