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Published: Sunday, 10/21/2007

Turks resent their deaths are ignored

The American Heritage Dictionary defines genocide as "the systematic and planned extermination of an entire racial, political, or ethnic group." Gwynne Dyer contradicted himself in his Oct. 16 column by saying, on the one hand, that the killing of Armenians during World War I was genocide but, on the other hand, they were not systematic or premeditated. Since they were not premeditated, they do not fit the international legal definition either.

Turks agree that there were a lot of killings but they resent the fact that many of the deaths of Turkish people by Armenians and their Russian allies are not acknowledged at all. Some estimates put the number of Muslim deaths (Turks and Kurds) well above the Armenian deaths.

I wonder how Americans would react if Russia had invaded the United States and the Armenians here took arms against America, as it happened in the Ottoman Empire. Your Oct. 15 editorial has declared, "There is no question that the 1915 genocide took place."

Some prominent historians would disagree with you, such as professors Justin McCarty of the University of Louisville, Bernard Lewis of Princeton University, Stanford Shaw of UCLA, Norman Stone of Oxford, and Gilles Veinstein of College de France, to name a few.

I think Turkey's desire on the subject is very clear: Two years ago, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered to open all Turkish archives and asked that the other countries do the same for an impartial study by historians. Armenia has refused to participate in such a study.

Finally, on what moral ground is our Congress trying to pass a resolution on this subject? Starting as recently as 2003, there have been more than a million deaths in Iraq, and several million people displaced and injured.

Riza Kaya

Sylvania

The president of the League of Women Voters of Ohio has a point when she recently wrote to The Blade and held the thesis that their studies showed the Ohio death penalty was not fair or impartial.

Indeed the death penalty is unfair. It's unfair for victims to lose their civil rights, their family relationships, and the ability to have a career and be happy when a heinous crime is committed against them.

Also, the Ohio death penalty is not impartial. This is true. When the penalty is administered there is no partiality shown when the offender is injected with a lethal dose of drugs, which allows him to quietly be sent off for final judgment before God.

The Ohio death penalty speaks for those who have been victims of unfairness by a criminal and assures the law-abiding citizens there is no partiality shown when a punishment is performed.

Gov. Ted Strickland would show great wisdom if he rejected the shallow findings of the League of Women Voters and permitted the continuation of capital punishment.

Vince Wuwert

Yermo Drive

When asked why voters vote "yes" on issues, an expert in public finance cited four major reasons:

1) Affordability

2) Value

3) Understanding

4) Urgency

I want Springfield Local residents to vote "yes" on Issue 11 on Nov. 6. This is a "no-new-taxes" bond levy, meaning that approval of the issue will allow the district to upgrade classroom and athletic facilities without increasing the taxes paid by homeowners. I'd say that addresses numbers one and two above!

While we're working hard to sell property in our community, my fellow real-estate professionals and I know that the quality of a school district - both its academic reputation and quality of its facilities - factors tremendously in a buyer's willingness to plunk down a small fortune on a house.

I hope that Springfield Local property owners take a few moments to understand that we have just one chance to approve a levy that goes a long way in maintaining the value of our properties at no additional cost. I hope this addresses reasons number three and four.

Folks, vote "yes" on Issue 11 because it is the right thing to do for our kids, our schools, and our property.

Jack Amlin

Holland

Co-chairman

Citizens for Springfield Schools

The weather is changing and hundreds of children will be walking to more than a dozen Toledo Public Schools elementary schools all winter without hats, scarves, or mittens to keep them warm. They will be so cold they'll shiver and some will have to be wrapped in warm blankets when they get to school.

If TPS taught every teenage girl and boy in the school system to knit, crochet, or sew (as they used to), they could earn a passing grade earned only by making a hat and pair of mittens to donate to these children through their schools. The lessons learned would deal with math, dexterity, compassion, civic duty, and pride of accomplishment of a skill that will last them a lifetime. TPS should help our children help those in need.

The nurse or principal of an elementary school in a disadvantaged area can tell you if they could use hats and mittens for the children who don't have any. If you can afford to buy just one set, it will help a child. If you can't afford to buy them, only one seven-ounce skein of yarn will provide a very warm hat, pair of mittens, and a scarf for a child, and costs less than $3. If you don't crochet, knit, or sew, collaborate by furnishing the yarn or fleece fabric to someone who does.

Just because we cannot provide for all doesn't mean we can't provide for some. If we can afford cell phones, evenings of entertainment, cable, and computers, we should be able to afford at least one hat and a pair of mittens for a school child in need.

Phyllis Nilsson

Loxley Road

I wish to commend Dr. S. Amjad Hussain for his eminently sensible and compassionate approach toward gays and lesbians in his op ed piece in The Blade Oct. 8. Using Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent outrageous and ridiculous statement that there are no gays in Iran, Dr. Hussain states the opposite and obvious position that gays and lesbians are and have always been present in every society from time immemorial, and have suffered hatred, fear, shame, ridicule, and outright persecution wherever they have lived, ironically and tragically largely at the instigation of the world's religions.

No doubt Dr. Hussain's reasonable and nonjudgmental approach to homosexuality will be severely criticized by many social, political, and religious conservatives and fundamentalists of whatever religious persuasion. But gays and lesbians and those who love and support them will take heart from Dr. Hussain's articulate and rational argument in favor of a natural, biological basis to homosexuality, just as to heterosexuality.

As Dr. Hussain suggests, if homosexuality were simply a matter of choice, as detractors of homosexuality claim, why would anyone in his right mind choose to subject himself or herself to a lifetime of being stigmatized as unnatural and immoral, discriminated against, the object of crude and cruel jokes, and often the victim of hate-filled violence?

It just doesn't make any sense to claim that gays and lesbians choose a sexual orientation that is hated and even feared by the vast majority of humanity, anymore than other despised minorities are able to choose their ethnicity or race.

Enormous credit is thus due to Dr. Hussain for presenting, especially in this so-called enlightened age, a much-needed, commonsensical, and humane position on the plight of gays and lesbians in society.

Phillip Podlish

Middlesex Drive

It is amazing to me that no one has tried this simple solution for the Seneca County courthouse debate. Donate the old courthouse to the preservation committee for use as a civic center. Give them the money it would have cost to tear it down so it can be rehabilitated. Then, let the county commissioners build their new dream courthouse somewhere else.

Everyone wins.

CHUCK ALLEN

Perrysburg



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