My heart aches for the Fackelman family and the tragic loss of their young son, just as it aches for Stevie Beale, who undoubtedly has had her life changed forever. However, I simply cannot agree with those who wish to justify Charles Fackelman's actions because of emotional distress and state that it only resulted in "soiled skivvies" and "a damaged door."
I cannot fathom the pain and anguish that Fackelman felt and still feels but it still does not justify pointing a weapon at anyone at any time. Furthermore, to diminish the psychological effects of having a weapon pointed at you is simply shortsighted. I was robbed at gunpoint in 1997 and my car was stolen, resulting in some "soiled skivvies" and "some property damage" (the vehicle was set on fire in Jamie Farr Park). But it has also resulted in something else - fear. For the longest time, going out at night was a challenge and, on occasion, passing cars at night, even in my own neighborhood, will put the fright right back in me. I am sure the results that I have experienced are similar for the families of Thomas Williams and Randy Krell.
I agree that the sentencing disparities in this nation's judicial system need to be addressed but let us not allow our disgust for those disparities outweigh the obvious wrongs that were committed in this case.
Keith R. Godfrey
Next president must put focus on energy
The next president should set the following goals:
1) End welfare and unemployment by creating a federal work program similar to those during the Great Depression.
2) Set a goal to make the United States energy self-sufficient within 10 years.
3) Use the federal work program to build windmills across the country to generate electricity.
4) Use the federal work program to build electric power plants to generate electricity from the rising and falling of the ocean tides.
5) Use the federal work program to build a national transportation system using electric trains traveling 200 to 300 miles per hour for shipping products and people across the country.
6) Make a federal law requiring utility companies to buy electricity generated by any individual or company.
6) Make a national building code requiring new buildings to be built with solar panels to generate electricity.
7) Give tax credits to homeowners to install solar panels on their homes.
8) Give tax incentives to farmers and landowners to build windmills to generate electricity.
9) Ban all gas-powered vehicles from use in the United States within 20 years.
10) Require all buildings and homes to be heated by electricity within 20 years.
We have the technology to complete all of these goals. When President John F. Kennedy set the goal to put a man on the moon, we did not have the technology to do it.
Michael J. Sprott
Reducing accidents lowers medical costs
Medical expenditures in the United States are enormous, and attempts to rein in costs have generally failed. The cheapest way to reduce costs is by prevention of illness. One major contributor to medical costs is the epidemic of motor vehicle accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 42,642 deaths and 2,575,000 injuries from motor vehicle accidents in 2006. The number of accidents is unlikely to decrease substantially unless vigorous action is taken.
Three simple and inexpensive actions that can reduce the massacre on the highways are enforcement of restraint laws, reduction and enforcement of speed limits, and prevention of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Prevention of just one death can save thousands of dollars in medical costs, as well as the grief and sorrow over the loss of a loved one.
Patrick J. Mulrow
University of Toledo
College of Medicine
Energy model could be repeated in U.S.
House Speaker Jon Husted (R., Kettering) has proven himself to be a supreme bonehead by believing that the market should determine the best technology (singular - take note) that should be used to solve our sustainable energy problems. All are necessary, working in concert.
The Danes created a working model for sustainable, nonfossil-fuel-based energy sources on an off-shore island. It took 10 years of concentrated effort and government help. Now that this model exists, people like Mr. Husted need to get out of the way of progress. America can easily replicate this model. We have no time to lose.
Sid S. Davisson
Prohibiting drugs is what drives up crime
In regard to the recent story in The Blade, "Police say tougher drug enforcement yields results," as a former federal law enforcement officer with the Coast Guard, I know that it's not drugs that drive crime. It is drug prohibition.
We call it a drug-control strategy but prohibition means giving up all control. Prohibition allows criminals to control who manufactures and distributes drugs and who those drugs are sold to. Prohibition allows a black market to thrive. Prohibition makes some very bad people very rich while guaranteeing lifetime employment to those doing the prohibiting. Prohibition does not keep communities safe from drugs.
When our grandparents wisely abandoned alcohol prohibition, it wasn't because they decided that alcohol wasn't so dangerous after all. They just admitted the truth: Prohibition was making the problem worse, fueling crime, not thwarting it. Crime rates began to plummet following the repeal of alcohol prohibition and continued to fall for 10 years before bottoming out.
The only thing more dangerous than ending drug prohibition is continuing the status quo of drug prohibition. Legalize, regulate, and tax drugs so that we can finally control drugs.
Paw Paw, Mich.
Repeal Ohio ban on medical marijuana
Thanks to The Blade for its editorial, "Rethinking medical marijuana." Even the late fathers of the conservative movement, Barry Goldwater and William F. Buckley, Jr., agreed with The Blade on this subject. Goldwater was the honorary chairman of a medical marijuana effort in Arizona and Mr. Buckley was eloquent in his written opinions on the drug war.
The drug war is fragmented, expensive, and has ensnared some very sick people who are just trying to survive. The drug war should be really be called Prohibition II. Let's move forward and initiate an open and honest dialogue on this subject.
We all need to be responsible for our actions and the consequences of those actions. No one supports or condones drug abuse but what we are doing today is not working and is actually counterproductive.
Now is the time to end this self-destructive war on our own people, starting right here with the repeal of medical marijuana prohibition in Ohio.
Ohio Patient Action Network
End Cuba embargo now Castro's gone
Now that Fidel Castro has stepped down in Cuba, it's time to end the absurd U.S. embargo. The United States deals with Communist China and Communist Vietnam, and our President has even "looked into the soul" of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Some of the old-time politicians think it's naive to speak with our so-called enemies. In reality, it's naive not to.