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Published: Friday, 1/9/2009

Mideast peace seems impossible

The current Israeli attack on Gaza is the latest installment in a bigger scheme of actions planned by the occupying Israeli government. Its aim is to kill the will of the people and turn them into herds of cattle, whereby the Palestinians' top priority is to simply survive. Survival is number one. Resist? How?

The Israelis have cordoned off Gaza for a long time and its Palestinian residents are slowly being asphyxiated - a sick, painful death.

When a cat is cornered, it instinctively scratches back. The Palestinians are fighting for what is legitimately their right. For doing so, they are labeled terrorists. And of course our U.S. government, Israel's main ally, is the first to deem Hamas a terrorist group while being silent about the atrocities that are being committed by the Israeli army in Gaza. Power can be blinding to the truth.

I am not condoning Hamas' rocket firing on Israeli cities, but something has to be done to give the Palestinians a fair chance at living.

Military force erodes any hope for a peace plan in the region and will only harden the hearts and minds of the Palestinians while creating more chaos, death of the innocent, and suffering.

Let us all pray for what at the moment seems utterly impossible: peace.

Sanna Shaheen Saddy

Monroe

How could he have done this? I thought I could understand his vision. I, a lifetime registered Republican, had actively supported him and agreed with his platform - well, most of it. How could Barack Obama have turned from "tolerance" and invited an "intolerant" such as Rick Warren to the inaugural party? I had to sit quietly and think.

Americans voted for change, and they are getting it. How many years - or generations - has it been since this type of inclusion occurred? But look at the unforgiving disapproval coming back from groups that somehow thought they had elected a myopic leader who would attend to only their agenda. Didn't they listen to him speak?

Here is more proof that Americans are "sound-bite polarized." When did just one or two issues - abortion, same-sex marriage, pick another - become the dividing line between inaugural invitation or exclusion?

Today, America is dancing on the edge of a knife. Within months, it has become apparent that economic life as we have known it will be transformed. Our future will depend on the decisions that are going to be made by political leadership.

Groups that have experienced intolerance and are now criticizing a tolerant decision need to quickly move on. They will achieve far more if they practice constructive growth in their organizations. The clear fact is that American citizens and their leadership cannot afford to be diverted from fixing this country's problems by groups and individuals questioning the right of Mr. Obama to invite someone to his inauguration and of Rick Warren to attend it.

They may find Americans becoming intolerant of obstacles to tolerance.

Cindy Niggemyer

Ottawa Hills

Eggs and pancakes aren't the only things Toledo Hospital has cut out. Patient care has taken a real dive.

I was admitted to Toledo Hospital on Sept. 2 for a knee revision and stayed for three and a half days. During that time, I was given water to take a bath only the day after surgery. Never again. I used my drinking cup to brush my teeth each day and asked for a clean cup, but they didn't get the message. My bedding was changed once in the three days.

My mother was a registered nurse and I worked at a hospital. I tried very hard not to be one of those patients who rings the bell constantly, but I guess times have changed. Ring the bell or you never see a nurse or aide.

My hospital bill for three and a half days was $74,554.

Toledo Hospital needs to cut out the frills. Get back to the basics. Use the money to hire enough help so a patient can get a bath, the beds can be changed every day, and doctors orders are carried out.

Mary E. Miller

Lambertville

George W. Bush's overwhelming incompetence in all areas and in his illegal Operation Iraqi Freedom and the failed occupation of Iraq continue unabated to this very day. His legacy of failure will harm our nation for generations.

Vast number of authors and journalists continue to expound on these catastrophic policies, which rise to the level of high crime, treason, and war crime, yet his regime continues to walk the streets of America, just like O. J. Simpson used to.

So, our continually boiling outrage is appropriate.

Sarah Maxwell

Archbold

It would seem to me that merely giving money to the Big Three auto makers will only enable them to build new vehicles.

That is only a part of the problem. Getting the public to buy from the Big Three is the real problem.

Why doesn't the federal government give a tax incentive of $5,000 or more to every person who buys a new vehicle?

Why not take it a step further and give a tax incentive to the companies that buy fleet cars and trucks to entice them to replace their fleets now?

The problem is how to get the public to buy now. An incentive could also be given to the families that buy houses.

Basil Lowe

Perrysburg

In response to the Dec. 30 letter to the editor about violence in the Qur'an, there also are verses about violence in the Bible.

From the book of Revelation: "And he [Jesus] is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and his name is called the word of God .•.•. from his mouth comes a sharp sword, so that he may smite the nations .•.•. these two [leaders] were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of him [Jesus] who sat upon the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh."

There are enough violent quotes and deeds within Christianity to fill an encyclopedia. "Have mercy on these poor people. Stab, smite, slay, whoever can. If you die in doing it, well for you!" (Martin Luther regarding the peasants' revolution of 1525)

Therefore, as a Christian pastor who believes in truth, and as a citizen of this land who believes in liberty and justice for all, I hope that we can hold together as a community.

First, I hope we can admit that every religion struggles with justice and righteousness. The majority position of every major religion is about living peaceably with their neighbors.

We need to understand the context of these violent verses in holy books, beginning with our own.

Second, I hope we can embrace the diversity within our own community of Toledo.

Who would wish that we become polarized like Northern Ireland?

It is hurtful to attack the integrity of the thousands of good Muslims in our community by saying they are not living compatibly with democracy.

Perhaps as a new year's resolution we should all promise to study world religions and world history in order to erase the hate from ourselves, and emerge a better and more hopeful Holy Toledo.

The Rev. Ed Heilman

Park United Church of Christ

Harvard Boulevard

I have never voted for Carty and will not in the future, and I have less than a respectable opinion of his actions and policies.

But the LEAP Program for refuse collection is a creative and unique way to help the budget deficit. It may be hard for some to accept, but it does help the city to save a terrific amount.

I don t know whether the idea was Carty s or someone in his administration, but it can work. Let s give it a try.

Hats off to Toledo for instituting the program.

Roger Smith

Tetherwood Drive



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