It's difficult for me to see the images of Palestinian women and children, dead and injured, and not be sickened by the violence. However, it cuts deeper to see protesters against Israel here and abroad, realizing that these protesters have truly lost their moral compass. Hearing these hatemongers screaming for the Jews to be thrown back into ovens and equating the actions of the Israeli forces to the Holocaust leaves me with little hope that the Muslim-Jewish conflict will ever be resolved peacefully.
The reader may find it strange that I couch the conflict as between religions, but that's what it is. The Islamists cannot and will not ever accept a Jewish state in the Middle East. Before the re-establishment of the Jewish state in 1948, Jews were tolerated in Islamist nations as second-class citizens. Israel is not tolerated because Islam will not allow the Jewish infidels to establish their own home as equals in the "Holy Land." To Islamists, all of Israel is occupied territory, not just the Green Line of 1949.
These protesters, mostly Muslim, accept Hamas' daily barrage of missiles fired at innocent Israeli citizens. Look at how long Israel has lived with terror while working toward an enduring peace.
America quickly responded to 9/11 with wars for regime change in Afghanistan and Iraq. What country would not gravely respond? Apparently it's not justifiable for Israel to so respond. Israel's patience has been unprecedented because Judaism values all life, including that of its Arab neighbors.
What is this nonsense about excessive force? Hamas calls for no less than the total destruction of the Jewish state and Israel should just lob rockets back, hitting whatever? When you go to war, you go to win.
You gotta love Mayor Carty Finkbeiner's creative accounting. Does anyone actually believe the population of Toledo increased from 313,782 in 2000 to 316,851 in 2007? Or did the revised figures include Monclova Township?
After reading about the groundbreaking for the new United Way Building recently, I thought I would add my two cents worth about the old United Way building on the off chance it might still be saved for another purpose.
In the 1980s and 1990s, I was a Discover Downtown tour guide. The Stranahan building (the current United Way building), with its interesting architecture, never failed to receive positive comments when it was pointed out and explained.
It was always enjoyable to bring the participants down Summit Street to Jackson Street and view the warm building that housed our United Way and other community services.
It would be a shame to take a prominent corner of our downtown, raze a beautiful, large structure, and place on the property a small, bland, utilitarian building. It is almost as bad as a parking lot, which we have done in downtown Toledo much too often. Let's find someone with creativity and vision who can rescue the Stranahan for another day and another use and at least share the corner with the new offices for United Way.
Mary Jo Hardy
Recently, The Blade's Jack Lessenberry somewhat tempered his enthusiasm for embryonic stem-cell research, noting that potential cures from this research are not in the near future. What he failed to acknowledge is that there are persistent problems with embryonic stem-cell research.
The first hurdle is immune rejection. Anyone receiving embryonic stem-cell therapy would have to take drugs to suppress their immune systems. Second, embryonic stem cells tend to form tumors called teratomas. Third, some embryonic stem cells look as if they could be precancerous. At this point, scientists are not able to tell normal embryonic stem cells from abnormal embryonic stem cells until after they begin to change into distinct tissues. One embryonic stem-cell researcher at the University of Southern Callifornia said that, "Ultimately, it may be difficult or impossible to rule out with certainty that a given culture is totally free of abnormal cells." If these issues are not resolved, the promised cures may never materialize.
Bush administration policies and old stem cell lines cannot be blamed for these problems; they are part of the very nature of embryonic stem cells. Advocates of embryonic stem-cell research need to go beyond saying "cures will come" as if repeating something often enough will make it happen. They need to let people know the whole truth, such as the fact that we all went through a stage of development as "undifferentiated balls of cells" - otherwise known as embryonic humans.
Lora J. Brake
By setting a few basic priorities shown below, President Obama will serve our country well and keep us safe over the next several years.
1. Maintain a robust national defense program including a vibrant military force, missile defense systems, and border security. Reduction in defense spending during the Clinton years weakened the military, emboldened al-Qaeda, and planted the seeds for 9/11. We can't afford to travel that road again.
2. Stay on the offensive against terrorists. Recent events in Pakistan (Benazir Bhutto's assassination), India, the Middle East, and elsewhere serve notice we cannot let our guard down. We must succeed in Iraq and Afghanistan to keep terrorists back-pedalling and prevent future 9/11-type attacks. If President Obama doesn't get these two priorities right, the rest doesn't matter.
3. Rely on our free enterprise system to solve economic problems. Forget massive government programs and welfare handouts. The troubled Social Security and Medicare systems are examples of massive government programs run amok. Let's not repeat past mistakes. Big government stand aside. Our economy has endured many downturns and always bounces back stronger, thanks entirely to the entrepreneurial spirit and ingenuity of the American people, not government involvement.
4. Work toward energy independence by providing incentives for private industry to develop future energy sources. This includes removing barriers to drilling for oil, nuclear power, clean coal development and adding solar, wind, and other sources.
The formula is simple for our new President - strong national defense, stand firm against terrorists, allow free enterprise to flourish, prevent government growth, and achieve energy independence. If we succeed on these fronts, there is no stopping the United States.
We should see each other as one people
Congratulations to The Blade for offering the commemorative edition on the Obama inauguration. I was sorry to see a flaw in the plan. Shouldn't the section described as "Reaction in the local black community" have read "Reaction in the local community?"
It appears to be a divisive error to identify President Obama by only one part of his racial heritage. Every race of people in the United States came together and elected Mr. Obama.Yes, I want to hear the black community reaction. I also want to hear the white, Hispanic, and Asian reactions in our community.
This great man we have elected sees us all as one. We need to see each other in the same manner.
I have been a loyal Blade subscriber for many years but the Jan. 19 editorial titled Years of shame is the best piece of writing I have ever seen in the newspaper. It was sharp, to the point, and very well thought out.
I plan to cut it out and save it as a piece of history to reflect on eight years from now when, hopefully, things have improved and are back on track. Keep up the good work.