In the midst of the incessant storm of criticism our mayor has been taking recently, I thought I d offer a minority view. Much of the critique I would agree with. Is Carty a stubborn bulldog? Absolutely. That same quality can also be called determined or persistent or relentless. Is Carty constantly rocking the boat? Absolutely. However, in our current economic crisis the ocean is rocking all our boats. We need a captain who is tough as nails to see us through this challenging time. Does Carty step on toes? Absolutely. If you re not on the playing field you don t step on toes. Being mayor is a full contact sport in Toledo. Carty is a tiger. Tigers are dangerous, not fit to be pets. Golden Retrievers are safe; they re designed to be pets, not mayors. In these dangerous times we need a tiger in the mayor s office, not a Golden Retriever.
Carty also has a well-earned reputation for being passionate, compassionate, a tireless worker with an incredible love for the city of Toledo. I ve also experienced him listening to correction, forgiving others, and working towards reconciliation. He has a tremendous gratitude to and dependence upon God.
Boasting the highest unemployment rate of all the large cities in the state of Ohio, Toledo needs a tough-minded and compassionate mayor. Carty is both.
In his Feb. 26 letter, a reader insists that Iran apologize to the United States for taking hostages at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979. I agree that an apology for this illegal and aggressive action on Iran s part would be a big step towards normalization of relations. It would be short-sighted, however, for us to set any preconditions to dialogue. Given the history of U.S. meddling in Iran s internal affairs, it is clear that we also have much to apologize for.
In 1953, the CIA. helped overthrow a democratically-elected prime minister and installed the Shah, a pro-Western dictator. My family lived in Tehran in the 1970s and, even as a sixth grader, I could sense the growing resentment over the Shah s rule, the U.S. forces stationed there, and the huge presence of Western oil companies.
In 1979, the Shah was overthrown, and the Islamic Republic of Iran was formed. From 1980-1988, the U.S. supported Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war, supplying Saddam Hussein with modern weaponry even as he used poison gas against Iranian troops and his own populace.
In 2002, President Bush declared Iran part of the Axis of Evil. In 2003 the U.S. invaded Iraq, Iran s neighbor, and six years later, we continue to tell Iran that they have no business meddling in Iraq. It s no wonder Iran is extremely wary of dealing with the U.S.
Although Secretary of State Albright apologized to Iran in 2000 for our role in the 1953 coup, it would behoove us to renew our apology and re-establish full diplomatic relations. While Iranian President Ahmadinejad has said some pretty dumb and offensive stuff, he has offered an olive branch to President Obama, and we would be foolish indeed not to accept it.
In regard to Mona Charen s Feb. 22 column: Why the New York Times and other mainstream media frequently try to soften the image of communism and socialism is beyond me. Neither of those two systems would allow the anti-government diatribes of papers like the Times to get into print or even to exist.
About 10 years ago, I was in Cambodia with a team whose purpose was to teach Cambodian Christians more about the Bible. I shall never forget our welcome. The people were kind and friendly. Almost all the Cambodians we met had a story of their time under the Khmer Rouge and the Pol Pot regime and several wept as they spoke. Many had lost their entire family.
We spent four days in Phnom Penh and 10 days in Battambang, a northern city. We visited the Tuol Sleng prison camp and some filling fields a few miles from Phnom Penh. At both places, my emotions were a mixture of anger/outrage, confusion, tears, and extreme nausea.
Even today, when looking at the photographs I took I get a slight headache. This was communism at its worst as Pol Pot and his bloodthirsty men tried to build a communist utopia, (his words) during which they killed almost 2 million of their own countrymen.
The Feb. 28 front-page article on Toledo s budget crisis had me cringing. Since recently discovering the city had a huge shortfall for balancing the budget, the mayor and council seem so surprised to find the elephant droppings in the room.
Not to pick on Councilman George Sarantou, but he states clearly we are in for some very challenging economic times. Well, duh! The American workforce has been shouting about and experiencing these challenging times for years, especially in Ohio, Michigan, and the Midwest. Ross Perot s giant sucking sound truly sucks.
As the unseen elephant continues to grow fatter, I posit that our political representatives and institutions better get used to making do with dwindling tax dollars. Income taxes on McDonald s and Wal-Mart earnings won t pay the bills or your salaries anymore.
Also, our mayors, councilmen, congressmen, and senators are not discussing the main reason for the problematic decline of tax dollars: fewer good-paying jobs and the loss of manufacturing and industry. There is a silent war under way, fueled by corporate greed, that is destroying our traditional American way of life, which in turn is reducing tax dollars used for growth, police, fire, roads, and infrastructure.
Would the pols know an elephant if it bit em in the butt? Hey, wait, it is biting their butts!
In response to the writer who observed 95 percent of the people using handicapped designated spaces as being not handicapped: Did you check with their doctors or find out what their handicap is? Some handicaps are not visible to others. I have several spine conditions including a surgery gone awry that resulted in stone-like scar tissue around my spinal cord and the nerves to my legs. This makes walking painful. Any time I can save a few steps and still remain capable of doing a few of my own errands, I will use my handicap permit. My errands are usually picking up the many medications I take to be able to function because of my condition.
There are many people who have heart problems, COPD, asthma, and so on. The cold winter months make it difficult for them to walk and breathe in the frigid temperatures. Just because they had a sticker hung on the mirror and didn t have crutches, walker, or wheelchair, they have been judged as lazy parking scofflaws and criminals. I think the police have more pressing issues than writing tickets because we don t look handicapped.
Think twice before judging, because there but for the grace of God, go you.
To a recent Readers Forum writer who feels disadvantaged that she has only creative talents on which to rely rather than uncreative ones like all the rest of us lucky ones: Perhaps she might try applying all of that creativity into some income-producing endeavor rather than expecting the government all of us to pay her bills. What arrogance.
South Reynolds Road