Dr. S. Amjad Hussain spends most of his June 13 op-ed column, "Solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict obvious, elusive," condemning Israel and the Israeli lobby for the failure of a permanent solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem.
He states, "An unambiguous declaration by all Palestinian factions that affirms Israel's right to exist, and acceptance by Israel that occupation of West Bank lands is not the answer, might push the parties toward a realistic solution."
Dr. Hussain leaves out one vital factor: No Israeli government has ever declared that the Palestinian people should be eliminated from the Middle East. And no major Palestinian faction has ever declared that Israel has a right to exist.
Until and unless every major Palestinian faction publicly and privately affirms Israel's right to exist, how can Israel be expected to take any position other than it must have defensible borders?
It would be nice to read some compassion from Dr. Hussain for the people who made a desert bloom in a tiny land few wanted before 1948.
Flat tax for firms could create jobs
You left out one point in your June 10 editorial "Economic hopefuls": The key to job creation is business tax cuts.
The United States has one of the highest business tax rates in the world. Our corporate tax rate is higher than the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development average. We tax our businesses at nearly 35 percent..
There is a complex web of business tax incentives and credits managed by skilled tax consultants who try to make sure their clients pay as little as possible.
Both political parties should agree to a flat business tax of 10 percent and eliminate all incentives and credits. Businesses then might be moved to invest and create more jobs and opportunities.
This will also ensure President Obama's re-election, deflate the Tea Party's balloon, and sustain a significant economic growth rate.
Riaz N. Chaudhary
Not just keep, but raise estate tax
The American way is to make your own success in the world, not have daddy hand you lots of money you have not earned ("Do away with Ohio's estate tax," Readers' Forum, June 19).
Not only should the estate tax be kept, it also should be raised to generate money to help pay for education and health care.
I-475 construction effects widespread
I live six houses away from Merle Peoples, and while he is certainly the one most affec- ted by the shifting-ground problems in this quiet, residential neighborhood, he is not the only property owner affected by the construction ("Work on I-475 wall halted by garden's shifting ground," June 17).
Since construction began on the retaining walls feet away from our homes, the vibrations of the pile driver pounding the enormous steel sheet pilings into the ground are shaking the very foundations of our homes.
I am concerned about potential structural damage to our homes by continual use of the pile driver, the subsequent construction of the additional lane, and upcoming bridge construction.
Since work was halted June 7, our neighborhood has been overrun with ODOT workers, but we have no idea what is happening to our neighborhood or how ODOT plans to save our properties from further construction damage.
It would be nice if ODOT would communicate with the property owners affected by the construction.
Columnist shouldn't rush to judgment
Marilou Johanek's June 16 op-ed column, "GOP debate: Nothing else on TV, and no one else to vote for," rated the candidates from "crazy" to "boring" and everything in-between.
She opines that the President can easily walk away a winner because he "stabilized an economic disaster before it had the chance to destroy the country."
Is that so? We have a combined unemployment and under-employment rate of 16 percent. Housing prices continue to wallow. Gasoline pri- ces have dropped but still are higher than they were last year. More than 44 million Americans receive food stamps, according to figures from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
The President can be defeated by any of those GOP candidates.
2 columns differ in enlightenment
Your op-ed columns of June 16 could not be further apart in their contribution to the public discourse.
David L. Brooks' column, "In protest of a campaign that's bereft of ideas," identifies the key problems and negative trends in our nation, points out where both parties fail to address the issues, and proposes alternative solutions.
On the other hand, Marylou Johanek's column, "GOP debate: Nothing else on TV, and no one else to vote for," of the Republican presidential debate offers nothing but sarcasm and name-calling.
U.S. should revive manufacturing
There are two reasons Social Security funds are running low: tax breaks granted to industries that have operations abroad and our citizens' limited ability to purchase goods made in the United States.
Foreign industries and work forces do not contribute to the tax bases. Our government and programs are denied revenues, run short of cash, and borrow to maintain daily operations. We then borrow from the governments that are benefiting from our loss of revenues.
We must change our way of buying and producing goods if America is to maintain its place in the world.
Imagine how great things would be if we produced 80 percent of our goods. There would be jobs for all and a constant income for all our branches of government.
Frank P. McDonald
Think twice about taking more water
What state Rep. Lynn Wachtmann doesn't get is based in his thoughtless quote "I'm a pro-business legislator, and this bill does more to protect Lake Erie than current law does," in your June 20 news story "Bill seeks to double lake water drawdown."
As a businessman, I must be concerned about resource preservation. Just because you can exploit a resource doesn't necessarily mean you should, if there are reasonable alternatives or if the process of extraction produces negative consequences.
Mr. Wachtmann and others in government should act less like the proverbial grasshopper and more like the ant.
What we need to ask is, "Can future generations afford this water bill?"
Co-owner Waterville Gas & Oil Co. Waterville
Give Scot Ulmer a second chance
It was sad to read that Judge Stacy Cook of Lucas County Common Pleas Court said in regard to Scot Ulmer, to whom she granted early release, that his name in the community is negative ("2 Westhaven defendants released," June 14).
Money was lost and trust was broken, and he spent time in prison on his conviction of his role in defrauding hundreds of real estate investors. But he deserves a second chance. Ulmer is a good man. He has paid for his mistakes.
Fishermen should dispose of the dead
I'm not against commercial fishing, even though their nets make it difficult to maneuver my boat around them. However, I am against the dead fish that these commercial fishermen throw out after checking their nets.
Why aren't they required to dispose of these dead fish and not leave them floating around to stink up our beaches?
Reno Beach, Ohio