Tell Congress to stay out of Syria, bring other troops home quickly

Tell Congress to stay out of Syria, bring other troops home quickly

There were about 60 individ- uals who rallied and held signs in Highland Square in Akron last week to protest U.S. involvement in Syria. Many motorists and pedestrians showed animated support for the anti-war message.

In support of our military and in support of the American people who fund the devastating, unconstitutional and endless wars, our Congress should be implored by constituents to bring our troops home.

We do not have just cause to intervene in Syria, and we do not belong in the 135 countries (70 percent of the world) that we occupy.

There is a polar difference between defending our country and building an empirical presence. The war industry abroad is bankrupting the nation while our own borders are not secured.

Also, it is well past time to end foreign aid. It is bad policy and essentially funds both sides of some conflicts. Furthermore, borrowing monies from other countries to give away aid obviously creates negative impact on the economy. No foreign enemy has the ability to weaken the United States to an extent equal to that of our leaders in Washington. It is crucial that they work to change the course chosen for us all.

Ann Davis, Youngstown

Will the US show Syrian leaders how to properly kill their citizens?

The U.S. is sending a message to all militias within its borders: If you stage an armed insurrection, it would be wrong for the government of the U.S. to respond in kind. This can be inferred by the U.S.’ objection to the Syrian government’s resistance to the “Free Syrian Army’s” militarized assaults.

So, U.S. militias and other disaffected groups: Detonate those car bombs in the public square, take over that military base, chop off the heads of those you cannot abide. If this is OK in Syria, it ought to be all right in the U.S., right?

I mean. the U.S. wouldn’t be hypocritical in such matters, would it?

The U.S. has also announced that it is beholden to punish Syria for its alleged use of weapons of mass destruction on its citizens. The punishment is to launch multiple cruise missiles in order to, well, kill Syrians, civilians and/or military. The Syrians must be shown how to properly bring death to its citizens. Why not some depleted uranium ammunition to radiate the countryside for hundreds of thousands of years and cause innumerable birth defects, cancers and other ailments? How about some white phosphorous or napalm to incinerate them? What about some cluster bombs to rip them to shreds and also have the added coup de grace of land mines via unexploded ordinance? Why not some Agent Orange with that wonderful dioxin to induce more birth defects, cancers and long-suffering deaths? Finally, why not just drop a couple of nukes on some random cities? That will show them Syrians the proper means of killing its citizens.

John E. Malley, Youngstown

Ohio Right to Life leader compares abortion and human trafficking

Your editorial “Ohio step- ping up the fight against human trafficking” has inspired me to reflect again on why ending human trafficking is a fundamental pro-life issue.

Being “pro-life” means respecting the dignity inherent in every human being.

The human-trafficker profits from victimizing the vulnerable. He thrives because of society’s general lack of respect for the dignity of human life. And sadly, as your editorial said, “It is no accident that children are most at risk. They cannot defend themselves from adult predators.”

The parallels between human trafficking and one of Ohio Right to Life’s other issues, abortion, are clear. In the same way that the trafficker profits from victimizing the vulnerable, the abortionist profits from taking the lives of utterly defenseless children.

And of course, for every abortion, we must recognize that there are two victims, one being the mother who is exploited by pro-choice politics that tell her she can do no better for her child or herself than abortion.

As Gov. Kasich said, “Victims of human trafficking don’t deserve to be treated as criminals, but deserve our compassion and support so they can retake control of their lives.”

Like victims of human trafficking, victims of abortion — the women — need our compassion and support to help them reject the abortionist and make positive, life-giving choices.

I am encouraged to read that Ohio is using funding to restore life and freedom to victims of human trafficking. Clearly, Ohio is making pro-life strides every day.

Michael Gonidakis, Columbus

The writer is president of Ohio Right to Life.

Don’t abolish Common Core standards for Ohio schools

Ohioans must vigorously resist the efforts by those who are trying to repeal the Common Core Standards that Ohio has adopted and will be implemented for all public schools in the 2014-2015 school year. We must not let the loud voices of a few negatively impact the future of our children and our state.

Recently, there has been a flurry of activity and statements aimed at undermining the Common Core Standards. Opponents attribute their opposition to these new standards by calling them a federal mandate. The new, more rigorous standards have been criticized as an attempt by “big brother” to take over our schools. This notion could not be further from the truth.

Fortunately two of Ohio’s top education leaders, House Education Committee Chairman Gerald L. Stebelton and Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Peggy Lehner, have expressed their continued support for these high standards.

Ohio has a long history of excellence in education and in striving for a strong primary and secondary education system. We can be proud of our progress in making sure students have educational opportunities aimed at preparing them for successful careers.

Our students have traditionally performed well when judged with peers in other states. However, we must increase our standards because our students now compete in a global marketplace. What may have seemed like high standards in the past are no longer sufficient. Our children’s jobs in the future depend on a better education.

That is why Ohio has participated with other states over the past several years in the exploration of a more rigorous set of education standards that will prepare our students for these new expectations. The stakes have changed, and so should the rigor of the standards for what our students should know and be able to do.

The Common Core Standards are not a substitute for a local school board’s responsibility for adopting curriculum and providing resources to ensure student achievement. Yet they will allow districts to know what their students must be capable of achieving in order to be prepared for the future. School districts will continue to have the freedom to determine how the standards will be met inside their classrooms.

Ohio must meet parent expectations for a high quality education for every child. Parents must be confident that, when their children enter a public school, the standards for learning will match their needs to ensure success in the future. Without the implementation of the Common Core Standards, Ohio will put those students at risk, and we will have shirked our responsibility as a state.

Richard C. Lewis, Columbus

The writer is executive director of the Ohio School Boards Association. The directors of the Buckeye Association of School Administrators and the Ohio Association of School Officials also signed this letter.