Sunday, June 10, 2018 1:00 am
Letters to the editor
Meeting of the souls essential to peace
In reading the piece by Ron Friedman and Ben Eisbart (“Palestinian intransigence leads to Israeli self-defense measures”) in The Journal Gazette May 20, a few things were omitted.
They neglected to recognize that that land was confiscated from the Palestinians, who had lived there for many generations. To have a two-state solution, there needs to be a different look at the Palestinians. Their homes and lands have been violently uprooted by the Israelis, and settlements are built all over Palestinian lands. Children can't go to school without being stopped by Israeli soldiers, which is very frightening for the children. The Palestinians are an occupied country with numerous checkpoints everywhere and they have to stop at each one to get anywhere.
Several years ago we entertained a Palestinian from Ramallah. One of the stories he told was how his family of five was given an alloted amount of water (by the Israeli occupiers) for one week. This was for everything – drinking, washing, bathing, etc. Since our friend was the youngest, he had to be last to bathe – which meant that by the end of the week the water was dirty. As they scrounged to have enough water for drinking, he and his brothers could see down their street where children from an Israeli settlement were swimming and splashing water out of the pool. They were having fun, but what a waste. I asked how he could take it. He replied, “We pray hard to love because that's what our religion (Islam) teaches.”
I am thankful for the numerous Israelis and Palestinians who are working together to try to bring peace. One Palestinian woman spoke with my husband, Ivan Fry, who was with the Christian Peacemaker Team. Taking his hands and looking him in the eye, she said, “When you can look into my soul and I can look into yours – then we shall have peace.”
Dorotha Fry Mason
Chestnut Hills went beyond expectations
On a recent visit to Chestnut Hills Golf Club for an American Legion morning outing, we were very impressed with the club pro. We were an all-brother team, four of us playing, and another brother who cannot play anymore due to his battle with cancer. He was given his cart free to go along with us so he could also enjoy the day. The club's positive attitude and spirit to accommodate our needs was greatly appreciated. And the course was in great condition.
Revival of monarchs is up to all of us
I live on 8 acres of land where we enjoy a variety of wildlife. That includes all kinds of butterflies.
I have devoted my summers to finding, raising and releasing monarch butterflies for the past 18 years. I have raised as many as 400 in one summer and as few as 25. The numbers are declining at a rapid rate. By all accounts, the total number has decreased by 90 percent in recent years.
This decline is purely man-made. The overuse of pesticides has resulted in a sharp decline in monarchs as well as other pollinators. The constant mowing of the milkweed plants along roadsides and in gardens also contributes to the decline. The monarch depends on milkweed for each stage of its life. The female only lays her eggs on milkweed plants. The caterpillars only eat milkweed leaves.
We must do more to stop the rapid decline by using fewer chemicals that kill indiscriminately, and we need to stop mowing all the milkweed down. It is actually not a weed at all; it is a plant native to the United States. It becomes a weed when you decide you don't want it in your garden.
Humans have created this problem, and humans are the answer to this problem. Talk to your cities and counties that mow the grass along highways and back roads. Ask them to mow around the milkweed they come upon so we can save this beautiful species from following in the footsteps of so many others that have gone extinct. Let the milkweed grow in your yards and gardens. The flowers smell quite sweet when in bloom.
The monarch butterfly follows the milkweed from Central Mexico up through Texas on its way across the Midwest and Northeast. If they have no milkweed to follow, they will vanish. Let us become their champions and keep them alive. We can and must do more to help them continue gracing our gardens each summer. It would be sad to never see them again.
For more information, go to www.monarchwatch.org. You can also learn more by attending the monarch festival Eagle Marsh has each September. I've been to this and it is quite impressive.
Trump's different tack is getting results
The June 3 Washington Post piece on President Donald Trump getting “chummy” with dictators is an interesting spin.
Let's take a stroll down history lane. Neville Chamberlain had his “game face” on when he met with Hitler. How'd that work out? Harry Truman had his “game face” on when he met with Stalin at the end of World War II, dividing up Europe. How'd that work out? Bill Clinton and his bunch had their “game face” on meeting with KIm Jong Il. How'd that work out?
Maybe the “game face” doesn't work in political negotiations. Why not try the “happy face”?
Imprecise gun terms make tragedy political
Journal Gazette writer Jamie Duffy fell into an all-too-common media pattern in the article “Fusillade of bullets kills 1, hurts 2” (May 26), describing the shooting spree on Gaywood Drive.
The focus of the article was the senseless violence that disrupted a neighborhood, the loss of another life and the efforts people are making to reduce violence in the area. But, the writer fell into the pattern of allowing no opportunity pass to attribute any incidence of gun violence to “assault rifles” – and by inference the dreaded and maligned AR-15 family of rifles.
In the article the writer claimed “An assault-style rifle was found...” near the scene, which “... police identified as a TEC-9 assault rifle.” If police identified the weapon as an assault rifle, those who know basics about firearms must disagree with their identification.
An assault rifle (an invented term) is shoulder fired with the ability to fire in fully automatic mode (if the trigger is held, it fires until the ammunition source is depleted). The weapon in question, the Intertech TEC-9, is a pistol – a handheld weapon. It is not an assault weapon; it is a semi-automatic weapon; one trigger pull, one shot. TEC-9 pistols can have many accessories added, but they remain semi-automatic pistols unless they have been illegally modified.
Yes, the firearm in question was used in a way that produced tragic results. Those results affected innocent people as well as others who were involved. But, by mistakenly identifying the firearm involved as an assault-style rifle, the writer has moved an account of a neighborhood tragedy into an arena for political discussion.
Many helped make flight memorable
On May 23, I was one of the85 veterans who flew to Washington, D.C.
I would like to thank all the people who made this a great trip: the dance group that raised the funds, Texas Roadhouse for the dinner and the many volunteers who made this possible. Our bus leader, Camille, was great.
Mail call was really special. I had mail from friends, children, grandchildren and even great grands, plus many notes from people I didn't even know.
Many people were there to meet us on our return. What a surprise to see most of my family greeting us.
Thanks again to all who made this possible. God bless you!