Israel might as well be our 51st state

Re: "Israel takes right steps to counter Hamas terror," Editorial, & "'Groundhog Day': Middle East version," Nov. 20

Your editorial and Cal Thomas' column both handily omit any mention of the fact that Israel is the grand occupier in the Middle East, and occupation has never succeededin world history. Your writers should be mindful of our own festive celebration of Independence Day every July 4.

Shouldn't we be at least empathetic toward the Palestinians, not only because of Israel's brutality in Gaza, but because of the huge injustices, if not indifference, they suffer from their Arab neighbors?

With $5 billion in carte-blanche annual aid given to Israel by the U.S., not to mention the millions in tax-exempt benevolent funding, shouldn't Israel just become our 51st state? Then the U.S. would no longerneed to pretend that all these defensive measures are for its benefit.

Your writers also echo accusations left over from Vietnam that we purposefully use women and children as "shields" in defensive measures against Israel. This propaganda is brutality at its finest.



New president always has a mandate

Re: "Don't call it a mandate," Nov. 12

Not surprisingly, Gregory Kane dismisses any mention that President Obama has a mandate to do anything in his second term. He writes, "Obama ... won just 26 states and the District of Columbia. His margins were smaller in 45 of them than they were in 2008. And Obama didn't just lose 24 states. In 20 of them, he got creamed, losing to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney by 10 percentage points or more. That's a victory, but does not indicate a 'mandate.' "

Kane should be reminded that George W. Bush, who defeated John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election with 62,028,285 popular votes (50.7 percent) and 286 electoral votes to 59,140,591 popular votes (48.3 percent) and 251 electoral votes, famously claimed a mandate for a host of plans, including Social Security reform, simplification of the tax code, curbing lawsuits and fighting the war on terror: "I earned the capital, political capital, and now I intend to spend it."

President Bush pressed the point even further, noting, "When you win, there is a ... feeling that the people have spoken and embraced your point of view. And that is what I intend to tell Congress, that I made it clear what I intend to do."

President Obama, whose margin of victory over Mitt Romney was greater than Bush's -- 62,613,406 popular votes (51 percent) to 59,140,591 popular votes (48 percent) and 332 electoral votes to 206 electoral votes -- is entitled to make a similar claim.

Craig Taylor


Stop whining and make your dad proud, Mitt

So Mitt Romney now blames his loss on Obama's "gifts" to young voters, African-Americans and Hispanics. I can't help but ask myself, "If he were alive today, how would George Romney, the GOP candidate's late father, react to his son's finger-pointing?" I think he'd say, "Suck it up, Mitt. Your message to the majority of voters fell on deaf ears."

I also think the senior Romney would question the soul and purpose of today's Republican Party. "I stood shoulder to shoulder with leaders of the black community in the 1960s. Where is the GOP's commitment to equality in 2012?" he'd ask.

Mitt, you've said more than once that you idolized your father. There's no better way to honor him than to admit that you and your party lost the election. Make him proud again by spending your time remaking the Republican Party into something your father would recognize and support.

Denny Freidenrich

Laguna Beach, Calif.