April 10, 2008
McCain, Obama, cancer and cows
It's too bad Rob Eshman didn't ask the "man with the plan" for Iraq the most important question: What his definition of "victory" in Iraq is, and how he plans to achieve it ("20 Questions With John McCain," April 4).
Letter to Obama
The Barack Obama that David Suissa describes in his editorial this past month definitely sounds like the ideal candidate for the Jewish people ("Letter to Obama," April 4). He's sharp. He has street smarts. And most importantly, he's "a human being first, and second a politician."
Well, as just the tiniest bit of research will show, Obama went from state legislator, to the Senate, to a fancy book deal/tour, to becoming the front-runner in the Democratic presidential race. Sounds a lot like a politician to me.
I have also come across nothing that hints Obama won't try and force Israel into strategically stupid land-for-peace deals, as Suissa suggests. I did, however, come across some nice clips of Obama's mentor and pastor spewing anti-Jewish and anti-American rhetoric.
And I did hear Obama say he's in favor of sitting down and meeting with Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a leader who seems to decorate his every speech with promises for the destruction of the State of Israel.
So Suissa, tell me, are we talking about the same Obama?
Your article on Obama is brilliant and not just because you agree with me.
Although I am politically liberal, Israel's safety is of prime importance to me. I believe that only when someone without an agenda decides to take a stand will anything get done.
We can only pray the political machine doesn't get to Obama. I really hope, somehow, he gets to read your letter.
For several years I read your [David Suissa's] columns ("Live in the Hood") and found them worthwhile. You came across in Olam and in The Journal as a creative and thoughtful writer, a responsible citizen and a concerned Jew -- until this month. Did you write that insanity ("Letter to Obama)? Were you sober? Do you really favor turning this country into an "Obama"-nation?
Suissa, say it isn't so.
Rabbi Baruch Cohon
Fortunately, Mel Levine's article was published in The Jewish Journal ("Obama's Record on Israel Repudiates Critics," March 21). It was the only feature concerning Barack Obama that was truly informed, nonspeculative and supported its statements with facts rather than innuendo.
Proclaimed Hillary Clinton supporter Daphne Ziman stated, "I for one need to know the truth" ("Sen. Obama, Answer My Questions on Your Past," March 21). If this was actually the case, why didn't she call The Jewish Journal and inquire about contacts within Chicago's Jewish community who know Sen. Obama in an attempt to secure those answers?
Masquerading as call for truth, Ziman's article was nothing more than an obvious attempt to create suspicions around the candidate she opposes.
Utilizing his well-honed research skills, Edwin Black presented old information meant to discredit Obama through guilt by association, a technique similarly employed by Sen. Joseph McCarthy in his 1950s witch hunt for communists in America ("Obama Ties to 'Separatist' Pastor Raise Big Questions," March 21).
Black's Web site reveals journalistic ties to Chicago, yet he apparently interviewed no one there or anywhere else in support of his thesis that Obama was less than truthful with his recent explanations concerning the Rev. Wright or Louis Farrakhan. His article was as disingenuous as Ziman's, just presented in a more sophisticated manner.
Roy M. Rosenbluth
Click here for MP3 audio of the 15-minute phone interview Obama gave JTA's Ron Kampeas on Wednesday
Cancer's Worst Enemy
Remove healthy breasts? Jewish women please take the time to read and research further before you do such a radical act as a radical mastectomy and/or removal of your healthy ovaries.
The article, "Combating Breast Cancer Before It Hits," March 28, is very misleading. It shows a happy woman with her happy kids after her surgery. Then the article states that this surgery "reduces the risk of breast cancer by 90 percent," however no medical study was cited.
Common sense makes me want to read this study to ascertain how many and what group of women were tested, and what were their ages. But most importantly, over what period of time was this test done? Remember that genetic testing is fairly new, and it takes many years for even a tiny cancerous mass to appear on a mammogram.
Dr. Susan Love has groundbreaking research on early detection screening, and Dr. Matt Lederman has remarkable results with the RAVE diet. Their Web sites will lead you to hundreds of alternatives and useful information. So go Google. It's your body.
Thank you for educating readers about testing for genetic mutations, but you left out an important piece of information. In addition to Israel, genetic screening of embryos is also regularly done in the United States. It's a process called preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and is performed at virtually every fertility center in Los Angeles. It has also been accepted by Jews of all stripes, including the most traditional and Orthodox groups.
The reasons cited for not getting tested -- potentially higher insurance rates and a social stigma that could affect their families -- cannot possibly outweigh the benefits of PGD. A woman can eliminate the BRCA gene (as well as scores of other inherited diseases), ensuring that her children and her children's children will not be affected by it.
Furthermore, PGD is entirely confidential, so there is no stigma attached. Aside from the patient, her husband and her doctor, nobody needs to know. And though PGD can be costly, you can't put a price on your children's health.