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Published: Monday, 8/12/2002

Turns out, Traficant had a fool for a client

Jim Traficant will be in prison for the next eight years, where he can study law and become an expert in trial tactics and appellate procedure. Jim said he didn't want a lawyer to help him try his case, that he was capable of doing that by himself, and it turned out Jim had a fool for a client.

Every lawyer will tell you that you can't win them all. The chances of winning an acquittal by a non-lawyer defending himself are slim indeed, and while Jim may have been successful in such an endeavor in the past, this time he was up against skilled attorneys and a no-nonsense judge who would have none of his foolishness in her courtroom.

Jim will have plenty of time to think what he may have done wrong in defending himself, the first being his refusal to be represented by competent counsel. The second thing is his insistence upon talking when he should be listening. The third thing is, never tell the court you hate the government, especially a federal judge sitting in judgment of oneself.

There are many other things Jim did that assured his conviction, like being guilty as all billyhell in the first place.

Hopefully, Jim will come out of prison in eight years a wiser and chastened man, but the odds are against that. He will no doubt still believe it was everybody's fault but his own that he wound up in jail. Maybe he will get rid of the weed whacker and get a decent haircut while in prison. He may even look dapper in prison-issued clothing, something that escaped him for 18 years as a congressman. Appearance makes the man.

JOHN J. BURKHART

Eleanor Avenue

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With all the rhetoric lately concerning ProMedica and Paramount, I thought the community should also hear that these organizations, and the people who work with them, know how to take care of patients and families.

About three years ago, my wife had a sudden, massive stroke that I thought most certainly would end her life. Today, she is still with us as a direct result of her medical attention at a ProMedica facility. The nurses and other professionals at Toledo Hospital provided the most compassionate and effective care I have ever seen. And, it was the Paramount staff that went the extra mile to be sure all the pieces were in place and our questions answered as we moved through the extensive recovery process.

I still share this experience today by saying that it is very obvious to me that Paramount believes in what its doing and really cared about my wife and her family. I don't claim to understand all the details about the current discussions going on involving ProMedica and Paramount, but I do know that without Toledo Hospital and Paramount I could be telling a very different story today.

ROBERT SAWYER

Holland

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I have worked in a surgeon's office for almost 12 years and have seen this war between the hospitals in Toledo worsen year by year. I totally agree with the letters in your Aug. 2 Readers' Forum. The statement that really delivered is the one that said, “This is an example of the worst kind of corporate greed.”

My question is, since we are America, the home of the free, how can we as a community change this situation? The patients should be the ones to choose their own doctor and the hospital they want to go to for their medical care.

If you need to have a major surgery or your child has to go to an emergency room, you should feel comfortable with your choice of the doctor and the facility. We should not have to change a physician because we are forced, or go to a hospital because it is the winner in the corporate wrestling match.

The only answer is for large companies to change their coverage to a more lucrative insurance company. If all the companies demanded more choice, it would force change in the insurance contracts. Why are hospitals permitted to buy health insurance companies anyway?

REBECCA GERBECK

Deline Drive

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As the governing body of the Arrowhead Park Association in Maumee, we wish to clarify the headline “Maumee fears strip joint planned at Arrowhead site.”

The site of the potential strip club, 1500 Holland Rd., is not in Arrowhead Park. Therefore, the Arrowhead Park Association has no zoning authority for that land.

However, as a neighboring business park, we take active interest in what is ultimately developed at that site. With that understanding, we would like to go on record as being adamantly opposed to any type of sexually oriented business so near the park.

The Arrowhead Park Association was created to promote the care and perpetuation of the neighboring community of Arrowhead Park. We believe that such an establishment would offer nothing positive to the local business community.

We urge the city of Maumee government to take every action necessary to prevent sexually oriented businesses from establishing at such a location.

RICHARD A. MOORE

Chairman Arrowhead Park Association Board of Trustees

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This is in response to “Mrs. Taft condemns proposal on drugs” and “Experts say drug effort's focus should be prevention” on Aug. 2.

Isn't it time for a change in a day and age when 34 percent of voters support marijuana legalization (according to a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted in August, 2001), when marijuana is found in Toledo's prison (according to a July 9, article), when complete legalization of marijuana is on the November ballot in Nevada, and has already been on the ballot in Alaska, when prisons are taking budget cuts and forcing inmates to sleep in recreation rooms, when the FBI transfers 400 agents from the narcotics division and over to the terrorism department, and, finally, in a day and age when countries like Canada, Jamaica, and practically all of Europe have and/or are making marijuana decriminalization initiatives?

Maybe we should start to question the system in place instead of rejecting all initiatives that might prove to be more successful.

SEAN ELLIOT

Robinwood Avenue

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A child molestation scandal of apocalyptic proportions grips the Catholic Church. Almost a hundred Catholic priests exposed as pedophiles. And that's only the tip of the iceberg, I fear. Yet a recent contributor to the Readers' Forum still holds as sacred the blessing of a child molester. What planet am I on?

Can't you just picture God scratching His head and saying, “What do I have to do to wake these people up, drop a ton of bricks on their head?”

Men sin because they are sinners; they are not sinners because they sin. Whether a Catholic pedophile, a Baptist whore-monger, a minister embezzling funds, or any other clergy with skeletons in his closet. Men are sinners. All men. This is Christianity 101.

Jesus had a few stinging words for the religious leaders of his day who thought they had arrived in a spiritual sense.

Once you understand that we sin because we are sinners, we are not sinners because we sin, wonderful things will begin to happen. You will avoid the two deadly extremes of self-condemnation and self-righteousness. Sincere Christians hunger and thirst after righteousness. Still we fall short; we miss the mark.

There is only one person who can forgive sins and that's the man who died for them.

DON GOZDOWSKI

Franklin Avenue

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Gov. Bob Taft is busy attempting to avoid talk of likely post-re-election tax hikes, and his weak Democrat opponent Tim Hagan all but promises he'll raise taxes. In a state where the budget has grown 104 percent in the last 10 years, there is a message that both of them need to learn:

It's the spending, stupid.

CHAD D. BAUS

Archbold, Ohio



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