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Published: Sunday, 1/18/2009

Business writer will be missed

There is always a degree of sadness when an old friend steps out of any job that they have done exceeding well, and that is particularly true when I reflect on the fact that Homer Brickey has written his last column for The Blade's Business Section.

I have known Homer well for an enormous number of years, which includes his days at the Toledo Times. He has developed a large number of good friends in the business community, because they knew him to be a first-rate journalist who was honest and fair. From a community viewpoint, his institutional memory, which covers four decades of interviewing the leading business personalities and writing stories on the complex business issues that developed over these years, is unmatched in the greater Toledo area. He has been a true friend of business.

He has always possessed an unusual insight into the complexity of business relationships and has had a decent sense of humor when things were not perfect. I will miss his column, his thoughtful articles, and his friendship. He has been a great community ambassador for The Blade and a wonderful community asset. Annually, he always took the first place in the messy desk contest, but many days mine does not look so great either.

Bob Savage

Savage & Associates Inc.

The Blade's Jan. 6 editorial, "Health-care mischief" unwisely attacks a modest new federal agency regulation that would finally implement 35 years of First Amendment and civil rights protections designed to keep abortion "choice" from sliding into abortion "mandate."

The regulation is sorely needed, as health-care professionals who still follow the Hippocratic Oath and its life-affirming ethical principles are increasingly discriminated against because they will not perform or refer for abortions. More than 40 percent of our members report being pressured to violate ethical principles. Medical students report shifting out of planned careers in obstetrics because of rampant discrimination in that field against pro-life professionals.

The new regulation simply implements federal law designed to prevent discrimination against both those who support and oppose abortion. It would certainly not be employed, as the editorial incredibly suggests, to "make it difficult for an individual to obtain a test for HIV or AIDS." The fact is that the conscientious physicians protected by the anti-discrimination regulation are the very ones most likely to be ministering to AIDS patients, the poor, and the medically underserved.

The regulation actually protects the interests of these patients, and of other patients who seek life-affirming and compassionate physicians - by making sure those physicians remain able to practice medicine, and that choice does not become compulsion.

Jonathan Imbody

Vice President

for Government Relations

Christian Medical Association, Washington Office

Ashburn, Va.

Once again, I am astounded to read the one-sided anti-Israeli rantings of another writer in the Blade. As columnist Dan Simpson vacations in Egypt, he makes time to blame Israel and the United States for the military action in Gaza. Between him and Blade columnist S. Amjad Hussain, we are continually subjected to prejudicial one-sided diatribes. Have they ever heard of Ivan Pavlov and his experiments with dogs and the science of stimulus and response.

Dr. Hussain and Mr. Simpson refer to Hamas members as freedom fighters and combatants but the United States, Europe, and others classify them as terrorists. Hamas has pledged to destroy Israel and its Jewish populace. Over 6,300 missiles fired into Israel from Gaza emphasize that fact. That is quite a stimulus.

When would Mr. Simpson and Dr. Hussain think it appropriate to end the rain of bombs on Israel? Should Israel wait until Hamas gets longer-range missiles that can kill hundreds of thousands or more people in Israel's densely populated cities like Be'er Sheva or Tel Aviv? How manyIsraelis have to die before a military response is warranted? Instead of blaming the response, take a look at the stimulus for that action.

Corey Russell

Sylvania

Regarding Dan Simpson's Jan. 7 column in The Blade, what response does he consider reasonable for the Israelis to take? In 2008 alone, Hamas terrorists have blasted more than 3,000 rockets into southern Israeli towns - this during a "cease-fire." These rockets are aimed not at military targets, but at homes and schools. Israel, conversely, is targeting Hamas military operations. Hamas leaders cry crocodile tears for the civilians who died because terrorists hid behind them.

Hamas' covenant states that "so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences" are "in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement," stating "there is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad." Hamas' covenant spews such anti-semitic hate that it puts Hitler's Mein Kampf to shame.

How can the world expect Israel to rely on diplomacy alone with such a formidable foe?

Furthermore, where is the world outcry against the terror wrought by Hamas - and the "innocents" who voted Hamas into power? No U.S. or European city would stand for the daily barrage of rockets as Israel has. Israel must defend itself.

Susannah Levin

Albany, N.Y.

In the Revolutionary War, common citizens picked up their guns and fought for liberty. Their guns were the same and sometimes better than the guns used by the British. Had it not been for these incredible people with guts of steel, a passion for freedom, and weapons to bear, we would not today have the opportunity to witness our Congress proposing H.R. 1022, a bill that could give newly appointed Attorney General Eric Holder the ability to ban certain kinds of firearms at will.

According to Alan Korwin, author of Gun Laws of America, the bill will ban any "semiautomatic rifle or shotgun originally designed for military or law enforcement use, or a firearm based on the design of such a firearm, that is not particularly suitable for sporting purposes, as determined by the Attorney General."

This ridiculous language presupposes that the Second Amendment is meant to protect hunting. Does anyone who knows anything about our republic's history believe that the Second Amendment was adopted so people would always be able to hunt? Anyone who supports this measure needs to tell me how a citizenry armed with only weapons suitable for sporting purposes would ever defend itself against a government turned tyrannical armed with sophisticated weaponry?

It's a fine thing to wax nostalgic for your country and believe it could never become despotic. Yet history shows that when times get tough, the tyrants take power. Every freedom-loving American should be warned that H.R. 1022 is a step toward making tyranny possible.

Ken Matesz

Swanton

Looking at history, one sees great leaders with heroic names. Richard the Lion-Hearted, Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, and many others.

Here in the United States, we have had George the Inept. President Bush is leaving soon and is firming up his legacy. It must be very difficult.

It's really very simple. His legacy is thousands of people needlessly killed and many thousands of lives shattered.

George the Inept's legacy almost makes President William Howard Taft, Attila the Hun, and Carty Finkbeiner look saintly.

Jesse Otto, Jr.

107th Street

Everybody s worried that Al Franken won t be a good senator or won t be taken seriously at his work in the Senate because of his 30 years in the entertainment business. Did we not have a former president with those same credentials? Some

thought he did all right.

HANK RYBACZEWSKI

Douglas Road


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