September 20, 2018


Letter to the editor: Freedom is fragile

In this republic, we elect our representatives who appoint executives and law enforcement leaders as trusted to implement our — the people’s — wishes in accordance with the law and Constitution. When the elected or appointed fail, we reserve the right to demonstrate, voice our opinions peacefully and ultimately decide on their fate through elections.

Lessons of the French Revolution have to be taught in our schools. The deprivation of the people imposed by the monarchy incited a people’s revolution but the agitators and angry mob changed that revolution in to anarchy, killings and human abuse of others and properties. The result was fascist dictatorship that took decades for France to recover from. The well-meaning French revolutionaries lost their honorable cause because of the bad apples who hijacked their revolution. France is still suffering the consequences.


Letter to the editor: Were charges against President Trump tangible, legitimate?

Now we know most of what we need to know about Robert Muller’s investigation, or maybe not. OK, there was no conspiracy, no collusion and no legally actionable obstruction of justice, right? Maybe someone talked or listened to someone they should not have, but the independent legal scholars reached their conclusion — as they should have.

Time, money and frustration spent are the price of democracy; as the late Czech president and philosopher Vaclav Havel said, “Democracy is tough,” and it is. Dictatorship is a piece of cake; one person is the judge and jury. A democracy is a maze of many actors representing different sectors and many philosophies in the society, but like freedom it always prevails.


Letter to the editor: Abortion proponents keep moving ‘acceptable’ date to end woman’s pregnancy

My best Christmas gift ever was 2017. It was an ultrasound image of my first grandchild; she was 10 weeks old inside her mother’s womb. Yes, I said 10 weeks old, since scientifically our life starts at conception. The fertilized ovum is a living being that has to nurture in the womb. That dependence continues after birth, on occasion sophisticated technology is needed for the premature babies in order to survive.

I guess that is the extreme view of life in the abortion context. We are a divided nation on abortion and the rights of women to do so, and that is OK. It is a difficult subject, with extreme opinions on both sides of the equation. Basically, we have agreed to disagree; call it compromise.


Letter to the editor: For sake of American people, attorney general must find truth

Patriotic Americans, regardless of political affiliation, want the truth, crystal clear. Some of us are made to believe that the president collaborated with the Russians to win the presidential election. Others feel the establishment, including leadership in the intelligence services, were conspiring to derail a legitimate election.

Who is right?

We badly need to know if we care about our republic and what we stand for. Anything short of the truth would be contrary to the will of people.

We know the truth is forthcoming; we have to be patient. As my old culture in northern Iraq says: “Sins never enter the grave.” Sins are paid for during our lives. Bill Barr, soon to be confirmed as the new U.S. attorney general, has a heavy weight on his shoulders. His task is to find and tell us, the people, the truth.


Letter to the editor: Government not solution for improving health care in U.S.

The voices promoting national health care service are as loud as ever, and the concept is popular, according to opinion polls. Of course every one likes the idea of not paying for health care, but someone has to pay; money doesn’t come from the ether, money comes from higher taxes. It’s simple.

Money paid monthly in cash as a premium is more painful than when deducted from the paycheck. That is human psychology 101.

Forget the national examples of Medicare, Medicaid and the VA systems — expensive yet inefficient. Let’s look locally. The total cost of health care incurred per capita by government employment, such as municipalities and counties, is much higher than what the private sector pays. The private sector is innovating methods of better access, yet less costly. They have better methods of curbing over-utilization. But many of the employers have adopted unique methods where patients get better unlimited access to primary care with great results.


Letter to the editor: U.S. needs immigration, but structured within framework of Constitution

I am an immigrant, an adopted son of the United States, proud of it. I aspire that others eager to enjoy and cherish the American experience have the opportunity, but the legal way.

The booming economy needs more workers, especially skilled ones. Unfortunately, those we need have to wait for years — it is a long line — while the unskilled have nothing to lose by crossing the border illegally. There is no doubt we need seasonal, unskilled workers, but we can adopt the process of temporary seasonal work visas. The should work here for the season, take the money back to their home country and come back next season. I can imagine giving frequent visitors a path to permanent resident status.


Clinical Trials Put the Fun Back into Medicine

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Today’s guest blog comes from Nashat Gabrail, MD. He is board certified in internal medicine and oncology. Nashat operates the Gabrail Cancer Center in Canton, Ohio, and is a board member of the Coalition for Clinical Trials Awareness. A version of this post also appeared on our Campaign for Modern Medicines blog

During medical society meetings and presentations by colleagues, I often see PowerPoint slides on recommended courses of care. The slides inevitably look the same: First line of care—therapy A, second line of care—therapy B, third line of care—therapy C.  And then, at the very bottom—clinical trials.

At this point in the presentations, I raise my hand and say “Excuse me, but there’s an error.  Your slide is upside down.”

My colleagues get the joke. Some laugh. But the importance of clinical trials is no joking matter.

Experimental drugs don’t have to be a last resort. After all, they are patients’ only hope for treatment that outperforms the standard of care. They are also the only way to discover and approve new drugs.


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