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Everybody's Column

Arab-based company sale could spell disaster for U.S.

Just when you think the Bush administration couldn't possibly mess things up any further, they manage to "rise" to the occasion once more. To wit: Our Bible-toting simpleton president and his coterie of oil-slicked jackals support the planned sale of a British company that currently operates six major U.S. ports to a company based in the United Arab Emirates. The latter Middle East country's banking system played a significant financial role in the 9/1 1 attacks. As legislators who want to stop the sale have noted, this proposal is absolutely ludicrous. It is a no-go for those with even a modicum of intelligence. Not according to the administration, though. Incongruously, they contend that this powder keg of a business deal poses no potential terrorist threat to the United States whatsoever.

Is this glaring lunacy merely another mindnumbing example of the gross incompetence of the mad neocons that control the affable, grammar- and intellect-challenged puppet in the White House? Or could it be by design? A sinister plan perpetrated by these greedy, self-serving traitors on a gullible and apathetic populace that's all too willing to believe everything their "leaders" say during wartime? In either case, the ramifications of this business deal could be disastrous.

Bob Galganski

West Seneca


Cheney should gain sympathy for troops

Maybe there is some sort of justice in this world. Vice President Cheney stated, "The image of him falling is something I will never be able to get out of my mind," after he shot another human being.

Maybe now he knows how our servicemen feel after they have killed or wounded another person, especially if it was an innocent person or child. It is also probably one of "the worst days" of their lives. They, like Cheney, will never forget it. I hope he now understands what it's like to shoot someone.

Michael Giallombardo



Misplaced priorities will cost American lives

Actions speak louder than words. Last week the Senate voted to maintain lower tax rates on capital gains and dividends for those with incomes exceeding $1 million. This despite a motion by Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., to reject the lower rates and use the nearly $50 billion in tax funds to increase veteran benefits, and a motion by Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.l., to use the potential funds to refurbish war-damaged military equipment. Opponents to these motions said that the reduced tax rates won't expire until 2009 and so won't produce any current revenue. So, it's fine to be concerned about projected Social Security shortfalls in 2040, but let's not worry about 2009.

How long will we have to put up with these misplaced priorities? If the administration argues a need to send our young men and women into harm's way, it must live up to the responsibilities involved in that decision.

Paul Fruehauf



Canadian health system still is better than ours

The author of a Feb. 14 letter stated that "Canada doesn't have a good health care system. The government throws billions of tax dollars into its overburdened system every year, but it doesn't help." For a moment, I thought she was describing our system.

It's a myth that the United States has the best health care system in the world. Rather, we have the most expensive. We spend more per capita on health care than any industrialized nation -- a third more than Canada -- and yet rank near the bottom in life expectancy and quality of life. Canada ranks near the top. How is it that Canadians can cover everyone and get better results at a lower cost than we can?

All this is not to say that a universal system is perfect. But where the overall health of the nation is concerned, it is better. For the increasing number of Americans who lack insurance (45 million at present), a Canadian style system would be a godsend. If a recent poll is any indication, 60 percent of us would like to see our health care system overhauled, while only 38 percent of Canadians want changes to theirs.

John Tilert



Impeachment effort is a satirical farce

The suburban country club crowd always loves to say that life imitates art. This is no truer than in Amherst where an impeachment attempt against Town Supervisor Satish Mohan is underway.

While Mohan has only been in office for a few months, already political opponents are plotting his demise. All of this political lunacy brings to mind a work of art that reflects the true nature of Amherst. This work of art exposes the true undercurrent of rage felt by every country club American against any intrusion by outsiders into the safe and secure world of suburban self-indulgence. This work of art is none other than the movie, "Blazing Saddles." To make this impeachment a true work of art I call on the residents and politicians of Amherst to rise up and do what comes naturally to fully express their overly sensitive feelings of superiority. Start by renaming Amherst to "Rock Ridge," the fictitious bigoted town in the movie "Blazing Saddles," and let the stampede to impeachment begin!

Matthew R. Powenski



Taxing Indian nations will level playing field

It has been said "Better to be a live coward than a dead hero." I think this was what Gov. George E. Pataki was thinking when he decided to back off for another year, or until he has left office, on collecting sales taxes on cigarettes and gasoline from the Indian nations. I have been around long enough to have learned that you do not use the word "taxes" or collecting them in dealing with the Indian nations.

It is unfair, however, for the Indians to want to come to town and use city water, sewers, streets, police protection, and homeland security and be exempt from collecting a sales tax. They would defer the expense of these to the white, black, Hispanic, Jewish or whatever color to do this on the other side of the street for them. So I would suggest not using the word "tax" but call it "basic needs fees" and this would help pay for the above mentioned services. It is time for a level playing field for all. If they don't like this, then stay out of the city.

Douglas Hall



Clinton pays little mind to New York concerns

A recent letter writer criticized Vice President Cheney for spending time hunting rather than helping hurricane victims or visiting injured servicemen. The writer also implied that Democrats care more about others than Republicans do.

Ironically, the same day that letter appeared in the paper the front page carried a photograph of Hillary Clinton speaking at a political fundraiser. In Oregon. Should I assume that our junior senator has fixed all of New York's problems and therefore has time to travel to Oregon rather than working to improve the lives of those she was elected to represent in Congress?

It saddens me that the Democratic voters of New York State are seemingly ready to be duped again this November by re-electing Clinton. But I do hope Clinton runs for president in 2008. Maybe then we can fill her seat with a senator who actually cares about New Yorkers, instead of one who is merely using us to further a personal agenda.

Douglas Renning


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