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Everybody's Column

Parker uses gimmicks to hide her true intent

Columnist Kathleen Parker's repetitious use of spelling as invective and rhyme as association demonstrates that she is, indeed, fatigued. Recently she shared: "I'm weary of Obama-the-rock-star." She pointed out that his first name rhymes with Iraq and that his last name rhymes with Osama. Yet again, Parker masquerades her true intent with language gimmicks.

Let us not forget that shortly after 9/1 1, she referenced actor and activist Richard Gere as "bin-Gere" no less than four times in one column, apparently deciding his patriotism level in democratic fashion.

Parker stayed the course this year in her steadfast journalistic style using repetitive, stereotypical images like "bubba" and "shuckin' 'n' jivin' " and reduced serious dialogue down to race baiting, while diminishing voters' enthusiasm of Obama to "rapture," a "love virus" or an "urge to smoke crack." Parker wrote: "He's the bowl of porridge that's juuuuuuust right."

For Parker, imagery is juuuuuuust about everything as she writes her invective from the persuasion school of South Carolina. And all the while, class acts like Obama surmise that the results of the midterm elections are proof enough that many Americans have moved beyond the low-road sneering and transparent sarcasm that passes for journalistic discourse every day.

Theresa Wyatt

Derby

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Democrats also knew about Foley e-mails

The Dec. 9 headline concerning the Mark Foley scandal was disingenuous. There should have at least been a subheading: "Democratic leadership saw e-mails in 2005; waited for elections to protest."

Question: What is the difference between a Republican and a Democratic congressman who is corrupt or immoral? Answer: The Republican resigns from office; the Democrat is re-elected.

Eric F. Torsell

Williamsville

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Buffalo freezes wages, then hikes reassessments

As a Buffalo teacher, my salary has been frozen, without even a cost-of-living increase, for nearly three years. Because I love my job, I have struggled -- hoping that the freeze would be temporary -- to maintain my home and family while managing with less spending power.

Recently, however, I received a letter from the City of Buffalo indicating that my property taxes will increase again next year due to yet another reassessment. This reassessment is on the city home that I was forced to buy and move into in order to comply with the Buffalo teacher residency requirement.

The same city leaders who froze my wages are now increasing my cost of living. Maybe the city should demonstrate, by example, how to live on the same amount of money, year after year, if itexpects its loyal employees to do so. Ann Johnson

Buffalo

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Let's get our soldiers out of Iraq immediately

As Christmas draws near, it's fitting that we keep our military men and women in Iraq in our prayers; hold them in the light of the Christmas Star. They are truly in harm's way each day -- 141,000 of them -- with no clear direction about how to "win" President Bush's war so that they can come home.

His war was actually "won" three years ago, when Saddam Hussein's army was defeated. Now our troops are stuck with trying to be peacekeepers between two groups of Iraqis fighting each other, and both groups want us out. Why not just rapidly pull out? Let them make their own peace. As John Lennon would say: "Give peace a chance." It worked in Vietnam. When the dust settles, then we can offer aid to help them rebuild their country, which we destroyed.

Sam Miller

Korean War Veteran

East Aurora

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U.S. must use its power to halt killings in Darfur

Despite the news that the African Union will remain in Darfur, the world holds its breath as the Sudanese government escalates its military offensive in Darfur. Hope for Darfur rests on the implementation of the U.N. resolution authorizing a peacekeeping force with a mandate to protect civilians.

Yet the Sudanese government continues to veto the international responsibility to protect, denying consent for the deployment of peacekeepers.

The linchpin to break the deadlock on Darfur continues to be the United States, which has special leverage with all stakeholders. While President Bush has been on record in support of a U.N. intervention, the United States has failed to do the diplomatic heavy lifting required.

Rhetoric won't change the reality in Darfur, or stop what experts anticipate being an imminent massacre. We have the power to protect the people of Darfur. We must use it now!

Brad K. Mazon

West Seneca

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My View provided a much-needed laugh

War in Iraq. Genocide in Darfur. Corruption in Washington. Local police officers shot in the line of duty.

What a relief, what comic relief, encountering Robert O' Connor's recent contribution to My View column. His spin on holiday traditions induced Sunday-morning, side-splitting laughter. He has such wit, and a way with words. Thanks for the much-needed levity.

Mike McCullor

Cheektowaga

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Will FDA be held accountable for approving use of stents?

At what point does the Food and Drug Administration take accountability for approving drugs and devices without any long-term data? This time, a device coated with a drug is proving to be more harmful than good. According to recent News articles, doctors have been using these stents on patients outside of the original approved indications. Shouldn't they also be held accountable?

The answer is simple. Of course they should be accountable. They approved and used devices without double-blind, placebo-controlled, long-term trials. This is the biggest disservice to heart disease patients to date. Now we have millions of heart patients who may be at a higher risk of dying from a clot or heart attack.

Frankly, insurance companies should be accountable as well. While they were busy spending billions per year on stenting procedures, they restricted patients' access to a limited number of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation sessions. If they would have used one-tenth of the dollars they spent on stents for cardiovascular rehab and exercise programs, patients would be far better off.

The message here is clear. Do not approve and use drugs or medical devices until there is long-term data suggesting they are safe and effective.

David Schweinlein

Lancaster

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