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Everybody's Column

>Casino only will promote tragic, destructive vices

Contrary to Barry Snyder's concept of the casino as possibly being the "silver bullet" as a boom to the economy, (July 6 Another Voice), I see the opening of the casino as the "silver bullet" providing the impetus to continue the cycle of abuse and violence often associated with pathological gambling.

The recent News article on the tragic suicide of a gambler at the casino, as it relates to compulsive gambling, was most informative. There are many anti-social behaviors associated with being a compulsive gambler such as crime, deception, embezzlement, domestic violence, abuse and bankruptcy.

Gamblers lie about their whereabouts, deceive others and often can't hold down a job. The constant obsession with making a bet, meeting with undesirable characters and trying to determine how to finance this immoral habit puts family life in constant turmoil.

This often results in a lifetime of ill effects and damage to those closest to the gambler -- his or her children and spouse. Due to poor parental role modeling, the children, who often identify with and align themselves to that parent, often become gamblers and abusers as adults, a tragedy for all.

Catherine Amico
Orchard Park


>Center's reaction to rites was expected

The hostility of the Anti-Defamation League and the Simon Wiesenthal Center toward the revival of the Catholic Church's Latin rites, whose Good Friday service repeats Jesus' own yearning for Jewish acceptance of the New Covenant, was fully anticipated.

A "body blow to Catholic-Jewish relations" says the Anti-Defamation League, while the Wiesenthal Center deems said revival "contrary to the teaching of the Church."

Given that the Jews of Jesus' day were similarly incensed at the evangelists' aims, today's grumbling is, from a human perspective, understandable. For the record, though, be it clearly stressed that, notwithstanding Wiesenthal's scripturally groundless indictment, Jesus' command to "teach all nations" remains a fundamental rule.

A bit audacious, some are being, aren't they, in presuming to define what is and what is not consistent with Catholic teaching?

Joseph A. Carnevale


>Columnist misstated quotes and other facts

A July 12 Another Voice by a local injury attorney, Jeffrey Marion, attacked me, and distorted what I said previously.

I did not state that there is a lawsuit crisis in America. I said our legal system is broken, and cited specific local lawsuits that I experienced firsthand, and are true. His statement that I "continue to spread falsehoods" is itself false.

First, he said that "frivolous lawsuits get dismissed." Right. It only took eight years for those suing us to get dismissed. Dismissing them is not the problem. Defending them for eight years is the problem.

Second, his recitation of statistics reminds me that figures can lie. He recites the standard urban myth lawsuits we've all heard about, and ignores the actual lawsuits my family endured. He refers to a median lawsuit award amount of $28,000. That seems to conflict with the last three lawsuit awards published in The News that were each in the $2 million range. Also, a local lawsuit firm advertises extensively that it has gotten awards exceeding $100 million over the last year.

Third, his assertion that I repeat the myth that lawsuits kill jobs is despicable and completely untrue. Frivolous lawsuits do kill jobs. I've seen the effect first hand, and can prove it. Finally, he states that "Unlike Cunningham, I have actual sources . . ." This is insulting and untrue. I have the actual court documents to back up my column, and I personally attended those court hearings.

Brendan P. Cunningham

Orchard Park


>The true succession involves the gospel

Pope Benedict's pronouncement that the Roman Catholic Church is the only true church highlights for us an issue that merits reflection. The true church is made up of all those who have repented of their sins and believed in Jesus Christ for salvation. This is not a question of whether they are Roman Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant. The true succession is not of apostolic bishops, but the Gospel itself. Where the Gospel message has been faithfully passed on, believed and obeyed, there you will find the true church.

James W. Faulk, MD



>Americans should leave Iraq, as soon as possible

The discussion about Iraq should not focus on policy, strategy, tactics or politics --just these facts. More than 3,000 Americans have died and more than 25,000 troops have been wounded. Since President Bush announced the "surge," 600 American troops have been killed and 3,000 have been injured. These brave men and women were born into families, not into divisions and brigades. They are sons and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers.

The average cost of posting a single U.S. soldier in Iraq has risen to $390,000 per year, according to a new study by the Congressional Research Service. This fiscal year alone, Iraq will cost us $135 billion (which amounts to a bit more than $250,000 per minute!).

A poll this spring of Iraqis -- who know their country much better than we do -- shows only 21 percent think that U.S. troops improve security, while 69 percent think they make security worse. We simply can't want to be in Iraq more than the Iraqis want us to be there.

Stephen J. Lacher



>Pope's statements should be accepted

Strictly speaking, Roman Catholics are not "liberal" or "conservative." A Catholic is either faithful or not. That said, Pope Benedict XVI will be universally applauded by those who live their faith for his recent statements opening the door for more Latin Masses and restating the Catholic doctrine that Christ founded only one apostolic church.

I was a young child when Vatican II occurred and have endured four decades of the council's good intentions being twisted to have the church appear merely as a politically correct social service agency, while avoiding the suffering that comes with standing fire for Catholic beliefs and values.

Sadly, there are those in our own ranks who wish to misrepresent the spirit of Vatican II, whether it is how we view the Catholic Church compared to those Christian communities that broke away or, internally, the specific and undeniable roles of the clergy, religious and laity. Roman Catholics believe the pope is the vicar of Christ on earth, and it would serve us well to receive the pope's words accordingly.

Michael P. Palko

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