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Everybody's Column

Police officers earn every cent of pensions

I want to thank The News for enlightening readers on the pension plan that we, as police officers, are entitled to. It should also list some other benefits that come with our country-club lifestyle. First, we sacrifice years of our life expectancy by doing the job. Statistics vary, but from what I've read and witnessed during my 20-plus years, five to 10 years are gone. So, if in fact we make it through our career and don't succumb to suicide -- this profession has one of the highest rates -- divorce, alcoholism or depression, we will bask in our spoils. This however, only comes at the end.

Seeing good people at their worst and the most vile and despicable individuals on a daily basis is rewarding in itself. Making split-second, life-and-death decisions that get replayed on the news and second-guessed by individuals looking for ratings is a bonus. Nothing is better than being out with your family and coming into contact with someone you arrested. The non-verbal communication sent by such an individual makes for a wonderful evening. Throw in the politics that infests our job, and it is a Disney-like atmosphere. Sometimes, not always, people want to kill us. Go figure!

I'm not going to apologize to anyone for the pensions we receive. The majority of us will not get anywhere close to what was reported in The News. If I'm lucky enough to make it to retirement, I'll hold my head high knowing I've earned every cent in my retirement check.

David Wilcox

Buffalo Police Lieutenant

East Amherst


Shooting of officer merited front page

Police officer pensions, page one; police officer being shot on duty, page C3; bias to public servants, priceless.

Patric Sikorski

West Seneca


GOP has a well-oiled propaganda machine

Some of us are old enough to remember a part of European history when Germany's Minister of Propaganda Herr Paul Joseph Goebbels said, "Lie, lie, lie, something will remain."

Clearly the Republican Party historians have rediscovered that awful truth. With well-designed TV ads, millions of Americans hear and see many of these propaganda communications. The power of lies and misinformation can easily spread only when the voting public is not really informed. These political and personal propaganda campaigns must not prevail. The way to stop this from spreading is to search out the truth and expose all lies and misrepresentations. If not, we may see a part of 20th century history repeating itself in the 21st century.

Harold L. Cohen



Volker's tactics are a turnoff for voters

Dale Volker's attack on Kathy Konst's election petitions make him look even more like a big cry baby. He can't play the game the way he wants, so he is going to take the ball and go home. If this doesn't wake us up, what will? Volker has been in office for far too long.

And now that Jack Quinn Sr. is president of Erie Community College, will he outsource the teaching jobs to Mexico? I hope all the auto workers don't forget he voted for NAFTA right after President Bill Clinton invited him to watch the Super Bowl at the White House.

Harvey Schwartzmeyer Jr.

North Collins


McCain's comments show he is clueless on economy

"The fundamentals of our economy are strong," he said. He went on to demonstrate the depth of his understanding of the economy by suggesting that its soundness could be equated with the quality of the American worker. Simple as that!

So that means that he thinks the Great Depression was the fault of the American worker. The bankers, the lenders, the Enron-Worldcom-Adelphia leaders share no blame at all for the mess our "fundamentally sound" economy is in now. Within days of John McCain's comment, Congress was presented with a $700 billion bailout proposal to keep our "fundamentally strong" economy from collapsing. "The fundamentals of our economy are strong." I have to wonder if he's really the man we want to be our next president.

Paul H. Reitan



History should not be kind to President Bush

The column by Charles Krauthammer, "History may yet be kind to Bush," is as crazy as anything I've heard. President Bush was a puppet for Karl Rove and Dick Cheney and was led every step of the way, and look what a mess our country is in because of it. Bush has no money worries and doesn't care about anyone else. There are many Republicans who feel the same way. Personally, I think he should leave office in shame for what he has done to America. There are 4,100 young people dead and many more with arms and legs gone, plus the mental stress. No, history should not be kind to Bush!

Vi Anderson

Grand Island


Ray helps viewers serve healthy meals

I am writing in response to the letter complaining about Rachael Ray. First off, I'm sorry about the writer's inability to change the channel while at the doctor's office. However, I have more to say about Ray and her "feel good" television show. Personally, working a full-time job with two children makes me a very busy person and cooking is a daunting task every night. Ray's famous 30-minute meals help me to put a hot, healthy, quick meal on the table for my children and me.

Despite the occasional "gibberish" he spoke of, the overall theme of the show is well done and suits many families under the same conditions as mine. Should a televised cooking show, combined with the writer's political wants be aired, I would gladly be his number one viewer.

Jacob Kamholz



Our leaders have failed to learn from history

When Thomas Jefferson became president of the United States in 1800, the country was in debt. Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin's first objective was to remove this national debt. Although the opposition party considered debt good for the country, Jefferson said that public debt caused high taxes, corruption and fostered a parasitical class of financial speculators.

At his inaugural, Jefferson said, "a wise and frugal government shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned." Gallatin advised Jefferson that to lower taxes and pay down the national debt, the size of government had to be reduced and spending held to a minimum. Jefferson was a Republican. Our leaders in Washington have learned nothing from our country's history.

Paul L. Dragone


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