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EVERYBODY'S COLUMN / Letters from our readers

Obama advocates surrender in Iraq

As an avid reader of The News, I have read countless writings to this column with respect to the John McCain/Barack Obama contest. Most, of course, have been pro-Obama. As a Democrat and McCain supporter, I offer my fellow voters key reasons not to support Obama:

He advocates ending the Iraq war as a bow to the extreme left-wing of the party even if it means waving the proverbial white flag of defeat. The United States is the superpower of the world and must be in the business of winning wars, not surrendering. McCain advocated the surge in troop levels, which was an undeniable success -- an action that even Obama admits was a success, yet he opposed.

Obama wants to treat terror suspects as criminals, granting them the same constitutional rights that you and I have, including providing them an attorney if they cannot afford one. Hogwash! These people are enemy combatants, not criminals and certainly not worthy of the same rights that American citizens have.

How about all those "great Americans" he pals around with, including an unrepentant domestic terrorist? Are we not all judged by the company we keep? Be careful what you wish for folks.

Mike Murphy



Banning hand guns won't make us safer

A recent writer to this column wonders what benefits America has gained from "irresponsible wholesale gun ownership." Well, I can address benefits of widespread, responsible, law abiding gun ownership.

A number of respected, credible studies have shown that firearms are used between 1.5 million and 2 million times a year for legal self defense. Even an anti-gun group did a study and concluded guns were used 650,000 times a year for self defense. In the vast majority of these cases, no shots were fired. Just the display of a firearm was sufficient to defuse the situation.

In addition, when violent crime dropped during the '90s, the 40 or so states with shall-issue concealed carry laws saw a greater reduction in violent crime than the few states without such laws.

Regarding Barack Obama's view of guns, he has stated handguns should be banned, thus depriving law-abiding citizens of the best means of self defense.

Doug Kreinheder



Country must retain checks and balances

Committed Republicans and conservatives will overwhelmingly vote for John McCain; committed Democrats and liberals will overwhelmingly vote for Barack Obama. This means the presidential election, as always, will be decided by the uncommitted voters who find themselves bombarded by propaganda on both sides, some accurate and some inaccurate.

How does the voter make an informed decision? It seems to me that three artificial debates, campaign slogans, televised campaign rallies and slanted newspaper articles provide no sensible basis for a suitable decision. Instead, let's forecast the nature of an Obama administration.

Most pundits predict that both Houses of Congress will be controlled by the Democrats -- this means Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Pundits also agree that the next president will probably have at least one Supreme Court appointment in his first term.

The election of a naive but articulate Obama would place Pelosi and Reid in a position of control over the inexperienced Obama, heavily influencing his appointments to the cabinet and Supreme Court. This would result in a single viewpoint, semi-socialist government, depriving our nation of the benefits of the constitutionally guaranteed "checks and balances" so necessary for national well-being.

Willard C. Macfarland

Orchard Park


McCain has abandoned 'Country First' slogan

I am a 71-year-old white guy. I am wearing my "Veterans for Obama" T-shirt at a local supermarket. Some shoppers smile at me; others say: "I like your T-shirt;" yet others shake their heads disapprovingly. Most have no reaction. I find myself caring about this election more than I ever have. Yes, the thought of a John McCain presidency scares me to death. The man is reactive rather than thoughtful and appears frantic in his often erratic search for the presidency.

Yet the thought of his death in office, which would make Sarah Palin president, is, if possible, even more frightening. (Melanoma is an unpredictable killer.) The old honorable McCain has been replaced by a man who wants to win at all costs no matter how repugnant the strategy of stoking crowds by allowing the inference that Obama is a terrorist. So much for "Country First," McCain's slogan.

I don't want the president of the United States to be someone whose judgment is so impaired that he would appoint as his vice president a person whose foreign policy experience consists, she tells us, of being able to see Russia from her window, of doubting evolution and of clearly being an anti-intellectual who would continue the polarization of this country, of us against them, thus perpetuating the Bush administration's strategy of the last eight years. After all, aren't we all Americans?

Andre Toth



Respect for McCain lost with selection of Palin

When John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate at the Republican National Convention, I thought: how refreshing. This is someone who should unite the base, catch the attention of both male and female voters and is the governor from the great state of Alaska.

Six weeks later, I've simply lost all respect for John McCain because he chose someone less intelligent than myself to be his running mate. Heaven forbid if this someone becomes president; how shameful. Heaven help us. I've gone from interested to insulted. I'm sorry but I never want Palin to be involved in the leadership of our great country, the United States of America.

Ben Jemiolo



Bigoted propaganda is so disappointing

I am disappointed in so many things these days, from the state of affairs to the propaganda e-mails that many friends receive on the political candidates, which they believe are true facts. I am sad that in this country, we still judge people and political candidates based upon a set of bigoted notions, not "politically correct ideas," as the right is always spouting off.

What kind of "Christian" crowd was Sarah Palin talking to when they were attacking Barack Obama and people were shouting "kill him" and she was standing there all cute and smiling? I read one of those right-wing e-mails from one of my friends, which ended attacking Obama saying: "Beware of the enemy within." This also applies for the religious right bigots.

Kevin J. Lang

West Seneca


Obama urged action on this crisis long ago

This is in response to an Oct. 12 letter in this column. In talking about the current mortgage problems, the writer berated Barack Obama for not taking this situation seriously. To make her point, she reminded The News and its readers that "as far back as a year ago, [John McCain] warned of this mortgage mess and provided a solution." She claimed Obama did nothing.

I feel it's necessary to inform her that longer than a year and a half ago, Obama, in a letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, talked about his grave concern as it regarded the mortgage crisis and urged immediate action. Obama not only offered one solution, he had several proposals spelled out in that early warning letter.

The writer then chastised The News for not doing its research. I'd like to take this opportunity to chastise her. She should have done her own research. She also could have watched the debate where Obama spoke of that early warning letter.

Judy Marx

West Falls


Voters seem to forget Obama's mom was white

As I prepare to help our country elect new leaders on Nov. 4, I head to the polls with these thoughts:

Those who would use race as a reason to reject Barack Obama should remember that his mother was white.

While "hockey moms" make laudable contributions to the game, their position is in the stands, not on the coach's bench.

If the current candidates for our top offices are all we can come up with out of our whole population, we should not be surprised if we soon lose our status as a world superpower.

I believe our greatest need as a nation is to educate our youth to value and prepare for responsible family life and citizenship, over becoming wealthy or famous.

Alice P. Stein



The truth is always somewhere in middle

All I read or hear from all forms of media today is proof that there is no fair and balanced reporting of news anymore. All media tell the truth as they see it, be it liberal or conservative. The constant barrage of negative connotations in their drivel tries to bury the thinking processes of Americans.

The truth is never so blatant that one side or the other is the only way. The truth always is somewhere in between. In World War II days, newspapers had a word for this. It's propaganda, plain and simple. In the past, the media were up in arms decrying propaganda as a tool of oppression. Now they use it like it's gospel truth.

Why can't we have a source of pure, unbalanced reporting available so that reasonable people can truly see both sides of an issue and make up their own minds without being hammered from all sides? Politicians today wouldn't like to have to deal with an educated electorate rather than mindless sheep they can lead around by making promises to them.

Larry Miller



Let the voters decide if Konst is best choice

It's a shame that in a democratic society we have a politician who doesn't believe in a voter's right to choice. The goon tactics, smear campaign and lawsuit that Dale Volker has resorted to prove how little respect he has for the rights of voters to decide for themselves. For too long he has controlled his place by running unopposed, it's time for change. He represents everything that is wrong with Albany. If there is any question on his lack of integrity, you have only to look at his past interviews. When someone disagreed with him, he reacted with a vengeance. Think carefully before voting.

Linda Kempf


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