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Everybody's Column

Witnesses to Holocaust must spread the truth

I did not sleep at all after reading the report in The News of the termination by the Israeli rabbinate of ties with the Vatican. The action arises because of the overlooking by minions of the papacy of the atrocious Holocaust denial by Bishop Richard Williams.

The episode brought back to me the color, the words and the events of April 29, 1945, when my division of the U.S. 45th Infantry overran and liberated the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau, West Germany. I was a PFC in the G-1 section of the division, later commissioned and transferred to U.S. military government. I remember most vividly the 40 boxcars and coal cars that arrived at the camp bearing only the dead, dying and diseased bodies of Europe's Jews.

Did I and my fellow soldiers do enough -- if not to prevent the tragedy, then to at least spread the truth? I believe that anyone still alive who experienced the horror of the Holocaust must speak out and go on the record as to their experience.

I can say that I did speak on the record, especially in Chapter 3 in my book, "Death at Dachau," published in 2006. I believe that the grievous error by the Vatican hierarchy must be met with an unqualified factual and moral response. Those who have not recorded their experience with the Holocaust should do so promptly and those who have spoken out should reaffirm their record promptly.

Robert O. Swados

Williamsville

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Delano should be fired for breaking the rules

I totally disagree with the letter writer who stated that "police officials should get Delano back on the job." She implies that in her profession, sometimes a so-called outlier situation exists where rules need to be handled in a different approach by bending the rules.

Dennis Delano took an oath as a police officer when he was first sworn in. That oath had no riders, escape causes or room for personal interpretation based on evidence or criminal activity. If that was the case, the Police Department would have a circus-type atmosphere instead of a regimented protocol every officer has to adhere to.

Not only should Delano be dismissed for his insubordination, he should count his blessings that criminal charges are not also filed against him. Being derelict to one's duty is one problem, but turning evidence over to the media jeopardizes and undermines the integrity of the whole judicial system by not protecting the process as intended. Delano has done a good job in the past, but now it's time for the rocking chair.

Tony Hammill

Buffalo

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Let's all work together to build a better world

The world as we know it has been thrown into turmoil by a crisis of resounding proportions, rivaling even the Great Depression.

Already, even the world's richest nations are entering deep recessions with reduced consumer spending, joblessness, rising bankruptcies and foreclosures, negative economic growth and chaotic credit markets. And if these problems aren't enough, we see new signs of uncertainty, pessimism and fear. At a time when charities are hoping to do more, many are reporting a dramatic downturn in contributions.

The time has come for us to work together to relieve the epidemic of suffering, which will intensify in the weeks and months ahead. We believe part of the answer is encouraging Americans to help their neighbors and providing opportunities to facilitate that kind of volunteer service. We believe that working together we can bring very positive change to our neighbors, our communities and our world. We invite you to join us in helping to build a better world, one volunteer hour at a time.

Carl A. Anderson

Supreme Knight

Knights of Columbus

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Tap tax delinquents and fill IRS coffers

According to the IRS Web site, a study concluded that for the 2001 tax year, a tax gap of $345 billion existed. One can only wonder what that gap is today. The tax gap is defined on the Web site as "the difference between what taxpayers should have paid and what they actually paid on a timely basis."

In light of current events, I suggest a sure-fire way to put a dent in the tax gap. First, President Obama should consult the IRS for a list of people who underreported or failed to report taxable income, starting with the foremost delinquents. Second, he should create several more Cabinet level positions in his new administration. Third, the president should then nominate those tax delinquents to those Cabinet positions.

It is a proven strategy. It worked when Obama nominated Timothy Geithner for Treasury secretary. It worked when he nominated Tom Daschle as Health and Human Services secretary. Between the two, the IRS recovered about $174,000. That's a start. Obama can name this plan "the tax gap stimulus trap."

Michael Yeates

Buffalo

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Zoos aren't worthy of taxpayer support

When I was a child, I loved trips to the zoo. The animals were well fed, protected from predators and had everything -- except their freedom. Then, many years ago, I was at the huge bird display at the Buffalo Zoo and it occurred to me that the birds inside the cage were lethargic compared with the birds flying around outside. I honestly don't think I'm anthropomorphizing to say that the birds in the cage were depressed.

It could be argued that with all of the hand-wringing over the decrease in funding -- amounting to millions of dollars -- we can't afford a zoo. But that's a specious argument. Zoos are an anachronism that should not receive taxpayer support.

There are much better uses for our tax dollars -- libraries and public education, for example. The idea that wildlife can be put in a vacuum and still be considered "wild" doesn't hold water. As our president has admonished us, "It's time to put away childish things." Zoos are one of them.

Charles Brothwell

Orchard Park

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Obama shouldn't make promises he can't keep

In regard to the front-page article, "Stimulus goal: 228,000 N.Y. jobs" dated Feb. 4: Does this include or exclude the promises of jobs by fistfuls of 50,000 that Hillary Clinton, our much esteemed former U.S. senator, promised during each of her campaigns?

For the record, I voted for President Obama and support him fully. But unless he's planning a coup of New York State government, he has no business making promises such as these.

Paul Deck

Cheektowaga

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