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Everybody's column

Totalitarian rule may be in our country's future

As the French economist Frederic Bastiat observed 150 years ago, all wealth is the product of human labor. Yet, he further observed, because labor involves pain, and since men are naturally inclined to avoid pain, they will always seek to have their needs met at the expense of the labor of others.

It is currently estimated that 40 percent of Americans pay no income tax at all, a substantial portion of whom have all of their needs met by programs including Medicaid, food stamps and subsidized housing, all paid for by the labor of others.

Some 200 years ago, political scientist Alfred Tyler postulated that a democracy can only endure until a majority of people discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. Once that point is reached, a democratic republic must, of necessity, quickly implode and fail, as the number of public largess beneficiaries eclipses the number of those paying for it.

The relentless expansion of taxpayer-financed socialist "entitlement" programs in America now brings us closer to Tyler's tipping point when a republic must fail, to inevitably be followed by some fashion of totalitarian rule. Having thus increasingly yielded our liberty for material security, we may, in the not too distant future, have neither.

Michael P. VanderMeer

Orchard Park

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'Honor' killing has no place in Islam

The heinous and brutal murder of Aasiya Hassan allegedly by her husband is despicable and should be condemned by one and all. However, the notion that the Muslim faith is somehow responsible for so-called honor killings and violence against women is far from the truth, malicious and defamatory to the 1.5 billion people who practice Islam.

Violent people are found in every part of the world and belong to all faiths. Domestic violence is not the sole preserve of Muslims.

For the information of all and in particular for the irrational Islamophobics: Our religion was the first to bestow the right of property and divorce to women. And Holy Quran clearly commands husbands to treat their women kindly and with respect. "Honor" killing has no place in Islam.

Syed Abdul Haq

East Amherst

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Postal supervisors have gone too far

Regarding the postal supervisor's threatening suspension to a mailman for not cutting across any snow-filled lawn, I can only say this -- since the mail is down considerably, due to much increased e-mail, online bill paying, the economy, etc., let's cut down on the overload of overpaid, fat-cat supervisors first. How ridiculous to pay anyone to sit in a parked car counting the very footsteps these hardworking, dedicated mailmen are taking. Literally stalking these people on the job is unfair, un-American and overdone.

Obviously, we are overpaying too many of these bored supervisors, so it's time to clean house from the top. Incidentally, where are the union people who are supposed to protect our honorable, wonderful mail carriers? Remember, we taxpayers also pay the too-numerous supervisors' salaries. Get off the backs of our postal workers by eliminating some of the real sluggards. This is outrageous behavior.

Janet Nowicki

Lackawanna

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Positive diversions help to ease sorrow

Donn Esmonde's Feb. 18 column was comforting because he sought a positive diversion to counteract the recent tragic events. When devastation occurs, it seems to me that the healthful way to deal with it is to find a positive diversion. One may read uplifting poetry, positive philosophical passages, do a jigsaw puzzle, work a crossword puzzle, etc. To my mind, the worst possible way to deal with tragedy is to dwell on it.

This includes seeking sad soul mates. If all one does is, figuratively, to "pick at the scab," it will never heal. Diversion will begin to put the event in its proper place -- the past. The sorrow will always be there, but it will not dominate life. Rather, an acceptance will occur with which one will find he can eventually cope.

Marian Sperrazza

Kenmore

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Educate pedestrians on rules of the road

During these winter months, many pedestrians have been seriously injured or killed by automobiles or trucks as they have walked in the street. I have observed many people walking on the wrong side of the street when I have been out driving and also when watching TV newscasts.

New York State law specifies walking on the left side of the street, facing oncoming traffic so the person has a view of oncoming traffic. Unfortunately, this law is never enforced and most people are unaware of it. How many of the victims have been on the wrong side of the street? This law is something that should especially be stressed to school children.

Milton Dexheimer

Tonawanda

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McCain had no problem wasting billions in Iraq

I read in The News that Sen. John McCain opposes President Obama's stimulus package, calling it "generational theft" -- huge federal deficits for years to come. How come McCain didn't complain when the Bush administration was pouring untold billions of dollars into Iraq, much of which can't even be accounted for? Surely he must consider that "generation theft," because our great-grandchildren will certainly be paying for that one.

Phil Schwab

Williamsville

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Cancer-fighting events informative, inspiring

As a new board member to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, I have been learning about the positive, far-reaching effects of this group's noble cause to end breast cancer forever. Collaborating with other community health care groups, it sponsors and funds a myriad of educational and proactive grants to fight breast cancer and promote awareness, especially for uninsured and underinsured women, in all eight counties of Western New York.

I attended the Survivor Luncheon, Dine-Out Night, last year's race and most recently Buffalo Spree magazine's Bachelor Auction all to benefit the Western New York affiliate. Each event was fun, informative and inspiring. To witness the goodness of people of all ages, male and female, putting this cause out there in every imaginable capacity is gratifying, commendable and awesome. Western New Yorkers are admirable.

Be a part of this year's race on June 13 starting and ending in Delaware Park. Come join the fun and excitement that only this type of cause can manifest.

Carolyn C. Koelmel

Hamburg

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