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Everybody's Column

Collins' failure to serve? matters to many voters

I disagree with those who do not care that congressional candidate Chris Collins avoided the draft during the Vietnam War. I believe the family of Army Reserve Capt. Joseph Paul Nolan Jr. would disagree with them, too.

Nolan was from Oak Park, Ill. On May 16, 1971, in Vietnam, Nolan piloted a helicopter inserting Marines into a hot landing zone in the Thua Thien Province. After the Marines dismounted, Nolan took heavy fire as he lifted off. He radioed that his crew chief was wounded and then witnesses saw his chopper crash into the treetops and burst into flames. No survivors were seen exiting the aircraft; remains were not recovered because of hostile fire. Nolan was presumed killed in action. He is honored on panel 1W, row 27 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.

Like Collins, Nolan was born on May 20, 1950, but there the similarity ends. Unlike Collins, Nolan served his country in a time of war. Unlike Collins, Nolan was killed serving his nation.

As a veteran, it matters to me that Collins did not serve his country. It matters to me that people like Nolan were willing to sacrifice themselves for our nation, while others took the easy way out. It matters to me that Collins feels having a father who served in the military qualifies him to understand the needs of veterans. And it matters to me that Collins criticizes combat veteran David Bellavia's selfless service to veterans returning from war.

Ted Wilkinson



Bill supporting Israel? must not become law

Once again Congress has failed to heed the admonition of George Washington, "It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world."

Recently, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor wrote the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012, to provide Israel with unlimited military and financial aid. The bill passed the House by an astonishing 411-2 margin and guarantees Israel unlimited funds allocated through the Federal Reserve. It also legally binds the United States to the security of Israel forever.

Americans should join with the two courageous congressmen who voted against the bill, John Dingell and Ron Paul, in making sure this does not get signed into law. Paul correctly articulates what our proper position should be, "While I believe that Israel should be free to determine for itself what is necessary for its national security, I do not believe these decisions should be underwritten by U.S. taxpayers and backed up by the U.S. military."

This bill is chilling to any American who still believes in the Constitution. With nuclear tensions at an all-time high in the Middle East, to commit unlimited American treasure and potential American blood in perpetuity to any country is ludicrous and borderline treasonous.

David P. Jager



Pursue gender equality ?in the legal profession

I applaud The News for its recent article profiling local attorney Cheryl Meyers Buth, and applaud Meyers Buth for highlighting the importance of supporting women's advancement in the legal profession. Approximately half of our nation's law students and young lawyers are women, yet women remain grossly underrepresented at the top positions in our field. For example, according to the American Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession, women represent only 20 percent of law school deans; less than 20 percent of partners at private law firms; and only 26 percent of federal and state judgeships. What is more, women's salaries are consistently lower, with women making only 75 percent of what their male counterparts make for comparable work.

Meyers Buth's zealous representation of her clients showcases the talents women lawyers bring to the table. Lawyers and non-lawyers alike should continue to work for gender equity in the legal profession.

Bridget M. O'Connell

President, Western New York Chapter

Women's Bar Association of New York


Jurors performed well? in a very difficult case

Unfortunately, the only thing people want to say in response to the verdict reached in the Dr. James Corasanti case is "he paid off the jury" or "he got off because of his money." Since when did it become proper or fair to talk about money and justice? Corasanti worked hard to have a highly respected and handsomely rewarded career. I followed the case closely and was also shocked by the verdict. However, instead of slinging insults, I found myself asking "how?"

Thank you to the juror who gave us a small glimpse of his lament over the decision he and the 11 others reached. I scoured the article and attempted to learn the facts of what Corasanti and Alix Rice did that night. I read parts to my family trying to justify for myself the outcome. With the Hollywood portrayal of crime situations and verdicts, maybe we have all become desensitized to the time and emotional cost put into the judicial process. I can only hope that if I am ever before a jury, it will consider all of the facts and do the right thing. Never easy but always right. My prayers go to all the victims in this very sad case.

Leslie Liuzzo



Wilmers' comments ?were right on target

A recent letter writer criticized Robert Wilmers for taking exception to the blanket condemnation of all banks for the misdeeds of a few. He skewered the Fair Isaac (FICO) scoring system, sniffing that "credit administration teaches using the four C's: character, capital, capacity and credit history." Where does he think the FICO scores come from? They are based on these attributes. The use of FICO allows banks to keep costs down and provide an answer in a timely fashion. Does he really want banks to do this type of credit analysis for every $5,000 credit card? Costs, and therefore rates, would increase substantially. Banks still have the option of overriding a FICO score.

He quotes the American Banker about the Federal Reserve's decision to apply Basel III capital standards to all banks, not just internationally active ones, as Basel was originally intended. He appears to be quite comfortable with this decision. Yet further down, he laments the plethora of fees that have become onerous and endemic.

Inflicting the Basel III requirements on all 7,300 banks just raises operating expenses without improving the risk profile of the banking system. In fact, by making banks less profitable, it will hurt the stability of the system. In order to pay for the required expenditures for these regulations, the funds have to come from somewhere: somewhere is the customers, ultimately. If you want lower fees and/or lower loan rates, then demand less onerous regulations.

His comments about the riskiness of the system not being decreased are correct. The Wall Street Journal has noted this more than once. Banks respond to the incentives they face. The problem is the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill that is a disgrace. It makes worse what those who voted for it (without reading it) thought they were correcting.

Jim Mulcahy

Grand Island