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Democrats' giveaways ?hurting middle class

Mitt Romney stating that 47 percent of Americans will vote for President Obama because they are dependent upon government is not without merit. This is a perfect example that people have exploited the system. Where was all the controversy many years ago when Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan acknowledged that people on public assistance follow in the steps of their grandparents, parents and so on? In other words, it has become a way of life that they look forward to and are accustomed to.

For many, the truth hurts; however, entitlement of social services rendered is oversaturated in today's economy. Granted, many people have lost their jobs and can't find work, but this should be a short-lived problem and not a way of life. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, another liberal Democrat, wants illegal immigrants to receive college aid at the taxpayers' expense.

Too many giveaways: food stamps at record levels, free transportation, free cellphones, free this, free that! Obamacare is trouble and will drive up medical costs and taxes in the future. Too many people are taking the easy way out, and basically it is the Democrats who are hurting the middle class more than the Republicans are helping the rich.

Where did all that bailout money go? Windmills from China, banking bailouts, rescue of the auto industry – all these institutions have rewarded Obama with millions in campaign funds for re-election while the middle class is disappearing faster than a bald eagle.

Tony Hammill



War of 1812 museum? would attract visitors

A few years ago, I visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, and was impressed with it and the number of visitors it attracted. I remember writing a letter to this column suggesting Buffalo think up some sort of hall of fame attraction, possibly in the waterfront area. It was talked about, but nothing materialized.

Well, now I have a new plan. After reading the great News article by Charity Vogel on the War of 1812, I realized that the construction of a museum devoted to the war would be an exciting attraction for residents of Western New York and Ontario and visitors from other areas. The beauty of this idea is that it is personal because Western New York and Ontario were very much involved in the War of 1812. I think this would be much better than some old hall of fame idea.

Manny LoPresto



Let's not shoot? the messengers

I love reading Doug Turner's columns, but I disagree with his Sept. 17 column "National media suffer huge credibility losses." He feels that the national media favored the Democrats over the Republicans covering this year's conventions.

When nonpartisan fact-check organizations blow Paul Ryan's convention speech apart because it's filled with lies and inaccuracies, that's not politics – his facts simply aren't right. And when Mitt Romney panders to the crowd with empty slogans and no details, like he doesn't even know what he believes until he reads the teleprompter, that's not the reporters' fault.

After tossing Ron Paul's supporters, the Republican National Committee was just simplistic slogans mouthing the same half-truths endlessly repeated on hate-talk-radio, all designed to manipulate voters' understandable anger, no doubt approved of by their billionaire super PAC benefactors.

We like Ann Romney, and we know Mitt's a decent guy, a good family man, but she married the genius who put the family dog on the roof of a fast-moving car, OK?

The Democrats simply reminded us that the world didn't erupt in bloody wars and the economy didn't crash on their watch. They didn't make President Obama a savior. Debt is bad. They didn't make him a Teddy Roosevelt standing up against the robber barons or a Franklin Roosevelt, who took on his generation's Wall Street greed. They simply said: He's trying. He gets it. Is that media spin?

The Democrats asked: Whose policies and unregulated financial environments caused this mess? They said Obama's stimulus package, which the Republicans so despise, worked. Remember the tent cities in 2009? Millions didn't suffer like they might have. Is that media bias?

Don't shoot the messengers, Doug. They call it like they see it.

Tony Colabello



Rowing is good workout? for people of all ages

I enjoyed reading Taylor Johnson's informative and well-written article about rowing in the Sept. 20 NeXt section of The News.

As an adult convert to the sport, I can attest to its addictive, sometimes grueling, but always enjoyable nature. My teammates and I have become good friends as well as rowing buddies. I would like to point out that Buffalo is now home to two rowing clubs. The Buffalo Scholastic Rowing Association is located on Ohio Street and is home to the Canisius, Buffalo Seminary, Timon and WNY Maritime Charter School crews, as well as our adult masters' crew. Our adult crew members range in age from 27 to 70.

We have just completed our first adult learn-to-row class and will be holding more in the future. If you want a good, non-weight-bearing workout, rowing is for you. We welcome newcomers as well as experienced rowers.

Peggy Izzo



Citizens will get stuck? with bill for fracking

On Sept. 20, Environment New York released a report "The Costs of Fracking," which exposed the hidden economic downside to fracking. The environmental damage done by this destructive drilling in other states – contaminating water, making families sick and ruining our forests – is bad enough by itself. But to add insult to injury, our research shows that, when the boom is over, we'll get stuck with the bill.

I was particularly struck by the fact that the truck traffic needed to deliver water to a single fracking well causes as much damage to local roads as nearly 3.5 million car trips. In Pennsylvania, this translated to the state estimating that it needed to spend $265 million in 2010 to fix the damage.

Like every other polluting boom, the new gas rush looks seductively like a "get-rich-quick" scheme. But history tells a different story. Decades after Pennsylvania's coal mining boom, that state is now stuck with $5 billion in cleanup costs, and those old mining companies are long gone.

The staggering health and environmental tolls of fracking are reason enough to ban the practice. But it also turns out that dirty drilling means dollars down the drain.

David VanLuven


Environment New York