Stop treating veterans with such disrespect

Kudos to Fred Tomasello Jr. for his My View column on soldiers suffering from PTSD. I, too, was first to notice the changes in my son after his discharge from the military. I actually expected it. I knew enough about trauma and the changes in people after suffering a traumatic event in their lives.

Believe me, I was very grateful that my son returned home after his tour in Iraq, and was physically in one piece. But the mental changes were starting to show, slowly but surely. What a shame that companies look down on people with mental health issues. Are they asking potential employees questions regarding their mental health, and if so, shouldn't that be illegal? If companies knew just how many current employees are on anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication, they would lose a good percentage of their work force.

Why do we treat our military with such disrespect? My son has undergone extensive therapy for PTSD and is doing very well at this time. He will more than likely have to continue therapy on a regular basis, possibly for the rest of his life. It's sad to think that at 31 years old, he may never be able to be hired by any company even though he is hard-working, (mostly due to his military training), and physically capable of holding down a job.

How ironic that people like my dad and his dad were able to obtain jobs after serving their county, because back then it was an honor for an employer to hire people who served their country. They knew they were getting hard-working, dedicated people with a strong work ethic. Enough with labels. Let's look at people for who they are, not what they have been through. I am going out to buy a copy of Tomasello's book today.

Susan Hollander



Towns share revenue with state and county

This is in response to the article in The News on June 26 regarding funds returned to local municipalities. It was a very informative article, but did not address how the state distributes all revenue collected. The Town of Elma Court collected a total of $462,566. New York State received $132,510 and Erie County received $31,413. This revenue is not only from traffic tickets. It includes all penal law arrests, DWI, Department of Environmental Conservation, Agriculture and Markets, Town Law, small claim and civil cases as well. The amount of work generating the $298,642 returned to the Town of Elma for 2010 includes all of the above.

Incidentally, interim Elma Supervisor Dennis Powers, who assumed this position on June 3, would like to eliminate most of the overtime pay the court clerks receive for work required during night court. How ironic that the court's revenue makes up 12 percent of Elma's general fund. It must be a smart fiscal maneuver to cut pay to workers who generate these funds for the town.

Debbie Sanfilippo

Court Clerk, Town of Elma


Mamet has exposed hypocrisy of liberalism

Jeff Simon's review of David Mamet's "The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture" is a pathetic exercise in sophistry designed to condemn Mamet's conversion from liberalism to conservatism. Mamet's cogent attack on liberal dogma has obviously threatened Simon's core political beliefs, triggering his hysterical rant and snarky allusions to Rush, Glenn and Bill.

Mamet exposes the liberals' attempt to replace our Judeo Christian values with the deadly fallacy of wishful utopian thinking. By denying reality, liberals have promoted many misguided policies that have infringed upon our freedoms, policies such as multiculturalism, affirmative action, man-made global warming and political correctness. He sees liberal education as a means of indoctrinating our young in identity politics.

Mamet also exposes the hypocrisy of liberalism as a wicked dream devised by those who would bankrupt others, but not themselves. One need only to think of rich socialists like Soros and Streisand and liberal politicians who favor redistribution of wealth and national health care, neither of which would affect them.

Simon's largely ad hominem attack on Mamet is unbecoming. Then again, he may have found honest rebuttal a futile endeavor.

Jim Costa



When it comes to banks bigger may not be better

As a retired banker, I read with great interest the June 26 News editorial about HSBC. The same thing is happening on the local level. In 1950, I joined a $12 million bank -- Silver Creek National Bank. The president, L. Harold Clement, and his successor, Charles L. Hughes, did the same things locally that the Knox family did in Buffalo. Clement and Hughes lived in Silver Creek, supported the community and became leaders in cultural and civil affairs. Then Citibank thought it could do better. Not happy after a few years, it was sold to Fleet Bank. Now the bank is owned by Community Bank. There is not a true banker in Silver Creek today who has the foresight of the Knoxes, Clement or Hughes. The same story is occurring in many of our local towns today. Bigger is not always better.

Bob Sutehall



It's nice to see senators stand up for principles

Rather than hiding behind the banner of political affiliation or claiming that this is what "my constituents desire," two New York State senators stood tall among their peers. They risked their political futures, the wrath of their party and thousands of dollars in political funding. Sens. Mark Grisanti and Stephen Saland rose above the expected, challenged the status quo and used the God-given gifts of intellect and foresight to support legislation that would change the political landscape of New York State.

Grisanti and Saland showed character, understanding, compassion and a full and total grasp of the issues. Rather than be vilified, these men should be praised for having the courage and character to think an issue through, to challenge the popular conceptions and to protect the rights of individuals and institutions. They stood up for their principles, objectively approached the issues and voted with a conscience which, although challenged, in the end was clear.

I am proud to say that Grisanti and Saland represent my state. For generations, the character and courage they showed have been lacking. Perhaps now, through their example, others will dare rise, lead and make this the great Empire State once again.

Shame on all those political power brokers who use the threat of political blackmail by withholding endorsements. Political parties that once took pride in protecting the rights of all now protect the few and the powerful. Our representatives have a civil and moral obligation to the voters and the state, not to the political power brokers.

John W. Scott