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NATO is putting Air Force in the line of Libyan fire

Amid the euphoria of a perceived victory over a now allegedly deposed tyrant, Moammar Gadhafi, should we not be asking two important questions?

Have we used American arms and treasure wisely and have we now recast our brave military, in this case, members of the U.S. Air Force, as a force of mercenaries?

We have consigned our brave men and women to the control and direction of the NATO alliance, and that's OK, assuming that the action undertaken is consistent with the basic construct of NATO.

NATO's purpose was never to be that of universal military overlord. NATO was designed to defend the integrity and security of its member states, not as an allied force to order the chaos of the world.

There is little if any linkage in this Libyan adventure to America's or France's or Italy's or Germany's national security.

Granted, the ideal of saving innocent human life is a worthy and noble cause. Clearly then should we not be involved militarily in Syria? Perhaps the Sudan. Certainly Somalia. By extension the United States military should be involved in every country where there is the possibility that scores of people may be killed. That rationale, as policy, given the magnitude of such a challenge, has staggering implications and no possibility of succeeding.

These are nation states in turmoil, with fundamental, persistent and ages-old problems. Perhaps they are best left to devise their own solutions. In such situations there can be no defensible purpose to putting our military in harm's way. What are we doing?

Nicholas D. Mecca

Williamsville

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Congress has to find a way to keep Medicare

Medicare belongs to the people who worked their whole lives to pay into the system.

It's not the government's piggy bank to balance the budget on the backs of seniors. Why should we ask our seniors to choose between the heating bill and seeing the doctor while Big Oil companies are free to keep their huge taxpayer funding?

Seniors, our children and grandchildren deserve better than an extreme plan that will take away seniors' basic benefits. As voters, we must urge Congress to find a common sense solution to ensure that Medicare is viable in the months, years and decades to come.

Carolyn Whaley

Lakeview

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New York does nothing to help the unemployed

Well, I just found out that I am no longer eligible for unemployment benefits in this "great" state of ours.

Apparently, this is due to the fact that the Labor Department says New York state is currently at 7.9 percent unemployment and the three month average necessary to get the extended benefits is 8.5 percent. So therefore, I and the other thousands of New Yorkers who are now not eligible for any help, literally fall off the face of the Labor Department's statistics and the "numbers" look better and better for everyone except those that are affected by this. Unfortunately, we are not even a number any longer.

Oh, I tried getting another job in my field but was either too old or too high priced to get the benefit of a second interview. During one interview I offered to take $40,000 less than my previous position just to be eligible for the benefits. After that futile attempt of job hunting, I decided to go back to school and recreate myself. I was not eligible for any grants, since I used them to attend college in the late 1970s, so I took out a loan to pay for my education.

I am very happy with my decision and will be graduating this October. When I called the Department of Labor I was told that, unfortunately, I will not be eligible for benefits but to try their "special programs-599" department, to see if any funds were available. I was registered with this program when I was accepted to school but because I wasn't registered in July of 2010, I am not eligible for any help. At that time, I wasn't even thinking about going to school. Once again, this "great" state of ours has allowed a taxpaying, legal, law-abiding citizen to be taken advantage of, while the politicians line their pockets.

So now, I'll do what so many others have done and let this "great" state of ours take care of me in a different way; I will go downtown and sign up for public assistance. And they wonder why the state keeps losing its population.

Stan Hollander

Kenmore

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A disappointing GOP turns off its followers

In light of the recent revelation of Erie County GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy's political consultation firm benefiting financially from the Jane Corwin campaign, it is no wonder why millions of Americans just like myself choose to be registered Independents.

Kevin Aleong

Pendleton

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Bishop disrespects Vatican, parishioners

Bishop Kmiec is intent on closing our beautiful St. Adalbert Basilica after we celebrate our 125th year of existence on Sept. 18.

It is truly a sad thing that he has chosen to disrespect the Vatican and continue to disregard its upholding of our petitions to remain open as a worship site in the city, yet he considers our attempts to ask him to search his conscience as disrespectful.

To those working to remove the signs we have been posting, and I am certain we do not have to look very far for those who removed the six-foot banner across the front of the basilica, may your conscience suffer greatly. In this day when the younger generation is staying away from the Catholic Church because of the teachings they consider to be too strict to follow, it is a shame that when you have a committed parish of actively participating Catholics that their supposed leader is choosing to ignore their best interest, and instead choosing to honor "deals made in the dark."

A few months ago, a News article talked about the numbers of Catholics that are leaving the church or not actively putting their name(s) into any parish registry, and Sr. Regina Murphy stated that the closing of parishes was not the reason for this. Sr. Regina Murphy, you are wrong about that. Should our beautiful basilica not remain open as we have been told by the Vatican that we are to be, this family's name will no longer be in any Catholic parish registry, anywhere in the world.

Yes, it is God's house that I am fighting for, and "As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord," however, we will not serve the Lord in a Catholic church. Since the bishop seems to think that any church will do to attend services, I think any place will do for me to have a conversation with my Lord.

Cathleen A. Szczutkowski

Depew