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Postal Service is not in need of a 'bailout'

How could The News editorial board get it so wrong in an editorial on Oct. 1? After a deluge of recent information regarding the manufactured financial crisis in the U.S. Postal Service, how can it continue to call our request to get our own money back from the federal government a "bailout"?

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars and is not asking for any. The News completely ignores the fact that the Postal Service has overfunded retirement and health benefit accounts by more than $100 billion, not $7 billion! We're forced to put away money for retiree health benefits for people not even born yet.

The News is correct that Congress needs to get moving to maintain mail delivery. There are now 220 co-sponsors of HR 1351, including Reps. Brian Higgins, Kathleen Hochul and Louise Slaughter. This bill will return the overpayments to stabilize the Postal Service, and protect the $1.2 trillion mailing industry with 9 million jobs attached to it.

The Internet and the recession have hurt the Postal Service, but the service and the postal unions are adapting to that reality. Closing mail-processing plants, which will delay the mail, or cutting a day of delivery, which will save 3 percent of operating costs while reducing service by 17 percent, are not the answers. The Postal Service is now "bailing out" the federal government and it has to stop.

Robert J. McLennan

President, Branch 3, National

Association of Letter Carriers

Buffalo/Western New York

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Obama should be indicted for murder of al-Awlaki

It's official. The United States is now a Third World dictatorship. What else would you call a country that sends out hit squads to murder its own citizens?

President Obama, the director of the CIA and others should be indicted for the murder of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American cleric, in Yemen. The Constitution guarantees certain rights to all U.S. citizens, including due process, and nothing allows the president or any other member of the federal government to suspend, revoke or otherwise deny those rights, even in time of war (especially an undeclared war). The actions of the administration are simply criminal, and it should be punished for those actions.

We Americans used to call ourselves a nation of law. Now we are a nation of convenience and expediency. Are we safer here because of this murder? Not one bit. If the government can reach out to Yemen, or to any other country, and murder its citizens with impunity, how long will it be before it decides that it can do it at home as well? Congress needs to act now, but I suspect they are as cowardly as the president and his administration.

Karl Hutchinson

Williamsville

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Proposal to raise tax rate merits serious discussion

Is it overly presumptuous to state that Warren Buffett is being harassed and hated when someone voices a different opinion? I certainly don't hate Buffett, and don't have a problem with people wanting to pay higher taxes, but when they want others to pay higher taxes, I think caution should be exercised.

The theory behind lower taxes on capital gains is supposed to encourage investment. Maybe immediate depreciation and amortization of capital expenditures and R&D expenses for tax purposes would be a better incentive to investment, but both should be discussed rather than viewed as a method of class warfare. Buffett appears to be an honorable man and his intentions seem to be good, but before the tax rate on capital gains is raised, shouldn't we discuss the impact this will have on business investment?

Marty Munson

Orchard Park

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Parents must step up to help curb bullying

A world with bullies and the bullied is not new. However, the seemingly untouchable facade in which they brood, mainly via the Internet, is somewhat novel. Teenage angst, fluctuating hormones, the media and increasing use of technology is not going to change. Mainstream education has our children growing up too quickly, perhaps before they are truly ready. As a parent and an educator, I implore all parents and caregivers to respect their children for who they are, and be a kind disciplinarian.

Closely monitor your child's Internet use. Absolutely do not allow brutality online. You wouldn't tolerate it in person; online should be no different. Cancel your overpriced gym membership and play with your kids. Go outside in all kinds of weather. Get dirty, wet and cold. Cure the chills with hot tea or cocoa.

Tuck your children in every night, whatever their age. Tell your kids you love them, no matter what. Touch them and look them in their eyes when you tell them this. Skip an outside event and have a movie night at home. Set household rules in which everyone pulls his own weight. Preschoolers love to set the table and toss a salad. Fill everyone's self-worth so high it overflows.

Treat all children with respect and demonstrate to them you are capable of caring about them more than yourself. Cook and eat meals together. Drop the technology use once you are all home together. Slow down and let go of the day to unwind as a family. Smile and laugh often. These are not all of the answers to a more tolerable society. For some of us, it can be a start.

Karen Kuehmeier Rosolowski

South Wales

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Keystone pipeline poses too many risks for U.S.

President Obama must reject the building of the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline that is destroying thousands of acres of Boreal forests. Access to the tar sands requires destroying the forest to get to the tar sands, which are 90 percent sand and 10 percent bitumen. Before it enters the pipeline, it must be converted to crude oil via a very energy-intensive process that creates a lot of pollution.

The Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to Texas will pass through prime farmland in the Midwest and over the huge Ogallala Aquifer, which provides drinking water to populations in this area. Clean, drinkable water is a precious commodity that should not be compromised. Although the Keystone is touted as being safe, a pipeline is always in danger of leaking or breaking. A pipeline ruptured last year, causing pollution in the Kalamazoo River in Michigan.

The Boreal forests that are being destroyed are nesting areas for migratory song birds, many that are experiencing decreased numbers. The extraction of the oil also produces toxic waste ponds that attract wildlife looking for water and cause their death.

Alternatives to oil are being developed, and innovative products that require less energy are entering the market. Destroying huge areas of our natural world should not be considered.

Janet Sciolino

Kenmore