Republican candidates must get facts straight

Politicians sometimes stretch the truth when making a point to seek support from voters. The people running for the Republican nomination for president have consistently gone beyond simply stretching to blatant lying. A recent Republican debate is a case in point.

Mitt Romney claimed that no president before Obama favored pre-1967 borders as a basis for negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Romney was disingenuous because he must know that both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush advocated pre-1967 borders. If Romney doesn't know that to be a fact, he isn't qualified to run for president.

Michele Bachmann recycled a bogus claim about projected job losses due to Obamacare. The Congressional Budget Office and others have said the effect will be small, and will only be the result of some people choosing not to work. Bachmann is apparently unaware that many people work only to obtain health care, which is otherwise unaffordable. If she's so worried about job loss, why isn't she screaming about her corporate sponsors sending jobs overseas?

I realize politicians stretch the truth, and I accept that. But the lies these folks tell are outrageous. The problem is that a large segment of the voting public believes these lies. To me, that says volumes about the intelligence of our citizens.

Errol Daniels

East Amherst


Senecas need to stop withholding payments

Seneca Nation President Robert Odawi Porter says the prospect of new casinos in other parts of the state by constitutional amendment doesn't concern the Senecas as much as the thought of non-Indian casinos in Western New York. The nation claims the state, having allowed two local racetracks to install slot machines, has violated the 2002 compact with the nation, causing it to withhold its agreed-to cash payments to Western New York entities and the state since 2008.

I would suggest the Seneca Nation pay up its obligations and accept this minor inconvenience, while getting the state to omit any further inclusion of Western New York in the proposed statewide amendment for freedom of casinos. The state has a lawsuit in the works that may disallow the Senecas' claim and force their payments anyway. Withholding this money from local entities has hardened the local residents' position against the Seneca Nation. Make the deal, Senecas, and we all come out smiling.

Paul B. McGavis



Turn over all evidence in Wienckowski case

The horror suffered by Amanda Wienckowski and her family demands justice. The murder investigation was suspended by the Buffalo Police Department because Chief Medical Examiner Dianne Vertes, M.D., incredibly declared the death "accidental." The discovery on Jan. 9, 2009, of the frozen, naked body of a 20-year-oldfemale upside-down in a garbage tote should inspire a call to arms.

Vertes performed an incompetent autopsy. Health Commissioner Anthony Billittier and Vertes then wasted county resources trying to cover up the mistake for 18 months by denying, delaying and frustrating the family's request for information and evidence required by independent pathologist Silvia O. Comparini, M.D. They even violated a court order by withholding specific slides, body parts and the report disclosing the presence of foreign DNA, demanding restrictions on the pathologist that created an "extraordinary inconvenience." The district attorney must investigate both the homicide and the obstruction of justice. Billittier and Vertes should recuse themselves from the case and all evidence in the matter should be turned over to an objective medical examiner appointed by the court to expeditiously determine whether to change the cause of death to homicide.

Public servants are not paid to deny justice to a challenged family. They are not gods. They are charged to serve all the people and never let what occurred in Wienckowski's case happen. They failed miserably. Wienckowski could have been the child of any of us. Would attitudes have been different had she been the child of a homicide detective?

In her forensic report, Comparini states " as you know, much of what we demanded has still not been produced. Nevertheless, the evidence was more than sufficient -- in fact, it was overwhelming -- to support my conclusions to a high degree of scientific certainty."

Carl Paladino



WNED should keep blues programming

On Dec. 11, The News ran a story about the dying blues scene in Chicago. The rest of the day, the very alive and growing blues scene here came out in droves for hours to celebrate the music, specifically as represented by local blues music programming on WBFO radio. More than 50 musicians played for free in a local venue that charged not a cent to hundreds of fans who collectively made a single point: WNED, you are about to own WBFO. Don't take blues broadcasts away!

This is a city with more active blues bands than rock bands. With live music seven days a week throughout the area. With a Blues Music Society, more than 600 members strong, just named to the International Keeping the Blues Alive Award. A city with wonderful local blues music programs on public radio. WNED, listen to us. This is a blues city -- vibrant, well and growing. Don't wipe out broadcast representation of such a strong part of this city's identity.

Arleen Reifschneider



Many Catholics embrace new translation of Mass

I, and many other "faithful Catholics," like the new translation of the Mass. Criticism only promotes disunity and undermines a legitimate stage of Vatican II's ongoing reform of the liturgy.

For years, a flat and sometimes incorrect translation was used. Former translations of the "All Saints" prayer mention the saints' concern "to help and save us." The new translation correctly states we are saved by Christ alone; while saints' charity moves them to a loving concern for our salvation.

All popes and church councils are guided by Jesus' continuing presence; therefore, ongoing adjustments that happen after each council cannot be confused with a corruption of some pope or council's "vision." Post-conciliar adaptions and adjustments indicate that our church is alive and able to meet new pastoral challenges.

Faith gives these things their true perspective, because faith allows us to see Jesus' presence, instead of politics, human weaknesses and conspiracy theories warning against a return to the "bad old days." Jesus was and is present in all ecumenical councils, the Tridentine Mass, the old English translation and now the new Missal. The Mass belongs to Jesus. If there's any "mystery" of the Mass that needs to be rediscovered, it is this.

The Rev. Richard M. Poblocki

Pastor, St. Josaphat Catholic Church, Cheektowaga