'Fork tongue' statement by Abrams was ridiculous
I read the article about the Grisanti "fight" at the casino. Quite frankly, I am sick of hearing how the Council of the Seneca Nation wants an apology for what supposedly happened. We, the "white man who speaks with fork tongue," want Susan Abrams, the council member who made that ridiculous statement, to apologize to us white folk for being so ignorant. That quote is right from an old John Wayne movie. Give me a break.
I highly doubt that this story has reached the national and global level, as stated. Quit bringing it up and it won't make the local and statewide level either. Abrams "cast the people of the Seneca Nation in the worst possible light" by running off at the mouth and acting like a "savage" (more quotes from the article). The last I checked, Indians weren't riding horses or living in teepees anymore. Talking like that makes me wonder if Abrams is. Talk about overreacting.
Paul F. Miller
Closing of case shows who holds real power
Now that the Grisanti debacle has been finally laid to rest, the public can see who holds the real power in Niagara Falls. It certainly is not the Niagara Falls Police Department. The Niagara County district attorney and chief of police may have just as well slapped the senator and his wife in the face after deciding "this case is closed."
If my husband and I, or any other private citizens, got into a tussle with another couple causing a concussion and facial bruises, we would be in jail.
How can Falls police say no crime was committed?
How safe is anyone when Sen. Mark Grisanti intervened in an argument, had to fight to rescue his battered wife and yet they say no crime was committed? This was well beyond mutual combat. There was malicious rage, assault and false witness, which could have been rooted out for justice and the good of all. It isn't good enough for anyone to get this violence erased.
Santorum's speeches sound like sermons
Is former Sen. Rick Santorum running for president or for pope? His campaign speeches are sermons. He's concerned about our nation's morality, in particular, what's going on in America's bedrooms. Santorum assures us that, if elected president, he won't impose his religious beliefs on us. So, why is he constantly preaching?
It seems unlikely that the Republicans will select him as their party's choice for president. I recommend that Santorum go to Rome and hang out with the cardinals in the Vatican. He could campaign to become the first lay person to be elected pope. He would be right at home in the popemobile.
Joyce L. Wilson
Hypocrisy abounds among Republicans
I don't understand. The Republicans complain about voter election fraud, but are unable to properly count the votes in their own primary elections in Iowa and Maine. Where is the fraud? Who is committing the fraud?
The Republicans complain about government intrusion into people's lives, but they and the acting archbishop of New York are trying to prevent women from getting legal contraception through their health insurance. As reported in The News, the Catholic hospitals and other institutions have been providing this per a New York State law that was passed with bipartisan support and signed into law by a Republican governor, George Pataki. I don't remember any complaints then. Why now?
Again, the Republicans complain about government intrusion into people's lives and unnecessary government costs, but they are perfectly content to attempt to pass laws in states that would mandate medically unnecessary transvaginal (inserted via a woman's vagina) ultrasounds before a woman can have a legal abortion. These "personhood" laws have been voted down by the public in the past by a margin of 16 percent to 42 percent when put before the public. Unnecessary costs? How much further will they attempt to intrude into our lives?
Is this truly the best the GOP has to offer?
As a child, I was taught by my parents to be the "bigger person" and admit when I was wrong. My folks also taught me to give a sincere apology to the person I had wronged. I believe it is very obvious the Republican presidential candidates were not taught the same lessons. Hearing Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum (aka Curly, Larry and Moe) skewer President Obama for having the nerve to apologize to the Afghan people for the accidental burning of the Quran, well, I can only guess these immature brats were the playground bullies when they were kids.
Seriously, the Three Stooges are the best the GOP has to offer? Seriously? Fortunately, this should mean Obama's re-election is a sure thing. Thanks to the Republican Party for making this so easy.
Creating Tier VI would destabilize existing plan
I write in response to the recent News editorial, "Pass pension reform." Let's be clear -- New York's pension system is more than 100 percent funded. By forcing future employees into a 401(k)-style plan, Tier VI risks the stability of the existing plan. Moreover, a new tier, transferring all of the risk onto hard-working New Yorkers, would only serve to enrich Wall Street with its fees.
As an equipment operator for the City of Buffalo, I paid into my retirement on time, every time. I dedicated more than 30 years of my life to public service, and was proud to do so. Shouldn't our government be looking to create greater retirement security for all New Yorkers, not just a few on Wall Street? Remember, one person's retirement security is income to another. I urge this newspaper to publish the real facts about the Tier VI proposal and let people judge for themselves.
Tier VI will erode all workers' rights
The governor's proposed Tier VI pension plan smacks of the American Legislative Exchange Council agenda. This organization is stealth collaboration between multinational corporations and conservative lawmakers across the country. It "ghostwrites" model bills to be introduced into state legislatures in order to drive the agenda to benefit big businesses.
Through these model bills, corporations are working to erode the rights of workers -- not just public workers, but all workers. The wholesale conversion of defined benefit plans to defined contribution plans began in the private sector in the mid-1980s in order to boost profits and CEO compensations.
Nowadays, businesses are eliminating pensions entirely (except for CEO pensions). With the financial sector collapse in 2008, their ironic judgment is that this is an opportune time for the public sector to move to defined contribution 401(k)-style stock market investments -- the very sector that was responsible for the collapse in the first place.
The intent is to erode public worker benefits by "take-away creep," which starts with legislation that offers options between defined benefit plans and defined contribution plans and ends with the ultimate goal of eliminating pensions entirely.
This is not on its face a taxpayer matter -- it is corporatist apparatus to increase income inequality and erode the last bastion of resistance to authoritarian structures that are contrary to the nation's democratic principles.
Therefore, County Executive Mark Poloncarz might want to renege on his current position.
Maureen A. Harding
Time for public workers to join the real world
I have worked in the private sector for more than 37 years. In that time, my colleagues and I have had to forgo wage increases, sometimes for four years in a row, during the late '80s and early '90s. I've watched the company I work for have layoffs and reductions in force to remain competitive. During my time in the work force, the Social Security Administration has been forced to increase the age of retirement for my age group from 65 to 66 1/3 , and had its treasury sacked by the U.S. government to be given away to people who haven't worked a day in their lives.
Now I have to read letters in The News written by public service employees whining that Tier VI that will raise the retirement age for public service employees to 65. Welcome to the real world. I'm also sure that the "tiered" raises for teachers, and the plastic surgery clause in the Buffalo Teachers Federation contracts is "for the children."
James M. Stern
Raiding Seneca stores was an abuse of power
So, let me get this straight. Multiple law enforcement agencies entered sovereign Native American land and held law-abiding people at gunpoint while they illegally confiscated substances that might be illegal at some further point in time. And their justification to do this was the suspicion that there were violations of unregulated contraband tobacco.
As far as I'm concerned, there was a crime committed here. And it was committed by those in law enforcement who sanctioned and organized these raids. As a former law enforcement officer, I am outraged at the blot to law enforcement everywhere perpetrated by these individuals.
I thought I had woken up in the United States this morning, not Nazi Germany. Sadly, I might have been mistaken.
Gary W. Waldman
Erie County probation officer, retired, West Valley
Doctor's character revealed in attempt to blame victim
Alexandria Rice may have been wearing black, may have been on a skateboard, may have been high and may have veered into the traffic lane. None of these factors negates the fact that police reported James Corasanti, a doctor, drove away after hitting her, waited approximately 45 minutes to report the accident and tried to remove DNA evidence from his vehicle.
None of the facts mitigate Corasanti's responsibility to stop, and, possibly, to have saved a life.
Disparaging Rice will not convince me Corasanti is guiltless or that he is of good character.