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Sometimes torture is a necessary evil

I found Stephen Hart's recent Viewpoints article regarding the "evils" of torture to be disturbing and disingenuous at the least. I doubt that anyone in this country would support the random torture of foreign enemy prisoners, but Hart refers to torture as the "ultimate denial of human dignity." In my book, blowing up innocent men, women and children for no good reason other than political fanaticism is the ultimate denial.

Consider the following scenario: The CIA has solid intel that in 12 hours a suicide bomber plans on taking out an entire building filled with innocent people, but the identity of the bomber is unknown. Also suppose that a known terrorist, already in custody, most likely has information that could prevent this horrendous atrocity. Is Hart's position that the CIA should not do everything in its power to obtain that information just so some deluded fanatic, who isn't even a U.S. citizen, can have his dignity preserved? As far as I am concerned, the only consideration in this situation is keeping innocent U.S. citizens safe.

I am also tired of hearing this endless blather about the U.N. Convention. Does anyone in his right mind think al-Qaida and the rest of our foreign enemies adhere to the rules of the U.N. Convention? Of course not. I am grateful that Homeland Security and the other government agencies dedicated to keeping this country safe have succeeded in foiling any further catastrophes since 9/1 1. They certainly can't do their job with one hand tied behind their backs.

Glen B. Kauffman

Williamsville

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There is no excuse for drunken driving

Drunken driving is against the law. Drunken drivers kill and permanently disable people. Drunken drivers may be supportive family members; they may also be great at their professions or jobs. However, the last sentence does not change the first two.

I have participated in victim impact panels for those directly affected by the consequences of drunken drivers. Until a drunken driving tragedy makes you eligible for such a panel, I believe you do not have a complete comprehension of theissue.

Carolyn Kirsch

Tonawanda

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Demolition contractor is honest and respected

The recent News story on demolition in the City of Buffalo characterized some demolition contractors as having shady pasts. I cannot speak to my competitors' character; however, as a co-owner of Geiter Done Demolition & Disposal with Mike Honer, I assure you that in my entire 28-year professional career as a banker, you could not find an individual who would describe me or my business dealings as shady.

We started Geiter Done in 2005 and have grown our company into a successful and respected entity. We pay our bills, file our government reports and fees on time, take excellent care of our customers and have never given a politician a nickel. Demolition represents about half of our business revenues, and we have never performed a job for the city that wasn't won on a competitive-bid basis.

Yes, Honer was associated with a business that was forced into bankruptcy. This business, Huron Recovery, had six other owners that included three CPAs, one investment adviser and two businessmen. The article states that Honer was removed as president in November 2005. He was removed from this position when he disagreed with the other owners on the decision to file bankruptcy. He did not want to "stiff" vendors with whom he had a long and familiar relationship. His partners didn't hesitate to pay themselves accounting and management fees far beyond what the business could afford. They hired one of the best bankruptcy attorneys in town to get Honer out of their way and they succeeded. Honer is not shady; he just exercised poor judgment in the character of his partners.

Honer and I were so disturbed by the bad debts left by Huron Recovery that in 2006 we offered $70,000 to pay off the BERC and RDC debt for the remaining fixed assets. Our offer was rejected. Six years later, they accepted the identical settlement. At 5 percent interest, this represents a lost opportunity of $23,806.69 to BERC and the RDC. In conclusion, please note that our backgrounds and business practices are an open book.

Michael R. Noville

Buffalo

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GOP not engaged in war on women, middle class

Recent writers to this column have participated in a smear campaign to convince readers that the Republican Party is engaged in a war on women, the middle class and youth. My question to them would be: Why?

Why would the Republicans want to alienate the very groups that they need to win in 2012? The answer is that they don't. Beginning with the Sandra Fluke affair, then the Buffett Rule and now the student loan interest rate debacle, the Obama administration is trying to reinvigorate its base by manufacturing divisive issues that are deceptive if not outright lies.

Perhaps borrowing an idea from another famous socialist of the 1930s who once said, "if you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed," these writers mouth the same leftist talking points over and over again, almost as if reading them from their own teleprompter at home.

I find it ironic and indicative of the left's inability to grasp reality that as the rest of the world is running away, kicking and screaming, from socialism, they are in fact moving "forward" toward it, full speed ahead.

Michael J. Beyer

Orchard Park

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It's disgraceful to see old churches neglected

After reading the recent News coverage of the building demolition process in the City of Buffalo, it was a joy to read of the restoration of the Hotel @ the Lafayette. That restoration and the restoration of the former Statler Hotel and other significant buildings in Buffalo give one who appreciates traditional beauty hope.

There is one preservation area that has been woefully neglected. That is the closed former churches of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, such as St. Matthew, Transfiguration, St. Barbara, ad nauseam. Now it appears that we are about to lose another treasure, St. Ann parish and shrine. As in some previous church demolitions, we are told the church is too structurally unsound to save. A few examples are the New Cathedral, St. Barbara and the former Our Lady of Sorrows church, which, it turns out, wasn't impossible to save. It is currently being used by a non-religious group after repairs were made several years ago.

It's so sad to see the loss of churches that have stood for more than 100 years, especially after viewing some of the newer churches that have been built in the suburbs, which of course will not last 100 years.

Albert Huntz

Tonawanda