Republicans must not?allow court intrusions
Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy's warning to U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts that overturning Obamacare would be far-reaching judicial activism that will somehow taint or undermine the legitimacy of the court is contradictory in its logic and unseemly in its nature – the latter being particularly troubling to this reader.
With respect to the statute and the individual mandate requirement, expanding the interpretation of the Commerce Clause and upholding the law would be the act of far-reaching judicial activism, not the opposite. Additionally, the precedent this would set could cause a cumulative effect for greater activist usurpations in the future.
The more disquieting aspect of Leahy's castigation is its insidious implication that others, be it members of Congress, the president or "the people," have a legitimate advocacy role with the court. Not only is the court the singular and final authority on matters of constitutionality, its function, a cornerstone of our democracy, does not permit such outside intrusion or influence.
This fact seems to have been lost on President Obama, given his public rebuke of the court at a State of the Union address not so long ago. Fortunately for us, Justice Roberts and his colleagues are more learned in matters of law and decorum and their decision will not be undermined by politicians or others.
Martin E. Mutka
Coca-Cola donation gives?cancer patients more choice
A May 22 letter to the editor questioned the wisdom behind Roswell Park Cancer Institute's acceptance of a donation from Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Buffalo to support a new quality-of-life program for RPCI patients and their families.
The generous support of Coca-Cola made it possible for us to launch our new Room Service Dining program so that patients have a wider range of options and more flexibility in what they eat and when – important because many common cancer therapies can impact taste or appetite. For most cancer patients, it's sometimes the small things – a warm roll, a favorite treat – that add tremendously to his or her quality of life. Our patients and their families have given the program great reviews and much of the credit for its success goes to our friends at Coca-Cola who are committed to providing a variety of products for every lifestyle and occasion.
RPCI's acceptance of a donation from Coca-Cola is an endorsement of good corporate citizenship. We are fortunate to have them, and all of our supporters, on our side in our fight against cancer.
Donald L. Trump
President and CEO
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Columnist unfairly blames?public employees for state debt
As a retired public employee, I would like to respond to a May 28 column by Douglas Turner. Apparently the writer is of the opinion that New York State debt is largely the result of pension and health benefits public employees have "wrung out" from "friends in the legislature."
Sir, please be assured, I have no friends there, or in the Erie County Legislature. If I did, I would not have worked the last five years of my employment without a raise. Do you think a more likely explanation might be the inept career politicians who are returned to Albany more concerned with re-election than the people they serve?
Don't you think the reason there are more workers in government than manufacturing is because those jobs have been outsourced overseas? How many "Made in U.S.A." labels have you seen lately?
Are you really surprised to discover that government employees provide valuable services, but not wealth? The very terms "public employee" and "wealth" in the same sentence is laughable.
If you think we have it so good, take a civil service test and stop complaining.
Respect differing opinions ?on church and contraception
The My View piece by Patricia Ann Farrell got me to thinking about the Catholic church and its position on the beginning of life. Farrell eloquently defends the nuns who taught her, at the same time questioning the church hierarchy's views on life and contraception.
What if the church is wrong about when life begins? Catholics must take on faith that life begins at the moment of conception. Like so many important matters of faith, the moment when life begins cannot be proven. Earlier church theologians and philosophers differed on this key question and most outside the church do not believe that we can pin down the moment when a fetus becomes a human being.
Much of religion is just that: faith without proof. Mitt Romney believes that a mysterious figure named Moroni gave some tablets to Joseph Smith near Palmyra almost 200 years ago, and his Mormon faith depends on accepting without proof the message Joseph Smith imparted to his followers after that.
Some scientists have faith that the universe can be explained without a creator. Some say that the creator leaves us alone to solve our problems. More traditional religionists insist that the creator is an important factor at all times in all our lives, but again, this is a matter of faith and cannot be proven.
To me, Farrell's message is that she loves her church but doubts that it is correct in key areas, areas that are matters of unproven faith.
What one chooses to believe in church on Sunday is something we should all respect. Similarly, the beliefs of those who think the church might be wrong on issues having to do with contraception and women's right to choose should be respected and left alone.
William E. Wolfers
Let's not repeat the political?mistakes of our recent past
Let me propose a nightmare scenario. Mitt Romney wins the race for president; the House of Representatives increases its Republican majority with more tea party members; and, yes, the Republicans gain a majority in the Senate. I shudder.
The Supreme Court in short order becomes even more radical than it is with Robert Bork's recommendations for replacements for retiring members. The Environmental Protection Agency is abandoned, health care skyrockets, drilling rigs abound in all directions, women's right to choose is revoked, the safety net that keeps many old and poor afloat is torpedoed and, yes, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. And we would have no one to thank for this but ourselves.
Growing up I was constantly reminded that we all make mistakes, but the difference between the wise and the foolish is that the wise do not make the same mistake twice.
Well, we have lived through eight years of the Bush mistake. It's beginning to look like we might do it again. We are in a mess because we put the neo-cons in charge. They are back in full force in the Romney contingent, especially in foreign affairs. Are we doomed to do it again?
I suggest that you watch Grover Norquist. He longs to be the power behind the throne. We have a man of high integrity in the oval office who, in spite of Republican stonewalling, is trying his level best to extricate us from the Bush mess. His enemies, and there are many, resent his finest qualities and his color. Racism is not dead yet.