Sick child is reminder? of what truly matters

On the eve of Thanksgiving, as I accompanied a family member to a local hospital, I saw a little girl who could not have been more than 5 years old being pushed on a hospital bed down a corridor by medical staff. The girl was surrounded by doctors and family members as she was being whisked away. I assume she has been undergoing some sort of treatment for cancer because her little head had not one strand of hair on it.

The girl was sitting up straight and was screaming at the top of her lungs; I could not help but wonder what was going through the mind of that child the day before Thanksgiving. I'm quite confident she wasn't thinking about door busting and ways to beat the lines for the best sales and deals on Black Friday.

I took a walk outside to the garden area of the hospital to reflect on what I had just seen. I thought about all I had to be thankful for and said a prayer for the health of my family and a swift recovery for the little girl and to all others with cancer; a disease that shows no prejudice to age, gender or any other thing.

Upon leaving the hospital, I noticed a placard on the outside brick wall of the garden area, which read, "If I had my choice between a moon walk and the life of a single child with leukemia, I would never glance upward." – James T. Grace Jr., M.D. A fitting passage at a time of year when we should put our wants aside and give to those in need.

Michael Mordino



Give county voters a say ?on more funding for Bills

No one in my family wants to give the Buffalo Bills $200 million so they can fix up a crumbling 39-year-old football stadium that has a never-ending stream of losers playing for it and a bunch of drunken, rowdy Bills fans who act like seventh century barbarians.

Have a special election asking the people in Erie County if they want to keep a losing football team that will cost them $200 million, and more for added security and other functions. Then they can have their Erie County taxes increased to keep their beloved losers playing in Erie County for just seven regular-season games, maybe less, if more games are added to Toronto.
I'd much rather have the money go to rebuild our schools and fund our libraries and culturals, which increases knowledge.

James Ziolkowski



Government needs? to stick to a budget

The United States is broke. Let's figure out how broke by comparing the federal government's finances to your neighbor Bill's finances.

The federal budget, the amount the government will spend this year, is $2.5 trillion, give or take a few billion. The federal government will spend $1 trillion more this year than it "earns" from taxes. That $1 trillion is the federal deficit. If you add up all the deficits over the years, you get the debt. The federal debt is around $16 trillion, or 16 times the deficit. Much of the debt will be passed to our children after we are gone.

Now, let's shrink these numbers proportionally to the size of a family budget. Suppose Bill has the same spending habits as the federal government. Bill has a budget of $100,000. That's how much he will spend this year. Unfortunately, he only earns $60,000. Do you see a problem already? Bill's deficit is $40,000. So, Bill must borrow the $40,000 from his credit cards each year. He has been doing this for so long he now has $640,000 in credit card debt (16 times his deficit). In addition, when Bill dies, he plans to pass his debt along to his children because he cleverly applied for the credit cards in their names.

Would you trust Bill with your finances? Of course, you wouldn't. He is the most financially irresponsible person you know. Yet Bill has the same unsustainable financial practices as our elected leaders in Washington.

Gary Noshay



Far too many doctors? fail to respect patients

I appreciated Stephen Brown's My View column regarding his ophthalmologist's disrespectful attitude. The way this doctor treated his patient leads me to believe that no matter how much education, experience, accomplishments and maturity a patient brings into the doctor's office, he or she is still often treated like a recalcitrant child.

With a high-deductible plan, my husband and I pay 100 percent of costs out-of-pocket up to $3,000. We consider ourselves consumers, with every right to be treated as an equal partner in our medical care.

I would think that in an industry that kills an estimated 100,000 people a year through medical/drug mistakes and carelessness, doctors would be more willing to listen to patients like Brown, and entertain their questions regarding treatments.

Coleen A. Hanna



Heed Kennedy's advice ?and end Federal Reserve

There are three little-known decisions by President John F. Kennedy that make him the paragon of patriotism in modern American history.

First, Kennedy said no to Operation Northwoods, a plan approved by the joint chiefs of staff to initiate false-flag attacks carried out by CIA operatives. The sinister plan called for the shooting of Americans, bombings and hijacking of commercial airliners and blaming these attacks on the Cubans to gain support for an invasion of Cuba.

Secondly, he took the advice of one of America's greatest war heroes, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, regarding the futility of putting ground troops in Vietnam. Subsequently, Kennedy decided that he would withdraw all ground troops from Vietnam by 1965.

Finally, Kennedy issued Executive Order 11110 to create U.S. notes backed by silver to replace Federal Reserve notes. If enforced, this policy would have guaranteed the ability for the country to pay off its own debts and eliminate the national debt.

Kennedy's policies would have destroyed the profits and control of the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank and saved the lives of 58,000 brave Americans. However, after his assassination, President Lyndon Johnson cowardly caved in to the bankers and military industrial complex. He pulled U.S. notes from circulation and escalated the war.

We must not let Kennedy's death be in vain. We must honor his bravery by ending the Fed and keeping America out of wars not in our national interest.

David P. Jager