Drunken drivers? must be locked up

How many times do we have to read about the death of an innocent by a person who has a previous DWI conviction? Scott Dion's picture in The News symbolizes the heartache and pain victims of such tragedies endure. And, truth be told, we are all its victims.

If you are convicted of DWI, you should go to jail. No questions asked, no lawyers, no plea deals – go directly to jail.

I suggest that instead of fixing the stadium, take that $200 million and build a jail specifically for DWI offenders. A place to dry out, think and face your drinking problem.

Sentencing should be at the very least one year for first-time offenders and more for repeat offenders. Why do we have to wait until they kill someone before action is taken?

Katherine Ochal



Throw the book at all? who drink and drive

Another unnecessary tragedy. A repeat DWI offender kills someone. A few weeks ago it was a 25-year-old woman walking her dog, and this time a 7-month-old baby. How many more times will this happen before people wake up?

Lawmakers need to stand up and stop this. How about one DWI conviction equals mandatory ignition interlock for life? No plea bargain, no off early for "good behavior," no excuse that "I sold my car and I don't drive anymore." No. We need to put a stop to this. Do something that will make people think twice about getting behind the wheel. It's just too bad that the possibility of killing someone and ruining your own life isn't enough of an incentive.

My heart breaks for these families and the thousands of others that have lost a loved one because of someone else's stupidity. Enough is enough.

Karen Jones



Slap on the hand? dishonors victims

Slap-on-the-hand penalties of those convicted of driving under the influence dishonor the victims of drunken driving and increase the risk for the public. Rising deaths and injuries require increased protection from those who drive while so impaired.

Why has the increasing incidence of people killed by drivers with multiple DUI felony convictions become pandemic? I suggest that it is basically because we allow it. Social conscience and outrage have yet to bring about changes to reduce the collective impact from several things.

First, the existing limits on the amounts of alcohol consumption allowed for driving legally have proven to be inadequate. Second, existing penalties for drivers who exceed those limits are insufficient. That is compounded by the inadequacy of penalties for conviction of driving impaired, multiple felonious impaired driving convictions, injuring people while driving impaired, and driving after one's license has been revoked for such convictions.

The lack of specificity in laws dealing with accused DUI offenders needs redress. During trials, wiggle room in existing antiquated laws provides loopholes to subvert or dismiss the consequences of harm caused by alleged DUI perpetrators.

The repetitive drunken driving behaviors of repeat offenders confirms their disdain for the law and disregard for public safety. There is a critical need to remove them from society for extended periods of time. The need for well-thought-out, major changes in existing drinking and driving regulations, laws and penalties is essential. Anything less will not reduce the alarming increase in DUI tragedies.

Conrad F. Toepfer



Elected officials need?to fix mess they made

The fiscal cliff and national debt are a threat to the security of our nation. And the sickening part is our current and past politicians put us all here while an apathetic, complacent, procrastinating public stood by and let them. While it's every politician's duty to fix the problem our nation is embroiled in – and is about to devastate us all with this fiscal cliff – it is also every American's duty to call our politicians and tell them to do their job.

I struggle paycheck to paycheck (unlike any of those grossly out of touch politicians) and if I had the performance record and satisfaction ratings these boobs had I'd be unemployed. Rep. John Boehner, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and all the other key players need to fix this or get out of the way and let someone who will. This problem was created by Democrats and Republicans (past and present). But every one of us let it happen. We need to call them all and tell them to do their job.

Frank Kolbmann



Let's stop catering ?to the top 1 percent

The American Dream was "equal opportunity and justice for all." Sadly the dream has been trashed by plutocrats, media demagogues and politicians elected by us. Why do we bury our heads in the sand and set aside critical thinking?

It's all about greed – the powerful greed of the very rich and our own greed. We are fed the myth we do not have to pay taxes. Elected officials promote this myth. Americans gobble it up.

Wake up, America. Stop believing lower taxes will make our lives better. Are you better off today than you were 15 years ago? I am not and probably you are not – unless you are part of the 1 percent. Tax cuts lead to job cuts, both public and private. Tax cuts increase unemployment and shake the economy.

The suddenly popular Simpson-Bowles Commission Report feeds the notion that the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts should remain in place for all except households above $250,000. The report recommends massive discretionary spending cuts that will increase unemployment and reduce quality of life for many. Massive cuts to discretionary programs have already been made. Federal departments have been excessively downsized. The Social Security Administration does not have enough staff to properly process boomers' retirement choices. The IRS does not have enough staff to root out tax evaders. More than waste has been eliminated.

Our federal tax system is rigged to favor the rich because they can afford to lobby lawmakers who create preferences for them, such as the cap on Social Security contributions and low capital gains tax rates. One function of democracy is to promote equal opportunity and justice for all. We need truths, not myths, and we need equal opportunities. Elected officials need to show us what justice looks like.

Lynda Stephens



Officer's charity?is heart-warming

Thanks for the piece about the New York policeman helping out a down-and-out human being by buying boots and socks for his feet. It proves once again the old saying that a picture is sometimes worth a thousand words. True charity lives! If it can happen on the cold sidewalks of hard-boiled New York City, it can happen anywhere. The officer is a real mensch.

Rupert J. Ederer



DePrimo's good deed? serves as lesson to all

I saw on the news that New York City Police Officer Larry DePrimo purchased a pair of socks and boots for a homeless man who was sitting on the sidewalk outside a shoe store. The story told of the price being in the range of $100. I thought that it was a nice thing to do. But it wasn't until I read the article in The News that I learned the whole story. DePrimo did not just purchase socks and boots for the gentleman. That, in and of itself, is a wonderful gesture. The picture in the paper, taken by a visitor to New York City, shows DePrimo putting the socks and boots on that man.

I believe the majority of people reading this could afford to buy a pair of socks and boots for a needy person. I am sure that you have contributed to the Food Bank, given to the Salvation Army and donated to the needy, especially at this time of year. But to purchase such articles and actually help the person put them on – OMG! It brings a tear to my eyes when I talk about this, even now.

I consider myself to be a very giving person and a pretty decent Catholic, but I have never actually gone the whole nine yards.

As I was reading the article, Matthew 25:40 was being recited in my head. The king will reply: "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."

I commend DePrimo not for what he bought, but for what he did. I want to wish everyone a most joyous, happy and safe holiday season.

Luci Buell



Diversity is fine;? racial slur is not

Though the writer of the Dec. 2 "diversity of thought" letter to the editor is mixing issues, it does sound like we've common ground on two of the three. Diversity of thought = good; intolerance = bad; racist speech = bad. Dignifying a racial slur as "diversity of thought" is like putting lipstick on a pig.

Paul Bradford



Romney's loss is ?easy to explain

As after losses by the Buffalo Bills, there's been a parade of Monday morning quarterbacks with innumerable excuses why Mitt Romney lost, when in fact, it's all so easy to explain, no excuses needed.

As to the Bills, they simply need to get rid of the general manager, the interference of the owner, maybe the coach, and not the players.

For the Republicans, it's just as easy. All they have to do is remember that they have to get rid of their old bits: "we got the tent" and "all boats rise with the tide" (especially yachts), and their mantra: "Thems that got, get; thems that don't, git …" Enough said.

John Cappelletti