Jokes at dinner

unfair to the right

The White House Correspondents' Dinner was demoralizing. Although there was a great deal of fun-making about Democrats as well as Republicans, Republicans and other conservatives were bashed quite seriously rather than just in jest

Joel McHale was the worst offender. His stint was plagued with Democratic talking points and flagrant anti-conservative rhetoric - such as telling the audience that Republicans "are always trying to screw black people." He supported the Democrats' only significant campaign issue - the Republicans' war on women. He then went on to bash Fox News as being "the highest rated network in cable news …thanks to their key demographic, the corpses of old people," insinuating that we old people are not too swift.

On the contrary, we are the ones who know what's going on in our country. We are not among the low-information voters who re-elected President Barack Obama. We know the difference between the national debt and the deficit. We know the unemployment rate is a method of lying with statistics; the uninformed fail to read about the millions who have stopped looking for work, are under-employed or working part time. Our employment rate is the lowest since the 1970s.

Unless moderates or, hopefully, conservatives take over the Senate as well as the House of Representatives, our formerly great nation will reach the point of no return. Do we really want our next White House Correspondents' Dinner to be even more anti-conservative, if not actually anti-American?

ETTORE CATTANEO

North Cape May

Men's sagging pants

are a moral disgrace

To the males who readily display their underwear and the shapes of their gluteus muscles:

Such behavior lacks decency and shows an inability to be morally correct in public society. This behavior is contrary to the precepts of "manhood" and is a disgrace to the concept of leadership.

The wanton display of underwear also is in direct contrast to the word "underwear" itself. There is a distinct difference between fashion and lewdness, and there will never be an excuse for ignorance.

MUHAMMAD ISA

Atlantic City

Lawmakers ignore

New Jersey's debt

I'm a transplanted Philadelphian but have been a local resident for 50 years. During that time, I have never missed voting, and all of us who vote are responsible for the state's current fiscal status. We were comfortable to just follow the party line year after year.

Have you noticed since the recession how the politicians in Washington are sounding the alarm about the federal debt? Have you noticed that our state legislators do not talk about the state's debt? Perhaps that's because they are responsible. However, it will soon be evident to everyone that the state is a fiscal basket case.

Gov. Chris Christie has started the dialogue. But he'll probably be jumping the ship when things really get tough fiscally in the next budget year. Ask your state representatives what they are doing about the state's debt. The real problem is not local - it's higher up.

ED DEAN

Somers Point

Oil, gas exports

only benefit the rich

Regarding the April 30 story, "Economists back increased oil, gas exports":

A majority of top economists surveyed by The Associated Press want the government to get rid of energy-security regulations that prohibit oil and gas producers from exporting to foreign countries. They say that lifting the bans would allow the producers to sell at higher prices and that this would help the economy and the country, even though it would mean higher prices at the pump.

What they mean is that the rich would become richer and to hell with everybody else. But the people are the country, and if the people are hurting, the country is hurting. A few millionaires and billionaires making a killing on the market is not the country. Also, any money collected by the government would only be used to build bridges to nowhere to ensure re-election for our elected officials. These economists should be made to live like the rest of us for six months. Maybe they would get a reality check, but I doubt it.

JACK NAVICKAS

Manahawkin

Brand-name drugs

can indeed be better

Peter Orszag's April 27 column, "For some, brand-name drugs work better," was, at the same time, both truthful and flawed.

This is understandable considering his credentials - investment banking and financial strategy. Nowhere did I see any mention of pharmacy or medicine. I, however, am a pharmacist.

Orszag reflects on the possible placebo (psychological) effects of brand-name drugs. I agree that this is definitely a possibility.

But his suggestion that all pharmacists and physicians prefer generic drugs is certainly not true. There are many in both fields, including me, who do not consider the bottom line sacrosanct - and for good reason.

Just because the brand-name and generic versions of a drug contain the same active ingredient does not mean they act the same in the body.

For example, how hard a tablet has been compressed can make a difference. Too softly and the tablet disintegrates before it should; too hard and it may never dissolve and instead will pass through the body intact and never enter the bloodstream.

Believe me, I could regale you with some humorous (and not so humorous) results of poor manufacturing processes.

Instead, I'll just quote philosopher John Ruskin who said:

"There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person's lawful prey."

JERRY LUBER

Mays Landing