Politicians must stop

the name-calling

Every time I watch the news, all I hear are politicians calling each other names. Anarchists, tea-baggers, bomb throwers - the list goes on and on, and both sides are guilty.

The last time I experienced such name-calling was when I was in grammar school and high school. Well, I guess some of my classmates have grown up (chronologically speaking) and become our elected officials.

The only problem - they have not outgrown the name-calling. They still can't explain their side, so off they go with the name-calling.

Even the president has joined the fracas, which I find troubling since it is beneath the office of the president to stoop to this level, but apparently not beneath the man.

To all politicians, stop the name-calling, the games, the showmanship, the posturing and partisanship. Start getting something done for the American people, or this may be the last job you have where everything is handed to you on a silver platter. November 2014 is not far away.


Little Egg Harbor Township

Doctors have role

in painkiller problem

Regarding the Sept. 30 story, "A shadow epidemic/Local doctors respond to national rise in painkiller overdoses among women":

It's ironic how insurance companies assisted in creating this new "epidemic" by being unwilling to fund alternative treatments. The medical community contributed to the problem by doing the prescribing when doctors could have stepped up and demanded better care for their patients by standing behind alternative practitioners. But they didn't do that for fear it would cut into their own pockets.

There is also a general misunderstanding of the difference between "chronic pain" and "short-term" drug therapy. These drugs are powerful, and the long-term effects were not in the front of doctors' minds when they wrote out the scripts to patients using the same pen the drug rep left them when she delivered the free lunch for the office staff.

My fear is that these same prescribers are now painting this epidemic with a broad brush and making access difficult for those with chronic pain who rely on this class of drugs to live a fairly normal life.

Would they say someone who relied on insulin is addicted?


Ocean City

Hold police responsible

for videotaped beating

Regarding the videotape showing Atlantic City police officers and a police dog attacking David Connor Castellani, of Northfield:

Perhaps the state should run the city, because the Atlantic City Police Department clearly doesn't know how to handle a rowdy 20-year-old kid who probably had a little too much to drink and was mouthing off to the officers and making gestures. Granted, the gestures were inappropriate, but Castellani was not a threat to the public.

I have no police or military experience, but watching the video of five police officers beating up an unarmed 20-year-old was heart-breaking. And then to have a sixth police office join the beating and let a police dog attack the kid was going way too far.

I always thought that police dogs were used to find a hidden intruder in a building or perhaps disarm a criminal with a weapon, not to be used as instruments to disfigure someone's face when they act rowdy or disorderly.

These officers should all be held professionally and personally responsible.



Airport expansion

can save the region

Despite efforts to revive Atlantic City's casino industry, local unemployment remains at or above 12 percent. The Atlantic County region has a problem, and we must fix it. Put simply, there are no jobs. What can be done? We need to develop the Atlantic City International Airport by bringing in additional passenger and cargo carriers.

Expansion of passenger and cargo service at the airport, which is now being operated by the Port Authority of New York-New Jersey, is the only viable remedy for our economic doldrums.

Much of the needed infrastructure is already in place. There is plenty of land available nearby for warehouses, distribution centers and other support facilities. These improvements would create good jobs that are not dependent upon our fragile tourist economy.

I recognize that some fear airport expansion because of the belief that it may cause noise pollution impacting nearby residential areas. That is a proper concern, but one that can be resolved through sound planning. If we do not create new jobs through airport expansion, those same neighborhoods may be quiet and desolate, their unemployed owners forced out of their homes.

The Port Authority must use its influence on carriers through its management of Newark International Airport to bring business here. Atlantic County and the surrounding region can't wait much longer. We are just holding on, and we can't continue to view the future based simply upon blind faith.

Our federal, state and local representatives must urge the Port Authority to move ahead quickly with its plans and to commit the funds necessary to get the job done. There is simply no more time to spare.



John R. Armstrong is the mayor of Absecon.