United States

•o longer exceptional

Russian President Vladimir Putin's Sept. 12 New York Times op-ed leaves much to contemplate. Much of what he said about being exceptional has credibility. Our educational system, lack of government credibility and a population increasingly dependent on government support are far from being exceptional.

A decline in moral values and personal responsibility leaves us far from being exceptional. The trend toward ignoring divine law, natural law and common sense do not equate with exceptionalism.

In 1978, the Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, in his commencement address at Harvard, warned of the signs of a decline of a society. The lack of great statesmen and a decline in courage are the first symptoms. Solzhenitsyn defines weakness in government as being paralyzed and tongue-tied when dealing with threatening forces, aggressors and international terrorists. Does this sound familiar?

JAMES E. TAGUE

Sea Isle City

Tea party fears

success of Obamacare

Obamacare - oh, the horror. You probably got a phone call about the cataclysmic consequences this law will cause. Seniors are being told their health care will be rationed and that the death squads are real. We're told that jobs will be lost. Don't let the liberal media deceive you.

Hmm. Sound like fear mongering to you?

The other message is, "It's not working." Well, that's true, since most of the law hasn't been implemented yet.

In my opinion, tea party members will do anything to obstruct implementation of the law. If the law is fully enacted and turns out to be a success, they've lost. It's not about protecting us. It's about preventing a victory for President Barack Obama and the Democrats.

So before it can be fully enacted and turn out to be a good law, they want to defund it now so that cannot happen.

Oh, by the way, ask yourself where provisions of the horrific Affordable Care Act came from.

MARY BETH LENNOX

Egg Harbor Township

Casino cooperation

a welcome message

Regarding the Sept. 25 story, "Harrah's president touts casino cooperation":

A-Mazer-ing Grace. I could almost hear that classic as I read the story about Rick Mazer, Harrah's regional president and general manager.

I love that a high-ranking voice within the halls of our casinos says the casinos need to craft a unified plan and visible examples of stepping out of their "individual boxes."

I was one of the people stationed on the fifth floor of one or two of those casinos for more than 21 years. I could make a long list of the numerous contributions to the city and region that the casinos made.

But a sustained, unified approach by all houses was never maintained.

As a representative of the biggest corporate player on the scene, Mazer's vision sounds very encouraging. I look forward to the industry's and his subsequent actions.

This can be the juice that could fortify this most important industry - and the many fine employees in it - and the numerous folks impacted by its unified strength or weakness.

GLENN LILLIE

Mays Landing

Margate survived Sandy

without any dunes

The push to construct dunes on Margate's beaches died in 2003 when the city decided not to participate in a proposed project. It has now resurfaced because of Hurricane Sandy.

But our beach block structures faired extremely well during Sandy with the bulkheads in place. The vast majority of home damage was due to bay flooding, not ocean storm surge.

And consider what we will create while trying to solve a problem we don't have: Massive ugly dunes that will be difficult for older residents to navigate, a no-man's land behind the dunes that will be every mother's nightmare and ongoing costs for maintenance.

Our beaches are some of the most beautiful in New Jersey. Don't mess with something that isn't broken.

BETH TURCHI

Margate

Reid, Democrats

to blame for shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refuses to negotiate with House Republicans on Obamacare. The House approved funding for the government in a bill that delayed the individual mandate for signing up for Obamacare by one year. President Barack Obama has already delayed the mandate for businesses.

The majority of Americans don't want the health care takeover. Yet Reid refuses to negotiate. He'd rather protect Obama's legacy than protect our country from what even some Democrats call a "train wreck."

Obama and Reid are trying to blame conservatives for the government shutdown. But they are the ones responsible.

ANDREW T. PETRELLA

Tuckahoe