Slaughtering horses for food is nothing to make light of

Thursday, April 25, 2013
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Slaughtering horses for food is nothing to make light of

When arguing a position, it’s always important to have reason, logic and fact on your side. By those criteria, Irv Dean has three strikes against him in his April 22 column, “Special today: Funny Cide with fries.”

In an effort to be sensational and sell newspapers, Mr. Dean makes light of the horrible and dangerous practice of horse slaughter for human consumption. After mocking the intrinsic value of horses to our culture and downplaying the dangers to humans of medicines used to treat all horses — not just racehorses — ending up in the food supply, Dean says, “don’t get the idea that I dislike horses.” Yeah, on a dinner plate.

Horses are sporting, recreational and companion animals. Their therapeutic and rehabilitative abilities are well documented for veterans, the disabled and people who are incarcerated. Like dogs and cats, if there’s no other way to care for them, they deserve to be humanely euthanized at the end of their lives, not sent to the slaughterhouse.

Beyond the sheer brutality of the practice, horse slaughter will enable dangerous, FDA-banned drugs found in horse meat to potentially threaten the U.S. food supply if cross contamination occurs with other meat, like what’s happening across Europe. Horses are not bred for food and should be removed from the food chain.

Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, Sen. Kathy Marchione and Assembly member Deborah Glick should be applauded for sponsoring bipartisan legislation to end the barbaric practice in New York.

Horse slaughter will be discussed by equine experts, government officials and others the at the 2013 American Equine Summit on April 27 and 28 at the Equine Advocates Rescue & Sanctuary in Chatham. I would welcome Mr. Dean to attend the event and get the facts for himself.

Susan Wagner


The writer is president of Equine Advocates.

Limits on gun rights hardly unconstitutional

Some people who insist the Constitution gives everybody the right to carry weapons might have not examined the entire document. Did they overlook that qualifying clause which precedes the oft-repeated phrase, “shall not be infringed?”

We need a “well-regulated militia,” in order to maintain a secure country. Why did the Founding Fathers add that qualification?

Could it have been to clarify constitutional Article One, which says that Congress shall have power to provide for organizing, arming and disciplining the militia? In those late years of the 18th century, all guns were handmade. No two were just alike and each had unique handling qualities. Parts were not interchangeable. Each person learned how to load and aim his own weapon. Most country families had a single-shot musket or two for hunting and to ward off marauders.

The Founders may have recognized the huge financial burden that Congress would have to carry in order to arm the entire militia with handmade guns, so they wrote an amendment that would allow people to bear their own arms in a well-regulated militia.

A military history instructor explained this to us as we served as citizen soldiers in the 1950s. By that time, our military weapons had interchangeable parts, the government supplied them, and we did not take them home.

If you look at the history of other constitutional amendments, you will see that legislative and judicial interpretations have qualified most of them. Our freedom of speech does not include the right to slander.

Likewise, the bearing of arms by people can (and should) be qualified, for the protection of the life, liberty and happiness of those who choose to remain unarmed. Qualification is not infringement.

Kernan Davis


Schenectady a better bet than life in the suburbs

After reading the negatives that real estate agents perceived about living in Schenectady, I would like to offer a few positives that any agent worth their 6 percent should be aware of.

I drive to my job off Exit 9 of the Northway, leaving my home in Schenectady at about 8 a.m. and returning at approximately 6:30 p.m. It takes me between 17 and 20 minutes via Aqueduct Road and the Rexford Bridge. My informal count of cars backed up on Aqueduct [Road], waiting to cross the bridge, has ranged from 45 to 75 minutes at approximately 6:15 p.m. — later than the usual traffic rush. And that does not even consider the cars on Balltown Road.

I have also observed the same situation on the southbound lane of Route 146 in the morning. Assigning a cost to that wasted time is difficult, but let’s assume the majority of those drivers work for GE, where the average salary is in the $90,000 range. Working 240 days per year and incurring an additional minimum commute of one hour per day equates to approximately $11,000 in lost “opportunity” costs.

Additionally, the airport’s [proximity], superior health care facilities, world class entertainment and a vibrant downtown make living in Schenectady a lot more feasible.

Agents should do their GlobalFoundaries clients a favor and show them the best bang for the buck in the Capital Region.

James Brodie


Racism, anti-Semitism, sexism much the same

There has been debate over whether that teacher’s assignment to defend Nazism was anti-Semitic [April 13 Gazette].

It can be difficult for some people to recognize bias such as anti-Semitism or sexism, but nearly everyone recognizes racism. If there is any doubt in your mind about bias in a statement or scenario, substitute African-American for the group.

If it sounds racist, then it is also anti-Semitic or sexist. Ask yourself, would there be any public debate if that teacher’s assignment had been for students to defend the Ku Klux Klan?

It is important to study the historical context of events without perpetuating the underlying biases.

Mimi Katz


Social Security another empty Obama promise

In the April 22 opinion section, a 93-year-old senior wrote that he was troubled by the cuts to Social Security that Obama will make. He stated that he regrets voting for this man because Obama promised that no cuts would take place during his second term.

Well, Obama didn’t keep all the promises made during his first term, why should he change now? The country is still in bad shape and the future doesn’t look to promising, either.

Why is this? Because the people who work for a living are now outnumbered by those who vote for a living.

Stephen Desmonie


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April 25, 2013
5:52 a.m.
Phils2008 says...

Kernan, You just go along with the liberal contortion of the second amendment. It is not there to allow the Government to have a ready supply of arms which they will control and regulate. Where do you lefties come up with this crap? If you dont like an amendment you just make stuff up. The sad shame of it is your party has so many ignorant members that you get away with it. Look up the word tyranny if that's not too much trouble and it might come to you why this issue is important and why the "RIGHT" to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed even by clueless liberals.

April 25, 2013
6:13 a.m.
Phils2008 says...

Stephen, you nailed that. We're stuck with this joke of a president because the tide has shifted to those that want "free" handouts not "free" dom. These liberals are clueless to how they are being enslaved. They just gleefully take the rest of us with them. America died 4years ago, she just doesn't know it yet.

April 25, 2013
12:23 p.m.
duke1942 says...

These Progressive Leftists love to re-interpret the Second Amendment and other amendments written by some of the smartest people that ever lived. What audacity and ignorance to put themselves in the same company of these Greats. I keep hearing the saying, "The United States Constitution, written by geniuses, questioned and administrated by idiots!" Unfortunately very true. I get so sick of these 'less informed' individuals spouting the left talking points while ignoring the truth.

April 26, 2013
12:52 a.m.
ChuckD says...

If there's one thing I admire about gun nutz it's their complete lack of self awareness. These are otherwise grown adults who seem to have no sense of social concern, no awareness of the simplicity of their arguments and who shrilly rant and broadcast their fears and night terrors with total abandon. That kind of blind ambition deserves some respect.

Sadly they don't realize what industry tools they are (second amendment rights, what a crock) and that this being a Democracy (look up how that works please, you're losing) they will end up in far worse straits with their hobby than if they'd acted more grown up and worked with the rest of us in the American community. If it were my hobby I'd consider another approach than insults and delusional ranting before you get your trigger fingers slammed in the door. There is another way to deal with this.

April 26, 2013
5:46 a.m.
Phils2008 says...

ChuckD is why America is lost. He tries his intellectually superior elitist approach and then shows himself to be a fool by declaring we're a Democracy. Its just shear ignorance. Fears and night terrors? People like him are exactly why Hitler got where he did. See no evil, hear no evil speak no evil. When it comes to tools, he is a handmade DNC favorite. Somebody that espouses the liberal line without thinking, follows like a lemming, and attacks on command. How can you have a rational discussion with somebody that thinks an armed citizenry is worse off then one that's unarmed? It doesn't even occur to him that every subjugated society is disarmed. I say again, America died 4 years ago when the ChuckDs started killing her.

April 26, 2013
7:17 a.m.
wmarincic says...

Chuck D, we are not a Democracy, we are a Constitutional Republic.....If we were a democracy then it would be majority ruled government. If we were a democracy, we would still have slavery. If a conservative does not like something, they don't buy it, use it, watch or listen to it. If a liberal does not like something, they want it banned. You really should look at that and ask yourself who the tool really is. Social concern, I guess that makes you a Socialist, which is the precursor to a Communist.

April 26, 2013
10:53 a.m.
SnowGrinch says...

The Gun Nuts give their opinion of what is and what is not constitutional. Consider a very Conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's words:
* "Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. [United States v.] Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. *

April 26, 2013
12:41 p.m.
gazettereader says...

Let's be clear - If a conservative doesn't like something (like abortion or same-sex marriage), they pass laws to ban it. When liberals see something hurting the American people, they pass laws to regulate (not ban) them to be most fair to everyone.

April 26, 2013
1:58 p.m.
wmarincic says...
(This comment was removed by the site staff.)
April 26, 2013
5:33 p.m.
Phils2008 says...

Gazettreader is another of the lefties that simply cant get his facts straight. He demands the right to kill a viable fetus. A life. Then he squawks about guns because some nut might kill someone. Maybe babies should be armed to ward off the liberal whack jobs trying to kill them. As for the gays they have no fewer rights then anyone else. They just choose to do something many Americans find repulsive and then force it on all of us. The liberal teachers will be right there to promote pedophilia when you lefties decide that is a "right" as well. And just to clear up your statement, Liberals could care less about being fair and compromising. Fair, without a doubt, the dumbest thing you could have said.

April 28, 2013
1:55 p.m.
wmarincic says...
(This comment was removed by the site staff.)
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