Grateful for cancer transport services

*Grateful for cancer transport services *Better to have option to shoot than not *W.C. Fields wisdom

Grateful for cancer transport services

A huge “thank you” to the Schenectady Cancer Foundation transportation service.

I have received courteous and helpful rides to my doctor appointments from drivers Ginger, Greg and Bob. When I asked Beth in the office what her title is, she replied: “Chief cook and bottle washer.” She is wonderful.

Thanks, Dr. Goodman.

Janet Spurck


Better to have option to shoot than not

Re Dec. 9 editorial, “Do we really want armed civilians?”: First, I would like to start with fact-checking your editorial. You stated there has never been a mass shooting stopped by an armed civilian. Look up Clackamas, or Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital. There are many times mass shootings have been prevented by civilians.

You mention only one caliber of handgun, a .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol), but without a direct reference to that round only mention one speed, 2,500 feet per second (fps)? A .45 averages around 900-1,000 fps. In fact, you could not name a typical handgun round capable of near that. Even the famed .44 Magnum pushes about 1,500 fps with the same weight bullet.

People seem to mention carry and use as synonyms when it comes to handguns. As if you have to use it, if you carry it and find yourself in a hostile situation. That simply is not true. There are reports of people in shooting situations that were carrying that did not draw and chose to run. They were admittedly scared and I do not blame them one bit. My point is that they had the option to defend themselves with equal force.

I agree that everyone, that legally can, should carry, but use is a different topic. My only suggestion would be carry, and if you feel like you cannot handle the situation should it arise, run. If you have to take cover with others, take time regain your grip with reality and at that point explain to anyone around that you have a gun.

You are not going to go out looking for a fight, but you also are not going to let that fight make it through the door, either.

Kyle Dykeman


W.C. Fields wisdom fits with environment

At a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) hearing for a pipeline, I heard a citizen asked the board why we — the public — had to appear and argue for our land and health, but the pipeline company did not need to attend to convince us of our need for their project.

I think W.C. Fields would have said: “There comes a time in the affairs of man when he must take the bull by the tail and face the situation.” Right. It’s backwards because the system is rigged. Pipeline companies and FERC itself are insulated by tolling orders against legal action. They seize land for private corporate gain. Citizens have no say.

My favorite W.C. Fields line is: “Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.” Animals certainly have enough sense not to bet on human survival. We were given a world which was totally sustainable, and from it we created the Dust Bowl and Three Mile Island.

What are we up to now? Filling the air with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from compressors, pipelines leaking and exploding. Cancer and birth defects following along the pipeline right-of-way. People marching, chaining themselves to trees and the government looking the other way. The gas corporations, currently under investigation for funding climate denial, always have a slick answer. No doubt, W.C. [Fields] wrote their maxim: “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull.”

People are often confused. Obama is pushing fracking, even though methane is 100 times worse for global warming than CO2. The gas corporations are telling us we need the pipeline capacity, even though their own studies show capacity to the northeast is currently double the demand. Pipeline companies promise to pay plenty in taxes, although when the line is in place municipalities find themselves in court trying to collect. How did W.C. Fields put it? “Business is an establishment that gives you the legal, even though unethical, right to screw the naive—right, left, and in the middle.”

I would like to pass on some W.C. Fields advice to anyone who will listen: “Remember, a dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream.” We need to make a choice what sort of world we’ll have. When the water is poisoned and the land is wasted, neither we nor the fish will be swimming anywhere.

The Constitution Pipeline was designed by people with an eye only toward corporate earnings. It will clear-cut 700,000 trees and bulldoze its way through almost 300 streams. It is guaranteed to violate New York state’s clean water standards with turbidity, stream scour and migration, and flooding on a scale never before seen. And it’s all to get Cabot’s gas to Canada. New York is just in the way.

When it’s built, the pipeline will walk away from our environmental catastrophe, pointing out, as W.C. Fields said, “You can fool some of the people some of the time — and that’s enough to make a decent living.”

Katie Higgins


Trump is the leader this country is lacking

This opinion is in response to the Dec. 3 letter [“Don’t be duped by Trump the character”] written by Kevin Parente of Rotterdam about Donald Trump.

I don’t know what’s in the water in Rotterdam, but Mr. Parente’s thinking and his writing don’t jive. He warns people that Donald Trump is a “character” so they should be careful if the are thinking of voting for him. Yet, Kevin clearly states in his own words that “he (Trump) says stuff that the normal working man (like myself) thinks and might say to their neighbor after drinking two beers and smoking a joint.”

The fact is that Trump’s words impress normal Americans who think that this country is too politically correct and you don’t have to be “high” on something to understand him. Trump simply tells it like it is. Kevin is afraid, as he indicates, that Trump might say something that will offend some Middle East countries and they will gang up on us. Kevin sounds like he’s afraid of the boogy man. Kevin is apparently satisfied with Obama, who is the most inept person in the world (imagine this guy fears climate change — whatever that is, more than anything else). Has Obama’s apologizing around the world gotten us anywhere? Maybe Kevin wants Hillary, the most greedy liar that politics has ever created. Or maybe he’s a Republican who wants a Washington politician to follow the same old path his fellow politicians did.

We need Trump because we need real change — no more dirty politics, no more illegal immigration, no more political correctness, no limits on the NSA. Profile the people that should be profiled and if they don’t like it, they can leave.

That’s the only way we will stop the terrorism. That’s the only way that we the people will get a chance to play a role in straightening out this messed up economy, our feeble foreign policy, our health care system, our entitlement system, our tax code, and Lord knows whatever else that has been messed up.

Hey Kevin, don’t be like the neighbor who lived next to these terrorists in Redland, California. They saw strange things from the Middle Eastern people who rented the house next door and they never reported them to police. Maybe if they did, there would be 14 more people alive and the tragedy would have been avoided. These pathetic cowards want us all dead.

You can rest assured that a president like Trump will protect us much better than any Democrat and most Republicans. Do what you do best, Kevin, go back to your “joints” and beer and stay out of politics.

Tony Russo

Clifton Park

Replace people with robots on battlefield

The need for armed conflict seems unquenchable and the question of boots on the ground is again before our nation’s leaders.

The country can certainly put many pairs of boots on the battlefield. But for the longer view, I suggest that we consider enhancing our asymmetric defense measures for force multiplication and significant reduction of our troop casualties.

Such an asymmetric advantage is available to us through our technology and our technologists. Considering our success in drone engineering and the imminent success of practical driverless cars, we should certainly expect to be able to develop and deploy scalable robotic devices to face and fire on the enemy.

It would require a substantial and steady federal commitment, but probably cost far less than the time and treasure we spend on many other programs that are more fashionable and carefully prinked. So instead of “boots on the ground,” let us consider “bots on the ground” and let us always remember that a sensor, a motor, a microchip can be replaced. A personality cannot.

John Hershey


Categories: Letters to the Editor

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