DEC should block the Constitution pipeline

*DEC should block the Constitution pipeline *U.S. intervention in Mideast not helpful *Trump will do

DEC should block the Constitution pipeline

A gigantic scam is unfolding. The Constitution Pipeline is promising 1,700 temporary jobs and millions in tax dollars to the state to get the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to green-light their catastrophic project.

Whose job would it be to determine the loss to the state in farming, dairy and tourism jobs due to this calamity? The pipeline will convert fishing creeks, farm fields and forests into an industrial zone, with some thousands of feet of burn radius in the event of explosion. Has anyone bothered to estimate dollars lost in our state fishing, hunting, bee-keeping, farming or small bed-and-breakfast businesses? Should we simply approve this project based on corporate talking points?

Pipeline companies promise big tax dollars, then they always refuse to pay. Small municipalities must go to court to fight slick corporate attorneys. Who wins? Do not count those dollars before they are in the bank. Meanwhile, we have seen property assessments due to pipelines and compressor stations drop by 50 percent. How much will this pipeline cost townships? Has the state Comptroller’s Office checked?

As Millennium and Iroquois taught us, we can expect thousands of Clean Water Act violations, and slick corporate attorneys will make sure New York pays the tab. And who pays for flood damage, lost homes, lost businesses and lost lives?

No estimates are available for health impacts, because no one is looking at those. But the American Medical Association and some recent studies recognize the potential for fetal autism, cancer, respiratory and neurological diseases along the pipeline corridor. Citizens will pay health costs, environmental costs and flood damages — all so Cabot Oil and Gas can export 800 million cubic feet of gas per day to Canada.

This is a state subsidy of an out-of-state corporation, laid on the backs on the citizens. The DEC must reject Constitution Pipeline. Do not saddle the state with the hidden costs of this devastating project.

Dennis Higgins


U.S. intervention in Mideast not helpful

Given the unfortunate outcomes of the Arab Spring, it is clear that: 1) the Arab people were not prepared for democracy; and 2) our interventions in the region have been counterproductive.

Following the 2011 demonstrations in Tunisia, protestors in Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Syria and Yemen hoped to bring democracy to their respective countries. While Tunisia appears to have made a transition to free elections, the other countries have not fared as well.

In Bahrain, Saudi troops helped quell demonstrations and put an end to further protests. In Egypt, the military replaced elected president Mohamed Morsi with General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Libya, Syria, and Yemen are in the throes of bloody civil wars.

While polls indicate that the majority of Arab citizens desire some form of democracy, they have not been able to develop a culture and infrastructure supportive of their desires.

Most Arab populations have lived under dictatorships or monarchies which have imprisoned and often killed dissenters, intimidated its citizens, and undermined any political effort to establish a free society. In short, Arab leaders do not favor a shift to democracy and, therefore, have been hostile to democratic movements.

For the most part, U.S. policies and actions in the region have been inconsistent and harmful. We have supported the monarchies of oil-rich gulf states such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, while at the same time we have pursued regime change in Iraq and Syria.

Saddam Hussein was certainly a ruthless dictator. However, our invasion of Iraq and ouster of Saddam Hussein destabilized the country and made democracy there less probable. Bashar Hafez al-Assad also is a ruthless dictator, but it is doubtful that his removal will make Syria more stable and fertile for democracy.

Perhaps some day, democracy will come to the Arab states. However, I do not believe that interventions by the United States or any other major power will speed up the process.

Don Steiner


Trump will do better than liberal Democrat

Answers to the Dec. 3, letter by Kevin Parente, “Don’t be duped by Trump,”You must be in a different world to say such things. Do you want to see another Pearl Harbor? I don’t.

I am a disabled vet from that war. I went in way before I could be drafted because I wanted to protect my mother, father, sisters, brothers and our home. Trump doesn’t want that to happen again. He thinks for the vets.

In the Dec. 7 letter by Victor Roberts, it was published on the anniversary of the day Pearl Harbor was attacked. Do you remember that? You say my claims are not facts.

Claim One: Obama was not born in this country. Claim 2: I say my opinion is that appointed Democratic liberals should not make laws that hurt the people. That democratic liberal was Kennedy.

You say Trump was for eminent domain. Yes, for government use, not to give private development. You write a nice letter, but you don’t’ understand any of my meaning.

Someone that is appointed is under obligation to the people that put him in there. That’s not the good for the citizens.

I will give you examples. About 12 years ago, an appointed person took away my medication for one year because I had words with her boyfriend who I didn’t know at the time. It’s a matter of records, I got my mediation back by an elected official. Another example: about four years ago at the Veterans Administration, my new doctor wanted to take me off my mediation I had been taking for years. I kept getting the run-around by all the appointed people until I got an elected official who got me changed.

So much for our appointed people. Trump will be hiring people that know their job and do it right. By the way, did you serve? I bet you voted for Obama instead of a man that fought for this country and spent five years in a prison camp.

What did we get in Washington? Seven years of lies. In the Nov. 29, 2015, column, Christopher Gardner gave the democratic liberals in Schenectady a nice writing how good they are doing. Yes, they are doing good breaking their own laws and codes. When you auction off land, it always goes to the high bidder — not the way your Democratic Schenectady liberals do.

I hope U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara investigates the city of Schenectady.

Vincent Belardo


Citizens don’t need a militia to have guns

Re Jan. 13 letter, “Reach for a dictionary before you inflame”: Rather than writing so dismissively of Mr. Rob Dickson’s Jan. 13 “piece of foolishness” regarding the actual meaning of the Second Amendment, Mr. Herbert Spencer (Jan. 22 letter) might better have taken the time to read the Supreme Court’s majority opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008). That decision and its successors, which are readily accessible online, is the current “law of the land” with respect to what the Second Amendment means.

Had Mr. Spencer read the Heller decision, he might have learned that the court’s majority (Scalia, joined by Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas and Alito) held that “The Second Amendment guarantees an individual’s right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that firearm for any traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”

Moreover, contrary to Mr. Spencer’s apparent understanding of its construction, “(T)he (Second) Amendment’s prefatory clause (‘A well ordered militia being necessary to the security of a free state, …’) announces a purpose but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause.” (“the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”)

What so many people, including Mr. Spencer, seem to miss in their desire somehow to limit the scope of our freedom under the Second Amendment is the fact that the right to keep and bear arms is predicated on our having an inherent right to self-defense.

Effectively limiting this inherent right of all Americans solely to members of a militia (and subject to such militias’ liability to being disbanded by state or federal government action) would, of course, require an absurd reading of this amendment’s meaning, as the Heller Court recognized.

K.D. Reynolds


Categories: Letters to the Editor

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