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Letters to the Editor for Saturday, June 13

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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Freedom comes with responsibility

Freedom is not free. Freedom has a price. The price of freedom is accountability, maturity and a measure of self-restraint. We are not totally free to do whatever we want whenever we want. That is not how real freedom works. Real freedom is not all about rights. Real freedom is a combination of rights and obligations. And the true test of freedom is knowing when to exercise your rights and when to meet your obligations.
Philip Maddaus
Scotia

How can Cuomo blame Republicans

Gov. Cuomo, at his daily press briefings, keeps referring to “systemic racism,” but acts as if he’s just an interested, outside observer who is powerless to act.
Instead, he blames President Trump and the Republicans. Nothing could be further from the truth. Let’s look at the political make-up of New York state: governor: Democrat, 12 years; New York City mayor: Democrat, six years; Albany mayor: Democrat, forever; Attorney General: Democrat; State Assembly: Democrat; State Senate: Democrat.
Cuomo cites discrimination in education, housing, employment, policing, etc. But what have the Democrats done about it? Very little as it turns out. Virtually everything they have tried has been a disaster: bail reform anyone? At least the president has had some success: Criminal justice reform, black opportunity zones, and until the virus, the lowest black unemployment in history, to name a few.
Ken Truman
Albany

Get information from many sources

I’m astounded by part of Miles Reed’s column (“Racially charged incidents strike close to home”) on the May 31 Gazette Opinion page and his reference to Pete DeMola’s inference that “local black leaders were growing increasingly concerned about what appeared to be a lack of information about the virus being disseminated to the minority community.”  Also, “members feel the city and county have been slow in bringing information, and it’s not as detailed as it could be.” Where do the rest of us get our information? Internet, radio, TV, newspaper. All of this is available to all of the community.
Virginia Graney
Glenville

Trump will get us out of this crisis

I believe New York state is stalling the go-back-to-work order to try and make the president look bad. Markets are open, Walmart is open, so why can’t other businesses open with no problems? China or whoever was responsible for this virus has to be held accountable for our losses. We will bounce back because the president has been there and knows how to bounce back, plus do better. Remember after every disaster, something changes. Just be ready to stand up and fight. This is just the beginning with more to come. President Trump is one man fighting for the security and safety for this country. We still need Congress and the Senate that will fight with the president. He’s not God, but he’s doing his best. We need more like him. How was it with no income or enough food? Do you want that again or worse? This was your wake-up call. Remember this in November. Republicans across the board.
Claude Rizzicone, Jr.
Schenectady

 

Did social media fuel extensive vandalism?

Here we are in the spring of 2020 with more social unrest than we have seen in years, if not decades. First, it was due to the lockdowns and business closures caused by the COVID-19 epidemic. Now it is due to a cell phone video of police brutality against George Floyd, an African American man arrested after allegedly attempting to pass a counterfeit bill.
No human being deserves to be treated that way for any reason, and I am very sorry for George Floyd’s family. The video of his inhumane treatment by police went viral and resulted in protests nationwide. It also resulted in vandalism, looting of businesses and fires. The latter events were opportunities for people to make trouble and get things they did not pay for, not to improve the lives of African Americans.
People should be aware of what goes on, including police brutality. However, I cannot help wondering if all the mayhem aside from the protests would have occurred if George Floyd’s death were reported only on mainstream news media.
Cell phones are great, but they have also ruined lives in countless ways. I have rude family members who would rather watch the screen than know their family. Other folks take unauthorized photos and videos of unsuspecting people or their property. Employers keep people tethered via email when they are not on the clock. Folks have died due to crashes when somebody was texting and driving. Need I say more?
Michele Stater
Scotia

D-Day owed more than the comics page

Shame on The Gazette, not one article on D-Day in the June 6 edition. The only mention in the whole paper was in the comic section. At least Snoopy never forgets. “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it” George Santayana, philosopher, 1863 to 1952.
Robert Palmateer
Amsterdam

Democrats’ actions are all about control

It is all about power and control. It is cleverly disguised as ideology and empathy. The tactics are dependency, fear, division and compliance. We are, of course, speaking of the far left, the Democrats and their sycophants.
If the confrontations over Kavanaugh (Supreme Court) , collusion (Executive) and impeachment (Executive) aren’t evidence enough, we need only to examine more recent events.
COVID: Pelosi advanced performance art, migration and refugee (illegal immigrants) assistance, federal funding for Planned Parenthood (repeal the Hyde amendment) and Green New Deal components into what should have been an obvious bipartisan bill to singularly help the American worker.
These issues help amalgamate her base support.
COVID: The totalitarian mandates implemented by Cuomo and de Blasio did not allow graduations, weddings or funerals. Places of commerce and worship were shut down. You must spy. You must be subordinate. We know better.
Then came George Floyd. The hypocrisy is fluid. There’s been no real punishment for most looters and arsonists (thanks in part to bail reform). Mass gatherings to support Floyd and BLM have been applauded. Why is this? Simply, because now the preferred narrative had been changed from one of public health to racial injustice and police brutality. These are centerpieces of their platform. COVID is napping for the greater good. Much of the media is, as seems the norm, in lockstep. You see, it is all about regaining power and controlling the narrative.
John Myers
Schenectady

Police unions are protecting bad cops

Trade unions have been in existence in this country since its very beginning. The Industrial Revolution accelerated the growth of unionism. Trade unions gave way to labor unions in the late 1800s, and through the decades the power of unions grew, yielding many of the benefits that we enjoy today.
The power of unions was economic, not political, up until Ronald Reagan. Market forces had changed the landscape and the Republican anti-union movement had taken hold. “By the end of the 1980’s only 17% of American workers were unionized.” But escaping this decline were public employees. This is my point.
Every day, we see videos of some policeman somewhere cracking the heads of peaceful demonstrators. They do it with regularity and impunity and it’s all on video and they don’t care. Why? Police unions.
For some reason municipalities sign contracts that protect the police from all manner of atrocities.
An officer can have 60, 70, 80 complaints of violence or abuse and no one ever hears about it because of the contract. They say “one bad apple…”, but the expression is “one bad apple spoils the bunch.”
If you want to stop systemic discrimination and violence from municipal police forces, the first best step is to get rid of the unions.
What would that look like? What would we have? Now is the time to discuss that.
Paul Donahue
Niskayuna

Grateful for staff at Glendale Nursing

My father is a resident of the Mohawk Trail section of the Glendale Nursing facility.
The staff at Glendale always goes above and beyond when it comes to the care of the residents. What a unique group of professionals throughout the whole establishment. I have found the staff treats the residents as if they were members of their own family, including my father.
This COVID-19 situation has been a very difficult time for all of us. The loss of lives throughout the world has been devastating.
The Glendale Nursing facility has an amazing team of employees on the front line 24/7 exhausting all measures and accomplishing the goal of keeping all of the residents absolutely COVID-19 free.
Hats off to the Glendale team and thank you for keeping all of the residents safe.
Patrick A. Hickey
Rotterdam

Let children centers make reopening plans

Gov. Cuomo has begun approving a safe and careful reopening plan for our regions.
It is time to support the needs of young adults and children restricted in residential programs. We recommend the state leaders support the most vulnerable citizens, our disabled children and adults in residential programs, and quickly yet safely build a reopening plan to return to some semblance of their normal lives.
Going on month four of the COVID-19 crisis, families like ours have become distraught with the lack of in-person contact with their children. Additionally, our son and other residents haven’t been allowed to participate in their day services programs or visit family members and friends since March.
Now that the Capital District and most of New York have entered Phase 2 with gradual and safe reopening, we urge that nonprofit providers that provide quality services such as the Center for Disability Services, Wildwood, Schenectady ARC and others will be given the authority to develop their own specific reopening plans similar to the way each region has developed reopening plans. As we trust our most vulnerable to these settings, we are confident the providers will develop safe, careful and appropriate strategies and plans.
These providers continue to give incredible care at challenging times and have been successful at doing so. Their ability to create safe and strategic reopening plans should not be delayed.
Joy Griffith, Bill Gettman
Glenmont

Put more attention on building success

I believe in neutral application of principle; the principles that guide our behavior towards other people need to be consistent. It is unjust to customize different principles according to the group that we are dealing with.
Based on that, I’d like to ask the recent protesters this question: Is there collective guilt for the actions of individuals in a group? A coherent set of principles needs to have one answer to that question, not a different answer depending on whether the group in question is African-Americans, European-Americans, men, women, Christians, Muslims or, most pointedly at this time, the police. Is it fair to comb through years of police interactions, drag out a handful of really awful behaviors, and pronounce generalized guilt to all police? What would that be called if it was done to a different group?
The love of this country makes me want to see all Americans thrive. Toward that end, I assert a principle: no group solves their problems by focusing solely on someone else’s behavior. If the protesters achieve perfect success, and no unarmed black man is ever killed by police, it would impact the premature death rate for young black men by a small fraction of 1%. I think the other 99.9% of those lives matter. I think that 99.9% includes dynamic and outstanding individuals that could have achieved their own personal excellence. If the leaders of this movement agree, they might stop sowing discord and go help some kids achieve.
Norman Perazzo
Glenville

Political cartoon was racist and indecent

I’m very disappointed with the Gazette. You should be ashamed of running an openly racist cartoon, depicting a hooded black man robbing a white woman while bragging about defunding the police, especially while the nation is in mourning for the death of George Floyd and other people of color by the police. Stiglich’s cartoons often push the boundaries of common sense and decency, but this one leaps way over them. By printing this cartoon, so have you.
I’ve been a faithful subscriber for over 20 years and believe strongly in the vital role local newspapers play in a community. For most of that time, The Gazette has played that role. Over the last few years, however, The Gazette, particularly on its editorial page, has too often slipped into the kind of debased discourse all too common in the era of Trump. I was expecting better.
Hugh Jenkins
Amsterdam

State, local gov’t still need covid relief aid

While, of course, it is excellent to hear that joblessness is on the decline as we recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, that should not preclude necessary funds being designated for state and local governments, which are being disproportionately harmed during this crisis.
These are the funds that support the services most needed in our communities, including our schools, fire departments and police departments. It funds state and local transportation projects, not to mention healthcare and other necessities that touch everyone, in one way or another, in every community throughout the state.
The president and congressional Republicans will use any good economic news to find an excuse to discontinue the necessary economic aid to the country, even though that very aid is one of the factors fueling the economic recovery.
It seems, suddenly, they are concerned about deficits. The negative impacts to our local communities seem to concern them less.
James Cimino
Schenectady

Popular vote win won’t change a thing

I have been following the Daily Gazette reporting on President Trump, including the article in the June 5 edition (“Republican criticism of Trump grows”), in addition to all of the other editorials and opinions regarding the current conditions in Washington.
I have one question. “Mr. Trump” lost the 2016 election by over 3 million popular votes. In spite of that, the Electoral College appointed him president anyway. Why would anyone believe that a popular vote with excesses in favor of his opposition would change anything in 2020?
Louis M. Cook
Ballston Spa

End separations, detainment of kids

The current administration has deported over 1,000 unaccompanied children and reinstituted family separation. Needlessly detaining immigrants and asylum-seekers in prison like conditions helps spread the coronavirus.
Parents in detention centers in Pennsylvania and Texas are being asked to choose between indefinite family detention or giving up their children. Increasingly, children who become “unaccompanied” are not released to pursue an asylum claim. Family separation’s sole purpose is to punish families for seeking protection in the United States.
In a shocking rejection of decades of policy, under the cover of the pandemic, hundreds of migrant children have been swiftly deported by American authorities, without being able to speak to a social worker or enter an asylum claim, based on their fear of violence in their country. Some of those deported had asylum appeals pending in immigration court. Young asylum-seekers have been returned with no arrangements to ensure someone will care for them. Since March, the administration has cut the population of detained children and families by about 2,400, according to the Office of Refugee Resettlement and ICE. Almost no children are being released to waiting sponsors in the United States.
More than a third of children have tested positive for the coronavirus. As of May 20, 943 coronavirus cases were reported among adult migrants in ICE custody. Medical care and hygiene are inadequate and physical distancing impossible in detention. ICE is exporting COVID-19 to other countries through its deportation flights.
The U.S. government must stop child deportations and family separation.
Carrie Kuehl
Albany

Vote in order to end the Trump circus

The day Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president of the United States was the day that our country should have started to worry.
Unfortunately, he won. His 2016 campaign was a circus, with the clown-chief clapping and yelling “lock her up” day after day for months. He constantly berated the Electoral College system as a hoax until he was elected because of it and his Russian buddy’s interference. He and Putin go back to about 1974. It wouldn’t surprise me if Putin encouraged him to run with promises of a helping hand. What better way to punish an enemy? And we have been punished by his presidency.
I shudder to think of another campaign in the making. His presidency continues ad infinitum to be a chaotic reign of lies, deceptions, accusations and tweeting. His frantic attempt to reopen the economy is not a concern for anything nor anyone, but to get back on the trail, clapping and yelling about the tremendous, incredible accomplishments achieved because of his brilliance. To endure his bloviating (pompous, empty blowhard) will not be easy. Make sure to vote him out in the 2020 election. It is the only way to get rid of him.
Jane Reisenger
Schenectady

School district must get its act together

Americans are bombarded in the press with sexual harassment stories that happened 23 years ago.
In Schenectady, the same complaints that are happening in the here and now are kept secret. The current school board members should resign and those running for re-election should be replaced with a new slate. The present board members have lost their usefulness to the community and the district they served.
Furthermore, none of the programs proposed for the Schenectady school system address the issue of discipline. Without discipline, learning becomes difficult. In a previous article, The Gazette reported that a parent told the school board that teachers must let the students know that they are loved. Nobody loves a kid with a potty mouth.
The next superintendent should be a strict disciplinarian. Spend the first two weeks of school on discipline and the rest will fall into place.
As if the situation in the school district isn’t bad enough, Schenectady city officials have a lot of explaining to do regarding the use of city facilities for a birthday event and cutting down a 100-year-old tree. Next time a family member wants to say “Happy Birthday” to her mother, she should hire a clown.
The mayor said, “he has a dream job.” His decisions cause the rest of us nightmares.
Mary B. McClaine
Schenectady

Gov. Cuomo is failing upstate New Yorkers

Most upstate people are a little tired of Gov. Cuomo saying things about him and his family. People don’t care. Tell us about the people who were sick that you shipped up north to free up hospital beds in New York City. You personally created a monster and the people are fed up. Cuomo says, “I’m not responsible for the virus spreading in northern and western New York state.”
Upstate didn’t vote Cuomo into office; the dimwits from New York City did. You sent sick people with the virus to upstate hospitals and nursing homes and you’re not responsible?
Tell us about the hospital workers, doctors and nurses aides who contracted the virus doing their jobs, not about you and your daughters. Let them help out as aides in the hospitals and nursing homes, then tell us about what they have done.
Cuomo you are all about me. New York should have term limits for all politicians. Upstate New Yorkers ask how many people have died because of your inept action. Your statements on television briefings need to be rewritten. Your inability to comprehend what was needed is deplorable.
The Javits Center, hospital ship, aid tents in Central Park, you have no idea of what you’re doing. You said thousands of ventilators were needed; to be exact, you needed 30,000. But you know better than Drs. Fauci and Birx. But you’re Gov. Cuomo and you think you know better.
Do New Yorkers a favor and step down from your failing office.
Ken Burke
Rotterdam

Care received at Ellis Hospital was excellent

Recently, I was a patient at Ellis Hospital, which included the ER and in-patient on A-4.
Ellis does not always get the credit it deserves. I received excellent care from the health care staff. I was treated with respect and empathy during my stay. These brave people are on the front line during this COVID-19 pandemic. They choose to continue their jobs and do it with smiles and kindness.
Thank you, Ellis and their staff are the best.
Kathleen Russo
Glenville

Gazette can do better than racist cartoon

The editorial cartoon published on June 9 is racist. Surely there are better ways to depict disagreement with defunding police than to choose a drawing of a man of color snatching the purse of a white woman. Surely there are better ways to further the critical conversation about the role of police in this day and age, and to show The Gazette’s understanding of the way racism is used to nurture the lie that people of color are the perpetrators of crime and whites the victims. You can do better.
Rev. Lynn Carman Bodden
Schenectady

Commentary aptly summed up issue

Thank you for publishing the commentary by Sally Jenkins of The Washington Post (“Floyd’s death shows why Kaepernick took a knee”) in the May 31 Sunday Gazette. It was a well-written, spot-on accurate point of view.
I am glad that Derek Chauvin has been charged with the murder of George Floyd and that Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas K. Lane have been charged as accomplices in said murder.
In addition, there evidently are many who deserve to be charged as accessories before the fact: everyone who allowed Chauvin to remain on the force after any of the 17 prior conduct complaints against him. In the future, police officers should be evaluated for racism, bullying, temper outbursts and the cowardice that leads to hair-trigger reactions at least as frequently as health care workers are checked for COVID-19, and fired if they exhibit symptoms.
As I wrote this letter, the peaceful protest was taking place in Schenectady. I would like to thank and commend Chief Clifford and the protest organizers for their actions and leadership at that event.
Joyce M. Cockerham
Schenectady

Don’t bash Trump; explain backing Dems

Instead of bashing President Trump, why don’t those posting same, tell what you love about the Democratic Party and their progressive platform.
William May
Saratoga Springs

 

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