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Letters to the Editor Tuesday, Dec. 1

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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

God won’t protect churches from covid

Certain things should not need elevation to a decision by the Supreme Court.
In an ordinarily sane society, Andrew Cuomo’s executive order limiting attendance in houses of worship during this pandemic would just be a strong public health recommendation that the majority of citizens would respect in the interest of their own and their community’s well-being.
But in these polarized times it became a constitutional issue of freedom of religion rather than logical public health science. The Supreme Court may have applied constitutional law to its deliberations, but it certainly failed to apply science or common sense.
If you think that your god will protect you from covid because you are in a house of worship, I have a bridge to sell you.
Blanche Fischer
Glenville

Fox is not the only source of news bias

I read Mr. Cuddihy’s Nov. 24 letter (“Want the truth? Stop watching Fox”) regarding Fox News and had to chuckle when I realized that he honestly must believe the other news sources deliver fair and unbiased news.
I recall last year the news reporting about the young Catholic high school student on a school trip to Washington, D.C., who was wearing a MAGA hat and was filmed in a confrontation with a Vietnam veteran.
Instead of actually investigating what really happened, the so-called news organizations jumped on the bandwagon and totally got the story as to what really occurred wrong.
Thankfully this young man got a good lawyer and both CNN and the Washington Post had to reach out of court monetary settlements with him which I’m pretty sure these news organizations probably didn’t report on.
This is only one of many examples of erroneous or incomplete reporting by these organizations and I can’t count the number of times The Washington Post has had to retract a previously published story because of errors or untruths. If Mr. Cuddihy doesn’t believe that CNN and MSNBC are “highly politicized money-making entertainment networks,” then I’m not sure what he believes they are. Much like Hannity and Ingraham on Fox, Maddow and Cuomo on these other networks are also opinion hosts, and one hopes he’s obtaining his “news” from sources other than these networks.
Tom McGarry
Schenectady

Make U.S. Senate reflect population

Joe Biden’s presidential win may only be a Pyrrhic victory, since the Senate will likely remain in Republican hands. Visions of tax hikes for the wealthy and corporations, infrastructure spending and needed supplemental grants to states and cities seem doomed.
But instead of packing the Supreme Court with more justices, Democrats might consider packing the Senate itself.
Eleven states with about 18 million people (Idaho, Iowa, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Hawaii, Delaware, Arkansas, Alaska and South Carolina) send 22 senators to the U.S. Senate.
New York, with about the same combined population, sends two senators. This might explain why Republicans rule the Senate; because more populous states generally lean Democrat.
New York state’s bicameral system sends one senator to Albany for about two assemblymen.
Were the U.S. Senate so composed, the political weighting would be far different. And there would be no need to contemplate the need to expand the Supreme Court in order to gain more federal and Supreme Court judges.
David Childs
Johnstown

 

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26 Comments

William Marincic

David Childs Let’s change the constitution of the United States so that the Democrats can cheat their way in to everything. How dare Republicans want an honest United States of America when the Democrats want to lie, cheat, and steal everything which is in our blood. Let’s have a one party government says David Childs because we see how well that works in North Korea and China.

RAYMOND HARRIS

Did you ever stop to think why there are more Dems than republicans in this country? It’s rather simple: the Dems care about people and republicans care about corporations and getting rich off people.

While we’ll never change the make-up of the Senate to mimic the House, what should be done is to create three levels of representation based on population. The more populace states should have three senators, middle level states two and the smallest states only one. So states like NY, CA, TX and FL would get three and tiny states like WY only one. And while we are at it, let’s discard the antiquated electoral college for the popular vote: one citizen, one vote. Live wherever you want to. Make politicians work for all their votes, not just campaign in 10 – 12 states every time.

William Marincic

What really baffles my mind is that Democrats seem 100% all right with this voter fraud and there’s lots of it. Anybody that thinks that Joe Biden got more votes than the first Black man running for president in American history is crazy, I remember the enthusiasm that people had for Barack Obama whether they be white, black, or any other race, there was no enthusiasm fir Biden. Joe Biden had rallies that had 50 or 60 cars there, him and Barack held an in person rally and literally 45 people showed up and 25 of them were news media. Biden‘s Thanksgiving message had less than 1000 people tune in on the Internet that’s less than 20 people per state in the United States and you’re telling me he got 80 million votes when he can’t get more than 20 people per state in this country to listen to his radio message, had that been a Trump Thanksgiving message he would’ve had millions of people tune in. When you take party over country and close your eyes to this fraud you are the same as the German people who closed their eyes to the anti Semitism in the 1940s which allowed Hitler to rise to power. Every person should demand a fair election and Joe Biden if he really feels he won this election then he should request an investigation to see that it was a fair election, there’s a reason Joe Biden never left his house to the run up to the election because he knew it was in the bag for him. God help us if this fraud is allowed to stand.

RAYMOND HARRIS

The only ones crying foul is sore loser Trump and followers like you that have absolutely no proof and have not convinced any governors (including GOP), secretaries of state and the courts. In fact, even Giuliani, Trump’s cracker jack attorney, knows enough that he has yet to claim voter fraud in court since he could get disbarred. What you “people” overlook is that voting by mail made it easier for citizens to vote. It helped overcome all the voter suppression tactics that the GOP employs every year. Also, people were motivated to get rid of Trump. I give Trump credit for getting more republicans out to vote, but he also helped our side because people knew he had to go.

Robert F. Jewell

Bill your simply mimicking what Trump says. Do you ever have original information or conclusions. You simply repeat word for word.
There is a great course in college called critical thinking? It might help you sort out what is propaganda and what is not.
It can help defuzz that fuzziness.

Robert F. Jewell

There was no democratic fraud. The only fraud detectable by the public was republicans pretending to be Americans while behaving like citizens of the Weimar
Republic.

Joseph Vendetti

David:

As a small painting & business owner who pays for multiple layers of taxes and hopefully provides your workers with either health insurance or an allowance towards health insurance- you should realize when we shifted costs on the federal level to sweep Medicaid into the same pool as employers and employees that paid for health care – costs for health care more then doubled.

More taxes on corporations? More taxes on the wealthy? That group already pays 97.1% of all taxes paid in the US. There are reasons Trucking, Warehousing, etc that used to line NY highways left NY with 250,000 high paying jobs – over the road tax, fuel surcharge tax, highest WC tax in Nation – you can thank Mario Cuomo for that. That money was supposed to go for infrastructure improvements. The toll system was supposed to vanish. Instead we go to the Federal system and beg for money because all those taxes – have been shifted to pay for the largest Legislature and Executive Branch in the US, for failing NYC educational policies, for “free” tuition, etc. How many taxes or what nominal rate would you suggest?50%? 60%? 65%? At what point don’t you realize that we are full on socialism moving toward communism? We could all just live in massive public housing blocks, You would paint or do drywall for the Government, I would do demolition for the Government, we would be alotted a subsistence payment to feed our family – buy two/three potatoes, one piece of meat, some vegetables per week.

The constitution with equal US senators for each state was set up by our brilliant founders just so what your suggesting would not happen.

We need checks and balances in our system so we don’t have one party rule.

Robert F. Jewell

Joe I understand your frustration and bewilderment.
Many of your rants vex me also.
When you boil it down we are already a
semi-socialist country. Why is that bad here…now.
These government “ entitlements” that required public tax support evolved out of the massive suffering of the working class and poor through out our American history.

These taxes are an insurance policy requiring those who are richly blessed by this capitalist economy (claims to hard work is hubris) to give up a responsible portion of that capital to a society whose efforts helped produce that success.

I looked up the tax story you pound out here.

The top 50 percent (70.4 million)

AGI- 9.0$million
Tax paid..1.4$mill
Tax rate-15.6 percent

Bottom 50 percent ( 70.4 million)

AGI-1.18 million
Tax paid-?1.4$million
Tax rate- 3.4 percent

So the top 50 percent pay about 5X the rate the lower 50 percent.

HOWEVER they earn 7.6X what the lower
50 percent earn!!

Now you have elderly parents and relatives who were not as lucky…yes…much of your success is not only your “hard” work but the patronage and the community of others.
What would you have the less fortunate or disabled or medically helpless, or those who have no skills or those who have criminal records do?

Steal from you. Destroy your property.

Kill you? Take what they need to live??

Would you imprison the hungry, mentally Ill?
Kill them for taxes? Ignore them?

WHAT KIND OF WORLD ARE YOU CHASING

Where is your sense of country?

You are your brothers keeper.
It must begin there…

Hope I’m not insulting anyone…

Joseph Vendetti

Robert:

Not insulted at all.

Yes the figures on Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) are accurate – but only tell 1/2 or less then half the real picture. The money generated from Person Income Taxes (Married Filed Jointly, Head of Houshold, Single, etc) make up less then all the taxes collected in the US. The other group is business taxes (franchise tax, workers comp tax, SS tax, Medicare, Minimum Alt tax, etc, etc) and there are literally hundreds of those taxes. Thus why you may sometime hear the term “double taxation” – people pay a personal income tax and then pay all those other taxes if you are part of large, medium and small businesses.

So there is a fine line between the sacrifices (long hours, being away from family, etc) and the benefits (putting kids thru college, retirement, material things, etc) when less and less of that hard work (and luck) is realized by the benefit. So we love paying taxes because it means we had a good year. If we are ever driven out of business by taxes and regulations – our workers are the real people that are penalized. Some of our best guys have been with us over 24 years. We take a lot of pride for our benefit packages, our scholarship programs, our continuing education and advancement – but if we are ever driven out of business when that line moves too much – workers suffer. Everyone has a different line in the sand or pressure point – but hopefully you can see that I and many other business people are not glutinous pigs that want zero taxes.

Taxes have great purpose – police, fire, infrastructure, clean water, clean air, providing hospital services for disabled and people unable to care for themselves. But you will also see abuses, many many abuses in the system that was meant for good. Food Stamps or EBT cards – some estimates are as high as 50% of people selling these cards to people for 1/2 the face value for cash. Single parent housing (section 3 & section 8) abuses. Reporting a father on the birth certificate isn’t mandatory, but a father who should be 50% responsible for upbringing of a child can skirt his responsibility and still live in the household that is getting free (or subsidized) rent, free heat, free food, etc. The people living primarily (over 86.25% according to office of Budget Accounting) these days in subsidized housing are able bodied and can work. They chose not to work because if you add up the benefit (housing, food, utility, etc) that is on average equal to $33 per hr. So it is more profitable to sit home, produce more children then go out an be productive. Growing up in public housing with a father that is coming or going and/or has multiple families that he is creating – presents numerous other issues (none good). Kids that grow up without a father – 7x more likely to have teen pregnancy’s in household, 10x likely to drop out of school, 20x more likely to be incarcerated, 25x more likely to develop addictions.

My children are all involved in social work in one form or another – caring for boys and girls taken away from their parents care, one RN that works as case manager for disabled and per diem at hospital, another that is a school counselor, another that is a HS teacher. All of them except one had college debt (because I thought it was important that they knew it was there responsibility and the cost of that – the one that doesn’t was lucky enough to be excellent at basketball and got his bachelors and masters paid for thru Athletics and he has his own business in NYC helping children. All these kids, my wife and I donated and continue to donate time at Homeless Shelters, Soup Kitchens, City Mission, local schools, boys & girls clubs, etc – I have no lack of empathy for people in true need of help nor does anyone in my familiy. What I have a problem with is wasted tax dollars going to programs that continually waste money, that have no checks/balances, etc.

As much as I admired many of the things that President Obama did, a few of the things that I was critical of was handing out free phones and unlimited data plans and increasing our welfare roles to 60 million. Welfare accounts for 1.1 Trillion. Of that over have $570 billion goes to single parent homes for food, shelter, heat, medical. $100 Billion goes to single able bodied (that I am totally shocked by). $370 billion goes to truly disabled (mentally handicapped, abandoned, etc) & $104 Billion for elderly – that can’t care for themselves. If you have ever been to a market or Wal Mart and watch someone check out with a white EBT card or maybe 5-6 cards, and have a wad of cash as large as your fist, then go out to the parking lot and they load 3 carts of groceries into a new escalade – you would understand the frustration I have with taxes that are wasted.

Robert F. Jewell

Oh yes Joe I to was frustrated a lot by Barack …especially ramping up of drone assassinations!

Each president is given different demographical support groups, foils, and emergencies.

Perhaps we as a people need to evolve beyond needing ONE BIG daddy solving everything.
That’s how we get excessive religious leaders and politicians like Trump!

Your third paragraph is troublesome in that it smacks of the welfare mother myth that is both untrue and used as racist argument for ending any help to anyone other than the working class or wealthy. Strange being a stepfather to minorities and never experiencing inner city or rural poverty….REAL POVERTY!

Another point Joe.
I was the working poor!!
When my children were little we received WIC and food stamps. Both I and my wife worked. It was GD tough back in the 80s.

Yeah it was tough using them back then….people with your attitude stared at us like we were stealing from them.

Oh yeah… I am not ashamed to have used them… hungry bellies can’t eat pride!
I also grew up living with the poor minorities since I was poor white trash to whites!
Thank GOD for democratic souls and hearts.
Republicans see the world in:
success/losses, self reliance/predatory business acumen, dollars earned/dollars kept.

Where in there is there room for…

What so ever you do unto the least of these…you do unto me…

We choose our paths early on…

Goods works publicly boasted means nothing and by that voicing reduces any honor that silence would bestow.

Faithfully committing your duties does not merit APPLAUSE!

Joseph Vendetti

Robert

Agree almost thoroughly with your response.

Wasn’t suggesting anything about the color of who gets or doesn’t get welfare benefits. To the contrary- more whites – significantly more are on welfare.

All of those programs have fantastic origins and are useful but just like a handgun, a car, etc when used for nefarious purposes good things can be abused.

Robert F. Jewell

I agree…but in my world one bad apple…does not spoil the whole bunch..shalom…

RAYMOND HARRIS

Sara Foss had every right to call out two governors and a mayor (coincidentally Democrats) for not following their own pandemic rules and guidance. Setting a poor tone at the top, temporary as it was doesn’t hold a candle to all the GOP governors who have never established mask wearing requirements. Those states are on fire, like South Dakota whose positivity rates have been in the 50% range whereas New York is less than 5%. So I hope Sara follows up her column with a similar story identifying the reluctance of mostly republicans and many young people who refuse to wear a mask, socially distance or stay away from crowds. Their “freedom of choice” is overwhelming our hospital systems and health care workers that will make the situation dangerous.

RAYMOND HARRIS

Tom McGarry – There is a big difference between Fox and the Washington Post, NY Times, CNN, etc. Whereas you can identify individual shortcomings of the latter from time to time, they don’t routinely spread misinformation and conspiracy theories like Fox who functions more like a tabloid than real news. If you are excited by Fox’s tainted entertainment value, that’s your right. But don’t ever put them on an equal or higher level with award winning credible media outlets.

RAYMOND HARRIS

Zero? Not quite Billy Boy. Fox was sued over calling the pandemic a hoax back in march and April. They were also sued when a federal appeals court reinstated a lawsuit against Fox News and two other defendants over its coverage of the death of Seth Rich, a 27-year-old Democratic Party aide who was murdered in July 2016. If you want more Google it yourself.

William Aiken

I said libel suits, CNN and WaPo had to settle with Nick Sandman for. Libelous reporting. Not the same as you gave
implied.

William Marincic

Funny you say that as just today a tape was released of Jeff Zuckerberg today of him telling his employees to not normalize anything that President Trump does. Yeah, that’s honest reporting. President Trump signed three major peace deals in the Middle East, he brought all of our troops home or is bringing them home, he destroyed Isis, lowest unemployment in history across the board and 100 other things he’s done for this country. With all of that said, please show me just one CNN or New York Times article praising President Trump for what he has done, just one, you can’t and because you can’t tells you all you need to know about those news agencies.

RAYMOND HARRIS

Hey Trumpsters, read this hot off the wires at 4 pm:

In the most prominent break against President Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the election, Attorney General William Barr said Tuesday that the Justice Department has not found evidence of widespread voter fraud that would change the outcome of the vote.

Barr’s comments in an interview with the Associated Press represented an especially public retreat from Trump’s repeated claims of voter fraud by one of the president’s closest allies in the administration. Barr said federal prosecutors and the FBI have reviewed specific complaints, but they have uncovered no evidence that would change the outcome of the election.

“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election,” Barr told the AP even as Trump continues to pursue legal challenges to an election he has yet to concede to President-elect Joe Biden.

Barr’s remarks prompted a swift response from Trump’s legal team, led by Rudy Giuliani.

“With all due respect to the Attorney General, there hasn’t been any semblance of a Department of Justice investigation,” Giuliani said in a written statement. “We have gathered ample evidence of illegal voting in at least six states, which they have not examined… Again, with the greatest respect to the Attorney General, his opinion appears to be without any knowledge or investigation of the substantial irregularities and evidence of systemic fraud.”

Barr’s remarks also come after he had raised the prospect prior to the election that mail-in ballots could be vulnerable to fraud during the coronavirus pandemic as Americans feared going to polls and instead chose to vote by mail.

Last month, Barr also issued a directive to U.S. attorneys across the country allowing them to pursue any “substantial allegations” of voting irregularities, if they existed, before the 2020 presidential election was certified, despite no evidence at that time of widespread fraud. That memorandum gave prosecutors the ability to go around longstanding Justice Department policy that normally would prohibit such overt actions before the election was certified. Soon after it was issued, the department’s top elections crime official announced he would step aside from that position because of the memo.

No evidence that 14,000 dead people voted in Michigan.
Ballots in video of “Trump ballots” being burned is fake, city officials say.
Nine military ballots were incorrectly discarded, but it wasn’t an instance of fraud —and they weren’t in a ditch.
Arizona election department: Sharpies can be used on ballots.
The Trump campaign team led by Giuliani has been alleging with no evidence a widespread conspiracy by Democrats to dump millions of illegal votes into the system. They have filed multiple lawsuits in battleground states alleging that partisan poll watchers didn’t have a clear enough view at polling sites in some locations and therefore something illegal must have happened. The claims have been repeatedly dismissed including by Republican judges who have ruled the suits lacked evidence. Local Republicans in some battleground states have followed Trump in making similar unsupported claims.

Trump has railed against the election in tweets and interviews, though his own administration has said the 2020 election was the most secure ever. Trump recently allowed his administration to begin the transition over to Biden, but has still refused to admit he lost.

Voting rights violation?: Trump election lawsuits targeted counties with large Black, Latino populations

The issues Trump’s campaign and its allies have pointed to are typical in every election: Problems with signatures, secrecy envelopes and postal marks on mail-in ballots, as well as the potential for a small number of ballots miscast or lost.

But they’ve also requested federal probes into the claims. Attorney Sidney Powell has spun fictional tales of election systems flipping votes, German servers storing U.S. voting information and election software created in Venezuela “at the direction of Hugo Chavez,” – the late Venezuelan president who died in 2013. Powell has since been removed from the legal team after an interview she gave where she threatened to “blow up” Georgia with a “biblical” court filing.

Barr didn’t name Powell specifically but said: “There’s been one assertion that would be systemic fraud and that would be the claim that machines were programmed essentially to skew the election results. And the DHS and DOJ have looked into that, and so far, we haven’t seen anything to substantiate that,” Barr said.

‘Loss of democracy’: Trump campaign’s challenge of election results in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Arizona push US toward ‘loss of democracy’.

He said people were confusing the use of the federal criminal justice system with allegations that should be made in civil lawsuits. He said such a remedy for those complaints would be a top-down audit conducted by state or local officials, not the U.S. Justice Department.

“There’s a growing tendency to use the criminal justice system as sort of a default fix-all, and people don’t like something they want the Department of Justice to come in and ‘investigate,’” Barr said.

He said first of all there must be a basis to believe there is a crime to investigate.

“Most claims of fraud are very particularized to a particular set of circumstances or actors or conduct. They are not systemic allegations and those have been run down; they are being run down,” Barr said. “Some have been broad and potentially cover a few thousand votes. They have been followed up on.”

Robert F. Jewell

It’s called the..”Every rat for itself” syndrome…
dominos Raymond…dominos..
and the clock says..tick…tick…tick…tick….

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