Trump has educated American citizens
Despite his self-serving performance as president, Trump has inspired some people to learn.
For example, many U.S. citizens are now versed regarding the impeachment process, the 25th amendment, the Electoral College, the emolument clause, the Hatch Act, how voting works, how not to manage a pandemic, what exactly is abuse of power and obstruction of justice and how that fits the definition of high crimes and misdemeanors and other heretofore not well understood concepts.
Additionally, he’s responsible for expanding the vocabulary in general use. Words used infrequently four years ago are common in today’s lexicon, e.g., sycophant, narcissist, demagogue, obsequious, mendacity, collusion, sedition, kraken.
Thank Trump for some limited societal cognitive improvement.
Look who else got in line for covid vaccine
This is in response to Ron Neu’s letter (“Politicians should wait turn on vaccine”) in the Dec. 31 Gazette.
I couldn’t help but notice that Mr. Neu only mentioned lawmakers, who are Democrats when he lamented about them skipping ahead in line to get the vaccine.
What he failed to mention was that Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Sen. Mitt Romney, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Joni Ernst, all Republicans, also took the opportunity to be among the first vaccinated.
And I’m sure by now that the list has expanded. What truly upsets me is seeing individuals, who so clearly flouted the fact that they were not following protocols set in place to help protect us all from COVID-19, now being among the first to get the vaccine.
I happen to believe that if you are intent on casting aspersions at individuals for behavior that you see as self-serving, maybe you should consider getting all the facts.
Grateful for efforts to maintain trails
While hiking the Schenectady County Indian Kill Nature Preserve, I came upon a very recent blowdown of a huge pine tree, with the widely and densely branched top half totally blocking the one trail up a steep hill alongside the beautiful Second Falls.
There was evidence that some had scaled the hill directly up in the leafy duff and mud, which would eventually lead to erosion and damage. My report to SCEAC (the Schenectady County Environmental Advisory Council) resulted in an immediate forward to the county Soil and Water Conservation Commission. Thinking that the issue would have a timely resolution for safety of access and trail integrity, I was pleased to know that the trail crew of Nick and Dave took in equipment and cleared up the obstruction the next morning. Many thanks!
I also recently hiked in the county’s Almy D. Coggeshall Plotterkill Preserve and enjoyed the now rugged, well-designed staircase and bridge (with bench) allowing safe creek crossing as well as cabling along some of the steeper overlooks. Public access to local natural areas has been a more important asset than ever this past year and going forward.
More must be done to stop drunk driving
On Dec. 4, 1977 in Scotia, a drunken driver plowed into teenage siblings, Karen and Timothy Morris, a crime that ended their young lives.
Not only was the drunken driver released without any bail restrictions; his driver’s license wasn’t suspended.
Doris Aiken knew these teenagers. She called the district attorney for answers and was told to mind her own business. She was livid.
The tragedy inspired her to form RID (Remove Intoxicated Drivers), the nation’s first anti-DWI organization. Aiken became a catalyst for societal change. No longer is DWI considered an accident. The public views it as a serious crime.
The Gazette reported on Jan. 1 (“Driver in crash faces charge of murder”) that Oscar Lopez, an alleged drunk driver, took the life of a young mother, Amanda Slaven.
Lopez had an aggravated BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) over 0.18, was driving on a revoked license from a previous DWI and showed moral depravity when he slammed into Slaven head-on.
I commend District Attorney Robert Carney for charging Lopez with second-degree murder. After Carney carefully examined all the mitigating factors, the murder charge is warranted. It’s saddening after decades of fighting drunken driving that this scourge continues to cause so much heartache.
Yet, when you compare how our criminal justice system handled the Morris case with the way drunken driving cases are treated today; the difference is night and day. While there’s been great progress, it’s still a long road to hoe.
It starts by holding people accountable for making perilous decisions. District Attorney Carney made the right call.
The writer is president of Remove Intoxicated Drivers.
Commenters to online letters who fail to follow rules against name-calling, profanity, threats, libel or other inappropriate language will have their comments removed and their commenting privileges withdrawn.
To report inappropriate online comments, email Editorial Page Editor Mark Mahoney at [email protected]