Initiate reform with For the People Act
When the New York State Bar Association‘s Miranda Warnings podcast interviewed Rep. Mondaire Jones, the freshman congressman from New York’s 17th district, one of the things he discussed was the importance of the For the People Act.
The first 100 days of Biden’s presidency are under way and I’m hoping that he and Congress will make reforming our democracy a top priority. The best way to do that is by passing the For the People Act.
The For the People Act is a bold piece of legislation that would strengthen our democracy for generations to come. The law would dismantle numerous barriers to voting and representation, like gerrymandering, racist voter ID laws, unnecessary hurdles to registration, and felony disenfranchisement, adding millions of new voters to the rolls.
It would also reduce the influence of big money in our politics by enacting limits on donations from lobbyists and increasing the power of campaign contributions from Americans by enacting a small-donor matching program.
Without this much-needed reform, our political system will never be truly democratic or fully representative, meaning our government will continue to work only for the privileged few.
With a new president in the White House, I want to build a better system for all Americans which is why I’m urging Congress to pass the For the People Act.
The writer is executive producer for NYSBA Podcasts.
Hydro-Quebec plan will be a disaster
Thank you, Chris Corbett, for your trenchant analysis of the real economic, cultural and human damage that will take place if the Hydro-Quebec plan for the Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE) is approved, and construction begun.
The transmission of electrical energy from the mega-dams of James Bay to New York City is a bad deal for New York, and an even worse deal already in action for the indigenous peoples of the north, the Cree Indians, the Innu of Labrador.
Their tribal lands have been flooded, whole villages destroyed or relocated, and a very poisonous chemical, methylmercury, as well as methane, a potent greenhouse gas, have poisoned the northern reaches of Labrador as a result of the dam building.
The electricity that would flow through Lake Champlain and the Hudson River is not green energy, because its production on the shores of James Bay is not green.
Furthermore, the building of the lines on the bottom of Champlain and the Hudson River is not green, nor environmentally friendly. The sturgeon habitat in the Hudson will be destroyed.
The New York section of the CHPE will cost $2.2 billion to construct. This money should be spent on local renewable and sustainable energy projects, and local, long term sustainable jobs.
Locking in this infrastructure for Canadian hydropower, which is environmentally destructive and culturally a disaster, creates a disincentive for innovative, local energy solutions.
CHPE is a greenwash. It is a climate disaster.
Punishment is not prevention
I don’t think fines for striking bridges will get people’s attention, but I do understand the town’s desire to seek compensation for the costs incurred by these events.
Perhaps Mr. Tedisco could look into DOT compensating the town. That may motivate the DOT to take the problem seriously. The town’s hands are tied. Trucking companies have insurance and/or deep pockets.
For them, these incidents are just the cost of doing business.
The railroad installs audio/visual warning systems at rail crossings but can do nothing to stop people from hitting their bridge. A DOT representative has magnanimously agreed that they will review the fine proposal. There are 90 or so incident reports that should be reviewed by them with the objective of coming up with a more meaningful solution than signage.
Clearly, that hasn’t worked.
Mask requirement is lust for control
Let me start off by saying that I am not an epidemiologist however I do have a few simple questions. When it comes to wearing masks and social distancing, we’ve also grown accustomed to Dr. Fauci saying: “It’s just common sense that’s all it is, just common sense.” So let’s apply some.
According to Dr. Fauci on the Feb. 8 Special Report with Brett Baier, flu deaths (and all strains) have dropped from 30,000 plus deaths per year to virtually ZERO in America (and in Australia) because of the mask wearing and social distancing mandates for covid. Huh? Wait a minute.
If masks really worked with that kind of performance related to the dilemma of the flu, then why the heck are they not working with that kind of performance with covid? Newsflash: Viruses don’t die. They have been around forever. Are you always then going to wear a mask? Are you ever going to apply this vaunted “common sense” to this latest pandemic?
In what millennium do you think bureaucrats truly have your self interest in mind over their lust for power and control? Is this your brave new world or are you a useful idiot or worse? I know it’s been some time since you’ve read my sarcastic tome but I’m back now. Did you miss me?
Why is information lacking on vaccine?
The federal and state governments and healthcare departments have a huge miss rolling out the covid vaccine.
An article in the latest AARP magazine stated that some studies indicate that fever-reducing medicines like aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen can reduce the effectiveness of vaccines by interfering with the immune response, meaning you may be left with fewer than optimal antibodies.
Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the Food and Drug Administration’s COVID-19 advisory panel, said he “definitely recommends” that individuals avoid anti-fever drugs around the time of the vaccination. Mahyar Etminan, a drug safety expert at the University of British Columbia, agrees and recommends waiting until six hours after a shot to take a painkiller, if truly necessary.
I spoke to the nurse who administered my shot at one of the state locations. He said that we should avoid painkillers 12 hours before and minimum 6 hours after getting the shot to allow our immune system to react to the drug.
I’ve seen no information on this at the federal or state level and no information mentioning this was given to me afterwards.
The current population receiving the shots is probably the highest users of painkillers because of their age. This means anyone getting the shot at this time isn’t being protected to the 95% level if they are currently taking a painkiller.
Where are our health experts with regards to getting this type of information out to the public?
I’m disgusted with their preparedness and leadership during this pandemic.
Protect broadband from illegal hacking
In the Feb. 7 Gazette article (“Cobleskill-Richmondville residents approve $14M capital project”) indicates priority support for continual community investments for students’ career and technical education.
Our growing dependency on broadband networks for in-school and remote learning of science and technical education requires county sheriff’s protection from predatory hackers.
The accessibility to networks and systems by predatory hackers can adversely affect the “social and emotional learning” of students.
On another topic, I hope Black Lives Matter will outreach to others in our communities advocating protection of our children’s rights and obtain state and federal monies to arrest and abolish 21st century slavery called human trafficking.
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