Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Thursday, April 8

PHOTOGRAPHER:

Republicans are big threat to democracy

Today’s Republican Party presents the most significant threat to our democracy in modern history.
Over the last five years, their powerful politicians and most of their constituents have pledged their loyalty to a self-absorbed despot.
Despite the fact that their leader lost the last presidential election by over 7 million votes, many of the Republican political leaders and 78% of their constituents continue to believe that the most closely scrutinized election of our lifetime was rigged.
After 60 court challenges were summarily dismissed and all 50 states certified their election results, Trump and the white supremacists wing of the Republican Party resorted to a violent terrorist attack on our Capitol building. The goal of these Trump supporters was to hang the vice president, kill Democratic members of Congress and to overturn the election results, disenfranchising over 81 million American voters.
Three decades ago, Republicans realized that they were slowly becoming the minority party in the United States, so they used GOP fat-cat money to wage gerrymandering court battles and just now have gained full political control of the South.
It has become the perfect time for them to sponsor over 240 voter suppression bills in 43 states.
The cornerstone of our democracy is the right to vote.
If the Republican Party succeeds with their voter suppression tactics, then I fear that the democracy our Founding Fathers envisioned may be lost to the power of despots.
Robert Karandy
Burnt Hills

Democracy works with participation

Your editorial of March 30 that the Schenectady school board has “A second chance to get it right” indicated Schenectady school boards members need “to do differently and how they hope to make up for the way they handled the original search, so we all aren’t left with a similar result. And the public must be prepared to participate and offer guidance.”
Our representative democracy within our educational system needs effective participation by parents, teachers and administrators to address the “social and emotional learning” to further our “whole child” policies.
Cooperative decision making offers opportunities for innovative educational development of our youth to sustain democracy’s human rights, especially for youth-at-risk and individuals with disabilities.
In addition, the County Shared Services Plan can improve participatory democracy through cooperation of municipalities, school districts and non-profit organizations.
Inclusion of families, faculty, social workers and probation officials can orient “social and emotional learning” programs and enhance coordinated services, especially for youth-at-risk and individuals with disabilities.
Our public health crisis has exposed dysfunctions throughout our communities that participatory democracy can change toward expanded innovative human rights programs with guarantees of our Constitutional blessings.
We need participatory democracy for families and communities to exclude abuse of power and authoritarian neo-confederate restrictions.
Michael McGlynn
Watervliet

Americans stupidly giving up privacy

In the April 4 Sunday Gazette, it was reported that the personal data of 533 million individuals was hacked (“Report: Facebook data on 533M users leaked”) and three pages later is an article on the medical passports to be on our phones (“How Excelsior Pass, the first U.S. vaccine passport works.”)
Are Americans stupid, lazy or just so full of fear that loss of personal freedom is necessary for safety —even when that safety is simply an illusion.
Calvin Moore
Argyle

Masters must stand against suppression

The board at Augusta National Golf Course should take a stance against the recent restrictive legislation signed into law in Georgia.
Major League Baseball has already pulled its annual All-Star game from Atlanta.
Likewise, many major corporations have voiced their strong opposition to this recent craziness which makes it a felony to bring water to voters standing in line waiting to vote.
I am not saying to cancel the Masters. However, a sternly written position letter would seem to be in order. Anything less seems to me to be complicit.
Michael Crowley
Glenville

 

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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

38 Comments

FRED BARNEY

“If the Republican Party succeeds with their voter suppression tactics, then I fear that the democracy our Founding Fathers envisioned may be lost to the power of despots.
Robert Karandy”

What voting rights rights did the Founding Fathers envision for women?

Good question, but has nothing to do with the letter writer’s point.
Some would say you refuse to acknowledge another viewpoint and therefore are not qualified to comment. Is that true? Do you refuse to see another point of view?

No, you didn’t try to ‘show his error’. You tried to play a simple-minded game of Gotcha and you failed because you didn’t address his point.
Besides, those were different times and we’ve already started to legislate a correction. Ever hear of the Equal Rights Amendment? I guess not.

JOHN GAETANI

I am a Libertarian – recovering Republican if you will. But the ignorance of the people who write in to this paper disparaging Republicans is astounding! For four plus years they trashed President Trump over lies, lies, and more lies. The false narratives promulgated by Democrats and their partners the main stream news media is just shameful. Now it is about the new Georgia election laws. Apparently none of you took the time to read the law because what you claim it says is totally not true. There are more states, mostly Democrat run including Delaware and New York that have stricter voting laws than Georgia. As for the January 6 “insurrection” look up the definition. The FBI is having a hard time pinning charges on most of those arrested. Who by the way are being held in jail without the opportunity to get out on bail. But if you killed someone you would be out before the ink dried in many states like New York. As far as the election last year, there were at least 14 court cases won by those who objected to the results. There has been evidence of vote irregularities and anomalies in not just the six states that were originally contested by President Trump but many more than that. Quite possibly all 50 states had anomalies and irregularities. Just ask yourself this question. The total votes were roughly 157 million the total population of the country is about 330 million. Do you honestly believe that nearly half the people in this country are eligible to vote? Do you actually believe that if that is true that 100% of them voted? And if that is true, do you actually believe that 82 million people voted for a feeble man of 78 who can’t draw flies and can’t put two thoughts together?
COME ON MAN!

I guess calling yourself a “Libertarian” means denying the laws of this country. Have I got that right? Because all the courts have shown you’re the one lying, and the FBI is currently got 300+ charged with trespassing at a minimum, and docket continues to grow and evolve as the Bozo Oath Keepers and Booger Boiz and every other half-witted ersatz soldier who thought an insurrection was good idea are linked together into one big bundle of treason. Glad they were so into selfies!

But yeah, I’m sure it’s all one big conspiracy. Just like the 82 million who voted against the previous President. Total fabrication!

Ironically you’ve only shown that calling yourself “Libertarian” doesn’t free you from parroting the shriek-points of your hate bubble and coming to your own reasoned conclusions. Too bad because most of the world sees there’s no logic nor reason to your points.

More lies, Mr. Gaetani?

“I’m going to surround myself only with the best and most serious people,” Trump told The Washington Post in August 2015. “We want top of the line professionals.”

Since then, it’s become clear Trump has a dubious understanding of “best.” At least 18 shady figures in the president’s orbit have either been arrested or gone to jail since he took office, on charges from fraud to battery to child pornography. While many of those charges stem from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference in 2016, several other politicians and donors have been convicted of crimes unrelated to the president.

Further:
Currently four cabinet members of the previous President (Let’s just call him “PP”) are under investigation for corruption:

Robert Wilkie, Trump Veterans Affairs secretary, investigated for corruption.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, investigated for corruption. Found to be substantive and serious enough it was referred to Justice Department for criminal prosecution.

Labor Secretary Alex Acosta was investigated for corruption. Found to be serious enough he was referred to the Department of Justice for potential prosecution.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, referred for criminal prosecution, and referred to DOJ.

Not on topic again, Fred.
No one’s defending that here.

FRED BARNEY

“Our flight deck should reflect the diverse group of people on board our planes every day. That’s why we plan for 50% of the 5,000 pilots we train in the next decade to be women or people of color.”

And they invited those who are women or specifically not white to apply to train for work with United Airlines.

United Airlines gift to their passengers. Well, at least to those who are Democrats.

There is only good in encouraging diversity, which is what this is. To call this racism, as you are, is to twist and distort the meaning of the word and insult those who’ve truly experienced oppression due to race.
Neither you nor anyone of the white race are being oppressed.

RAYMOND HARRIS

I’ve long given up explaining what diversity means to him so i don’t bother anymore. He equates diversity to giving people of color jobs that should go to white people, regardless of ability.

The Republican party gave them the platform to stand on, the previous President gave them the pressure relief valve to let it all out. So now it’s apparently OK to go public with your hallucination that a god made whites the chosen ones (as happened here the other day, and is echoed in less brave ones like Bill and Fred).

FRED BARNEY

How did you reach that conclusion? I have clearly stated that I think poilits should be employed because of their ability not their race

I reached that conclusion because of your willingly ignoring the glass ceilings non-whites and non-males have to face in spite of whatever their qualifications are.
Care to go on? I’ve some free time now. You’re only digging a bigger hole for yourself.

FRED BARNEY

One must feel sorry for the family of George Floyd. Given all that has resulted from their failure to deal with his drug problem they must feel terrible.

LOUIS RESTIFO

Fred, you have zero credibility. As far as I’m concerned your political opinion about anything means nothing. If you want to talk, the first thing you should talk about are the ten plus cops breaking the seemingly impenetrable blue wall of silence who testified against Derek Chauvin, overwhelmingly implicating him in the heinous crime against George Floyd.

“He gamble with his life and lost. Why fault the police for not following his example and gamble with their lives?”-
“George Floyd was not murdered. He choose not to surrender” – “He chose to resist arrest. “

One of three things Fred; admit you were wrong in your assessment of of the George Floyd, Derek Chauvin tragedy, admit your a racist or shut up.

Actually, this is a sad situation for me because people like you bring out a part of me that I don’t like coming to the surface, but I can’t remain silent and must say what I feel when I see the centuries old torch of racism and bigotry being carried on.

FRED BARNEY

If you are against racism you should express concern about United’s racist policy with respect to employing pilots.

Please retire to a mountain somewhere and ponder for a while how this might not racism.
Because it’s not, and it’s been explained here and elsewhere.

FRED BARNEY

I was hoping to get you to explain your theory of good and bad racism

I do not have a “theory of good and bad racism”, Fred.

FRED BARNEY

You are denying that possiblity that a man with drug free brain would behave differently than a man with a drug addled brain.

You seem to be unimpressed by the possiblity that none of this would have happened if Floyd’s family helped him with his drug problem.

As for the ten cops testimony have you considered the possiblity that they feared for their jobs if they told the truth?

LOUIS RESTIFO

“As for the ten cops testimony have you considered the possiblity that they feared for their jobs if they told the truth?”

So now, according to you there perjuring themselves, for which there is no penalty or repercussions.

FRED BARNEY

Lou if we assume all ten cops spoke about what they observed they all should be fired for not protecting Floyd!

LOUIS RESTIFO

Fred, what they “observed” was on a video. I would say if you’re attempting to “protect” a dead person you’re a little late.

What you can and should do, is be an advocate for reparations to Black Americans who have had gross injustices committed against them for hundreds of years.

Remember slavery, or are you ok with that under your probable assumption they “chose” to be slaves under the pretense they were given room and board at no charge.

FRED BARNEY

Some African countries exported their undesirables to the New World. If we are talking about reparations those who caused the problem should be on the hook. Further more the payment of reparations should include the fact that the life expectancy of the those people in the exporting countries is lower than the decedents of those they exported

LOUIS RESTIFO

Fred, That comment is good for a rating of three wackos. 🤪🤪🤪

LOUIS RESTIFO

Fred, your first two sentences are totally irrelevant as to what Police procedure Derek Chauvin should have followed in regards to restricting George Floyd.
The murdered George Floyd is not on trial. The murderer Derek Chauvin is!

RAYMOND HARRIS

Louis, you cannot reason with the brain dead. He’s like a drunk who just likes to talk and say things to piss people off. I know it’s difficult, but I try to just ignore him. Over time, maybe he’ll just go away.

LOUIS RESTIFO

Actually Fred, that makes more sense than anything you’ve ever posted on this blog.

FRED BARNEY

Democrats think that gender is a matter of choice not biology. More over they think that these choices should be given preference over the views of those who think differently.

FRED BARNEY

The first two sentences are irrelevant to those who think that it is a waste to try to learn from past mistakes

Martha Bencic

In the Philippines, people are executed for drug addiction. Maybe that country is a better fit for you, Fred. You certainly don’t belong in a place whose Constitution you hope to violate when it suits your whims.

FRED BARNEY

On the theory that communities are better of when they try to learn from past mistakes I pointed out that we would all be better of is families try to help each other with the self destructive behavior of family members. If you think that I err please say why.

Yesterday I valiantly attempted to promote something here I thought was worthwhile and was stymied by a mindless sp4m filter, but all’s good.

Just a PSA to point out Bill Buell’s column yesterday regarding programming at the Schenectady County Historical Society.

Anyone with even a passing interest in the amazing history of the area should check out the schedule. I’m only a lowly sometime member but have attended a couple of their programs and they are fascinating:

https://schenectadyhistorical.org/

I applaud you for your evidence and fact-based letter Robert, but unfortunately, all of that is useless in penetrating the Fox News-addled brains of the Trump Train passengers. They’ll still believe that the election was stolen without providing any evidence, they’ll still believe that Trumps votes were switched to Biden while Republicans like Elise Stefanik, Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, and others somehow managed to win their elections fair and square, and they’ll still believe that illegal immigrants are casting votes without one iota of proof. It will make you go insane trying to make sense of any of their thinking, so best to just let them live their lives in their alternate universe and ignore them.

Calvin Moore’s letter on data privacy strikes near and dear to me as I have cybersecurity as part of my resume. While I completely agree with his concerns (the Faceplant disclosure is certainly not the biggest nor the most critical), I no longer consider people to be “stupid”.

For decades the public has been sold on these amazing things we can do with this amazing internet thing, with little to no concern for data security. This isn’t the fault of the public but the fault of those making money off them, starting with Microsoft itself and only exacerbated by the invention of the “smartphone”, the ultimate tracking device. My advice is to consider anything with the “smart” prefix to be a device to primarily collect information.

Users of Facebook, or any other social media should ask themselves why all the wondrous things it’s doing for your life is free. To Facebook, the user IS the commodity and all your personal data is income for them as they sell that to advertisers (and who knows who else). That’s not conspiratorial thinking, it’s a fact.

As we used to say, “Beware of geeks bearing shiny things”.

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