Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Saturday, May 29

PHOTOGRAPHER:

First fix the flaws in Child Victims Act

The Adult Survivors Act that is before the state legislature will bring more harm than good to adult survivors of sexual assault.
While the Child Victims Act has helped thousands file a civil claim in court against their abuser or institution involved, it also has thousands of victims disillusioned with the process.
We have found that if an abuser is not wealthy and your case doesn’t involve a rich abuser or institution, no lawyer will take your case to court.
I personally have heard from many victims how frustrating it is to think you had a shot at justice then calling multiple lawyers to be rejected.
Few CVA cases filed have been settled or gone to a jury after almost two years.
In fact, 96% of cases filed from state court records involve a wealthy abuser or rich institution like the Boy Scouts or religious organization.
In real life 95% of abuse that occurs involves no wealthy abuser or institution. There has been zero rural or inner-city, non-institution cases filed so far despite 90% of abuse taking place in these locations.
A victim’s compensation fund must be included in new legislation. Also, lawyers specializing in assault cases should be doing pro bono work.
A percentage of lawyers’ winnings can go into the fund to help all victims gain justice. The Legislature needs, as asked, to hold a hearing on the CVA.
The state Legislature must fix the flaws in the Child Victims Act before passing the Adult Survivors Act.
Gary A. Greenberg
New Baltimore
The writer is founder of Fighting for Children PAC -ProtectNYKids Inc.

U.S. must curb its many interventions

There are a number of issues our country faces today that, even though they may seem unrelated, turn out to have one major factor in common.
I’m thinking of such issues as violence directed at the United States by Al Qaeda and ISIS, the fact that Iran has such very strong anti-American policies, and the fact that the majority of people trying to get into the United States across our Mexican border come from three countries: Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
What do they have in common?
They’re all related to the fact that our country has seen fit to interfere in those regions and meddle in their affairs.
What we see as problems are the result of our many interventions in those regions. In some cases, Iran, for example, we overthrew an elected government years ago and imposed a brutal dictatorship on them that would act more favorably to the United States.
The ayatollahs came to power in Iran by overthrowing the government we forced on them.
No wonder they dislike us. We have intervened so many times in Central America that we have created such anarchy and chaos there that huge numbers are fleeing to escape the conditions we helped create.
As a country we are far too prone to use subversion or military force to get the results we want.
And those results very often come back to haunt us years later and create problems worse than the problems we thought we were fixing with our interventions.
Dave Furman
Niskayuna

 

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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

36 Comments

Joseph Vendetti

Mr Furman:

I can’t remember the last letter to the editor that I agreed with 100%. But you have hit on the genesis of some of our larger problems.

Just yesterday it was debated about some of the reasons we are told that policing the world is important. But between drug interdiction, democracy, religion, oil or other raw materials we have certainly created many enemies & at the same time created so many refugees, immigrants, asylum seekers wanting to come to the US.

Maybe during the next presidential debate instead of asking about tax returns, relative scandals, or roe v wade opinions our national media should ask about foreign policy/world policing efforts? Since that question truly has an impact on john Q public and his/her day to day life.

Thank you for that letter.

RAYMOND HARRIS

While I don’t disagree totally, what is the answer? Turn our backs on the world because things don’t always work out the way we intended? I don’t think so. I wouldn’t want to give up our #1 standing in the world to China, Russia, etc. We need to exercise better judgment and choose better leaders that will employ a set of principles that the majority can agree on. Unfortunately that is becoming more difficult in these polarized times.

FRED BARNEY

By running the country on printed money foreign holders will be able to by the country with our depreciated dollars. Until then enjoy the sun set.

That’s the dilemma then, eh?
We cannot be the most powerful nation in the world and not have some effect on the rest. It’s not a matter of choice, it’s a given and matter of discretion and judgement, and every case is different.
I’m encouraged by our decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, but we have much to atone for our wanton behavior after the events of 9/11/2001, and Guantanamo must be closed and those we’ve illegally held there be treated justly.

FRED BARNEY

First fix the flaws in Child Victims Act. This may done by ending the practice of holding the innocent financially accountable for the acts of the guilty. As matters now stand we have the Democrats vision of justice!.

LOUIS RESTIFO

Fred, This was the great idea you had yesterday: “If the state provides every adult female with a pistol I find it to be reasonable to expect the incidence of rape to dramatically decline.” Perhaps along with adult females you would advise we should now provide every kid with a pistol.

In actuality child abuse in any form is one of the worst aspects of human behavior. – I am 100 percent in favor any logical approach in implementing government mandated programs/laws that could reduce child abuse and the traumatic repercussions left with the victims. For starters this his would certainly include financial assistance for legal aid to hold abusers accountable as well as counseling for these children.

FRED BARNEY

I forgot to mention that assumption that every female was carrying would result in a considerable increase in politeness.

FRED BARNEY

I to am uncomfortable with the state interfering with an individual’s sexual orientation but in some cases it is needed! Some will live better for it and others will take up a different form of recreation.

LOUIS RESTIFO

“individual’s sexual orientation” and “form of recreation” are absolute pathetic terms to reference rape and child abuse. You should most certainly reflect on the pitiful image you are projecting for yourself on this forum.

And if you are “uncomfortable with the state interfering with an individual’s sexual orientation” I’m sure the state isn’t going to mess with anyone’s sheep if that’s was a possible concern to some.

RAYMOND HARRIS

Pathetic. That’s all you can say about the GOP voting to shoot down the Jan. 6 Bi-partisan Commission. Your workplace, our national treasure the U.S. Capitol, is invaded by Trump loyalists and you don’t want to know what went wrong and how to prevent it the next time. The commission was designed as a mirror image of the 9/11 Commission. The Trump Big Lie lives on.

FRED BARNEY

Was their any possibility that an explanation would be developed as to how so many Americans became disenchanted with the established order?

I wonder why an issue is being made about the public use of public property

RAYMOND HARRIS

Fred thinks the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection was just the public using public space. He should be banned from the blog for total ignorance.

You persistent questioning is not sincere, and is only an attempt to instigate. And a shallow attempt at that.
You should expect derision.

FRED BARNEY

That is the thanks I get for giving you a chance to demonstrate your insite to contemporary affairs. You are being ungrateful!

Joseph Vendetti

Can’t the non-partisan intelligence agencies (FBI, DOJ, & CIA) do this investigation without having to get the approval of politicians?

RAYMOND HARRIS

The FBI and DOJ are already using their resources to find and charge the 400+ insurrectionists, which includes by the way 10% active duty military. DoD and police departments throughout the country need to identify and remove these antigovernmental and racist terrorists from our ranks. I believe the CIA plays no role in domestic violence or surveillance.

From the CIA’s own website:

The CIA’s mission is to collect information related to foreign intelligence and foreign counterintelligence. By direction of the president in Executive Order 12333 of 1981, and in accordance with procedures approved by the Attorney General, the CIA is restricted in the collection of intelligence information directed against US citizens. Collection is allowed only for an authorized intelligence purpose; for example, if there is a reason to believe that an individual is involved in espionage or international terrorist activities. The CIA’s procedures require senior approval for any such collection that is allowed, and, depending on the collection technique employed, the sanction of the Director of National Intelligence and Attorney General may be required. These restrictions have been in effect since the 1970s.

The FBI has the lead on intelligence matters in the United States, especially those directed against US citizens. The CIA does not collect information concerning the domestic activities of US citizens, but its foreign intelligence collection mission can be conducted anywhere.

LOUIS RESTIFO

Seems to be that if you’re got enough money to hire high-power attorneys and have the backing of Republican politicians and judges you can twist your way out…of almost anything.

RAYMOND HARRIS

I hoped everyone gets a chance to get a little talked about history lesson this weekend of how Whites in Tulsa, OK wiped out a wealthy Black town that even to this day is not taught in schools. The story will be on Sunday night at 8 pm on the History Channel and a different version on Monday night at 9 pm on CNN. The racists who frequent this blog may actually learn something about racism.

LOUIS RESTIFO

The history of the “Tulsa Greenwood massacre” should be mandatory reading in every school system in America. Last Sunday’s 60 Minutes had a segment on it. Head shaking, gut wrenching embarrassment for America. – Wikipedia has a synopsis of the event.

I’m sorry, but you cannot change the meaning of a word to suit your needs.

Go look it up, you’re not correct in your “interpretation” of the word.
Intentions mean everything, and the government’s intentions in the cases cited in the article were far different from some governments using demographic data to target election “reforms”.

And stop trying to make White people out to be the victims. It won’t work.

Reason #372 why I’m glad to live in a blue state (even with all its warts):
~~~~~
The Arizona Republic reported Friday that the GOP-controlled Arizona Senate is close to signing a second recount deal, this time using digital images of the county’s ballots rather than the real paper objects.

The auditor this time, rather than “Cyber Ninjas,” would be the nonprofit Citizens Oversight, which, similarly, had no experience auditing elections prior to Donald Trump’s months-long tantrum over losing his reelection bid.

The group’s founder Ray Lutz told the Republic that the audit would amount to a “grand test” of his technology, which he calls “AuditEngine,” and which purports to be able to re-tabulate ballots cast on other machines.

RAYMOND HARRIS

The more they keep it alive, the stupider they look. They need to come in from the 100 degree temps out there.

LOUIS RESTIFO

Reason # 373

Part of a Washington Post article:
“There are about 330 million people in America…When we’re talking about 15 percent of Americans, we’re talking about nearly 50 million people, the populations of California and New Jersey combined. It’s a lot of people. And that, according to new research published by Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) on Thursday, is the number of Americans who say they believe the most out-there components of the QAnon conspiracy theory.
PRRI’s findings come from a survey conducted with Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) in which they asked people specifically about components of QAnon. For example, they presented this exact statement, which is often presented as the most extreme iteration of the conspiracy theory’s belief system:
“The government, media and financial world in the U.S. are controlled by a group of Satan-worshiping pedophiles who run a global child sex trafficking operation.”
And it was with that, that specific belief, that 15 percent of respondents said they agreed.
On two other statements, similar levels of agreement emerged. When the pollsters asked if Americans agreed that “there is a storm coming soon that will sweep away the elites in power and restore the rightful leaders” — again, a theme in QAnon — 1-in-5 said they did. On a more alarming proposition, that “because things have gotten so far off track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country,” the level of agreement was again 15 percent.
This is a really surprising level of support for fundamentally baseless or anti-democratic sentiment. But, as you might expect, it’s also not evenly distributed. Republicans, for example, are more likely to agree with the statements above than are Democrats. Those who say they have the most trust in Fox News as a news source generally agree with the statements about as much as Republicans do, which makes sense given the overlap of those two groups.
The media consumers who stand out the most, though, are those who give the most trust to far-right networks like One America News or Newsmax. Among those respondents, at least 4-in-10 agreed with the idea of a satanic cabal and nearly half believed that a storm was coming….”

The very bottom line is that you can’t fix stupid. The new Republican leaders know this and play off it to accomplish their fascist agendas with their stupid constituents.

It will likely take some kind of cataclysmic hand-clap to snap these souls out of their collective daydream.
Sadly it didn’t come soon enough for the people of Jonestown.

Joseph Vendetti

Ok lets debate President Bidens 1st proposed budget.

$6 trillion which is $7.2 trillion after interest.

Raises top corporate rate to 28% from 21% and top personal tax rate to 39% – people making $400k or $400 million will pay the same rate. Raises numerous fees, permits, surcharges as well. That is the major revenue portions of the budget.

The spending portions – I really have no issues with the areas of targeted spending besides probably need to spend more on military and veterans. I do have issue with budget language. Instead of saying – infrastructure to low income communities- it specifically calls out “black & brown” communities. There are low income whites, blacks, browns, native american, etc etc communities. I believe this will automatically pit low income whites vs low income blacks and browns. Why is there a difference of targeting infrastructure monies to trailer park areas in MS (39169 – AGI -$16,259) OK (73444 – AGI $18722), AR (72114 -AGI $13,244) & TX (79901 – AGI – $13,110) that have high white poverty that fall significantly below the poverty line or the City of Schenectady (12307 – AGI of $24,770) or City of Albany (12207 – AGI of $13,132).

Our poor blacks and browns are more deserving then our poor whites? A lead pipe delivering poor water quality needs to be replaced no mater if the tap is opened by a white or black hand. Crumbling infrastructure in red or blue or purple states needs repair period!

Joe, you as a business person have a unique perspective on budgets. I am not a business person, never was (except for delivering the Knick News as a kid) and never will be. So all I have is a layperson’s viewpoint; it’s a boatload of money.

That said, I’ll add that I, as a very White person by heritage, am absolutely sick and tired, damned sick and tired, of every extra dollar spent on “our poor blacks and browns” being put under the microscope with the implication being ‘how will this affect the Whites?’

No one’s saying to hand out blank checks, but the Biden administration, like most Americans, recognize we must acknowledge the continued diminution and oppression of non-Whites, especially the ones we steamrolled when we arrived, and the ones we enslaved from elsewhere.

Joseph Vendetti

Chuck:

I understand that (white males have had a leg, two legs, an entire body up on people of color, native americans & women their entire 500+ years in North America) and as my company is a federally and state recognized minority business enterprise (MBE) we are afforded certain “perks”.

All I am saying in this climate, with americans so easily divided by race, by politicians who pull the puppet strings – I don’t think its a wise use of terminology.

I think many of the impoverished whites & working poor in States like TX, FL, LA, MS, AR, OK, AL, TN, etc could and would be loyal to any party that they thought was looking out for them. I believe that is why they were so easily controlled by Trump rhetoric because he played to their heart strings. Now with that language in the budget – I just think it creates more racial divide and will be used by the GOP in 2022 and 2024.

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