Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Monday, May 31


Learn from what worked during crisis

Although the COVID-19 crisis has not yet concluded, we can safely say that the worst is behind us.
The year 2021 is likely to be a much less traumatic year than the one that preceded it, which makes now a reasonable time to reflect on how we transitioned from the winter of fear to the spring of hope.
In my view, there are three core principles that paved our path to progress.
The first is trusting science. The most crucial catalyst in curbing COVID-19 has been the development of the vaccines. Miraculous as their development may seem, the vaccines came about through innovation, not divine intervention.
Say what you will about the anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers, but it was the scientists who saved the day.
The second is treating healthcare as a human right.
The vaccines’ effectiveness is directly linked to their accessibility. Had we only offered them to the wealthy and well connected we would still be seeing concerning case numbers throughout the county. Mass vaccination has demonstrated we are simply better off when all of us enjoy the benefits of affordable, accessible healthcare.
Which brings me to the third principle, embracing social solidarity. COVID-19 taught us to recognize the responsibility we have to one another.
It showed us how to sacrifice selfishness for the sake of community. Simple acts of solidarity saved countless lives, for which we should remain ever grateful.
We might do well to keep these lessons in mind as we set out to solve our remaining collective challenges.
Galen Heins

Stop ignoring Israeli human rights abuses

It is encouraging to see increasing numbers of Americans speaking out in support of Palestinian rights; for truth, justice, and peace between Israel and Palestine; and acknowledging the intensity of Israeli government repression of Palestinians, including children.
More than 500 attended a demonstration in Albany on May 21 and 150 a rally six days earlier.
One issue that needs more attention in the United States is the huge number of times (estimates range from 1,300 annually to more than 200 monthly) that dozens of Israeli soldiers burst into the homes of West Bank Palestinian families in the middle of the night, point guns at everyone including children, toddlers and infants, threaten to let their barking dogs bite, ransack the residence and not allow women and children to get dressed.
West Bank Palestinians have lived under Israeli Martial Law since the 1967 war. Every West Bank Palestinian has either experienced these attacks or knows a family(ies) who has. These home invasions leave Palestinians traumatized, terrorized, and furious.
Sadly, the U.S. government and many state governments, with only a few dissenting voices, pledge perpetual, unconditional loyalty to Israel while ignoring these longstanding systemic horrors.
This “Israel right or wrong” mentality is what allows Israeli human rights abuses to endure.
Tom Ellis


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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion


William Marincic

Tom Ellis There you go with your anti-Israel rant again. There are 11 large Muslim countries surrounding Israel that the Palestinians could move to, why don’t they? Israel only wants to live in peace, in her land that has been hers for more than 3000 years. Obviously you have no problem with Hamas launching more than 4000 missiles into is Israeli neighborhoods. When Israel responds they make it known where they are going to bomb so as to avoid human casualties Hamas could care less about the children, they set up their weapons next to hospitals and schools purposely, but you say nothing about that Tom Ellis.


Regardless of how anyone may feel regarding the Arab/Palestinian-Israeli conflict, William Marincic your reasoning is ridiculous. “There are 11 large Muslim countries surrounding Israel that the Palestinians could move to,why don’t they?” ~~~ Why don’t you leave your home in Niskayuna and get out of Schenectady County? Actually, why don’t you leave New York, a blue state and move to one of the other many red states among the remaining 49?

Mr. Restifo I believe Mr. Marincic was being facetious. That shows how little you know about that conflict, nobody wants the Palestinians none of those 11 Muslim countries want or will take the Palestinians. A person that knew anything about that conflict would see that comment for what it was. But then you have to think outside the box.

Yeah, that sounds like a fair source.

The Begin–Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA Center) is an Israeli think tank affiliated with Bar-Ilan University and supported by the NATO Mediterranean Initiative, conducting policy-relevant research on Middle Eastern and global strategic affairs, particularly as they relate to the national security and foreign policy of Israel and regional peace and stability. The center’s mission is to contribute to promoting peace and security in the Middle East, through policy-oriented researches on national security in the Middle East. It is located at the Social Sciences Faculty of Bar-Ilan University. The center was founded by Thomas Hecht, a Canadian-Jewish leader, and was dedicated to Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat, who signed the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty, the first peace agreement ever signed between Israel and an Arab country.

ChuckD what are you trying to say? It absolutely sounds like a fair and honest source. You can Google it and I’m pretty sure you’ll find dozens and dozens of other sources just like I did. You people are too much.

‘Why don’t they move.’
Are you serious? Yes, sadly I think you are. You seem to be that simple.
The fact is the state of Israel was imposed on the Palestinians by a European consortium without theirs, or the Arab states’ consultation.

If you think they should recognize any ambiguous 3000 year old claim on that land, you’d better brace yourself if our own Native Americans decide they’ve had enough of the Whites.


Galen Heins: Thank you for your insightful letter, I’m in total agreement. – Good luck with the “embracing social solidarity” aspect.


ChuckD, Reading your reply to my faulting the Dems, we should also add these southern Red states. Republicans are very good at targeting low information potential voters. And have a hard core of “elite” Republicans in the right positions because they targeted these states years ago as the Dems became as you say east coast elites.
Those in charge and most southern states are fully controlled by Republicans push all the white conservative christian buttons as DeathSantis is now doing here. Florida has been totally controlled by Republicans for over twenty years and likely to continue. Came within a whisker in 2018 of Democrat governor, but he would have had both houses in Republican hands.

Indeed. It sounds simplistic, but good leaders recognize that most people just want a comfortable, secure home and be able to provide for their families. It seems like Dems often can’t see far enough down their noses to recognize that. What is it Carville’s been yammering about lately with the Amherst faculty lounge attitude?

But first, Dems need to recognize red states as real people too.

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn said over the weekend that a Myanmar-like coup — in which the military overthrew a democratically elected government — “should happen” in the U.S.

Appearing in Dallas at a QAnon conference, Flynn was asked during a Q&A session that was shared in a Twitter video: “I want to know why what happened in Myanmar can’t happen here?”

After cheers from the crowd died down, Flynn responded: “No reason. I mean, it should happen here.”

Flynn is also on video from back in December explaining how tRump can declare martial law “just an the swing states” to take over the election.

Now how about one of you brave Quizzers step up and tell us why he’s not a traitor? Zach? Marincic? Aiken?
Crickets (again)?


Excerpts from an article in todays Washington Post:

“Texas Democrats staged a dramatic walkout in the state House late Sunday night to block passage of a restrictive voting bill that would have been one of the most stringent in the nation, forcing Republicans to abruptly adjourn without taking a vote on the measure.

The surprise move came after impassioned late-night debate and procedural objections about the GOP-backed legislation, which would have made it harder to vote by mail, empowered partisan poll watchers and made it easier to overturn election results. Republicans faced a midnight deadline to approve the measure….

But it was an unmistakable defeat for the governor and fellow Republicans, who had crafted one of the most far-reaching voting bills in the country — pushing restrictions championed by former president Donald Trump, who has falsely claimed that his defeat in the 2020 election was tainted by fraud.

The exodus from the floor came after Chris Turner, the House Democratic chairman, sent instructions to colleagues at 10:35 p.m. Central time instructing them to exit the House, according to an image shared with The Washington Post….

The Republican-majority House took up the legislation after the Senate passed it early Sunday following a marathon overnight debate that stretched more than seven hours. The measure mirrors other GOP-backed legislation approved in Georgia, Florida and other states.

In a statement, Turner said that dozens of House Democrats were prepared to give speeches objecting to the bill, but that “it became obvious Republicans were going to cut off debate to ram through their vote suppression legislation. At that point, we had no choice but to take extraordinary measures to protect our constituents and their right to vote”…

“Every American needs to be watching what’s happening in Texas right now,” Rep. Colin Allred (D-Tex.) said Sunday at a news conference. “And we have to have a federal response to this because this has gone way too far.”
“This isn’t legislation,” he added. “This is discrimination.”

Another attempt at destroying American democracy. Yes, we should pay attention and expose sleazy politics and the people behind them at all governmental levels.

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