Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Sunday, June 13


Don’t let the past divide the country

The proponents of “Critical Race Theory” and “1619 curriculum” are grossly abusing history.
History shows that slavery, for example, is not unique to the Black race nor were slave owners only White. Slavery has been around for thousands of years and continues today.
For centuries people of all races, color, and creeds were defined as slaves or “…as someone forbidden to quit the service to another person while being treated as property … to perform some form of work while having their location dictated by the slaver.”
White people are no more racist than Black people. African slavery existed in northern Africa predominantly long before America was discovered, where it was and still is considered an institution, a way of life.
Modern slavery, which exists today, is a multi-billion-dollar industry grossing approximately $150 billion a year. It does not discriminate. It involves people of all colors, race, and creeds.
If you want to modify history, please note that according to the June 1, 1860, census, more slaves in the United States were owned by free African Americans in proportion to their total U.S. population than White Americans.
Also note that during World War II more people were “enslaved” and killed than at any time in the United States. Even today people immigrate to the United States to escape slavery.
Let’s learn from our past and not let it divide us.
William Wills

Science stepped up where church didn’t

Thank you, science, for doing what the Christian church did not — take a bite out of covid.
Science did that by giving us vaccines. They work. People started getting vaccinated in mid-Dec. 2020.
By the time the seven-day average of their doses given reached a million, in late Jan. 2021, the vaccines had succeeded in sending the seven-day average of new cases rapidly plunging down from its high of a quarter million to its current value of 13,000, the lowest it has been since late March 2020.
During the time of the Gospels and the Acts, Jesus and His Jesus believers did what science and its vaccines do now to covid, to their version of covid, leprosy.
They laid hands on lepers and healed them in the name of Jesus through faith in that name, Jesus. Back then, Jesus and His Jesus believers took a bite out of leprosy.
The Christian church refused to do likewise, most of them by denying that Jesus is alive and well and heals today. So science had to step up to the plate, and they did.
Thanks again, science!
Joel Nelson

Aid in dying law must be priority next year

At this time, 10 states and the District of Columbia have Medical Aid in Dying laws which permit those who are diagnosed with a terminal illness and have a life expectancy of six months or less to initiate a process which can give them access to medication to end their suffering.
That means that 22% of Americans have the comfort of knowing that they do not have to suffer a prolonged and painful death; they have a humane option.
This Legislative session has come to an end, and although hundreds of supporters wrote and spoke with their representatives in Albany, New Yorkers have to wait another year. How many people will suffer because of this inaction?
If you support the right of New Yorkers to have the comfort of a Medical Aid in Dying law, contact your state assembly person and your state senator.
Go to and send a message to your Assembly person and senator in favor of Medical Aid in Dying.
In fact, send it to the entire Health Committee, too!  If you lived in New Jersey or Vermont or Maine, you would have this right.
If you lived in D.C. or seven other states, you would have this right.
It is time for New Yorkers to have this right.
Medical Aid in Dying MUST be a priority when the Assembly and Senate return in January.
Eleanor Aronstein

Vaccine is the key in the return to normal

As COVID-19 slowly slithers out of New York state, we have to ask ourselves, What is the new “normal” now? Should we just go on our merry way and act/pretend like it never happened? How could we?
We had 18 months of absolute terror, anxiety, isolation, grief and loss. Pure Hell! I still pinch myself, wondering whether it was all just a dream/nightmare or a scene from a sci-fi movie or pages from a Stephen King novel.
It was the Great Equalizer, as every single person in the entire world was affected. We here in New York were especially hard hit: in April 2020, we became the global epicenter; and have now lost over 50,000 New Yorkers.
Over 610,000 Americans have lost their lives. Looking back now, we masked, social-distanced, sanitized, quarantined, isolated and tested. And what was our saving grace? The VACCINE! We must all get it for a complete recovery. Then we can really contemplate our new normal.
Carole Anne Frank
Burnt Hills


Online letters

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]

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion


William Wills Thank you for an inconvenient truth, you will soon see many on the left come out and attack you for your common sense fact filled history lesson.

So…. because slavery existed outside of the United States, there is no need to discuss the role of slavery in the history of OUR country?? Sounds like a lot of deflection, and not a very “America First” view to take. Throwing in the bogus 1860 census claim was a nice touch to try and justify slavery in this country. But hey, wouldn’t want to talk about the legacy of slavery in the United States and make you uncomfortable Zachary. I’m doubtful your delicate constitution could handle the truth.


The letter in question is not a justification of slavery but a statement of fact.

As to the question of reparations for deeds of the dead to the dead i suggest compensation be paid for the better than half a million who died during the civil war!


You should give some credit for our past difficulties to the Civil War. You should note that the reason that we look at the past differently than when it was lived is that as a society we have grown. one should be proud of our growth.

Guy Varoma

I find it funny how white people try to justify slavery of our past by using what other nations are doing today ….Our slavery history can’t be justified by any means …They always leave out that African Americans really didn’t get the right to vote until 1964 ,,,In 1870 when the 15th amendment was past African Americans were still denied the right to vote because of The States constitution prohibited it and lets not forget Jim crow laws and poll taxes literacy tests all implemented to keep African Americans the right to vote. And this little gem the “Grandfather Clause States had

Until the Supreme Court struck it down in 1915, many states used the “grandfather clause ” to keep descendants of slaves out of elections. The clause said you could not vote unless your grandfather had voted — an impossibility for most people whose ancestors were slaves.

Now Republicans today are trying the same thing with new voting laws in Republican states …..

Mr. Will …you or I have no idea what African Americans have gone through since when the constitution was written until present day ….You trying to justify whiteness is invalid …Have a great day

William Aiken

Guy Varoma, your virtue signaling against “Whiteness” makes you feel better about yourself. Yet, it does nothing to help African-Americans get a well paying job or a good education. Factors which makes it possible for anyone to move up in society. The 1619 Project harms Blacks, portraying them only as suppressed victims. Its a narrative that is solely fixated on past grievances. Its a doctrine that ignores, and dismisses all of the tremendous progress made over time. If you keep picking at a scab, it won’t ever heal.


William Aiken, Again I say:

If you want credibility answer my may 28th question
regarding a commission to investigate the 1 / 6 / 21 insurrection after your post of that day!

William Aiken
May 28th, 2021
Yes, I did read those questions from Just Secure, a leftist, Trump hating website. I don’t find them creditable. Just as you would dismiss source from the NY Post or Fox news.
I was hoping you could say what you hope a commission would uncover in your own words.
How about some answers and closure for Gladys Sicknick, the grieving mother of fallen Officer Brian Sicknick.
So tell me William, would you want more answers if this was your dead son? Still waiting for an answer on that one.

William Aiken

Lou let it go! If you want to be relevant, then comment on the issue at hand today, not some fake news from months ago. The medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Brian Sicknick ruled his death was due to natural causes. This report from CBS News came out on April 20, 2021. So update your information, stop your fixation on Jan. 6th conspiracies and if you’re able, focus on the point made about virtue signaling.


Then what you’re implying William, is that there is no relevance to anything anyone has said in the past?

“Let it go!” You say. You propose a question, I answered it. I asked you a very simple yes or no question that has absolutely nothing to do with news “fake” or otherwise.

If it was your son that died on 1/6/21 exactly as Brian Sucknick died would you want a commission to conduct an investigation? YES or No


Furthermore: “Stress can cause the heart to work harder, increase blood pressure, and increase sugar and fat levels in the blood. These things, in turn, can increase the risk of clots forming and travelling to the heart or brain, causing a heart attack or stroke.”

Nah, no stress for Officer Sicknick on 1/6/21.

Investigation…YES or NO

William Aiken

I answered your question. That’s all I have to say.

The 800 lb. gorilla you carry on your back, that you don’t want to acknowledge, is that most of the protestations against this “Critical Race Theory” are coming from the same group who harbors all the White supremacist groups and those who would violently attempt to disrupt our American elections, our Democracy. Don’t you think we can’t see that?

Goodness how foolish can you be?


“You trying to justify whiteness is invalid”

Ones complexion is the results of the actions of ones parents. Thus your comment about the motivation the letter writer is silly.


HIGHER GROUND: Schenectady clears major hurdle in bid to move flood-prone homes to safer area
By Brian Lee | June 13, 2021

People have chosen to live in a flood plain. I fail to see why that requires public money to bale them out from their choices!


Apparently there is nothing or no one you have the least amount of compassion for that us outside of your self-serving narrow minded bubble.

I wonder what your view point on “Taking the highroad project” would be if you had inherited one of the 21 historic flood zone homes from your grandmother who purchased and lived in it 150 years ago.

Actually I know; there is no doubt you would be singing a different tune.


Their choice their problem. You might try having some compassion for individuals whose living standards are be lowered because of the private choices made by others.

Mr. Restifo, my father bought a home in Schenectady in the mid 80s he paid top dollar for it $175,000 paid huge taxes $9000 a year, the neighborhood went to crap, nothing but drugs and gangs and shootings in that neighborhood. Why didn’t the city pay my father to get a new home somewhere else? It wasn’t his fault that the neighborhood went bad. He didn’t look for a handout from the city because He made a decision to live there. He ended up selling it for a $75,000 loss plus all the tax money and all the interest he paid over 20 years to move us to a better neighborhood and a better school district. It was his choice to live there at that time just like it’s their choice to live in a floodplain, if their house floods that’s on them they should have flood insurance if they don’t then again it is on them. If you don’t want to live in a floodplain sell your house and move somewhere else, my father didn’t want to live in a ghetto neighborhood that was once nice so he got up and he moved. It’s not the taxpayers in Schenectady‘s responsibility to take care of someone who doesn’t have common sense to move.


“It is never too late to give up your prejudices.” — Henry David Thoreau

Zach, Fred, Marincic and Aiken, you should give it a shot in an attempt to make you better men…..But then I think why would you want to do that, being racists is what puts you in your happy place.

William Aiken

For you to tar us with the racist brush is your way of claiming your innocence of racism. Shelby Steele, a black scholar has written extensively about this virtue signaling phenomenon. You call us racists without knowing anything about our experience or background in a attempt to put us on the defensive. It won’t work.

Calling someone a racist used to carry a lot of weight. The way you follow the leftist playbook by casually using the word has cheapened its meaning. You are part of a left that is incapable of debating issues. So your only retort is to use racists smears in the hopes of silencing the other side. In case you haven’t noticed calling your opposition a racist has lost its gravatos. So try to come up with a better strategy.


You find Biden’s race paced policies acceptable and you call us racists. Do not get me wrong every comment you make shows the merits of the Republican alternative.

Thanks for the help in making America great again.


America’s Image Abroad Rebounds With Transition From Trump to Biden
But many raise concerns about health of U.S. political system

As an American I am not impressed by the thoughts of those who grossed because made an issue about them picking up their aggreged share of NATO.

Am I corrected that your silence means that you find Biden’s racism acceptable?

Mr. Restifo. When President Trump went to Europe and these other countries he told them they are going to pay their fair share. He told NATO allies that they are going to pay their fair share or we are not going to support their military anymore.. He told the Paris climate accord that we were getting out because it went against America‘s interests. So when Biden became president he joined all of these organizations again acquiesced and gave them billions of dollars of our tax money to go against our best interest. Of course these leaders like Biden better he’s never going to hold anybody accountable he doesn’t even know what day of the week it is half the time.

He isolated and insulted our allies, and cozied up to all our biggest adversary.
America and selfishness will never go together. Anyone who claims this is a Christian-based country (which I do not) should agree with that.


Zachary, earlier you mentioned having a five year old daughter. I’m quite sure you love and want to take care of her.

At dinner time do you make her pay for her “fair share” of the meal, do you make her pay for part of the gas when bringing her to school.

Its about the strong and more capable taking a greater role in helping your loved ones, friends and allies that may not be in a position to help themselves to the extent people like you think they should regardless of their capabilities.

“Help, compassion“ and cooperation” are three words you should ponder.

The world is not as big a place as you may think it to be.

Add “love” to the above words.


What the posts above demonstrate is that the right leaning Trumpians support racism and my left leaning friends are anti-racist. GOP = racist party; Dems = anti-racist party, plain and simply. So there is no need to go back and forth all day.

Let’s discuss how Biden is showing international leadership that has been in a void the past four years. “A breathe of fresh air”, Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister proclaimed about our U.S. President. The U.S. is stronger when we work with our allies instead of alienating them like Trump did. While Biden has three and a half years to go, it will be important to continue his world view after his first term to give our neighbors and overseas friends the confidence that our democracy works. Any internal effort to subvert the rule of law and our constitution should be squashed like an unwanted bug. That includes domestic terrorists that have become more dangerous than foreign terrorists.

William Aiken

Ray if you’re attention there has been no back and forth on the posts today since the left doesn’t debate. Their ideas have no intellectual depth. So they resort to smears and virtue signaling. On foreign policy, President Biden was on the phone for an hour with Xi Jinping and never brought up the origin of the Covid Virus. What does that tell you?


How do you know what they talked about? And why would he talk about a topic under investigation? What this shows is that you are looking for singular issues while ignoring the big picture that I presented. America is back and at the table to deal with dozens of important issues. Biden asked his world colleagues to press China on several issues, something Trump didn’t know how to do.

William Aiken

I and everyone know this since the media asked Biden if he mentioned the origins of Covid during his phone call with Xi Jinping. He said it never came up.


William and William, Regardless of where it came from including Mars or the devil himself, as I said yesterday your man trump blew EVERY aspect of handling the pandemic. Unlike agent orange Biden uses discretion when negotiating with allies or adversaries.

“You catch more flies with a drop of honey than a barrel of vinegar.”

All your boy 45 had was tankers of vinegar.

Exhibit A on why the left is giving up debating you; Biden didn’t follow your directions! He was supposed to nail the Chinese!
Meanwhile you don’t want to talk about his confrontational attitude toward Putin? Why not? Because, as most of America knows, the Russians were on tRump’s team. The indictments, and confessions and convictions are bearing that truth out. The Russians are your friends, aren’t they?
How about taking your fantasies and frights back to your Facebook group. Come back when you’re not trying to sell lemons.

ChuckD yeah he sure confronted Putin he gave them a pipeline in Germany. We all know he’s in the pocket of China, we all know that he’s Chinas puppet because of his son. We know that Biden will never bring up Covid and what China did to the world because he’s a coward. So you all keep saying the Democrats are the anti-racist and the Republicans are racist, the Democrats are the party of slavery, and Jim Crow laws. That’s history, that’s a fact, that’s reality, nothing has changed.

No Zach, we don’t “all know that”.
But what we do know is that the pipeline you ALL are so attached to was far more complicated than you acknowledge. We also know the Republicans had four years or more to make their pathetic Hunter Biden prosecution and they did exactly nothing…accept get their tools, like you, to yak it up on social media. Repeat something enough and…
We also know the Republicans had four or more years to make a case against the terrible Chinese, but have exactly zero to show for it…except for, again, their lackeys and tools, like you, to further flap their jaws and keyboards about it.

What we also know, and what numerous news sources tell us, is that the Republican Party is losing membership and power, and that actions speak louder than words. That’s why all the fringe White supremacist/nationalist are lined up behind you. At least you’ll have them.

Why, oh, why won’t you let the world in on what your winning strategy is? Beating us all into submission with your mindless jabbering and fact twisting?

That it?
Tell us how you expect to win enough support to give your boast credence?
Or do you expect to game the system?


William Aiken, every time trump finished talking with Putin his nose came out brown. “What does that tell you?”


Thanks for the reality check Ray. Actually I was finished engaging with insanity. Way to nice a day to play the game of racist ping-pong.

In reference to the 2nd paragraph of your post, check out the link I put up.


For those that might care a link to story about origin of covid in lab or wild. Seems pretty fair minded and explains possibly both origins of covid -19. To save the lab created believers, no use reading it as he compares it to many diseases over the centuries and states that is less likely to have happened. Would work against all the conspiracy theorist crowd not in a good way. Sorry

Florida, follow the dots. Dr. Fauci and the national Institute of health gave money to a third-party which gave money to the Wuhan lab that was going research on the coronavirus. According to letters back-and-forth with Fauci they were doing gain of function research. Laboratories around the world regularly have accidents where people get sick and die and people catch diseases inside the laboratories so the fact of the matter is it probably did come from the Wuhan lab

This is a cover-up of your screw-up from yesterday which you were called out on and never took responsibility for.
This a distinct behavioral pattern with you and your cadre of disciples; never accountable, never sorry. That means broken credibility, so you should not be surprised when most people don’t take you seriously.


Thought his credentials just might add to the discussion as to the decisiveness of how it started .
Dr David Robert Grimes, a physicist and cancer researcher, is the author of The Irrational Ape: Why We Fall for Disinformation, Conspiracy Theory and Propaganda
Your sources are maybe more credible and can pass them on as I’d like to read another perspective on it’s origins.

I keep trying to post links Florida but they won’t post if you Google Chinese virologist reveals the Fauci emails confirm her suspicion

ChuckD the same story is in multiple places, I’m sorry if you can’t find a story on your liberal news sources the problem with that is they don’t post the truth, they post the version that they want everyone to hear, you know propaganda.

From the History News Network:

In a recent debate over a law to ban the teaching of Critical Race Theory, Tennessee legislator Justin Lafferty (R) explained to his colleagues that the 3/5th Compromise of 1787, used to determine a state’s representation in Congress by counting enslaved people as “three fifths of all other Persons,” was designed with “the purpose of ending slavery.” Lafferty had his facts spectacularly wrong, but that did nothing to derail the law’s passage.

Anti-Critical Race Theory laws like the one passed in Tennessee – as well Texas, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Florida — are not just aimed to push back against the heightened awareness of the nation’s history of racial injustice in the wake of the popularity of the 1619 Project and last summer’s massive protests over the murder of George Floyd. They are also attacks on educators — and on expertise itself. As Christine Emba explained in a recent Washington Post article on conservatives’ current obsession with Critical Race Theory, “disguising one’s discomfort with racial reconsideration as an intellectual critique is still allowed.” Not only is it allowed in these public debates, it is an effective strategy to curb movements for social change. It is also not new.


Joel Nelson, thank you science? Are you serious? I am reminded by a song by Thomas Dalby – “She Blinded Me With Science”. Science is what brought us Coronavirus! Both SARS 1 and SARS 2 (COVID 19).

I am also reminded of another song about you and your ilk. “What A Fool Believes” by The Doobie Brothers. Or how about “Fool On The Hill” by The Beatles? Because you are a fool to believe the claptrap that science saved us from COVID 19 by inventing a vaccine. We already had at least two effective treatments for it. Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine.

Your point that the Christian Church didn’t step up to the plate to cure people of COVID 19 is about the most idiotic statement I have ever seen. Mr. Nelson, God steps up for good science and I believe he stepped up to provide medical science with the knowledge and skills to get vaccines created in record time. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

Leave a Reply