Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Saturday, Aug. 7

PHOTOGRAPHER:

Stefanik ignorant of economics, history

On July 31, Elise Stefanik tweeted, “Today’s anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid reminds us to reflect on the critical role these programs played to protect the healthcare of millions of families. To safeguard our future, we must reject socialist healthcare schemes.”
This Harvard graduate and congressperson representing the 21st District in New York is abysmally ignorant of American history and economics or is pandering to those in her district who are.
Her party in the 1960s, then primarily made up of people more liberal than today’s Trumpian distortion of the GOP, decried both programs as socialistic (as they are) and contrary to American values.
They have done great good in this country, providing affordable health care to lower-income people and the elderly.
It would be impossible to undo them today, just as it has become impossible to undo Obamacare, which has enabled millions of Americans to purchase health insurance with the help of subsidies linked to their income.
When will the GOP learn that the benefits of capitalism are preserved, not threatened, by government intervention to smooth out the pain caused by unbridled capitalism?
Market failures in healthcare and education have necessitated positive government intervention. Minimum wage, public schools, labor unions and the above mentioned programs have helped our nation thrive and created a more equitable society based on real human values.
Elise, study history and economics or stop the BS.
Anthony J. Santo
Rotterdam

Attorney general should enforce law

I just listened to state Attorney General Letitia James comment on the completion of her office’s investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Gov. Cuomo.
One question she fielded was “What is the next step?”
Her answer was that her office’s job was done, and “people” could go forward as they see fit.
Apparently that answer was sufficient for the questioner, but it struck me as kind of odd.
What would be next if, as her investigation revealed, several state and federal statutes had been violated by someone who wasn’t governor?
I looked up the duties of state attorneys general, and as I suspected it is to enforce the laws of the state where they were elected. So if a citizen of the state violates a state statute, the attorney general would refer the violation to a branch of law enforcement that has jurisdiction.
Why didn’t AG Leticia James see fit to make such a referral in this case? If after all the investigation, interviews, etc. that she so eloquently described the evidence shows that statutes were violated, what next?
AG James cited the brave women, but left them with nothing but platitudes. We should protect women, and they need to be believed. That’s it? That sounds like a poll tested sound bite.
I think the AG should protect all citizens and take the appropriate follow up action to enforce the laws, even when the accused is governor.
Dennis Ulery
Ballston Spa

 

 

Republicans lack decency and honor

As I listened to testimony at the hearing conducted by the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the United States Capitol, I thought that in a rational world the Republican Party would try to distance themselves from the people who attacked the U.S. Capitol on that sad day.
They would want to claim that the insurrectionists were a fringe group and didn’t represent the core values of the Republican Party.
Instead, members and leadership of the Republican Party are telling us that they side with the insurrectionists. Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) claims it was “just a normal tourist visit,” while Louie Gohmert (R-TX) has said “there’s no evidence … that this was an armed insurrection.” Ron Johnson (R-WI) claims “by and large it was a peaceful protest,” while Donald Trump said, “these were great people,” and “‘what I wanted is what they wanted.”
In addition, Republican members of Congress are protesting the confinement of people arrested for violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6, and our own Elise Stefanik (R-NY21) tried to deflect blame for the insurrection by stating, “The American people deserve to know the truth. That Nancy Pelosi bears responsibility, as speaker of the House, for the tragedy that occurred on Jan. 6.”
To quote Joseph Welch when addressing Wisconsin Republican senator Joseph R. McCarthy in 1954, “Have you no sense of decency?”  And I would add, have you no honor?
Victor Roberts
Burnt Hills

Cuomo puts acting skills on full display

I didn’t pay attention when Gov. Andrew Cuomo was doing his daily COVID-19 briefings last year. As a result, I was really surprised when he actually won an Emmy, apparently for “Best Performance as an Actor in the Continuing Role of a Dirty Politician.”
It was only when I watched him give his response to the New York State AG report on his alleged sexual misconduct and abuse of power that I realized what a great actor he is. Gee, he really missed his calling in life.
Hopefully he will still get a chance after he loses his current job, maybe as a soap opera star. The series could be called “The Old and the Lusty!”
Jim Moorhead
Scotia

Government trying to control the people

I joined SCOPE (Shooters Committee on Political Education) after Cuomo’s SAFE Act, the toughest gun laws. But now like the coronavirus (medical emergency), it can land you in a nursing home. Will gun owners have to have a barcode implanted on their forehead while wearing a mask?
What have we learned? The Peloponnesian War, Thucydides, the tyrant Hippias disarmed the Athenians, Machiavelli warns in The Prince” not to disarm the citizens. “Gun control in The Third Reich,” by Halbrook, and governments fear armed citizens; The Federalist No. 46 by James Madison.
For a better understanding of socialism/communism, read “The Origins of Totalitarianism” by Hannah Arendt and “Gulag Archipelago” by Solzhenitsyn.
Observe how our government is acting; it is people control. Political education will end with the burning of books – the last bastion of free speech.
Walter K. Janczak
Sloansville

Biden is doing his job just fine, thank you

I read with great interest Art Pagano’s July 29 letter (“Are you better off under Biden so far?”) Six months is kinda soon, isn’t it? But I’ll give ya’ some answers.
He states that a president’s role is to foster growth in a safe and secure environment. I hope he’s not suggesting the previous president accomplished that.
Vaccines: Biden’s done exceptionally well. He’d be doing better if anti-vaxxers turned off FOX, OAN and right-wing radio, got their news from more reliable sources, and got vaccinated.
As for schools, that’s not Biden’s domain at the federal level, but he gets a passing grade for at least trying by example, unlike the last guy.
Crime: Perception is everything as data actually shows violent crime in cities like New York and Chicago has been steadily declining since 2000. Maybe Mr. Pagano remembers the good old days of 1970s New York when the murder rate was three times what it is today.
Immigration: Data shows a decline since 2010 with most attributed to people overstaying their visas. So it’s not the issue everyone has been made to believe it is.
Economics: The economy is stronger than pre-pandemic. Infrastructure will create even more growth. Go Biden!
Foreign affairs: Biden has thrown the olive branch out to our allies who seem relieved to have a steadier helmsman guiding our ship. It’s called diplomacy.
Climate change: Biden’s trying. But it’s tough with all those Congressional deniers.
So, Biden’s doing OK. Thanks for asking.
Bill Brooks
Glenville

Entire world must be vaccinated for safety

I read the first words of the Aug. 1 editorial (“Oh no. Not again.”) with dismay. I am as frustrated, angry and bewildered as anyone by the criminal politicization of the vaccines. I was vaccinated the moment I was able to and was so very grateful for it.
But if we continue to be under the illusion that we “could have been done with this” if only everyone who is fortunate enough to live in a country with the wealth and influence to procure enough vaccine for its citizens was as grateful and took advantage of them if they were able, then we have learned nothing from this pandemic. It, and the next, and the next, will be with us until we acknowledge that nobody in this world is safe until everybody in the world is safe.
Even if all Americans were vaccinated, as long as any other country in this world does not have access to the same privilege, then this virus, and those that follow, will continue to be a threat.
We are all interconnected to every living creature and plant on this Earth. This is the lesson of the pandemic, and the climate change that is upending life as we knew it.
We are running out of time to learn it.
Bridget Almas
Niskayuna

Right-wing terrorists threaten democracy

True patriots don’t support extremism. The FBI has identified right-wing extremists as domestic terrorists that threaten our safety and democracy. Eighty percent of violent terrorist acts in the United States are from right-wing perpetrators.
The Department of Homeland Security found that violent white supremacy was the “most persistent and lethal threat to the homeland” and that they were the deadliest among domestic terrorists.
Right-wing groups recruit military vets and law enforcement since they have the desired skills such as weapons and combat training. Of the 550 people arrested thus far for the violent Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, 55 are current or former military and 12 worked in law enforcement.
Extremist groups are heavily armed and obtain munitions legally or illegally. At least 1,900 weapons were reported to have been lost or stolen from the armed services from 2010-2019. In July 2020 it was reported that three members of the 109th Air National Guard in Glenville under Commander Michelle Kilgore, pleaded guilty to weapons smuggling. How many other such incidents have gone undiscovered?
The United States needs uniform reporting methods for military and police to identify extremists in their ranks. Those who use racist or extremist rhetoric should be investigated and commanders should report those discharged from the ranks to the FBI for further tracking.
We cannot remain complacent while extremism proliferates. Right-wing extremism is our terrorist threat from within. We can prevent the demise of our democracy only if all true patriots hold extremists accountable.
Doreen Harris
Scotia

Want more coverage of Mohawk baseball

The front page of every issue of The Recorder states “YOUR HOMETOWN NEWSPAPER SINCE 1832.” This remark would lead me to believe that hometown happenings would be noted and reported.
In prior years, before being absorbed by The Gazette, The Recorder would contain daily articles covering the exploits of our summer baseball club, the Amsterdam Mohawks.
This year, only one article has appeared to date, and that was only to announce their return after a year’s absence, due to covid.
This club is a great source of pride for our city and for many fans and subscribers. We all looked forward to those daily articles.
This season ticket holder and longtime Recorder subscriber is wondering why The Recorder can’t be bothered to report on the club’s success.
This year’s club had been in first place all season with the best record in the entire statewide league, yet not one word of print has been offered to date.
If The Recorder is at all serious about being known as “Your hometown newspaper,” please resort to returning the daily coverage this year’s club has rightfully earned and so deserves.
This reader and fan fails to understand why reporting on this club is no longer of any importance to your staff. Please explain.
Peter DeMasi
Amsterdam

Right-to-repair law harmful to farmers

When the New York Senate passed right-to-repair legislation (so-called Digital Fair Repair Act), it was surprising given that, in every state where similar legislation has been introduced, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have rejected it.
Most bills in the Senate are subject to a committee hearing vote and public commentary so lawmakers can learn more about the issue at hand. But this right-to-repair bill received a floor vote without going through the full legislative process.
As a result, lawmakers were left in the dark about the issue they were voting on.
If the bill was passed, it could have forced manufacturers to give up proprietary information, allowing third parties to illegally tamper with advanced equipment.
“Right to repair” legislation is especially harmful for our state’s farmers, as farm machinery has evolved immensely in recent years, with sophisticated digital tools for safety, emissions control, and automation that can be dangerous to tamper with.
We all agree that farmers should be able to fix their own tractors when something breaks, which is why manufacturers have released all the necessary tools for equipment owners to fix a vast majority of repairs.
But fixing a broken tractor is very different from modifying or disabling safety features or environmental protection controls.
Instead of quickly passing a harmful bill that threatens our state’s agricultural industry, our lawmakers should take a closer look to realize how damaging sweeping right-to-repair legislation would be to our farmers who own and operate over 35,000 farms across New York.
Carl Zeilman
Ballston
The writer is Saratoga County Republican Chairman.

Stefanik is not the best person to admire

In response to Ms. Messitt’s Aug. 3 letter (“Stefanik inspires the women of GOP”), I think that fact checking is needed. First, members of Congress cannot be fired. They can be removed by a two-thirds vote in their respected chambers or removed by an election. Pelosi has no control over securing the Capitol, that is the job of the U.S. Capitol Police.
Yes, Stefanik probably has inspired other women to enter into politics, but she is not the only one.  Other women that now hold office serve as inspiration to all women.
Stefanik got her high-ranking position because the GOP ousted Liz Cheney for criticizing former President Donald Trump, his continued false claims of a stolen election and his role in the Jan. 6 riot. They wanted a yes-man, not a person that is willing to speak the truth.
Stefanik continues the lie that the election was stolen and tries to point fingers that anyone else had control over that Jan. 6 insurrection.
It is sad that some of our elected officials feel they have to bow down to a person that truly does not have the country’s best interest at heart, only his own. Hopefully, we will wake up.
Deborah Bender
Schoharie

Terrorists are always a threat to stability

In 1948, an elder Irish cousin from Limerick, Ireland, was stationed near Haifa (Palestine then, Israel now) as part of a peacekeeping force. He was a paratrooper of the 6th Airborne, 9th Para, UK. The Brits were there to protect Jews and Arabs from themselves.
My cousin’s company commander gave the lads a pep talk. They were told “the Jews are the worst terrorist the British Army ever dealt with.” I expect if the Para’s were in Ireland, it would be the Irish who were the worst terrorists. In 1776 it was us. Park a foreign army in someone’s land and someone is a terrorist. After 9/11, the Patriot Act made the DHS what it is. While in Bob’s Diner in Watervliet (one gravy covers all), I overheard a conversation from a group of DHS personnel. “This Patriot Act is great, my job specs have not changed, had my title changed and I get paid more.”
The Patriot Act made it ‘legal’ for intelligence agencies to do what they were doing all along but were not supposed to. Terrorism is a forever game, government is a forever game, there will always be those who profit from terrorism.
Edmond Day
Rotterdam

 

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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

13 Comments

Wow, inflation is at an all-time high in decades, gas prices are 33% higher, we are getting back into a Covid nightmare while Joe Biden allows millions of illegals through the southern border with 10% of them Covid positive and dropping them off all over the country while we have to wear a mask. The insanity of this administration is second to none. And the people supporting him, well I really don’t want to say.

LOUIS RESTIFO

“They (the Republican Party) would want to claim that the insurrectionists were a fringe group and didn’t represent the core values of the Republican Party.” Victor Roberts, guess what…The insurrectionists do exactly that; “represent the core values of the Republican Party,” and that is quite pathetic.

LOUIS RESTIFO

Bridget Almas: Thank you for your letter, I absolutely agree with you.
Stupidly, ignorance, and misinformation are pushing Covid and climate change, both of which are potentially catastrophic. – Thank you Republicans.

It’s IF, THEN. For example,..IF Antifa stormed the Capitol to overturn a free and fair election, willing to destroy our democratic republic, willing to assassinate our VP and Speaker of the House, AND the dems refused to investigate with a coverup, THEN your statement would be correct.

Used the wrong word, doesn’t change anything. Dont deflect. Lumping everyone into what some do or think is ridiculous and childish.

Yet there you are “lumping” together this abstraction called antifa with Democrats (with nothing to support it). Does hypocrisy mean anything to you? Or are “words” just weaponry to be used as you see fit?

Lumping all Republicans to the Washington ‘insurrection’ is the same thing, oh yes, sorry, forgot only your ‘facts’ are true

Republicans have made Donald Trump the leader of their party, the primary instigator of the insurrection. Those are facts borne out by the courts and the statements of those arrested. So yes, we can lump the majority of Republicans in with the insurrection.

No elected Democrats support the activities of the antifa movement. None. And you would have a hard time proving you even know what antifa means.

Carl Zeilman, Saratoga County Republican Chairman. What a brave stance you take in “protecting” NY’s farmers from, why, themselves! Imagine the mayhem they might cause to themselves and loved ones if they were to obtain the knowledge needed to keep their equipment running beyond changing the oil.
But more likely, what if smaller, more affordable repair shops had that knowledge (and deprive the larger typically more expensive “certified” centers and their corporate owners their income)?

A couple oddities rise to the surface to form a suspicious scum:

-While the monolithic Republican Party are absolutely losing their minds across the country screaming (in some cases, literally) about the right for parents to make their own decisions for their children with regards to sending them out into a pandemic without protection from it. In essence, the right to put their children in harm’s way…

-And while they also spew their histrionics about the Dems taking their beloved guns away, a “right” each person has, they claim, even in light of our country having the worst gun violence record in the world…

In light of the Republicans’ blind and tone deaf adherence to self-responsibility (apparently without any regard to their fellow Americans), there’s Carl Zeilman coming to the aid of the poor stupid farmer who given a sharp enough object is liable to do irreparable damage to us all… by possibly tweaking the performance of their machinery. Or troubleshooting a misfiring spark plug. Or finding an errant sensor causing the tractor to not start. Thank you, Carl Zeilman

That’s the Carl Zeilman who also doesn’t publicly list any campaign contributions, but is the Treasurer of record for the New York Republican Federal Campaign Committee.

I’m guessing some farmers might like to know who butters your bread, Mr. Zeilman?

William Marincic

Nothing Carl Zeilman said is untrue or incorrect, farmers can get the tools and manuals from the manufacturer to fix their own machinary, you are attacking him for the simple reason that he is a Republican, I would be willing to bet that you have 0.0 experience with modern farm equipment. Could you repair the clutch on a CVT transmission found in many of the cars of today or would you take it to the dealer? You scream that Republicans are tone-deaf to self-responsibility which is funny because the lefty motto is let the government take care of you, AKA democratic socialism!!!!!

Lumping all Republicans to the Washington ‘insurrection’ is the same thing, oh yes, sorry, forgot only your ‘facts’ are true

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