Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Saturday, Sep. 11

PHOTOGRAPHER:

Biden makes peace, but at what price?

President Biden should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his actions in Afghanistan.
His single minded pursuit of withdrawal, regardless of possible consequences, ensures “peace for our time.” His willingness to abandon American citizens, allies and friends has set the gold standard on how American and other countries should react to red lines.
He has stopped the civil war in Afghanistan and enabled a government to be installed which believes the 11th century was a great century concerning women rights, justice and individual freedom.
The deference of our military and state department to the Taliban instructions is directly attributable to Joe Biden as the buck stops there.
Joe Biden should have invited the Taliban to attend the New York City 9/11 ceremonies to jointly mark the end of 20 years of conflict and to solidify his credentials for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Andy Beiniks
Charlton

 

Consider what kind of America we want

When this country was founded, the desperate people fleeing religious persecution in Europe boarded boats with a chance that they might survive the journey to freely practice their beliefs without prejudice or fear of prosecution.
Individually by their combined focus made our country what it is today.
Unfortunately today the United States has devolved into the secular abyss from which our Founding Fathers fled. There was a unifying goal to make the New World a better place for all.
Read the words written by those brave souls that focus on “We the People…” not headlines “here are my rights.” Look in the mirror and see if you are WE or a me and ask yourself if you want to be from America or Texas.
Jeffrey Warrick
Niskayuna

 

Better decisions come from free discussion

Since when is it OK for City Council members to use the resolution process to denounce the views of a city resident with whom they disagree, as Karen Zalewski-Wildzunas and John Polimeni recently attempted to do as reported in the Sept. 8 Gazette (“Council committee declines to denounce comments”)?
Justifying their resolution because the city resident is a member of the school board does not make their actions any more acceptable.
Representative bodies, such as the City Council, make better decisions when matters are openly discussed and a range of voices are encouraged.
Yet, Zalewski-Wildzunas and Polimeni’s action sends the message to school board members – and county legislators, state legislators and other elected officials – that they need to keep their mouths shut when it comes to issues under the City Council’s jurisdiction.
Or perhaps it is only the views of those they oppose that Zalewski-Wildzunas and Polimeni wish to silence?
The city would be much better served if council members spent their time debating the merits of policy initiatives rather than attacking another public official.
Zoe Oxley
Schenectady

 

 

State should lower threshold for DWI

The covid pandemic has impacted just about every aspect of our daily lives.
At the same time, unfortunately, it hasn’t slowed the carnage created by drunk driving.
Since 2000, the nation’s DWI fatality rate has stubbornly remained around 10,000 annually. Drunken driving is a preventable crime.
There’s an Assembly bill, A9179, and Senate bill, S131, that would lower the BAC (blood alcohol content) from 0.08 % to 0.05% in New York state.
Utah, along with dozens of other places, has passed laws to lower the legal BAC. The results: lower DWI deaths and injuries. In 2017, Utah passed a 0.05 BAC and witnessed a 70% and 30% reduction in deaths and crashes, respectively. Their DWI rates have remained significantly low.
While DWI tougher laws have been passed, the death rate hasn’t changed in over 20 years. Lowering BAC to 0.05 takes a proactive approach proven to saves lives. It gets the driver to consider their sobriety before they get behind the wheel. Considering that a person begins to lose their peripheral vision at 0.02, no one is safe sharing the roads with drivers operating with a 0.05 BAC.
I can say with confidence that 0.05 is the vaccine for drunken driving. The data proves it. We just need to urge our Assembly and Senate to support A.9179 and S.131. The next time you read about the latest DWI tragedy, pick up the phone, call your representatives and tell them to do the right thing. You can make a difference.
William Aiken
Schenectady
The writer is president of Remove Intoxicated Drivers.

 

Real patriots would dump Trump loyalists

Republican Congressman Madison Cawthorn has hit a new low in his grab for political power.
Knowing his fate is tied to Trump’s approval and support, he recently stated he would reluctantly take up arms against his fellow citizens if elections continue to be rigged. This pathetic attempt to please Trump by calling Biden’s election rigged has been shown to be unfounded by every Republican Secretary of State and dozens of court cases.
Even Trump’s fawning Attorney General William Barr said the election results were accurate.
But the big lie that Trump actually won continues to be promulgated among Trump cultists, including many Evangelical Christians, White Supremacists and authoritarian Republicans. Cawthorn has joined the ranks of mad Rudy Giuliani, revolting Steve Bannon, and the drug-addled pillow salesman Mike Lindell.
He is threatening political violence if Republicans don’t win in the next congressional and presidential elections. If Republicans were real patriots, they would vote to expel Cawthorn, Greene, Gosar, Gaetz, Gomer and other Trump worshiping misfits.
Anthony J. Santo
Rotterdam

Niskayuna residents aren’t just Democrats

As a former Niskayuna school board member and current board of directors member with a local community organization, I know from experience that there are many benefits to working in a board setting that represents diverse views, including those from different political parties.
I especially see the need for this diversity on the current Niskayuna Town Board, which is stacked with Democratic members that have served multiple terms. They are entrenched and completely intolerant of any member who doesn’t fall in line with what Democratic leadership dictates. And as we have seen over the last few election cycles, they are openly hostile to our current Republican supervisor. Why? Just because she’s a Republican?
Niskayuna is made up of Republicans, conservatives and a lot of others who aren’t registered with any party, too. Not just Democrats.
With the election season upon us, I expect we will see more ugly campaigning against the Republican candidates. The Democrats would do well to remember that they are not deciding partisan issues at the town board level and that regardless of party affiliation, we are all neighbors — even during election season. Perhaps a change is the best way to get that message through.
Noney Grier
Niskayuna

Story placement has impact on news bias

On page A9 of the Sept. 3 Daily Gazette in one of the largest headlines I have ever seen: “Nation divided over law,” the page devotes half the space to those who support the new Texas law, and half the space to those who don’t.
The whole page gives a completely wrong impression of where Americans stand on this issue.
According to a Gallup poll from June, only 32% of Americans wanted the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision overturned, while 58% of Americans opposed overturning it.
I suggest that editors at the Daily Gazette pay attention to not only the accuracy of the facts that they print, but also to how the story appears in the newspaper.
Bahram Keramati
Saratoga Springs

Time to restore GOP majority in House

President Biden went on national television and proceeded to blame his predecessor for the disaster of our withdrawal from Afghanistan, and then took credit for how great a success it was.
This after lying to the American public about the threat of the Taliban takeover, not to mention the fact that they’re now in possession of billions of dollars’ worth of Pentagon weaponry and equipment.
Biden is telling us that what we’re seeing with our own eyes isn’t actually happening. I thought once Trump was gone, so too would be the gaslighting from our leaders. I thought wrong.
Where’s the accountability? Our Congressman Paul Tonko, who had constituents stuck in Afghanistan, is totally missing in action. His last tweet on Afghanistan was over a week ago and it was him praying for our troops and allies — something he himself has said isn’t enough during prior crises. We need real leadership and accountability, not gaslighting and hypocrisy. We need a Republican House of Representatives so we can restore checks and balances and bring real accountability to Washington.
I’ll be voting for Paul Tonko’s opponent, Liz Joy, next November and suggest other independent-minded voters in the Capital Region do so as well.
Susan McGraw
Ballston Lake

 

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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

16 Comments

Zoe Oxley writes, “Since when is it OK for City Council members to use the resolution process to denounce the views of a city resident [Jamaica Miles] with whom they disagree, as Karen Zalewski-Wildzunas and John Polimeni recently attempted to do as reported in the Sept. 8 Gazette?…The city would be much better served if council members spent their time debating the merits of policy initiatives rather than attacking another public official.”

100% spot on Ms. Oxley. Thank you for stating the obvious so eloquently.

Gazette article to which she refers:
https://dailygazette.com/2021/09/07/resolution-to-denounce-call-to-defund-the-police-dies-in-committee/

“Look in the mirror and see if you are WE or a me and ask yourself if you want to be from America or Texas.Jeffrey Warrick”
Texas allows you to make money by turning in abortion law breakers. Does anyone really think that we would continue to have an overdose problem if we applied the Texan principle to dope dealing?

Texas should be given credit for promoting free speech by coming down on the social forums that think that the have the right to limit the flow of the words that some find unpleasant.

ANTHONY J SANTO

Yes Fred, some people do believe we would continue to have a drug overdose problem if we turned enforcement, with a 10,000 dollar award, over to any citizen who felt like a vigilante. However, just as inevitably as will be the case under the new Texas abortion law, the result would be a great increase in corruption and frivolous court cases as many of the vigilantes would be, no doubt, motivated by greed or revenge or just a nutty desire for feeling powerful or intimidating.

Tony its the magnitude of the drug overdose problem that I find to be important. If paying a bounty on drug crime cuts the death rate in half I find that to be a great social improvement. Of course paying citizens for what they should do as an social obligation shows our collective character flaws

LOUIS RESTIFO

One of today’s Gazette front page headlines:
VACCINE RULES SPARK GOP UPROAR
Republicans threaten suits, civil disobedience

It certainly is a sad state of affairs that Republican leaders are apposing science, logic and common sense in their continuing “wall of resistance” regarding getting vaccinated, be it mandatory or voluntarily.

It seems typical of their narrow minded views in attempts to fulfill their agendas (in many cases of re-election) regardless of consequences to others, which in this particular instance are huge.

Thousands of Americans, including children, are literally dying because of their “right” to not get vaccinated. Also consider the tremendous amount of negative impact on the economy as well as the physical and mental breaking point stress put on health care workers and others associated with the burden of dealing with the sick and dying.

Getting the vaccine is a no brainer that everyone should realize is currently the best and only coarse of action to potentially eradicate the living hell of COVID. This shouldn’t be a political issue, all should be on board.

ANTHONY J SANTO

Can anyone out there address the points made by Mr. Restifo? I do not understand Republican outrage over government mandates to address the most dangerous threat to America’s health, from the youngest to the oldest. Did you complain about removing your shoes and belts and a search by security guards when arriving for a flight after 9/11? Do you complain about the illegality of going through a red light when you are in a hurry, even if you feel it is safe? Should you have the freedom to determine whether or not you are too drunk to drive? Should children be allowed to go to school without the already existing vaccination mandates? Really and sincerely, I want to understand the thinking behind your position on covid mandates.

They way it should have been done; I know that their is a possiblity of adverse reaction to the COVID-19 shoot so this mandate comes with a huge fiancial payment should that be the case. Those on the losing end of a political stuggle should have been offered a face saving way out. After all if they are wrong it would have costusnothing.

In real life it is not important to be tough but rather smart is the way to long term success

In the 4th century BC the Chinese revealed that a great general is not one who wins fifty battles but rather it is one who achieves his objectives without battle. Like said smart beats tough.

Anthony,
While we await a Republican response to yours and Lou’s comments, I’ll posit that as absurd as it all is, I think the issue is whether Republicans can possibly allow a Democratic “win”, which includes defeating the pandemic. That, to me, starts to explain their absurd behavior.

The Left cannot win, on any terms, in any way!
Never back down, never surrender, never compromise!
(Even while thousands of their own perish)
It’s the very definition of a Pyrrhic victory. Sadly, so many have cast off the notion of education they’ve probably never heard of it to heed it’s message.

They’ve clearly made it their platform to try to shut down anything Democratic, any way they can (unless they can claim some credit, even if it’s undeserved), and to try to single-mindedly force a White Christian standard on an increasingly multicultural American society. And then they’ll howl about themselves being shut down, for espousing hateful opinions more fitting for an 18th century world that most of America rejects.

(Please, please one of you try to make the case you were excluded from the January 6 Commission. I promise you’ll publicly eat your words)

Many Republicans recognize their party is NOT the most popular one and as fitting an underdog, have chosen to still play by our Constitutional rules and recognize the common good. And Democrats have tried to include them in the legislative process and recognize their place in the debate. Their perspective is valuable. But those rational Republicans have now become the “fringe” of their party as this larger, bizarrely self-destructive faction careens down the highway like a heat-seeking clown car in pursuit of their White-based, church-going fantasy (feeling heroic the whole way).

The “division”, or the “polarization” many of them lament is of their own making. They have chosen to break off from civil society and behave like primates. Only they can win, and they will fight to the end trying to prove it. How bizarre.

ANTHONY J SANTO

Chuck, having heard no logical arguments in support of their stand on the mandates to fight covid19, I assume you are correct: Their position is based solely on misguided narrow and selfish partisanship supported by an absolute need to be right, damn the evidence. Look at their position on what happened on 1/6 as further evidence that they believe what they want to believe no matter the facts or consequences. It is really bewildering and frightening.

Tony the merits of a logical argument depends on the its premises. Your argument is built on the assumption that we have obligations to each other. As illustrated by the throwing the St. Clare retires under the bus that is n longer a generally accepted belief. For a second example consider the lack of obligation a wife is expected to show to her husband and unborn child.

The acceptance of a logical argument depend upon common beliefs!

I think we should require Fred to post the time of day( maybe he has a liquid breakfast and or lunch before he pontificates) when he posts. It has been determined many times no one understands what he is talking about. It might help.

Remember this saying?
There is no discussion with them so all interactions are like wrestling with a pig. You both get dirty but the pig enjoys it.
For those who try to present truth and facts to our fellow citizens. Per Louis, only what they want to hear, only what they want to see, only the way they want it to be, nothing else matters. Nothing.

Why bother telling Mr Beinks, FG did invite the Taliban to Camp David, on and on.
The war is over, was it messy? Yes. “Read Last Men Out” about fall of Saigon and our marines who were last out if you think Afghanistan was bad, And we had a Republican as president then in case you want to know.

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