Tonko on wrong path with climate emergency
As the House Chair of the Environment and Climate Change sub-committee, Congressman Paul Tonko is in a position to fight for legislation that would help us move away from runaway climate change. Instead he took a fossil-fuel-funded trip to West Virginia to visit several coal and natural gas operations. His committee has written a bill called the Clean Future Act. This bill includes subsidies for garbage incineration and continued use of fossil fuels including the build-out of fossil fuel infrastructure that will last decades. He also favors a cap and trade policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This approach allows polluters to sell the excess of their emissions so they can continue to pollute.
To make matters worse, he still hasn’t signed the End Polluters Welfare Act which would end subsidies and tax loopholes for the oil and gas industries. This is probably the most glaring betrayal of his constituents because he has given lip service to the importance of fighting for environmental justice. Communities of color are already burdened by the location of fossil fuel plants such as the steam plant located in Albany’s Sheridan Hollow district.
It’s not too late for Congressman Tonko to clean up his dirty bill that will increase carbon emissions, not reduce them. Will he listen to his constituents and take concrete action to deal with the unprecedented climate emergency? Or will he cave to the fossil fuel industry?
Stop tearing down the great USA
Trump haters happy yet? You elected an incompetent, lying, senile career politician who has been on the wrong side of every foreign policy issue his whole life, who now has blood on his hands with his Afghanistan debacle. We left billions of our dollars in military equipment for use by terrorists to kill people. Who has torn down every good thing that President Trump did for our country and will ultimately degrade our freedoms and quality of life. For example, you must inject what I tell you to into your body.
He is told what to say and what to do by those who desire to destroy this democracy for their own gain.
But Trump lied thirty thousand and a half times, the bad orange man. And the sheep follow MSNBC, CNN, the Washington Post, etc. Patriots not.
This joke is on you. Learn a lesson from the Olympics — rewatch the hundreds of young patriots that dedicated their young lives for a chance to represent what we all hold dear.
The America I chose to love was and is still the greatest giving, non-racist, caring, compassionate, richest, free society the world has ever known.
Stop tearing it down with your hate mongering.
Constitutional protections dwindle
In July a number of protesters were arrested in Saratoga, and many believe the First Amendment will protect them.
Americans live under the delusion that constitutional rights are absolute and there exists a team like the Avengers to protect us when they get violated.
Local law enforcement unlawfully stop and search our person(s)? We should be able to sue. A village puts unreasonable limits on speech; government takes our property without reasonable cause and using eminent domain; we should get compensation. We should be able to redress grievances.
Not so fast. In real life it is nearly impossible to enforce rights. It has become less likely since 1980.
In 1868 after passage of the Fourteenth Amendment, the SCOTUS began a process called “selective incorporation.” Selective incorporation practically means the SCOTUS would incorporate certain clauses of certain amendments, rather than incorporating an entire amendment at once. Making states responsible for enforcement, theoretically. From 1868-1970 rights were protected and expanded.
In 1975, the SCOTUS began to reverse course. The court expanded the scope of government officers’ immunity from suits for constitutional violations, narrowed circumstances in which federal officers could be sued, began to limit federal courts’ power to enjoin unconstitutional state policies; and made it far more difficult for state/federal prisoners to show their criminal convictions were invalid due to constitutional errors.
It would take action by Congress to stop the pendulum from swinging away from the Bill of Rights. Sadly, that seems less likely than an act of God today.
CHRISTOPHER J. OGNIBENE
Niskayuna has credibility problem
Thank you for publishing the article (“Residents want more transparency with budgets”) as well as Mr. Struzzi’s letter (“Return integrity to Ni-sky government”) highlighting a recent NYS Comptroller report which called the town’s budget process “inappropriate” in the Sept. 4 Gazette. Why did this damning NYS Comptroller report only become public knowledge when Mr. Struzzi wrote a letter? How do we get a copy of this report? And what is the town’s response to these disturbing findings?
Furthermore, the town has never released the Nixon Peabody report resulting from their independent investigation of the Town Comptroller “Black face” incident. Why was this report never made public? What were the Nixon Peabody findings and recommendations? What is the board hiding?
It has been said that in a free society, transparency is government’s obligation to share information with its constituents. Transparency is at the heart of how citizens hold their public officials accountable. We clearly have a major credibility issue at the Niskayuna Town Hall.
Niskayuna residents deserve better. We demand integrity and transparency in all town board activities. Continuing to withhold information from town residents seriously damages the board’s credibility. The Town Board should publish each of these reports on the town website, including a response if appropriate. This simple action will demonstrate a real commitment to transparency.
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