Religious rights don’t cover vaccines
I am not naïve enough to believe that things will return to civility and trust among our citizens and that discourse of our elected officials will be for the benefit of all Americans and not special interests.
But the column by Noah Feldman (“Freedom of religion means freedom to say no to vaccines”) in the Sept. 16 Gazette, to me, crosses the line between sanity and insanity.
Freedom of religion means no matter who, what, where, when and why you choose to worship, you have that right in this country, so long as that doesn’t harm others by doing so.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health crisis and thus has nothing to do with freedom of religion. It’s nice to cross the lines or blur the individual freedom/constitutional right excuse to refuse a vaccine, for whatever reason.
In the long term you are making a choice for me without my permission. If you choose not to vaccinate and become afflicted, perhaps the medical professionals should not treat you, since you don’t care enough about yourself or others to vaccinate. Wouldn’t bother me a bit.
Maybe the insurance companies should not cover any of your treatment, since the vaccine could have prevented or lessened the effects of the virus and shortened your hospital stay.
Either way, people refusing to get vaccinated only gives this virus the ability to run free and reinvent itself along the way in perpetuity. To those who believe it’s religious freedom, here’s a line from Death Wish. “Do you believe in Jesus? Well, you’re gonna meet him.”
Ron Kim is ready to lead in Saratoga
Heidi West’s supposed political “independence” was revealed this week to be a sham. Saratoga Springs voters received her first mailing, sent from New York Republican State Committee headquarters, 315 State Street, Albany. The long arm of Donald Trump’s Republican Party and local developer/donors will control her. No question.
Here’s why we know. Her placement of a campaign sign last week on the Broadway planter by her shop speaks volumes. She seems unable to distinguish public property from private.
The mayor controls the entire hierarchy of land use policy in the city: ordinances, boards and staff that direct what can be done and where, all that defines the boundary between the public interest and private property, choices between bike trails or truck traffic. Heidi West’s seemingly small act of using public property on Broadway to place a campaign sign suggests that she will disregard the public interest whenever her big developer friends and donors want a favor from City Hall. Those folks are already opening their checkbooks for her.
If you want a candidate that is qualified, knowledgeable, truly independent and ready to lead as mayor of Saratoga Springs, Ron Kim is the one.
Mask mandates take away our freedoms
I believe that to mandate masks or the vaccine for children in school is unconstitutional.
We had many viruses through the years, and no masks or vaccine was mandated. I also believe terminating people who are employed for not taking the vaccine is illegal; it’s a matter of choice.
We will not be forced to take anything that isn’t proven or know what the components are; that’s our right and our choice. I have no trust in this vaccine. New York is mandating it, as well as other Democratic states. But no one closed the borders.
This vaccine is foreign to our bodies, and no one knows the effect on us down the road. I call it the Mark of the Beast as written in the Bible. You can’t buy or sell anything, also in the Bible. We are being forced to take this vaccine or you can’t live a normal and free life – unacceptable. Employers are having trouble finding help now and they’re going to terminate those who they have, like nurses, which will affect our health system.
The Democratic Party is trying to strangle the American people financially and medically. If you don’t stand up, you lose. You have choices: to follow Satan or follow God and fight back.
Claude Rizzicone, Jr.
Improve protections for human rights
The Sept. 19 Gazette article (“Colonie man charged with sex trafficking”) indicates law enforcement officers within our region care to apply the law against predatory behavior.
Our Capital Region law enforcement officers need our assistance to expand influence to protect human lives and rights.
We must improve state and federal human rights’ policies and programs to enhance imprisonment of predators to women and children.
I have read several news incidents of government representatives and officers allowing women in the military and in Olympic athletics to be exposed to human rights’ victimization.
In addition, we need to improve the state Board of Regents’ coordination with school districts to administer policies and programs to expand human rights and “social and emotional learning” to protect our children, especially from human trafficking.
Vote out Democrats or life will get worse
Here’s Chuckie Schumer again with one of his insignificant suggestions. He’s calling for the FBI,CIA, and any other federal agency to investigate illegal vaccination cards.
Don’t you think this guy would have something else better to occupy his time? Maybe like inflation, border crisis, high food prices, giving undocumented aliens amnesty. Guess who will be paying for that.
Higher taxes, coronavirus, unemployment and maybe helping citizens of New York state.
The only way we can stop this insanity is voting these Democrats out of office. If we don’t, things will get worse, if that’s possible.
Hochul must respect religious freedoms
During Gov. Kathy Hochul’s press conference on Sept. 15, she was asked for a response to how the administration plans on fighting their recent court defeat regarding vaccine mandates on health care workers. Her quote was, “I’m not aware of a sanctioned religious exemption. …Everyone from the Pope on down is encouraging their members to get vaccinated.”
This statement is an egregious attack on the rights established by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The freedom of religion afforded U.S. citizens by this First Amendment is not confined to the statements of one individual representing one religious group.
It is ignorant to group all religions and beliefs into one man and even more ignorant to claim that there is a hierarchy that must be followed by all other people of faith.
Citizens have the right to develop their own convictions and determine the moral code they will follow through their own faith, no matter the size or brevity of their congregation.
The government has no right to circumvent this freedom of religion for any sake. The statements regarding this mandate should be viewed as an abandonment of the oath of office that Gov. Hochul took, where she stated she would defend the United States Constitution.
The way this debate becomes resolved is unknown, and the vaccine may prove out in history to be the right thing to do. However, if religious rights are thrown aside here, the First Amendment might as well be rescinded. Mandates and coercion are never the right approach.
Column a defense of White supremacy
The only explanation I have for why The Daily Gazette would publish an opinion on Sept. 19 from Carl Strock (“Lost in translation”) regarding BLM is White supremacy.
I cannot fathom in what world people would think a hateful man like Carl Strock would have any place in critiquing how BLM community members respond to racism.
In July, BLM supporters went to a Saratoga Springs City Council meeting. There we were met by police officers who told us that we couldn’t enter the meeting.
When a police officer was told by an attorney from the National Lawyers Guild that this was an explicit violation of the First Amendment, the officer laughed and said, “You are not going up until my supervisor says so.”
Lexis Figuereo, a BLM organizer, responded with a colorful insult directed at the officer. This harmless phrase has caused more outrage in The Gazette than the fact that the Saratoga police were fine with violating our constitutional rights and that Mayor Meg Kelly attempted to shut BLM out of the City Council meeting.
Recently, Black activists and allies have been targeted by Saratoga Springs PD in an attempt to silence them calling for an investigation into Darryl Mount’s death.
Instead of focusing on the abuse of power by Saratoga, The Gazette has chosen to treat people swearing as equal to SSPD covering the death of a Black man and using systemic racism to silence critics.
This is how White supremacy works: Those in power create outrageous conditions, and then they attack us for our outrage.
Republican positions are anti-democratic
Let’s check in on what the Republicans stand for these days.
For example, they are pro-covid, encouraging people not to get vaccinated or wear a mask in public to end the pandemic. They would prefer the pandemic to continue because it hurts Biden politically, and to them that’s all that matters so that they can be in power.
They support the Jan. 6 insurrectionists who invaded our national Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from electing Biden, who won by more than 7 million votes.
The GOP wants to move on and not be bothered with learning why security was so lax and how Trump inspired the invasion.
The GOP supports the fossil fuel industry, since they believe climate change doesn’t exist or it’s a hoax inspired by environmentalists.
They are also big advocates of voter suppression and are willing to spend millions of dollars of taxpayer money reauditing certified voting results in search of voter fraud to appease the former president’s Big Lie.
The GOP wants to control women’s bodies and health care, despite constitutional protections like abortion. Further, the GOP believes everyone should be armed with any type and quantity of weapons and that reasonable gun control is government overreach.
Being overwhelmingly White, the GOP thinks racism is overstated and its history shouldn’t be taught in schools. They prefer to “whitewash” history so that only positive events occurred since our founding are presented.
Republicans have openly displayed their anti-democratic positions, whether it benefits the general population or not.
Need a different tack on flooding control
Russ Wege’s column (“Henri escape a reminder to address flooding”) in the Aug. 26 Gazette reminds Stockade residents that the issue of release gates for the Lock 7 dam is still a vital matter.
I agree with Russ that a proper study of flooding elevation of the Lock 7 pool should consider the influence of gates prior to and during a flood. However, it is doubtful that relicensing studies for the associated hydro power plant will even consider the benefit of gates to lower the Lock 7 pool.
The state Power Authority does not want to be involved in flood control, which explains why Russ’ lobbying efforts have been ignored.
His best alternative to arouse public opinion in favor of gates is to prepare his own proof-of-principle study and amply publicize it.
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