Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Saturday, Sep. 25


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.”
Bob Belive

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.
Gordon Boyd
Saratoga Springs

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.
Michael McGlynn

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.
Edward Hedlund
Clifton Park

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.
Christopher Longo

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.
Tracy Krosky-Sangare
Clifton Park

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.
Raymond Harris

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.
William Albers


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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion


Increasing the debt limit is basically a nonissue. All that need be done is to increase taxes enough to pay for Biden’s spending plan. If the tax increase passes then it is clear that the people’s representatives want the Democrats’ spending plan. If on the other hand the tax increase fails then we have the Republics assessment of Biden’s spending plan.


Fred, here’s a government finance lesson for you. Raising the current debt limit is necessary because Congress and two administrations exceeded the debt limit in the Federal fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2021. The overspending was due primarily because of the pandemic. We have no choice but to pay our debts.

Think of it this way. You go out to dinner and charge your meal (i.e., you are now in debt). If you don’t pay that bill on time, you will be charged a finance fee that could escalate or worse, you may lose your credit card and hurt your credit rating.

Mitch McConnell is just playing games with the current debt ceiling because that’s all he knows how to do. He tried to stop Obama and it didn’t work. The same will happen now because letting the U.S. default will shut down government and the GOP will be blamed for it. It will also hurt the country internationally with the money markets and our relations with other nations.

Congress is currently working on the Federal budget proposed by the administration for the year ending Sept. 30, 2022. If there is a need to raise the debt ceiling again next year (like they have done for decades), that will happen a year from now.

Ray there is no reason why the expenditures on matters of lesser importance could not have been cut to pay for matters of greater importance.

William Aiken

Yesterday, jclark124 lauded President Biden for being able to take criticism as well as taking ownership of his mistakes:

“He can take it-he is a man enough to own any mistakes…unlike our last president.”

Coincidently this week, Biden was involved in three incidents that disabuse jclark124’s take on our sheltered President. This past Wednesday, England’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson began answering a question at a joint press conference from the Oval Office. Biden’s WH aides reacted by, frenetically screaming and then shooing the WH press core out of the room. His handlers were panicked that the press might ask Biden a question that would take him off script. On Friday, Biden showed yet another example of cowardice during a joint press conference with Indian’s Prime Minister Modi:

“I think, with your permission, you could not answer questions because they won’t ask any questions on point,” Biden told Modi, referring to the American press.

Whether it’s Bill Clinton, W, or Donald Trump, when have the press ever asked on-point questions when there’s a big story that’s off-topic? The media allowed Biden to run his campaign out of his basement. They knew the less the public saw of him, the better chance he stood of beating Trump. As President, Biden has deployed a similar strategy, going home to Delaware each weekend as our Southern Border remains in crisis and hundreds of American citizens remained trapped in Afghanistan.

Now let’s dispel the fantasy that Biden owns his mistakes. At yesterday’s speech from the Oval Office, Biden blamed all his failures on “What he inherited” from Trump.

“Take a look at what I inherited when I came into office, when I came into office the state of affairs, where we were,” Biden said, repeating a familiar complaint by new presidents struggling in their first year of office.

What did Biden inherit from Trump?

1) Three vaccines, which Biden touts as the centerpiece of his Covid strategy. He’s never given Trump’s Operation Warp Speed any credit for bringing the vaccine to market.
2) 2,500 soldiers, who had secured Kabul and the Bagram Air Base.
3) A secure Southern border, which Biden dismantled by immediately rescinding all of Trump’s border policies. Biden’s reckless decisions quickly turned a manageable situation into chaos that is our southern border, today.

Had the media assigned a serious fact checker, Biden wouldn’t be so emboldened to tell such easily provable lies. With Biden’s arrogance, stubbornness and his supporters uncritical view, I predict these three things:

1) His supporters will slam me and then blame Trump.
2) More examples of his failures as President will surface.
3) The working class and folks, who aren’t politically compliant with his Covid mandates will suffer the most.

I think (hope) jclark is being facetious. No one who has the intelligence to use a computer keyboard could actually support biden. Especially the ‘he can take it! He’s a man!’ part. Uh yeah, jclark, OK then.

William Aiken

Then why don’t you point out the lies, Chuck D? I’m only quoting the words that came out of the president’s mouth. These incidents I cited were widely reported and broadcasted for everyone to see. Anyone can watch them on YouTube. But it won’t matter as truth isn’t a left wing value for a true believer like you

William Marincic

Bill, why respond to ChuckD, all he does is an insult, he will never carry on a conversation or debate with you, just attack with ridiculous statements like the one above. Deflection, because the truth will point out that you are correct.

Chuckie do you really think that heaven has forbid you to speak your thoughts? Or could it be that you are unwilling to put them up for public evaluation?

I’m only responding to you two to acknowledge you read my comment.

I’ll let history show what happened during these times, and I strongly predict people like you two will be shown to be tools for an ideological machine that seeks to undermine the Constitution of the United States in support of a White, ersatz-Christian, fascist movement.

I also predict it will show that was defeated and we’ll return to a respect for law and order. Any of your gripes and whines and “what-about”s, are cover for that machine. We all know what you really want.

Chuck: William Aiken simply pointed out some of Biden’s short comings. You then call him a liar. That was refuted by William and Fred. You then responded by alleging that history will show you are right. What kind of argument is that?

William Aiken

Being on the right side of history is what fuels a lot of the lunacy and totalitarianism of the left. For instance, the left promotes BLM messages stenciled on to the helmets of NFL players. There’s a time and a place for everything. However, not so much when it alienates half the country and then end up abandoning support of the players’ livelihood. Go woke! Go broke! A most pithy, accurate slogan that’s been adopted by a woke generation as a business model for corporate America in 2021. All for the name of being on the right side of history.


Claude Rizzicone: Everything you said in your ridiculous letter has been refuted, proven to be inaccurate or a flat out lie, literally hundreds of times on this forum alone, thus indicating that you don’t listen, understand or care about fact. Your opinions are a regurgitation of Fox News and religious manipulative nincompoopery .

Only what you want to hear, only what you want to see, only the way you want it to be, nothing else matters. Nothing.

William Marincic

Restifo, Only what you want to hear, only what you want to see, only the way you want it to be, nothing else matters. Nothing. that is exactly how we see you lefties. We will post facts and back it up with websites and statements and you only deflect.

Lou hurling insults at people you disagree with is hardly helpful. The question at hand is not a matter of religious freedom but rather one to what extent your claim for religious freedom extends to influencing the action of others. Freedom of religion was never meant to include the involuntary involvement with another’s religion!

Claude, I do not hold anything against belief in God, IE the Heavenly Father. I believe myself. However, what makes you so sure that God did not give men the intelligence to create a safe vaccine to combat the disease they also created?

Tracy has missed an important point about Darryl Mount’s death. Fleeing law enforcement trying to arrest you is far from health enhancing. What should be investigated is why putting someone’s life at risk by behaving in a manner that looks like attempted suicide by cop.

My suggested since we have a problem with blacks resisting arrest by white cops resisting arrest should always be treated as a hate crime. One way or another this should put an end to the problem.

William Marincic

So let me get this straight, Daryl Mount assaulted a female and when the police attempted to question him Mount took off running, Mount then tried to hide by climbing a scaffolding that was up and fell to his death and these so-called activists are blaming the police. What alternate universe are they even from?


News Alert: The report from partisan Arizona review confirms Biden defeated Trump in Maricopa County last November. In fact, Biden won by 360 more votes than Trump. What a GOP waste of taxpayer money.

The partisan review of Maricopa County’s 2.1 million ballots cast in the 2020 election found a vote count nearly identical to what the county had previously reported, a report detailing its findings shows.
The state Senate republicans who seized on former president Trump’s lies about widespread election fraud and ordered up the report and Cyber Ninjas, the inexperienced company hired to conduct it, detailed their findings in a public presentation Friday.

Now Texas republicans have allocated funds to audit four counties (two republican and two Democrat) to find their phantom fraud. Other red states are planning to do the same. Why do voters in those states elect these idiots? And they want to control the country and run it into the ground again? Not on our watch.

As for running into the ground check Biden’s handling of the problems at the southern border. You might want to comment on why the catch and release crowd are not given COVID shots

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