Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Friday, Jan. 21


Hold government liable for bridge hits

What is everyone waiting for? Yet another truck has hit the Glenridge Road bridge. Are the officials and politicians waiting for someone to die or be maimed before taking drastic action in a drastic and dangerous situation?
Close the bridge to all truck traffic and force the idiots, morons and imbeciles to drive the long route.
Enough is enough!
If you agree, let the town, county and state officials know that we’re going to hold them liable.
Mary Jo Garofalo-Venditti

Don’t elect criminal president again

Here are three crimes you should be familiar with: fraud, sedition, and treason.
Fraud is the intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value, like money.
Sedition is a federal crime of insurrection against a government by acts or speeches that can, even if unintentional, stir up citizens to dislike, resist, or subvert the government. Federal law 18 U.S.C.A. 2385 outlaws advocating the overthrow of the federal government by force. A person found guilty can be sentenced to up to twenty years.
Treason requires actual betrayal of the government, attempting by overt acts to overthrow it, such as by calling for the assistance of a foreign enemy.
The person who lost the last presidential election has, ever since, peddled the Big Lie that the election was stolen, conning millions of donations for him and his cult of Republican sycophantic followers. This is blatant fraud, and they all should be punished.
That same person, possessed by narcissistic personality disorder, unable to accept defeat, urged his followers to violently attack the halls of Congress in an attempt to overthrow the lawful will of the people.
That is blatant sedition, and all should be punished.
During the 2020 election, that same person called upon Russia to help him win.
A Russian intelligence agency made 80,000 posts on Facebook, reaching one out of two voters, according to the Mueller Report. That’s treasonous.
That criminal intends to become our president in 2024.
Richard W. Lewis, Jr.

Some tips for the next big snowstorm

Now that we have had the first serious snowstorm of this winter season, may I offer a couple of reminders and a suggestion on driving in the middle of a snowstorm?
When a snowstorm is in progress and the highway department snowplows are plowing the roadways, roadways and intersections are narrower due to snow pushed to the sides by the plows. Many times on multiple lane roadways, the lane on the right is not completely available to drive on.
Stated simply, all vehicle traffic has less room to maneuver, move over and avoid conflicts.
Secondly, intersections are usually more slippery due to snow pushed around by turning vehicles and snowplow blades.
It is harder to pull out from a stop because tires sink down in the snow when at a full stop.
Recall from driver’s education that most accidents happen at intersections.
Roads will remain slippery and narrower until the storm passes and crews pass several times to push snow banks farther back.
Please remember this during winter driving, and when approaching intersections where you must stop, give everyone a “brake” by slowing down earlier and stopping just a little farther back in a slicked up, snow covered intersection.
A turning vehicle could slide and bang right into your vehicle if the driver must react quickly to avoid your vehicle zooming right up to the edge as in clear weather conditions.
If this happens, it won’t be good for your vehicle, your auto insurance, or your schedule.
Michele Stater

Have optimism for St. Clare’s retirees

The St. Clare’s Hospital retirees have had to struggle through life because the St. Clare’s Hospital had them right where they wanted them.
Now I would like the church, the hospital and the Bishop’s to check out the news. Now I think the shoe is on the other foot. I think the St. Clare’s Hospital retirees’ legal team has all of them right where they want them. I also think the best is yet to come.
Walter “Neal” Brazell


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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

LOUIS RESTIFO January 22, 2022
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Mitch McConnell Wednesday:
“Because if you look at the statistics, African American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans.”

Then, the racist, in an attempt to correct himself today (Friday) said he omitted the word “almost” – almost American? Just keep digging your hole Mitch. Then he corrected himself again saying the word he omitted was “all”.
“All” not really being the appropriate word either.

Then because Mitch only had two feet to stick in his mouth he was helped out by an office spokesperson saying that McConnell meant to say “other Americans”. Sure ok

LOUIS RESTIFO January 22, 2022
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Freudian slip for sure.

LOUIS RESTIFO January 22, 2022
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“At a press briefing on Wednesday, McConnell responded to a question about his message to concerned voters of color as he worked to defeat a Democrat-backed voting rights bill by saying: “The concern is misplaced because if you look at the statistics, African American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans.”

Revealing or what?

jclark124 January 22, 2022
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45 also threatened Biden with jail weeks before that election, too.

ANTHONY J SANTO January 21, 2022
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I found a list of four criteria for a wannabe dictator in Levitsky and Ziblatt’s book “How Democracies Die” (pages 61-64) very interesting, because as they point out, Trump meets all four. The criteria, with some excerpts from the text matching them to Trump:

1) A weak commitment to the democratic rules of the game: “For months his (Trump’s) campaign website declared ‘Help Me stop Crooked Hillary from Rigging This Election!’…Trump refused to say he would accept the results of the election if he were defeated

2)The denial of the legitimacy of one’s opponents: During the 2016 campaign, Trump denied Hillary Clinton’s legitimacy as a rival by branding her a ‘criminal’ and declaring repeatedly that she ‘has to go to jail.’ At campaign rallies he applauded supporters who chanted ‘Lock her up!’.

3) Toleration or encouragement of violence: Trump embraced–and even encouraged–supporters who physically assaulted protesters…he responded to protesters at his rallies by inciting violence among his supp: Trump displayed such a readiness in2016. He said he planned fororters. From ‘Vox’:
a)’I love the old days. You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried out on a stretcher folks. It’s true….I’d like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell you.’ 2/22/16, Nevada
b) ‘In the good old days, they’d rip him out of that seat so fast. But today, everybody’s politically correct.’ 2/26/16 Oklahoma
c)’We had some people , some rough guys like we have right in here. And they’d start punching back. It was a beautiful thing.’ 3/9/16 N. Carolina
d) ‘If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of
them, would ya ? I promise you, I will pay the legal fees. I promise.’ 2/1/2016 Iowa

4) A readiness to curtail the civil liberties of rivals and critics: He said he planned to arrange for a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton after the election and declared that Clinton should be imprisoned. Trump also repeatedly threatened to punish unfriendly media. ‘If I become president,oh, do they have problems. They are going to have such problems.'”

Florida2015 January 21, 2022
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Good point ChuckD about having two sides to approach the bridge. The town supervisor solution would be called 1/2 a–ed then?

Florida2015 January 21, 2022
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Wasn’t he Rockefeller Center and I- 787 created from mostly minority communities, and the oil train tank cars run next to the public housing in downtown on its way from South Dakota to refineries?

JOHN GAETANI January 21, 2022
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Way to go Mary Jo! I have been screaming that same thing for years.

ANTHONY J SANTO January 21, 2022
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Highways can’t be racist, but their planners can. Biden wants construction projects to avoid what happened in the past as a consequence of racism:

“Planners of the interstate highway system, which began to take shape after the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, routed some highways directly, and sometimes purposefully, through Black and brown communities. In some instances, the government took homes by eminent domain.

It left a deep psychological scar on neighborhoods that lost homes, churches and schools, says Deborah Archer, a professor at the New York University School of Law and national board president of the American Civil Liberties Union. Archer recently wrote for the Iowa Law Review about how transportation policy affected the development of Black communities.

She says the president will face major challenges in trying to rectify historical inequities.

What is not clear is whether and how that money will be distributed in a way that will address the racial inequalities that are built into our transportation system and our infrastructure,” she told NPR’s morning edition.

It is silly and non-productive to say highways, roadways, and parks can’t be racist. Everyone knows that and no one is saying that. At least Biden is attempting to avoid racism affecting the PLANNING AND CONSTRUCTION of projects in his landmark infrastructure program.

William Marincic January 21, 2022
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Biden Administration Official Broke Stock Trading Law Nine Times Last Year

The Daily Wire

ChuckD January 21, 2022
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The draft executive order shows that the weeks between Election Day and the Capitol attack could have been even more chaotic than they were. It credulously cites conspiracy theories about election fraud in Georgia and Michigan, as well as debunked notions about Dominion voting machines.

The order empowers the defense secretary to “seize, collect, retain and analyze all machines, equipment, electronically stored information, and material records required for retention under” a U.S. law that relates to preservation of election records. It also cites a lawsuit filed in 2017 against Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

The order was drafted in response to a screaming fit heard coming from the Oval Office wherein Donald J. Trump was heard:
“I won!!! I won!!!I won!!!I won!!!I won!!!I won!!!I won!!!I won!!!

Get Rudy in here now!”

ChuckD January 21, 2022
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“Georgia Patriots it’s time for us to take back our state from these Lawless treasonous traitors. It’s time to invoke our Second Amendment right it’s time to put a bullet in the treasonous Chinese [Official A]. Then we work our way down to [Official B] the local and federal corrupt judges,” Chad Christopher Stark posted to Craigslist.
Georgia election officials have been hit especially hard with threats from supporters of Donald Trump after they refused to back the former President’s bogus claims of election fraud.
Chad Christopher Stark is fortunately now in Federal custody.

But it’s revealing how the right interprets those “Second Amendment Rights”. It’s pretty clear they see that as their get-out-of-jail card to shoot anyone they feel a little funny about.

Isn’t that right, Republicans? Protecting your freedoms?
Prove me wrong.

ANTHONY J SANTO January 21, 2022
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“The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that ‘no person … shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.’ The right was created in reaction to the excesses of the Courts of Star Chamber and High Commission—British courts of equity that operated from 1487-1641. These courts utilized the inquisitorial method of truth-seeking as opposed to the prosecutorial, meaning that prosecutors did not bear the burden of proving a case, but that sufficient “proof” came from browbeating confessions out of the accused.” Wikipedia

Interestingly, in spite of the 5th amendment, it is legal for police to lie during an interrogation. They can lie about having incriminating information against the suspect, the severity of the sentence, their ability to get a search warrant, and more. They can also use coercive tactics such as telling the suspect they ‘better confess, or else…’.

Also, don’t forget that the founding fathers weren’t that far from the Salem witch trials which used dunking boards (old form of water-boarding) to illicit confessions to practicing witchcraft followed by public hangings.

RAYMOND HARRIS January 21, 2022
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The racist/antisemitic GOP has been on full display lately. The first item was yesterday when McConnell spoke after helping kill the voting rights bill. Speaking to reporters after the bill failed and the Senate rejected a change to the filibuster rule that could facilitate its passage, McConnell was asked for his message to voters in minority communities who are concerned that voting restrictions being enacted in many states will keep them from the ballot box without new federal laws.

“The concern is misplaced, because if you look at the statistics, African American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans,” McConnell said. I guess the Americans he was referring to was White Americans.

In fact, studies indicate that voting restrictions, like those passed by 19 states in the past year, disproportionately negatively impact voters of color.

Democratic Illinois congressman Bobby Rush swiftly called out McConnell’s comment, saying in a tweet: “African Americans ARE Americans”.

The second item deals with the Bloomberg editorial reprinted in the Gazette today that the Senate GOP is holding up the appointment of the highly qualified candidate for a State Dept. position in their antisemitic office because the woman, Deborah Lipstadt, had criticized republican racist resident Senator Ron Johnson of Ohio who said he would’ve been more afraid of the Jan. 6 rioters if they had been Black Lives Matter supporters. The GOP wants Lipstadt to apologize for her criticism of Johnson. Of course, McConnell never asked Johnson to apologize to the BLM and Blacks in general for his remarks.

I believe the racist/antisemitic remarks by republicans are no longer dog whistles. They say this stuff out loud as a campaign tactic. Their supporters are doing the same.

ANTHONY J SANTO January 21, 2022
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One of the most disturbing assertions of the Trump faithful is that ‘we should put all this behind us’. What are they asking us to forget?:

Trump’s attempt to stay in office illegally, including threatening and intimidating prominent people from Pence through Raffensperger and ordinary poll workers like Ruby Freeman.

The creation of alternate slates of electors by Trump allies to replace actual slates of electors that reflected the election results.

The attempt by a Trump inspired mob to disrupt the Congressional process of certifying the election, hang Pence and kill Pelosi. This mob of misguided miscreants was to be followed by a take over, using military tactics, of the Capitol by dedicated Trump storm troopers, commonly known as the Oath-Keepers.

The wasting of our courts’ time with multiple lawsuits claiming election fraud where none existed.

The attempt to undermine our constitutional Republic with an unending series of lies calling into question the integrity of the election.

Based on these lies and crimes a series of state laws intended to suppress and subvert future elections have become reality.

The purpose of the House 1/6 investigation is to get to the bottom of this crisis in our country. We need to know why and how this happened in order to enact legislation to prevent it from ever happening again.

William Marincic January 21, 2022
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In a letter to Archivist David Ferriero Wednesday, Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) requested any documents pertaining to the first son’s potential role in the transaction, arguing the sale posed a potential national security threat by undermining the United States’ capacity to invest in green energy. Cobalt is a key component in electric car batteries.

Bill Wemple January 21, 2022
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Good Reminder Michele! I see lots more of AWD and 4WD vehicles on the road. These are great for moving on snow\ice, however ALL vehicles are subject to same laws of physics when it comes to Stopping on it. The larger the vehicle, the more unforgiving physics becomes too. I cringe a little when large pickups and SUV’s go racing by in bad conditions and then see them flipped over later in the median or off-ramps like a turtle.

William Marincic January 21, 2022
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The Supreme Court has recognized that there may be situations where a person is innocent, but may have rational reasons to invoke the 5th. Let’s take a real-life example from the Supreme Court case of Ohio v. Reiner. In that case, a father was accused of injuring his baby son, resulting in the son’s death. The father’s defense was that he did not injure the baby, and that the injuries were caused by the babysitter.

The babysitter maintained her innocence. The Supreme Court said that she was allowed to assert her 5th Amendment right. The Court made it clear that innocent people are entitled to protection of the right to remain silent. In fact, that right is designed to protect the innocent.

You might be asking: if she was innocent, why did she want to remain silent? Because facts that she would have to admit to if she was questioned–like the fact that she was alone with the baby on a number of occasions–could later be used as evidence against her if someone decided to prosecute her. She was with the baby in the time frame that the injuries happened. Under these circumstances, it would be reasonable for the babysitter to fear that her statements could be used against her and incriminate her.,cannot%20be%20used%20against%20him.

William Marincic January 21, 2022
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If you remember only one thing from this post it should be this: innocent people can (and often should!) invoke the their Fifth Amendment protection. The Framers included this amendment to protect both the guilty and the innocent. And, in a criminal case, the defendant’s refusal to testify cannot be used against him.,cannot%20be%20used%20against%20him.

LOUIS RESTIFO January 21, 2022
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“Eric Trump and Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg invoked their Fifth Amendment rights more than 500 times when questioned by the New York attorney general’s office for its investigation into the company’s finances, according to a Tuesday court filing.
“Eric Trump then invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in response to more than 500 questions over six hours,” the filing says of an Oct. 5, 2020, interview with former President Donald Trump’s son.
Weisselberg reportedly did so during an interview on Sept. 24, 2020: “After answering a number of preliminary questions, Allen Weisselberg invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to more than 500 questions over five-and-a-half hours.”..

What say he now?….

ANTHONY J SANTO January 21, 2022
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I was going to regurgitate all the evidence that Trump and his associates have been involved in criminal attempts to disrupt the election process through illegal means such as intimidation of people like Brad Raffensperger and Mike Pence and finally the violence on 1/6. But everyone who follows the news knows the gravity of these charges. They know how complete the evidence is: calls from Trump to Raffensperger and pleas from everyone from Mark Meadows to Sean Hannity for Trump to ask his mob to draw back.

Instead I want to focus on specific accomplishments of Biden’s administration. If he hadn’t been elected there would have been no American Rescue Plan and we wouldn’t have these statistics to report, as pointed out by Congressperson Katie Porter:

5.5% growth of GDP: for contrast the other members of the G7 are all in negative territory

3.9% unemployment

$354 extra per month, after accounting for inflation in the average American family’s income

40% drop in childhood poverty

Looking forward, if we get the cooperation of some in the G.O.P. we could actually pass the Build Back Better legislation with these SAVINGS:

$8 billion by allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices helping to fight an often overlooked cause of inflation, price-gouging by large corporations

$145 billion by passing legislation to fight climate change, thus limiting the severity and frequency of wildfires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and other weather catastrophes that take so many lives and cost so much to clean up

Keep in mind that the Republicans offer NO platform and Mitch McConnell told a reporter we’ll find out what Republicans will do once they regain control of Congress. The last time we trusted a Republican who wouldn’t tell us his plan before the election was Nixon. To win election in 1968, he claimed to have a ‘secret plan’ to end the war in Vietnam. He was elected and increased the number of troops in Vietnam which resulted in tens of thousands of additional American and Vietnamese deaths.

FRED BARNEY January 21, 2022
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If I ran a school system thing that I would be interested in is the emotional strength that comes from achievement. This would require that the teaching staff to stay after school to help students with their homework. This would require an employment policy based on results not biology of the teaching staff.

Guy Varoma January 21, 2022
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William so that sums it up. You won’t hold Trump accountable for the things we know are factual because of things you think the Biden family did with no actual proof other than these right wing nut jobs say the did. Bravo you’ve exposed your hypocrisy once again !

Guy Varoma January 21, 2022
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Hunter Hunter Hunter ! …William those stories are old news ..and the one is from another Whack job right wing Radio host. Both stories are nothing burgers, Just like the Durham report you so anxiously awaited that fizzled out

William Marincic January 21, 2022
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McConnell strongly disagreed with Biden’s claim, telling “Special Report” anchor Bret Baier, “my good friend the president got it wrong once again.”

“I helped him pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill, I supported in the Senate a bill to deal with China and the computer chip shortage,” he recalled.

“If the president starts acting like a moderate like he campaigned, we can do business. The reason we’ve not been speaking recently this year is because he adopted the Bernie Sanders prescription for America. He did that even though he got no mandate for it, a 50-50 Senate and a couple of seats’ majority in the House, and they couldn’t get it through.”

William Marincic January 21, 2022
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The day the Bidens took over Paradigm Global Advisors was a memorable one.

In the late summer of 2006 Joe Biden’s son Hunter and Joe’s younger brother, James, purchased the firm. On their first day on the job, they showed up with Joe’s other son, Beau, and two large men and ordered the hedge fund’s chief of compliance to fire its president, according to a Paradigm executive who was present.

After the firing, the two large men escorted the fund’s president out of the firm’s midtown Manhattan office, and James Biden laid out his vision for the fund’s future. “Don’t worry about investors,” he said, according to the executive, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing fear of retaliation. “We’ve got people all around the world who want to invest in Joe Biden.

William Marincic January 21, 2022
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“I have no response.”

That was Dementia Joe Biden’s response Friday when he was finally asked about the devastating expose of his son Hunter’s emails and so much more.

Those revelations included the crack-addled Hunter whining to one of his daughters that he has to pay 50% of all the cash he collects to “Pop,” and that as part of a shady Chinese deal, the so-called “remuneration package” would include “10 held by H for the Big Guy.”