Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Saturday, May 21


Whose side are Republicans on?

Miles Taylor, who was a deputy chief of staff and then chief of staff of Homeland Security during the Trump Administration (2017 to 2019) recently wrote on Twitter:
“I’m done. I no longer believe the Republican Party can be saved. The vitriolic rhetoric is inspiring violent radicals. I’m quitting the GOP. And I hope more do the same.”
Taylor also stated in an editorial he wrote for NBC News:
“In the wake of the mass shooting in Buffalo on Saturday, it’s become glaringly obvious that my party no longer represents conservative values but in fact poses a threat to them — and to America,” he wrote.
And that raises the question for rank-and-file Republicans: Whose side are you on, America or Donald Trump and his mob of violent radicals?
Walter Wouk

Santabarbara delivers for district

As a lifelong resident of Amsterdam, I want to thank Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara for always responding to the needs of our community.
Angelo is definitely a different kind of politician, he’s not sitting around in an office somewhere, but in our neighborhoods where people live, he’s on the streets seeing things for himself, rolling up his sleeves to get things done, something we need more of from our elected representatives.
Even during the pandemic, he showed up wherever he could to lend a hand, supporting our sheriff, police and fire departments, helping with food drives, fundraisers and supporting our veterans.
This year, he’s right back at it with the funding he brought us for the new basketball courts and the pool house that will soon be built at Veterans Park.
And just a few month ago, he delivered the funds we needed to kick-off construction on the new indoor gym at the Creative Connections Clubhouse.
I’ve been involved with mixed martial arts since I was a kid, and I can tell you that Angelo is not only a fighter for our community, he’s a champion for the people he represents.
Tommy Marcellino



Climate change spurs unforeseen problems

Tick season is beginning again. Having just read “Lyme :The First Epidemic of Climate Change,” I discovered that:
1. Ticks bearing Lyme and other infectious diseases are spreading rapidly as the earth’s temperature increases, and
2. There is little funding for research into tick control or medical testing and treatment for Lyme Disease, especially for long-term disabilities caused by Lyme infection.
Lyme carries more than the well-known arthritic symptoms. It may affect the brain, eyes, and heart as well, causing psychiatric, cognitive, and thought disturbances, vision problems, and cardiac problems that may lead to death.
Since testing and treatment protocols are unreliable, many suffer long-term problems, which are often considered by the medical profession as malingering, psychiatric disorders, or unspecified, unknown physical disturbances.
In many cases, the distinctive bullseye rash does not manifest, and early tests come back negative, leading to non-treatment, thus disposing Lyme victims to these nasty long-term effects. The longer we continue to spew carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the more pervasive these problems will become.
Fossil fuel companies, realizing the possible demise of fossil fuels for transportation, home heating and electrification are turning to plastics, which are produced from fossil fuels, to extend their money-grubbing activities.
So please, conserve fossil fuels, avoid plastics if possible, and contact your congressman about the problem of global warming.
Jahnn Swanker-Gibson

Separate CDC, FDA science and politics

An insufficiently appreciated impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been to reveal tension within the CDC and FDA between doing science and making policy.
The CDC and FDA often have compromised science for politics. This has undermined the credibility of both agencies and of the administration.
Science advising and policy advising are properly separate roles. Recently, President Biden separated the role of science adviser from that of director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
This decision might signal administration interest in resolving other intrinsic agency conflicts.
Agencies pursuing conflicting missions may find themselves in an untenable position. For example, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) had the conflicting missions of promoting and assuring the safety of atomic power. As a result, AEC was disbanded, and replaced with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, whose mission is to assure safety, not to promote atomic power.
CDC’s mission includes conducting applied research on disease prevention and control and promoting application of research findings into protective public health policies. FDA’s mission likewise includes protection and promotion functions. For example, FDA must assure safety and efficacy of pharmaceuticals protectively, but also promote medical innovation to advance public health.
The time has come to examine critically the missions of CDC and FDA to see if they embody untenable conflicts. If they do, maybe the time has come to separate the agencies’ health protective functions from their medical innovation promotion functions. Maybe, in short, the time has come to restructure the CDC and the FDA.
Robert A. Michaels, PhD, CEP

U.S. wasting billions on international aid

The war in Ukraine has shined a light on a few shortcomings that need our re-evaluation.
1) The United States spent $11.6 billion hosting the United Nations in 2020. For what? If there was ever a moment for the U.N. to take decisive action, it’s now.
Deploying peace keeping forces? Removing war criminals from the Security Council? All a big zero. It’s an impotent body that has outlived its usefulness.
2) Israel as an ally. U.S. taxpayers will give Israel $38 billion in military aid over the next 10 years. Israel has refused to send arms to Ukraine or impose sanctions on Russia. It sells its powerful Pegasus spyware to Arab dictatorships but refuses to sell Ukraine arms or its badly needed Iron Dome missile-defense system.
Why? Many Russian oligarchs have deep ties to Israel and former PM Netanyahu made a deal with Putin that allows Israeli aircraft to use Syrian airspace to launch attacks against Iranian operations.
Before you use the blanket “antisemitism” defense, I’m Jewish.
3) We spent $811 billion on NATO in 2021, 75% of the total NATO budget. NATO watched the Russian forces as they massed on Ukraine’s borders without so much as a warning. Original members like Germany and Italy spent weeks debating on a response that wouldn’t offend their business with Gazprom.
Only the newer Eastern European members seem ready to fight. Think what that wasted $811 billion could’ve done here at home.
Nick Miller

Disinformation board counter to freedom

The “Disinformation Governance Board?” The lunatics have taken over the asylum.
Even under the influence of powerful controlled substances, it would be difficult to conceive of an idea so totally contrary to one of our most revered and important freedoms. I could rant about our failure to teach our children how to distinguish for themselves fact from fiction, truth from lies. I could bemoan the decline of traditional journalism. Or make tired references to “1984.” (Don’t they read and discuss Orwell’s classic anymore?  Just because he didn’t get the date right doesn’t make it irrelevant.)
But I’ll spare you that and leave you with this question: For those of you celebrating this absurdity, will you still be happy when Mr. Trump is in charge of the Governance Board?
George Nigriny

Political bias shows in redistricting article

Regarding the article (“New redistricting maps ‘more Republican-friendly’”) on the front page of the May 17 Gazette: How blatantly biased this headline appears to be favoring the liberal Democrats.
At first look, the story is about Congressman Paul Tonko and Congresswoman Elise Stefanik which at first seems fair. But wait for it.
Why does it insert Tonko first in the story line and first in inserted photos, but also as the story continues it says, “See TONKO, page A3?” It doesn’t say “See STEFANIK, page A3” doesn’t that show a bit of favoritism?
Now let’s look at what possible reason was used for that format position?
Was it because the writer alphabetized the last names? No because the T in Tonko comes after the S in Stefanik, so placement by alphabetical order is not in play. OK, what about allowing women before men? No that wasn’t used either. So the only other reason could be that maybe the writer’s political bias against Republicans won out. What say you?
Rick Splawnik

Dems pander for votes at our expense

The Democrats will do anything for votes.
First, letting in a lot of undocumented immigrants [good and bad]. Now Biden is considering proposals to cancel student debt. That is a lot of baloney I have family and friends who paid off their debts. It would be OK if they helped those who are struggling to pay it off. But there are a lot of people who can afford to pay it off and shouldn’t get let off.
There are a lot of smart kids who can’t afford college who should get help. Will those who go debt free get off and ring up another debt?
Why are we letting Putin commit war crimes? Why are we and the UN standing around letting this happen? How many war crimes can Putin get away with?
How do you expect the police to do their job? They arrest them, and because they can’t afford bail, they release them to do more crimes. I praise the officers for doing their job and putting their lives on the line. How are they supposed to know if the criminals are mentally ill or not?
Do not defund the police. Some day you may need them, and they won’t be there.
James Maxfield


Writers should learn the Constitution

Regarding the St. Louis Post-Dispatch op-ed (“Defiance of Supreme Court is growing”) in the May 17 Gazette, one would think the educated commentators that write these opinions would have at the least a small understanding of the Constitution. Apparently not.
SCOTUS has the charge of weighing a law against the Constitution. The document gives states the powers not given the feds.
Abortion is clearly within the states’ purview.
It is not being outlawed as the regressive progressive left would have us believe.
It is simply a decision that is being returned to where it rightfully belongs, individual states.
It is amusing to see the umbrage displayed by the same groups who disdain the supremacy clause when it is correctly applied.
Sanctuary states and cities come to mind.
Carl Tucker



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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion


Zachary Parker

Walter Wouk but you are alright with Bidens National Security advisor Jake Sullivan pushing a phoney Russia investigation into Trump knowing that it was not true. It’s funny how the democrats will do anything to win and they are never held to account for their crimes just like Lois Lerner, Comey, Strockt, Page and the rest. There really is a swamp in DC and regardless of your political party it hurts all Americans when there is a two tier justice system.


When states start implementing bans, then it’s just a matter of time till they follow-up by prosecuting and imprisoning women for traveling out of state to get a legal procedure in another state and returning. This will go right back to the federal courts and SCOTUS. This is a political fight that will go on with our grand kids and beyond and it should have been left alone.

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