Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Saturday, July 9

PHOTOGRAPHER:

Hillary haters got their wish. Happy?

….‘anything’s better than Hillary Clinton.’
You got your wish: a morally-bankrupt, self-absorbed, fellow named Donald Trump. He, Mitch McConnell and others have/are eroding our democracy, particularly with the Supreme Court.
Currently the Constitution is secondary for the majority on the court. Their faith comes first.
What happened to the separation of church and state? Looks like men will be men, boys will be boys; and women and girls — you do as you’re told.
Example(s) mostly for the men-folk: With Justice Thomas delivering the 6-3 majority ruling the Supreme Court just reversed a lower court decision upholding New York’s 108-year-old law limiting who can obtain a license to carry a concealed handgun in public. The Court ruled it’s now OK for a football coach in a public school to gather players for prayers. Is it OK if the coach is Muslim?
For women: Reversing Roe v. Wade reminds us of how often things change but ultimately stay the same. Making abortion illegal guarantees that more women will die. Claiming that babies will be saved is hypocritical unless the so-called right-to-lifers spend half of their time saving the babies that are already here, which they won’t do.
It’s about controlling women; and it’s shameful when women not only don’t get it, but with help from the likes of Amy Barrett aid-and-abed the process.
Keeping women safe should matter (more than it does). Women will still get abortions. Only now it will no longer be safe. We’re 51% and we vote.
Livia Carroll
Schenectady

Weighing plight of St. Clare’s retirees

It has been quite a while since I have heard any news about the St Clare’s retirees’ pensions.
My family and I had many occasions over the past years to seek services from St. Clare’s. We really miss the hospital, the doctors and nurses. They were always very caring and helpful.
They served their community well! I feel sad to think all the years they worked so hard thinking that when they retired, they would live a healthy, comfortable life.
Instead many of them retired and got nothing. You can’t pay your mortgage and health insurance premiums on empty promises.
I hope my favorite Daily Gazette will do an update on how St. Clare’s retirees are doing. I wish them good luck and good health.
Marty Shanty
Charlton

 

Eliminate mandates on family funerals

New York is one of only a handful of states that restrict home funerals by requiring the involvement of a licensed funeral director in many aspects of final arrangements.
In the level of mandated requirements, its peer is only Louisiana. Families are forced to hire the services of a funeral director for transportation of a deceased family member to the burial site (even if it is in a home cemetery and even if the death occurred at home).
Families are forced to pay for the personal supervision of a funeral director at the funeral services and burial of their loved ones.
Families are denied the right to make their own burial arrangements, to arrange their own transport of their loved one to a burial site, and to directly obtain burial permits on their own.
Being forced to hire unnecessary mandated services can add thousands of dollars to the cost of a burial. I know all this because I buried my wife this past winter on our own land in the Adirondacks.
I learned that there were no health or environmental factors behind New York’s draconian requirements — only bureaucratic and special interest forces.
Help change this. Join the Family Burial Rights Movement by contacting your state representatives and telling them that New York should join Massachusetts, Vermont and 39 other states in eliminating the mandated requirement for the involvement of funeral directors in the burial of loved ones.
Gerald Zahavi
Elizabethtown

 

 

 

Public transportation a worthy investment

July 2022 marks the 58th Anniversary of federal support for public transportation.
The success of public transportation can be traced back to one of President Lyndon Johnson’s greatest accomplishments which continues benefiting Americans today. On July 9, 1964, he signed the “Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964” into law.
This has resulted in the investment of several hundred billion dollars into public transportation. The Capital District Transportation Authority has benefited by over $670 million in grants from the Federal Transit Administration (previously known as the Urban Mass Transportation Administration), going back to 1973. A majority of the CDTA bus capital program, including buses, paratransit vehicles, bus rapid transit, bus garages, fueling stations, fare collection equipment, automatic vehicle locator equipment, real time communications, shelters, bus stop signs and other support equipment were all paid for primarily with federal funding.
Try riding a CDTA local or express bus.
The ability to travel from home to workplace, school, shopping, entertainment, medical, library etc. is a factor when moving to a new neighborhood. Economically successful communities are not 100% dependent on automobiles as the sole means of mobility.
Seniors, students, low- and middle-income people need these transportation alternatives. Investment in public transportation today contributes to economic growth, employment and a stronger economy. It is one of the best investments we can make.
Larry Penner
Great Neck
The writer is a transportation advocate, historian and writer who previously worked for the FTA Region 2 NY Office.

Stop spreading lies about school district

As a resident of the BHBL school district, I have been disappointed in The Gazette’s giving voice to mistruths and conspiracy theories in your reporting and printing “opinions” without any fact checks.
The worst has graced your pages multiple times: “Give a seat to the person who got the third highest number of votes.”
Basic logic dictates that it does not work this way. If I told my three children and two dogs to vote on two dinners with the choices of pizza, burgers, eggplant, rotten fish, and garbage, I’d venture that pizza and burgers win with three votes each. My dogs’ votes would bring in rotten fish and garbage a close third place tie. You can also bet that if I say “Oops, we need three dinners” and vote again with three votes each, the children’s votes would raise eggplant to the next spot.
Folks who don’t understand basic math (or lie about it?) should stay away from our schools.
Likewise for those with outrageous medical accusations against masks (can’t wait for science class) and conspiracy theories about John Blowers (social studies, perhaps?). But since you seem willing to print anything we send to you: Birds aren’t real. Look it up on the internet.
Paul Cuddihy
Burnt Hills

Stop surrendering to the Catholic Church

The St. Clare’s pension scandal and the latest monetary settlement from the Albany diocese are but microscopic blips on the centuries of unforgivable sins perpetrated worldwide by a Catholic Church devoid of morals, ethics, charity and any form of law.
In a Utopian world of real justice, the physical Catholic Church long ago would have been designated an ongoing criminal enterprise, its assets sold to compensate at least some of the billions of people victimized by this hypocritical, “non-profit” cult.
Its infallible leaders long-ago bastardized the concept of an all-merciful God.
I was brainwashed by five years of torturous Catholic grade school, public high school religious education, nine years’ forced labor as an “altar boy” and a devoutly religious mother. Revelations of countless crimes – from sex with minors to financial corruption to documented cases of forcing female victims to undergo abortions – and a newfound ability for independent reasoning helped cleanse me of the filth.
Politicians and prosecutors quake in fear of the church as they seek the mythical eternal salvation and/or those valuable Catholic voters.
There are only two kinds of Catholic clergy: those who have and continue to commit unspeakable crimes and enablers who cover for their colleagues. I’m sure the most vile adjectives to describe their horrors haven’t been developed in the English language.
Anyone who argues I paint the church with too-broad a brush may call me Michelangelo.
No one should further surrender their bodies, souls, money, time and beliefs to a bogus Catholic Church.
Dominic Tom
Moreau

Van Gogh’s cause of death still a mystery

Like many other lovers of the artist’s work, I attended the enthralling Immersive Van Gogh Experience at the Schenectady Armory.
I have gone twice and will again. But I have a small but significant reservation — the certainty with which it was declared that Van Gogh died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot.
In 2011, “Van Gogh: The Life,” was published. It is widely regarded as the definitive biography of the artist. The comprehensive research of Van Gogh’s life and work is so extensive that 6,000 pages of notations and translated letters are published online for free.
Gregory White Smith and Steven Naifeh end their 900-page book by presenting an alternative explanation of Van Gogh’s “suicide.”
They suggest his death may have been either accidental or deliberate by a hand other than one of his own. The author’s proposition was controversial. Many defended the story of his suicide with a romantic notion of the artist’s passionate life and paintings. They refused to even consider another possible narrative.
Without having to read Smith and Naifeh’s magnum opus, though I recommend it, both the authors’ evidence, as well as the counter arguments, can also be found online.
Before stepping into the “immersive” space at the Armory, one reads that recent research discovered Van Gogh’s chosen colors have changed over time. What we see as white was painted red, purple irises were blue. Long-accepted “facts” can be altered by new evidence. Perhaps this is true of Vincent’s death.
Karen Hess
Glenville

Constitution can be changed to adapt

In response to Larry Lewis’s July 3 letter, (“America now ruled by minority party”), he claims that the United States is ruled by a “minority party” which uses the Constitution to further their own means.
I’d like to point out that since the Constitution was ratified, it has in fact been amended on many occasions and these changes are contained in our Bill of Rights.
There are several ways that the Constitution can be amended that include: a proposed amendment is made by a two-thirds vote of both Houses of Congress, or two-thirds of the states can request one, by Constitutional convention.
The amendment must then be ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures, or by three-fourths of conventions called in each state specifically for ratification.
The Founding Fathers intentionally made it rather difficult to change the Constitution based on the political whims of one or the other party.
I’d also like to point out to Mr. Lewis that here in New York, the Democratic majority Legislature and governor tried their hand at gerrymandering to give them an advantage in the future.
Thankfully, this attempt failed when judges deemed these maps to be unconstitutional and ordered that they be redrawn more equitably by a third party.
Lastly, if we got rid of the Electoral College, it would mean that only four or five major urban centers would be the ones who decide who would be president and vice president, thus in essence giving no voice to those who live in the rest of the country.
Tom McGarry
Schenectady

 

Speak out against tyranny, oppression

As we celebrate our nation’s independence this month, take a moment to reflect on what the holiday is about.
In 1776, representatives of the colonists declared their independence from the tyranny and oppression of Great Britain.
The Declaration of Independence expressed how all citizens are equal and entitled to certain inalienable rights.
Today, many people around the world do not enjoy these rights and are subject to many of the grievances delineated in the declaration.
As freedom-loving people, we must speak out against oppression and tyranny anywhere it exists and support those striving for freedom and equality.
Paul Zawistowski
Broadalbin

Grateful for care at hospital, rehab center

Saratoga Hospital and Baptist Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center — I’ve had the unfortunate experience of being in Saratoga Hospital for DVT’s in both my legs and also broken ankle
I was sent to the rehabilitation center in Scotia for PT and OT. I want to commend the entire staff on the second and third floor at Saratoga Hospital and the entire staff on the third floor at Baptist Rehabilitation Center.
The care and attention received at both facilities is top notch. Everyone who works there is truly concerned about your health and getting better.
They all deserve special recognition.
Joseph Rowny
Ballston Spa

To keep democracy, vote for Democrats

A few months ago on the Lawrence O’Donnell show, actor and director Rob  Reiner asserted that a vote for a Republican was a vote to destroy democracy.
At that time, I thought his assertion was extreme.
But after watching the Jan. 6 hearings and seeing what is happening around our country with voting, I have come to believe that Rob’s statement is unfortunately truer than I want it to be.
I hope we keep in mind the reality that it is better for all of us to vote Democratic up and down the ballot if we want to keep our democracy.
Bill Shapiro
Niskayuna

Nation needs more patriots to stand up

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.”
You all know the quote.
The men who signed on to these thoughts essentially signed their own death warrant, because it was an act of treason.
They were committed to building a better form of government. For 246 years that form of government has been the envy of people around the world.
So let’s contrast those patriots of 246 years ago with the patriots of today. On Jan. 6, they feared an insurrection. Did any of our elected officials who swore to defend our nation against all enemies rise to fight? No, they hid under their desks and immediately went to their phones.
The 2021 shot heard round the beltway was fired by an unnamed officer to kill an unarmed military veteran. Which one was the true patriot?
We need more patriots and fewer bureaucrats.
Dennis Ulery
Ballston Spa

 

 

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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

7 Comments
Karol Newton July 16, 2022
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Dominic Tom   well said.The catholic church needs to get its head out of its 16th centyry ass

Chuck D July 10, 2022
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I don’t want to give people like the last letter writer too much attention. Acting and speaking like divas or shock-jocks seems to be a large part of what’s driving this rightist movement. Poking others in the eye (including often each other) is apparently their endgame and any reaction feeds them. But I will point out what a dead-end train of logic it is (and a pretty disjointed one at that).
Contrary to the writer’s delusion of what happened on January 6th, and the ever-present undertones of “manliness”, most of the world saw hundreds of fools so caught up in their selfies, so caught up in the notion that they were part of something historic or revolutionary, so hopeful they would finally be the empowered, the hammers, march themselves over the cliff edge of sanity.
What we saw then and continue to witness isn’t any more historic or revolutionary than a teenager preening in the mirror, hoping and wishing one certain man will notice them. Here’s a tip: he’s just not that into you.

jclark124 July 10, 2022
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Livia Carroll–Exactly…Nicely put!

Zachary Parker July 9, 2022
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Dennis Ulery I’m pretty sure that your comment which I believe is great will fall on deaf ears. It’s unfortunate that people believe that the supreme court was out of line for following the constitution. In 1970 they didn’t have the medical advancements to look inside a woman’s body and see a child growing, they didn’t know that at 12 weeks after a woman’s last period you had a fully formed baby. The constitution of the United States gives everyone the right to life and liberty. Regardless of when you say a fetus is a human I will tell you that if you have a child that is fully developed with all of its limbs, it’s sex decided, and all of its organs then that would be a baby. Democrats have no problem lying or cheating to get what they want, as you said gerrymandering by New York state, what a shocker. I