Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Tuesday, Sep. 13


World owes thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev

Mikhail Gorbachev, who passed away at 91, was the last leader of the Soviet Union. He deserves our appreciation for making a safer world.
The Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union seemed an eternal reality when he became the new leader in 1985. It had been going on for 40 years. It was defined by isolation, secrecy and fear.
Defense was based upon Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). Thousands of nuclear warheads were ready to be launched by intercontinental missiles, submarines and airplanes. Accidental launch that would end the civilized world could happen by false communications.
President Ronald Reagan called it an Evil Empire. The mysterious birthmark on Gorbachev’s forehead was interpreted by some as a bad omen.
The United States remained suspicious, as Gorbachev differed from past leadership. He called for openness and new thinking.
Protest was not suppressed. The Berlin Wall came down and Germany was reunited. Twenty Soviet-controlled countries declared independence, including Ukraine in 1991.
Mikhail Gorbachev was removed from power for allowing it to happen. He became a citizen of the world, calling for the end of nuclear weapons and defense of the environment.
Unfortunately, the demise of the Soviet Union was not good for all.
Those in power acquired wealth, while others lost security and pensions. Meanwhile, autocratic Russia under Vladimir Putin is attempting to restore a lost empire, with the brutal invasion of Ukraine that is being stubbornly resisted.
Frank Wicks

Where was security to protect documents

In my view former President Trump is extremely dangerous to our best democratic values. Playing fast, loose, and careless with sensitive government documents warrants major criminal investigation. But wait!
What government agency is charged with keeping our most sensitive documents safe? Who has the entrance keys? Who (actually) polices and keeps a record of who enters? What’s taken? Should documents be removed? Was security clearance verified? Did documents come back?
This is not “Monday morning quarterbacking;” this is seventh grade common sense.
Major libraries, like the Vatican, apparently have more security for rare and precious books than our federal government provided for our top secrets.
If facts dictate, then prosecutions are warranted for Trump and those complicit. But Trump is (apparently) not the only one culpable in our government’s Keystone Cops security system.
Rev. John A. Ekman
Greenfield Center

Zeldin untrustworthy and ignores reality

Personally, I would never want to be a governor. It’s a tough job requiring one to combine the ability to govern fairly and honestly while still be able to get elected.
No one person will make every voter happy, but there is one trait we should all demand: a grasp of reality.
I don’t believe that Lee Zeldin would make a good governor precisely because he has demonstrated a lack of a grasp of reality.
He voted against certification of the 2020 presidential election and believes that Donald Trump rightfully is still president. I haven’t seen his opinion on unicorns yet, but I can just guess.
He also doesn’t believe that women should have control over their own bodies.
Of course Zeldin is making sure that he receives the continued support of former President Trump, having appeared with him at a fundraiser in New Jersey last week. If he can’t stand up to Trump, how can he govern New York?
Polly Windels
Ballston Spa

Look at politicians’ record of achievement

The Gazette published two letters on Aug. 30 (“Grateful for team that fixed Nott St.”) and Sep. 1 (“Nott Street upgrade safe and efficient”) about the Nott Street project.
The people who worked behind the scenes and the construction workers deserve most of the credit, not the politicians.
This is why it’s important to examine the accomplishments of candidates running for office in November, especially for the state senate seat encompassing Niskayuna.
Sen. Jim Tedisco has proven that he can reach out to his constituents across the political spectrum. He’s a unifier. The other candidate, Michelle Ostrelich, supported a June primary against Democratic committee people who supported her endless campaigns. This isn’t a unifier but a divider.
Sen. Tedisco led an effort to seek a bipartisan independent investigation into Gov. Cuomo’s cover up of 15,000 nursing home deaths during the pandemic. Michelle Ostrelich, who chairs the Health and Housing committee, said very little about this.
Sen. Tedisco has been the strongest voice among our local officials fighting for justice for St. Clare’s hospital pensioners. Attorney General Letitia James cited Tedisco for his efforts. What has Michelle Ostrelich said?
Michelle Ostrelich spoke against the Ellis merger with St. Peter’s hospital, but offered no viable solutions. Sen. Tedisco’s record speaks for itself and so does Michelle Ostrelich’s record.
Linda Rizzo

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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion


christopher stater

There is an excellent PBS documentary available on YouTube on the rise of Putin. Putin was gorbachevs hand selected successor.  No autocratic dictator deserves admiration. 

William Marincic

If not for Gorbachev we would still be in The Cold War with the Soviet Union, not Russia, Ukraine and the other breakaway states would still be controlled by Russia and we would still have East and West Berlin. Your comment shows how ill-informed most democrats are.

Well, the rest of the story, and possibly one ofthe biggest heros of the collapse of the USSR is the then future president of Poland, Lech Walesa and the birth of the Solidarity movement in the Polish shipyards. Their tossing of the Communist regime there was the first of the Soviet dominos to fall. Gorbachev’s role was a reaction to the inevitable, and a heroic one as well.

That’s likely the PBS/Frontline documentary and very well worth the time to watch. But it needs to be mentioned that Gorbachev later soured on Putin and openly regretted his initial support.

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