Another Trump presidency would be death knell for democracy
Russia is a dictatorship, a police state ruled by a psychopathic billionaire tyrant who controls all media and the military. He is supported by an oligarchy of billionaires who control the economy. Should Donald Trump succeed in regaining the U.S. presidency, America will be dangerously close to that form of government.
We already have the oligarchy. Throughout this century, there has been a rapid growth in the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few and a steady decline for the middle class. Today, three multibillionaires own more wealth than the entire bottom half of American society. Three people, compared to 160 million! According to the Rand Corporation, $50 trillion in wealth has gone from the bottom 50% of the population (that’s you and me) to the top 1% over the past 47 years.
And these are the people whose PACs are supporting the bulk of the campaign contributions for those in Congress and whose wealth goes into buying up the media.
This, at a time when the United States has among the highest rates of childhood poverty among so-called developed nations. In one relatively small local suburban school district, two churches are providing weekly backpacks of food to over 100 children. Another church and high school provide food pantries. Imagine the numbers of families with “food insecurity” in major cities.
Should the new American oligarchy succeed in placing their fellow billionaire back in the White House, it will be the end of what’s left of American democracy.
Richard W. Lewis, Jr.
Ballston Spa mayor aims to hike water, sewer fees without input
Everyone agrees: the Village of Ballston Spa needs funding for water and sewer maintenance and improvement. To be effective, we must understand the full extent of our needs. Unfortunately, our mayor, Frank Rossi, continues to stifle attempts to gather information and stonewall efforts at compromise.
The mayor added a motion to the Nov. 14 meeting agenda proposing a 10% increase on water and sewer fees over a 2-year period without notifying all of his colleagues. While the board agrees on the need for increases, the mayor failed to provide any analysis or data prior to the meeting and nothing but hand-waving remarks about inflation during it. How can our trustees vote on a motion without understanding how it was reached? Should it be less? More? No data was forthcoming.
Over 90 minutes of discussion on this one topic, the mayor implied that sharing information about water usage and associated tax ID information with his colleagues would be akin to making confidential information public. This is a gross misrepresentation of how the data would be used to make the best decisions for residents. What should have been a sensible compromise proposed by several trustees, table the water fee increase while further information is gathered and increase sewer fees alone, became an unnecessary argument with underhanded allegations made about integrity and ethics.
The disrespect shown by the mayor toward his equals on the board astounds many of us in the village. Progress on key issues cannot be made until his apparent inability to compromise is overcome.
Thanks to our local Lorax for ‘speaking for the trees’
The Lorax is a Dr. Seuss character who famously “speaks for the trees.” So, too, does letter writer Paul Mantica. In his Nov. 15 letter (“A tree so beautiful they had to cut it down”), he eloquently expressed his horror and sadness, which I share, at the killing of the majestic 90-year-old Norway spruce and schlepping it downstate so that people who celebrate one religion could festoon it with trinkets for a few weeks, as it perishes. Ditto the doomed trees atop cars and then tossed to the curb weeks later. When I bring this up on Facebook, I get lectures on the business of growing and selling trees. Paul Mantica is certain to hear about all the wonderful uses of the dismembered and pulverized giant spruce.
The uprooted conifer symbolizes a larger concern. Why does our sensitivity to diversity not extend to religion, or the choice not to follow one? We are not all Christian. I wish local media would recognize and honor that fact.
So thank you, Paul Mantica, our local Lorax.
Rules for commenting:
The Gazette will not tolerate name-calling; profanity, threats; accusations of racism, mental illness or intoxication; spreading of false or misleading information; libel or other inappropriate language in any form, and readers may not make any such comments about or directly to specific individuals.
Readers who violate the policy will be warned and then banned.