Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Friday, Jan. 20 – Three from readers in Albany, Niskayuna and Summit

Article Audio:

Tobacco tax is a tax against the poor

Gov. Hochul recently included a proposal to ban flavored tobacco products in New York state and raise taxes on cigarettes an additional $1.
While her goal to reduce smoking rates is laudable, history has shown that prohibitionist policies such as this will not have a meaningful impact on public health and will have significant negative effects on our communities.
In fact, the state has recently legalized cannabis, partially justified with an acknowledgment that prohibition has been harmful for disadvantaged communities.
Additionally, the proposal to increase taxes on cigarette sales is a regressive tax that would hit working class New Yorkers hardest.
These policies have significant downsides, but there are policies that are working.
In 2021, the state Department of Health announced the lowest youth smoking rate on record, just 2.4%. Statewide, the adult smoking rate is 12.8%, according to 2021 Department of Health data.
The data shows that the youth smoking rate has significantly declined over the years to an incredibly small portion of the overall public, and as such, these policies would have little impact on the behavior of young people.
Rather, a tax increase would be felt strongest by lower-income adults who choose to smoke, and a flavor ban would hurt law-abiding retailers and embolden smugglers.
Kent Sopris
The writer is president of the New York Association of Convenience Stores.

Mall should assist small businesses

In order to expend some of my grandson’s energy during a recent cold weekend, I took the 3-year-old to the FunTown Bounce at ViaPort, Rotterdam Mall.
To my surprise, the owner/operator, April Strictland, a disabled veteran, informed me that after 12 years in business at this location, the mall no longer wanted to renew her contract.
After seeing her success, she believes the mall is now planning to open its own bounce house.
I was taken back by the news.
During the years when the mall was somewhat distressed, she stuck it out and kept her business going.
I am sad to say that sometimes it seems that a small business doesn’t stand a chance against a large corporation. If the report is true, ViaPort should perhaps reconsider its decision.
Carol Cirincione

Trump supporters willfully ignore facts

Bob Mangino’s flight of fancy regarding the glory of Donald Trump’s presidency in his Jan. 17 letter (“Things were better when Trump was in”,) is representative of the willful ignorance of Trump supporters.
Mr. Mangino and his friends agreed that Trump has a “controversial personality.”
Enlighten me. Does your definition of controversial include attempting to overthrow a legitimately elected government of the United States?
Does it include dismissing the votes of the 81.5 million people who voted for Joe Biden or against Donald Trump?
Does it include transforming our country into a Trump-run dictatorship?
Donald Trump is a traitor to this country and everything it stands for, and so are the current representatives of the Party of Trump, formally known as the Republican Party, who continue to support him.
Walter Wouk



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.

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion, Opinion, Your Niskayuna



The topic of citizens having military grade weaponry. During the debate for our constitution many letters and speeches were given. One of the founders not many knew of him Tench Coxe few know of him but during the founding era he was famous. He served in the confederation congress after the constitution was ratified he was the first secretary of the treasury under Hamilton. Coxe wrote a series of op-eds accurately explained the constitution’s legal effect. His informal style was much easier to understand than the scholarly tone of the federalist. This made him very popular.He wrote this:
He went on to say “The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands-off either the federal or state government, but where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.
so in other words , all able bodied adult men have the right to keep and bear arms-not just law enforcement and the military. . Since the ratification of the 14th amendment women also posses the right.
So if read the debates you see the real meaning of the second amendment and why it was so important that it was second. They also finished it by saying this SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED UPON.


Why is that important now states are suing Biden for trying to unlawfully delegate United States sovereignty over to the World Health Organization. The Constitution is such an important document to our freedom. To defend our country against a tyrannical government.


Walter you seem to be misguided. You speak of dictatorship? How about the current administration censoring free speech on social media, the current administration using the DOJ and FBI to go after oppossing political party and citizens. The current administration that actively subverts and willing attempts to take away the citizens constitutional rights. The same administration that refuses and neglects the security of its citizens by failing to protect our borders. Sadly the party you call NAZIs are the one s that are actually using Nazi tactics on our citizens now. The same administration using MSM propaganda narrative to push and support the socialist agenda.

christophe Stalka

Let’s go Brandies as a constitutional expert I’m sure you know since the government does not own tik tok or your other beloved Twitter freedom of speech does not apply. Spread more manure it just helps explain the stupidity of the majority of your posts

Bill Marincic

January 19th, 2023
Proof that the MAGA-Trump cultists are impervious to reason and having difficulty composing meaningful analogies:

Bill Marincic
January 19th, 2023
January 19th, 2023
“ChuckD, not only is he making it up, but it is harebrained to imagine any citizen’s militia could overwhelm the military force of the United States. It would be like David v. Goliath only David would have a pea shooter instead of a slingshot.

You mean like Ukraine against Russia???

Yes, Santo like Ukraine against Russia, Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year. I believe it was September before any arms were given to Ukraine. They fought off the Russian army with rifles and snipers and homemade bombs.


Chris the donkey clown patrol asked for my source of my information. I have provided and like always you cannot dispute the facts. So you attack. BTW Tik Tok is the sound of a clock that is ticking to the dismantling of your socialist democratic system. Our Republic will be restored to the constitutional order.
Also funny how the socialist were cozy with twitter until the truth came out about the Deep State Socialists using it to censor free speech. Also a constitutional right. But the donkey clowns are socialists so why would they follow the constitution


Kevin McCarthy’s assignments to House committees:

Rep. Greene who once said, if she had led the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol “we would have won” and that people would have been “armed.” She has also questioned the terrorist attack of 9/11 “referring to a ‘so-called’ plane that crashed into the Pentagon.” (today’s DG, p. A3, “Seats”) She “liked” a 1/2019 Facebook post that called for ‘a bullet to the head’ of Nancy Pelosi. (Ibid.) She has claimed wildfires in California were stared by Jewish space lasers. From Forbes:

“As recently as December 4, 2020, Greene, in a since-deleted tweet, promoted an article about the conspiracy theory—which referred to QAnon as a “refreshing and objective flow of information”—calling it “accurate.”

The notorious liar, thief, and phony George Santos has been assigned to the House Small Business Committee. McCarthy said it is up to the voters in his district to determine whether or not he remains their representative in 2024.

More questionable assignments, most to people who were arguably promised these appointments for switching their votes to McCarthy can be found in the headline article in today’s DG.



You are wrong again BM:

“Since 2014, the United States has provided approximately $27.11 billion in security assistance for training and equipment to help Ukraine preserve its territorial integrity, secure its borders, and improve interoperability with NATO.” Jan 6, 2023

U.S. Security Cooperation with Ukraine – State Department


“This drawdown will bring the total U.S. military assistance for Ukraine to an unprecedented level of approximately $19.3 billion since the beginning of the Administration.

This drawdown will bring the total U.S. military assistance for Ukraine to an unprecedented level of approximately $19.3 billion since the beginning of the Administration.Nov 10, 2022


A.S. Anything to protect the money laundering country. Interesting note the famous video of Quid Pro Quo Joe has a man sitting next to him. That man is the guy running the Penn Biden center of diplomacy. Interesting that he is at a conference regarding Bidens quid pro quo’s comments and they find classified documents at this center. I wonder the content of the documents and do pertain to Ukraine? The pieces are all coming together. Tik Tok

christophe Stalka

Lets go Brandie’s as I stated the government does not own TikTok or twitter so freedom of speech constitutional rights do not apply as to the sounds you hear in your head I could not be less interested. A liar must lie.


Chris I’m sorry if you have issues with comprehension. Tik Tok is referencing a clock . If I could upload pictures for you to better help you understand I would. Sorry the education system failed you.
A.S. Look at the photos of Joe bragging he held money from Ukraine unless they fired an AG investigating Hunters connection to Burisma. The man to the left of Joe is the Penn Biden diplomacy center director. I encourage you to take a look. Peculiar that they find classified documents in this place.

christophe Stalka

Tik tok dancing Brandie’s I was addressing your lie above that the administration was restricting free speech rights on social media As I said this was another lie

As to the sounds in the windmills of your mind I could not be less interested dance on liar.

christophe Stalka

The Ukrainian arms industry. The defense industry of Ukraine is a strategically important sector and a large employer in Ukraine. After working for several decades mostly for the arms export markets, in 2014 it has moved significantly into increased Ukrainian military procurement since the start of the war in Donbas.

Prior to 2014, Ukraine’s export-oriented arms industry had reached the status of world’s 4th largest arms exporter in 2012.[1] Since the start of the War in Donbas, Ukraine’s military industry has focused more on its internal arms market and as a result slipped to the 9th spot among top global arms exporters by 2015,[2] 11th


GFB: “A.S. Look at the photos of Joe bragging he held money from Ukraine unless they fired an AG investigating Hunter…”

I had no idea photos could brag!

christophe Stalka

The above factual post is from Wikipedia but can be verified from multiple other sources. While the Ukrainian people are to be admired for their bravery let’s face facts uncle Jed and Granny clampet didn’t defeat the Russians Dance on lying Brandie’s Tik tok lie

Steven Flynn

When you see the name Walter Wouk, you know there’s a heap of liberal gibberish coming your way.

This is the Biden Admin’s lame excuse for sitting on the classified doc story for 68 days. If you believe this crap, Ive got a bridge to sell you. Just more liberal lies from a lame, to old to serve President.

“The decision by President Biden and his advisers to keep the discovery of classified documents secret for 68 days was driven by what turned out to be a futile hope that the Justice Department would view the incident as a good-faith mistake.”


Chris the twitter files released showed FBI and senators actively censoring free speech on social media platforms. Direct violation of freedom of speech. Not to mention they took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. Also found on FB another social media outlet. Chris just because you deny your socialist ideology censorship is not happening does not make it true

Bill Marincic

First Bob/Chris Wikipedia is not true, anyone can go there and modify or edit the content… DUH. Secondly, Twitter released proof of the government and the FBI blocking content and those commenting on Twitter. I know you can’t stand the truth. Ronald Reagan said, “It’s not that my Democrat friends are stupid, it’s just that they know so many things that aren’t true”.

christophe Stalka

Tik tok dancing Brandies you do not understand the concept of freedom of speech as defined in the constitution perhaps the windmills of your mind are confusing you Tik tok dance on and stop lying.

big BM as my factual posting states the Wikipedia content can be verified elsewhere. A liar might state that anyone can post to Wikipedia but we all know this is not true dsncevon lying Brandie’s.

christophe Stalka

Clarifying Wikipedia editing the entries? Anyone can – it’s open to all and can be modified and edited by anyone. However, Wikipedia’s administrators protect some pages from direct editing if they believe they are regularly subjected to “vandalism” – the addition of abusive language or falsehoods. sorry for any confusion my posting may have created. But as stated the information posted can be verified in multiple other sources. Please dance on Tik tok Brandie’s.

wikipedia is very useful, and maybe more so than something like Encyclopedia Britannica because it is self-policing. Referring to wikipedia requires you know about the “Talk” tab to see discussion and debate on edits made and suggested. It is not a wall for mindless graffiti, as we see too often here and on other forums.

wikipedia doesn’t feed you information but provides a basis for critical thinking, like any online resource. But the key is critical thinking which our small-minded rightwing friends rejected long ago.

i guess you showed him huh big BM !
puff out that chest as you Brandies do your tik tok dancing

But actually you might want to check out the editing policy.

I often use wikipedia as a starting point
Reading his post Im missing the lying piece since it was clearly qualified.
you might want to watch that name calling unless you have proof.
are the windmills twirling in your mind spinning out of control?

Marincic today:
Oh, so you were wrong Bob/Chris, it is much easier to verify something before posting and looking like a lying BMDC.

Marincic yesterday:
“It would be like David v. Goliath only David would have a pea shooter instead of a slingshot.”

You mean like Ukraine against Russia???

You responded to my challenge yesterday, I acknowledge that.
But sadly you provided the commentary of one individual, Tench Coxe (aka “Mr. Facing Bothways” for his apparent fealty to the British). One individual who submitted commentary. There were many who submitted commentary, he does not define the constitution for the rest of us.
And by the way, I don’t believe in a god, nor am I a Christian. Am I less of an American? Is that also spelled out by some right wing, populist fop?


ChuckD, I pointed out that BM was wrong when he posted that no arms were given to Ukraine before September of last year. I forgot to mention that the basis for Trump’s 2019 impeachment was for using denial of congressionally approved military aid in an attempt at extortion. He wanted President Zelenskyy to dig up dirt on his likely opponent, Joe Biden. I guess it is not surprising that he forgot that.


WI Catholic School Teacher Gets 6 Years For Child Sex
January 20, 2023 Crime, Religion

Milwaukee’s CBS affiliate reports:

“A former Catholic school teacher was sentenced Thursday, Jan. 19 for sexually assaulting children. Kevin Buelow will spend six years and six months behind bars. Buelow was accused of touching at least three girls inappropriately while he was teaching at Holy Apostles Elementary School in New Berlin. He was found guilty of fourth-degree sexual assault, second-degree sexual assault of a child and attempted second-degree sexual assault of a child.”

I’m still waiting for reports of “drag queens” sexually molesting children.

Mr. Santo, they continually blur the lines between ignorance, willful ignorance, and fat-out lying. F___youBiden again tosses up the lie that Biden “extorted’ Ukraine for, I guess, his son’s benefit. Factually untrue, and debunked too many times. Yet there it is again, like the punching clown and his stupid grin, springing back up after every blow.

The unspoken confession of the right is apparently they do believe it if it’s repeated enough.


Cuckoo Tucker has really gone off the deep end on this one. And yet so many Americans listen to his “show” as if it were not entertainment but actual news:

Tucker Carlson Rewrites History Of Nixon’s Downfall
January 20, 2023 Fake News, Fox News

Mediaite reports:

“Tucker Carlson claimed former President Richard Nixon was forced out of the White House as part of an elaborate deep state plot that included Bob Woodward. He did not explain that Nixon resigned after he covered up details of the burglary of the Democratic National Committee headquarters by Republican operatives.

Carlson said that given Nixon had already expressed a belief that elements of the federal government were undermining the republic, that meant it was “over” for the then-president. He said the Washington Post had already begun its “dishonest” reporting about the break-in at the Watergate Hotel. He said the burglary was perpetrated by CIA agents.”

Anyone who lived through the sordid Watergate scandal and watched the total disintegration of Richard Milhouse Nixon knows this is absolute hogwash, BS, and a disgustingly inaccurate report. I hope Woodward sues the jerk.


“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Joseph Goebbels: Gauleiter of Berlin, Reich Minister of Propaganda from 1933 to 1945.

Mr. Bill 🤡 when you turn in for the night do you lay there and think of stupid things to say for the next day or is it spontaneous stupidity? …..Also the link don’t work

Bill Marincic

Lou that’s right. this is from France24dotcom,

Led by President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has remained in Kyiv despite the risk to his life as Russia enters the region of the capital, Ukrainians have shown the deepest resilience in adversity.

Ordinary citizens have volunteered for the frontline, often after ensuring their families were safely headed to security in the west of the country or outside its borders.

Images circulating online have shown ordinary people making Molotov cocktails or farmers towing away captured Russian military hardware.

Ukraine had no “other choice than to further increase its attrition warfare capacity by rapid training of territorial troops and use of light weaponry,” said retired French colonel Michel Goya.

If it were ever a fight against citizens from the government how many in the military would engage? How many would join the civilians and how much weaponry would they bring? All unknowns but I would bet lots.

For Pete’s sake, you and MAGA are not like the Ukrainian people in any way, shape or form. It’s insulting to the Ukrainian people for you to try to think you are. As insulting as it is to people of color, that you try to claim you are too.

Your Meal Team Six are likely going to be trapped in the drive-thru lane of a Burger King when the revolution starts.

Bill Marincic

vAroma, you are another fool that never has anything to say except insults. Maybe when your family came over on the Mayflower they didn’t like being forced to swab the deck. Oh, I forgot, your family is an icon of America. Let me bow down.

Bill Marincic

Oh Fake Chuckie, you hate facts. What BlueAnon facts do you and the rest of the BMDC’s have for us today? I’ve already seen so much BlueAnon being posted above, they must have you all working overtime.

Had you even heard of a “BlueAnon” until a couple weeks ago?
I never have until the MAGA started reciting it, in unison, all at once. Like you here. Was that a TC idea? Or a Bannon talking point? Or any other rightwing yakker you all lap up and regurgitate to the public?

Bill Marincic

I’ve heard of it quite a while ago but I had forgotten until I read an article and the people it described could easily have been you lefties on here.

This is for FL responding to his hint yesterday about further clamping down on cultural rights by DeSantis. Never has a US Governor been so short-sighted, and my pity to those having to live under this idiocy.

I’ll ask again, why are the Democrats the racists?
Ron DeSantis bans African American studies class from Florida high schools
Move by the Republican governor is the latest in a series of actions to stop conversations about race and gender in public schools

Abené Clayton for The Guardian
Thu 19 Jan 2023 20.09 EST

Ron DeSantis, Florida’s Republican governor, has rejected a new advanced placement course in African American studies from being taught on high school campuses. He argues that the course violates state law and “lacks educational value”. This move is the latest in a series of actions to keep conversations and lessons about race, sexuality and gender identity off the state’s school campuses.

In a 12 January letter to the College Board, the Florida education department said the course is “inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value”. In the summer of 2022, the College Board announced a pilot program to “offer high school students an evidence-based introduction to African American studies” would be launching in 60 high schools across the country during the 2022-23 school year and will be set to expand to other campuses the following year.
“Like all new AP courses, AP African American Studies is undergoing a rigorous, multiyear pilot phase, collecting feedback from teachers, students, scholars and policymakers,” the College Board said in a statement.

Steven Flynn

Whats in the course that he objects to? Have you read it to fully understand the context and contents? The last thing you want to do is take the education department at their word. Virginia is a perfect example of an education system that’s corrupt to the core. How many Asian students missed out on scholorship money because of a rogue, woke administration?


BM, no one ever said the courage of President Zelenskyy and his people in fighting Trump’s “savvy genius” Putin isn’t playing a huge part in their resistance to the Russian terrorist attack. But certainly the massive aid to Ukraine supplied by NATO and the U.S., the military aid many Republicans want to reduce, is also a major factor in their success; the sanctions against Russia are helping also.

How do you MAGA folk react to Cuckoo Tucker’s take on Watergate? Does it make you a little less willing to accept his take on current events?


Bill Marincic
January 20th, 2023
vAroma, you are another fool that never has anything to say except insults.Bill Marincic

January 20th, 2023
Oh Fake Chuckie, you hate facts.

Bill Marincic
January 20th, 2023
Oh, so you were wrong Bob/Chris, it is much easier to verify something before posting and looking like a lying BMDC.

Bill Marincic
January 20th, 2023
First Bob/Chris Wikipedia is not true, anyone can go there and modify or edit the content… DUH. Secondly, Twitter released proof of the government and the FBI blocking content and those commenting on Twitter. I know you can’t stand the truth

Is BM aware of the irony in his first comment?

In Florida, the College Board Partnership IS the word on college curricula and Advanced Placement course work and testing (and this is Advanced Placement coursework and testing we’re talking about). Sorry if you don’t like that.

The decision stems from Desantis’ “Stop Woke Act” which itself prohibits civil rights for people of color, and specifically black people.
Sorry again, if you don’t like discussion of civil rights (other than your own).

Please try to better educate yourself. I realize you oppose education, but you’ve absorbed so much already in life, right?


Keep in mind that Kevin McCarthy just appointed the subject of this article to the House Small Business Committee. Good Grief Charlie Brown, this can’t be reality; we must be characters in an episode of the “Twilight Zone.”

The Brazilian outlet Piauí reports: 1/20/23

“The story took place in New York, in the summer of 2021 – as told by George Anthony Devolder dos Santos, better known as George Santos. He had just walked out of a commercial building after a business engagement when he was intercepted by two muggers on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 55th St.

The criminals took his watch, his briefcase, and found time to demand that he hand over his shoes as well. “At three in the afternoon,” Santos says – and adds, “And before you ask, they weren’t black; they were white, as a matter of fact.”

In the interview, which was conducted over video conference, Santos, with a smile playing on his lips, the sort that tends to appear when the speaker is about to say something positive about himself, revealed that he had decided to donate his entire salary as a congressman – $174,000 – to four NGOs, although he declined to provide their names.”

Yeah, keep towing the Republican-MAGA line. At this moment in our history, the world must think (know) we are a nation of selfish misguided fools.

Steven Flynn

You sound like a bitter, angry, old fool Chuck D. Desantis has your undies all in a bunch. Any thoughts on those Asian students in Virgina who were screwed over by a group of woke liberals like yourself? Ill bet the folks in that woke cult regurgitate the same liberal crap that you do. Liberalism is a disease Chuck and you’re stage 4 baby.

critical race theory is not covered in the Florida AP course. DeSantis is afraid of the ideas being taught in the course. Anyone can look at the syllabus for the course online


ChuckD, You have amazing foresight to say”Your Meal Team Six are likely going to be trapped in the drive-thru lane of a Burger King when the revolution starts.” Never more of a true prediction. And funny, thanks. Will copy and keep for the Political Discourse forum here.
As far as DeSantis I could post every day his next “freedom” he wants passed into law.

Media Research Center (want to check on a publication or news origination) rates
Fact Free Fox as follows.
Questionable Reasoning: Conspiracy Theories, Pseudoscience, Propaganda, Poor Sources, Numerous Failed Fact Checks
Bias Rating: RIGHT
Factual Reporting: MIXED
Country: USA
Press Freedom Rank: MOSTLY FREE
Media Type: TV Station/Website
Traffic/Popularity: High Traffic
MBFC Credibility Rating: LOW CREDIBILITY


lgb, Did you ever find out why your neighbor is going to Idaho? Because of the big gun or as ChuckD asked something else big as they have large gay population in Boise?


Forgot lgb, Take a breath please when doing your rants. That’s when you can start a new paragraph. If I wanted to read them they are very hard to figure out what you are ranting about, or is that how you want them to be as you may not know what they are about ?

Flynn, just acknowledging that your response did not address my original points and then provided more of your juvenile imsults.
I dont know about Asian students in VA and that wasnt my concern.
Now go tell your little friends how you owned a lib.

If Steven, Bill, and lgb, were to form a music group, an appropriate name would be, The Warped Broken Records. A few of their songs; lLiar, Liar, – Only In My Mind – Thick as a Brick -Just my Imagination- What a Fool Believes -Dumb all Over.

That’s it for the day, no point in attempting reasoning with the unreasonable.

Bill Wemple

All these conservatives, throwing the word ‘woke’ around as though it were an insult, apparently forgetting in their supposedly devout Christian beliefs that Jesus was the most ‘woke’ person to have ever walked this planet.

Leave a Reply