Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Saturday, June 3 – Four, from readers in Schenectady, Clifton Park and Ballston Spa

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Make producers pay for their waste

New York has made small strides in reducing plastic use.
First, New York banned plastic carryout bags (2020), and then in 2022 it banned polystyrene foam containers and loose-fill packing.
It is time to do more. There currently is a progressive bill in the state Legislature, The Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act (A5322/S4246) would hold producers accountable for their waste.
The 2023 legislative session ends on June 8, and legislative leaders need to hear from you about the urgent need to reduce plastic production, use, and waste, especially single-use plastics, and packaging through legislative action this session.
The Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act would require producers to reduce the amount of packaging used overall (including single-use plastic and packaging) by 50% over 12 years, make the remaining packaging truly recyclable or reusable, reduce toxins used in packaging, and would hold producers accountable for their waste instead of taxpayers.
Also, you may not be aware that plastic is made from fossil fuel. A recent report estimates less than 6% of plastic is recycled in the United States, as most of it ends up in landfills or is incinerated.
New Yorkers can do their part in getting this bill passed and hold industry accountable.
Contact your state elected officials ( And contact Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (518-455-2715) and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (518-455-2585), who have ultimate decision-making power over what the Legislature prioritizes voting on before the end of session on June 8.
Nancy Tudor
Clifton Park

Schools must do more on bullying

I loved reading the May 25 editorial (“Inform parents when child is being bullied,”) in The Gazette.
I read an editorial about bullying in our schools. A young teenager was being bullied and could no longer take it. He committed suicide. How sad is that?
I believe when the students return to school in September, and the teacher is talking about the rules of his or her class, bullying should be talked about.
Losing one child to suicide is too much. The students need to know that if they are bullied on the bus or school, they should inform the bus driver or teacher.
I read about a child who was bullied, and guess what? He was being physically and emotionally abused at home. He became like what was happening at home. The student who is bullied needs help along with the student who does the bullying.
Our schools need to wake up. Thank you for the editorial. Hopefully, this will make a difference. I feel so sorry for the parents of that young boy.
Virginia DelGallo

GOP voters need to restore country

The Biden administration is the most corrupt in recent memory. Joe is the worst president we’ve ever had.
He stumbles when he walks, mumbles when he talks, is often confused, doesn’t offer news conferences, and stays away from the media.
He goes to his homes in Delaware on Fridays and returns back to D.C. on Mondays, leaving him three days a week in the White House. He’s a total disgrace to our country and isn’t the president he claimed he would be. When all investigations are completed, he and his family members could end up in prison. He’s a worse liar than Trump.
Times were better when Trump was in office. Good economy, low unemployment and the stock market was setting new records. Crime has gotten so much worse in the last three years, and people don’t seem as happy as they were.
Your IRAs have taken a hit. The hate-filled left has brought our once great country down to this level. The Republican Party has a growing list of excellent candidates that can put us back on track to prosperity and happiness. The Democrats have no one worthy. Only we the voters can straighten out this mess.
Let’s bring the United States back to prominence once again.
Jack Hunter
Ballston Spa

Nelligan following Trump’s playbook

Anyone following the national political scene is acquainted with the Trump-inspired “politics of White grievance and White nationalism.”
It is embraced not only by Trumpers, but by politicians such as Ron DeSantis. Although DeSantis is now a Trump rival for the GOP presidential nomination, he shares the Trump playbook that tries to criminalize the Black Lives Matter movement, seeks a political takeover of our public schools and universities, supports the ban on books that feature LGBTQ+ folks, and wants to block migrants who fled dangerous conditions in their homelands.
It has become obvious that Matt Nelligan, the candidate for mayor of the mostly defunct Republican Party, is acting out the script created by Trump.
He started out a year ago attacking the BLM lettering on a downtown street.
More recently, he suggested that City Hall should take control of the city schools. And now he has thrown the migrants into the race by calling for the mayor to declare a “state of emergency” to protect the city from being overrun by migrants.
It is not difficult to tell where Mr. Nelligan is coming from or where he is going.
Robert K. Corliss


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Categories: Clifton Park and Halfmoon, Letters to the Editor, Opinion, Opinion, Saratoga Springs, Schenectady



Jack Hunter, I suggest you watch (and really listen) to President Biden’s speech from the Oval Office last night. He explains in detail negotiations with McCarthy and what his values and policies are. Biden has passed over 300 bipartisan bills, more bills than Obama and 45 combined, unemployment at 3.7%, 10 consecutive months of inflation coming down after inheriting a crashed economy and hundreds of thousands dead from Covid, from your idol 45. Biden emphasizes unity while 45 tears us apart.

Please provide facts about Biden’s so called corruption. According to Citizens for Responsibility, 45 spent 4 years profiting with at least 3700 conflicts of interest. He and his family made out with hundreds of millions of dollars and deals.

It boggles the mind that you prefer a man child that caused an Insurrection because he lost, and doesn’t even believe in our Constitutional Republic. Now there appears to be missing confidential documents that he outright stole from US.
I’ll take Biden’s speech impediment and tripping over a sandbag any day!
(What the hell was a sandbag doing there?

christophe Stalka

MR Hunter not strong in the memory department I see so try lying but rewriting history failed for Fox News and you’re not doing much better.

After the failed coup of Jan 6th the only fool buying that line of crap might be Damsel Donnie thank God for Bidens leadership and the achievements he’s made. Calm yourself reread your letter and you’ll feel better.

Guy Varoma

Jack Hunter the 4 years that Trump was in office was a nightmare. Were you blind to what Trump said and did? I suggest stop watching Fox News and really look at those 4 years of Trump corruption, I would like you to take a look at what Biden has accomplished in 2+ years. All your complaints about Biden are bogus and created for you by the far Right. Please take the time to fact check your claims….

According to Mr. Hunter,”He (Biden) stumbles when he walks, mumbles when he talks, is often confused, doesn’t offer news conferences, and stays away from the media.” But, he never used a meaningless word like “cofveve,” suggested we drop nuclear bombs in hurricanes to break them up, fell in love with Kim Jung Un, or suggested cleansing the inside of our bodies with bleach to ward off COVID infection.

“He goes to his homes in Delaware on Fridays and returns back to D.C. on Mondays…” The monster; how dare he! He could spend every free minute in Mar a Lago playing golf.

“When all investigations are completed, he and his family members could end up in prison.” We are so fortunate to have former president Trump in the wings, a man who has never been investigated or even suspected of criminal and immoral behavior. Good grief!

“Times were better when Trump was in office. Good economy, low unemployment and the stock market was setting new records…” And Trump accomplished all this while increasing the national debt by only TWENTY FIVE PERCENT in FOUR YEARS!

” The hate-filled left has brought our once great country down to this level.” I did not realize white supremacists like the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys were leftists or that banning book readings by drag queens or discussion of lgbtq issues in public schools came out of love and tolerance from the right. I did not know that forbidding truthful discussions of racial persecution, slavery, and discrimination, Jim Crow and de jure as well as de facto segregation, is promoted by the right to protect Blacks from the truth about our history and help them realize that their higher rates of incarceration, poverty, and unemployment are due to some inherent racial flaw.

Thank you for enlightening me Mr. Hunter.

Guy Varoma

Thank you Anthony….I just don’t have it in me anymore o list Trump’s failures and Biden’s accomplishments……With people Mr. Hunter and Mr. Bill 🤡it seems it is always futile

Guy, the kind of government MAGA supporters seek is a reflection of their own feelings of inadequacy, which they express as bravado and loyalty to those willing to elevate them because of their race, religion, wealth and/or ethnicity. In an analysis of Plato’s Republic, Francis MacDonald Cornford had this to say about the state they long for:

“The lowest depth to which the state can fall is despotism; and in the soul of the despotic man, whom the Greeks called ‘tyrant,’ the three most powerful motives, ambition, fear, and greed, have finally triumphed over reason and humanity.” “The Republic of Plato” by Francis MacDonald Cornford, Introduction p.xxvii

I don’t want to live my final years out in that kind of state, the kind of state MAGA wants the U.S. to become. There are many people who believe all politicians are alike and that voters have no power. We must never, not only on this page, but everywhere and in all cases confront them with the truth.

Anthony, you are so right. All politicians are not alike. The media, public figures and even some commentators on this page often fall prey to the notion of “bothsidesism” – “giving credence to the other side of a cause, action, or idea to seem fair or only for the sake of argument when the credibility of that side may be unmerited.” (Merriam-Webster) Unless the truth is made clear, “bothsidesism,” and its corresponding view that “All politicians are alike” will lead to so much confusion that people won’t know whom to believe. Eventually, they’ll stop listening, and when that happens the doors will open wide for a despot to gain power.


That stumbling, bumbling President keeps striking bipartisan deals to improve the economy, and not a single word of bombastic gloating on his part even when he completely schools Republicans on legislation. The country, and economy, appreciates a steady hand in the Oval Office, even if he occasionally misspeaks or trips. Trump is going to sweep the GOP primary, and will extend his losing streak in the general election because he’s a narcissistic, selfish, out-of-control, raping, man-baby, and the country already rejected that in 2020. Good luck!

Jack Hunter, “Stephen William Hawking (8 January 1942 – 14 March 2018) was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author who, at the time of his death, was director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge.[7][17][18] Between 1979 and 2009, he was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, widely viewed as one of the most prestigious academic posts in the world.”

Mr Hawking didn’t stumble when he walked he didn’t mumble when he talked, because he couldn’t walk or talk, but he was a renowned genius.

Mr. Hunter, Judging a man’s intellectual prowess by his physical capabilities is a sad stat of affairs on your part.

Thank heavens we have rational commentators willing to call attention to the laughable hypocrisy in Mr. Hunter’s letter. On first reading, I thought it was a joke planted by some right-winger who just wanted to get a rise out of people on the left – in fact, I’m still not sure that assessment is incorrect – but nevertheless it’s important to call out that nonsense for what it is.

In contrast, Mr. Robert Corliss’s letter is a model of decorous criticism. He not only identifies his misgivings with Matt Nelligan’s mayoral candidacy, but he backs up his opinion with concrete evidence, unlike Jack Hunter. Because Corliss was restricted to 250 words (those of us who have written letters to the editor know how frustrating that limitation can be), I’ll add to his displeasure (the mildest word I can think of) with Mr. Nelligan candidacy.

Since Nelligan is a fan of Trump and DeSantis, he subjects himself to the same criticism that’s leveled against them. In particular, the stance DeSantis, of all people, takes regarding immigration is hypocritical in the extreme. And Nelligan’s parroting of that policy is even more glaring because Schenectady was built by immigrants, mostly Italian and Polish, but also Irish and Jews from Eastern Europe, who arrived in Schenectady at the same time.

DeSantis’s grandparents on both sides were part of the diaspora from southern Italy. To this day, Italians in the north regard their southern brethren as the equivalents of rednecks. No doubt DeSantis’s grandparents were aware of that degradation, which was reflected in the land policies that drove the south into abject poverty and eventually massive immigration.

DeSantis and his devotee, Matt Nelligan, want to pull up the gangplank now that they are safely nestled in American society. DeSantis himself is a shining example of the success his grandparents wanted for their families – a shot at the American dream – the same motivation that drove all American immigrants since the Pilgrims arrived.


Mr Hunter, Please point out for us which one of these “accomplishments” by tRump you think is not true. Sure many more could be listed but these seem to be in the top tier. We’ll wait.
Trump’s “accomplishments” after his 4 year reign =

The economy lost 2.9 million jobs. The unemployment rate rose to 6.3%.

After-tax corporate profits went up in 2020 = 53.9 percent and unit labor cost went down 7.9 percent. Compared to 1979-2019 averages = corporate profit was 11.4 percent and unit labor cost was 61.8 percent.

The international trade deficit Trump promised to reduce went UP. The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services in 2020 was the highest since 2008 and increased 40.5% from 2016 (because of trump’s incompetence, the taxpayers had to bail out the farmers = 26 billion).

trump caused a historic, and longest, 35 day govt shutdown, costing 11 Billion.

The number of people lacking health insurance rose by 3 million.

The federal debt held by the public went up, from $14.4 trillion to $21.6 trillion (trump increased it 7.2 trillion in 4 years).

Home prices rose 27.5%, home ownership rate increased 2.1% to 65.8%.

Illegal immigration increased. Apprehensions at the Southwest border rose 14.7% in 2020 compared with 2016.

Handgun production rose 12.5% in 2020 compared with 2016, setting a new record.

The U.S. murder rate rose 30% between 2019 and 2020 – the largest single-year increase in more than a century.

Over a million Americans died to COVID-19.

withdrawal agreement with the Taliban that excluded the Afghan govt, freed 5,000 imprisoned Taliban soldiers.

Jan 6 = trump’s rioters damaged our historic Capitol (2.5 million), 5 police officers died and 140 officers wounded.

Previously on the “Jack Hunter Cavalcade of Tears and Lamentations”:

“All you leftists keep knocking Rep. Elise Stefanik because she supports Donald Trump. She is a rising star in the Republican Party, and she will be in office for many years to come.
On Nov. 8 the Big Red Wave is coming, and again in Nov. 2024 a second Big Red Wave will finally flush out the swamp in D.C.
The Democrats have lost touch with reality. ”

– Letters to the Editor Tuesday, June 28 (2022)

“lost touch with reality”, indeed.

People like writer Hunter are the real disgrace of this country, and the world sees it.

Any debate or conversation or complaint about the state of the US and the job the Biden administration is doing that does not acknowledge the effects of the world’s economy nearly shutting down for a year and a half due to a global pandemic, is a dishonest one.

Republicans have shown the absolute worst judgement and worst dishonesty in trying to pin inflation, or gas prices, or broken supply chains or any of the other challenges we face on one president; to try to use it for political purposes. Writer Hunter, nor any other Republican tool, doesn’t deserve a line-by-line rebuttal. He doesn’t once mention the pandemic. I’m sure he didn’t sleep though it.

He and they need to just STFU until they can show they have productive ideas for this country AS A WHOLE. Then maybe more Americans might take their side and they won’t have to waste so much time thinking up ideas to game democracy to “win”.

Though I disagree with them on most issues, I admire the courage of Republicans like Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. I believe men like George Will and Rick Wilson, conservative thinkers and strategists, are working in the interests of our country. Michael Steele, former RNC chairman, is loudly and openly critical of what MAGA has done to the GOP. Where are the Republicans on this forum who support these good people and can argue for their conservative approaches to our problems? I want to dialogue with them. I respect their ideas and believe compromise between them and progressives often results in the best solutions to our problems.

Why lickspittles like Lindsey Graham, Elise Stefanik, and J.D. Vance, who should know better, support Trump, I can not fathom. His coattails are falling part, and though they think otherwise, they will fall with him. Why Republicans who will not support Trump like Mitt Romney are not louder in their condemnation of Trump is a mystery to me.

Of course, we all know why people like Boebert, Gosar, Gaetz, Santos, and MTG support Trump. They are as egotistical, self-centered and ignorant as the man they admire. They really believe they will benefit from a MAGA style autocracy. IT AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN!

Just want to be sure marincic and the other one-eyed minions get these important instructions…

Donald J. Trump


10:38 PM · Jun 2, 2023 · 20.8K Views
10 Retweets 5 Quotes 142 Likes

Many years ago political pundit H. L. Mencken said, “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” After reading Jack Hunter’s letter, I can see why Mencken’s observation was so prophetic. Trump was able to capture the presidency in 2016 and get even more popular votes in 2020 because millions of Jack Hunters throughout the land found his message of hate, bigotry and misogyny appealing. God save us in 2024.

Wizard, that is a great quote and, unfortunately, an accurate prediction.

Mencken had his faults, but his insights were astounding. This quote makes me think of all the simple solutions Trump had for complex problems like health care and immigration:

“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”

To take it one step further, we all remember Trump promising a cheaper and better health care package than the ACA. Once president and confronted with the realities of problems with health care and insurance, he changed his tune:

“Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.”

Of course, many people knew that; Trump simply wasn’t one of them.

Ditto, the Wall.

I suppose it’s easy to empathize with Mencken’s cynical view of “plain folks”, and if your only exposure to them is through the media that would be at least understood. The media loves a shiny object and loud noises.

If you’re one of them, if your roots are with the “plain folks”, you know that academia does not have a monopoly on wisdom. While I’m not a scholar of his work, I don’t see how Mencken brings anything worthwhile to the discussion of populism other than elitist puffery (and I’m not the first to point that out).

I’d prefer to be the glass half-full guy.

ChuckD, you make a valid point. “Plain folk” should be replaced by “ignorant, uncaring, bigoted extremists, suffering from inferiority complexes,” who, unfortunately, make up a significant but not majority of our population.

As I said in the previous post, I am aware of his faults. I am certain Wizard is also. He was against America fighting in WWI and WWII; he did not support Hitler but certainly said and wrote things that were clearly anti-Semitic and racist. However, he did have a keen awareness of human nature and political realities.

I’m not qualified to get into Mencken’s ideology, especially with the two of you. But I do feel qualified to speak to how media and the internet have affected people, and peoples’ perception of other people. As I’ve said here, I’ve been on the internet for around 35 years, and as I’m sure you have, witnessed a societal sea-change. As well, I’ve watched how large corporate concerns have abused it to utterly trample on people’s rights and manipulate their sentiments for commercial and ideological/political gains.
So when I read of our educated class reacting to the attention-seekers and willfully ignorant appearing on our screens as if theirs was a privileged class, it does irk me. I do believe as you say, they are not a majority but even our nightly news puts their noise out there as if it was the country’s voice.

What did we hear more of yesterday about President Biden? His words to the Air Force Academy grads, or his ability to govern because he took a spill? That’s on the media.

In addition to Bernie Sanders as one of my political heroes, another is Jon Tester of Montana. Both men making connections between the “plain folks” and the powers that be, acknowledging there’s a majority of us and that we desperately need wise leaders right now.

Some evidence that right wing Congressmen have too much time on their hands…and spend it watching “Ancient Aliens,” which is meant for entertainment, and not presented as science. “Ye Gads,” these people are so naive, so uninformed, so, dare I say stupid, that it scares the crap out of me that they vote for legislation that affects us all:

“I’ve never seen a UFO, but they’re in the bible. I mean, read the first chapter of Ezekiel. It’s the King James version, it’s a translation, but it describes a wheel within a wheel. It describes what you and I would call the classic saucer shape UFO. It’s in the bible. It’s in hieroglyphics. It’s in, you know, Dark Ages paintings. It’s there.” – GOP Rep. Tim Burchett, speaking to Steve Bannon, who then claims that giants are real because they’re also in the bible.

Burchett last appeared here in April 2023 when he blamed a mass shooting in his home state on a lack of Jesus in public schools. Days earlier, Burchett claimed that “people who pray” never commit mass shootings.

Burchett earned national headlines that month when he declared that there’s simply no way to “fix” the epidemic of mass shootings. In January 2023, we heard from Burchett when he first made the claim about UFOs in the bible.

Burchett first appeared on JMG in 2018 when as mayor of Knox County, Tennessee he complained that Dolly Parton had bowed to political correctness by renaming her Dixie Stampede dinner theater attraction.

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