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Letters to the Editor Thursday, June 8 – Three, from readers in Broadalbin, Middleburgh and Virginia

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Immigration issue is different today

In response to the letter from Christine Presses on May 28 (“What are excuses for denying immigrants?”), while yes, most of us are descendants of immigrants, there are some major differences between what happened when my grandparents and great-great grandparents came to America and what is happening today.
When my ancestors came over, they had to have a sponsor who guaranteed them a place to live and a job. Our tax dollars were not used to provide them with free housing in a hotel or any of the other entitlement programs being given to anyone who enters the country today.
Also, those entering the country at Ellis Island were given medical exams and, even without the availability of computers back then, background checks to make sure they weren’t carrying diseases or escaping criminal backgrounds. With computers today, this should all be easier.
Perhaps the process could be simplified by, as a part of the intake process, acknowledging that government support and entitlements would not be available to them for a given period (perhaps a year or two?).
Few people, I would hope, would object to anyone being allowed in this country who can show they can support themselves (or be supported by friends and family) and would not be bringing disease and trouble with them. Perhaps this is expecting too much?
Bruce Levy
Fredericksburg, Va.
The writer is a former Schenectady resident.

Impartial look into USS Liberty attack still needed

“With liberty and justice for all,” are the last words to our country’s Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. With those words, when does the crew of the USS Liberty get their justice?
It has been 55 years, when Israeli military assaulted our flag-flying ship, the USS Liberty. It was June 8, 1967; Israel war planes and torpedo boats attacked her. She was in international waters off the coast of the Sinai Peninsula collecting intelligence.
The Israeli military forces were unsuccessful in sinking her, but 171 Americans were wounded and 34 were killed.
To this date, no complete and impartial congressional investigation of this act of war has taken place. In my opinion, they deserve one.
Gary Hayes

No toll hike until money is recovered

After reading the article (“Thruway Authority owed millions in unpaid fees,”) in the May 30 Gazette, I cannot understand how the state can allow the Thruway Authority to think about raising tolls.
According to the article, the Thruway Authority is owed more than $270 million in unpaid tolls and fees.
It seems the Thruway Authority is not even trying to recoup this money.
The state comptroller’s office has made recommendations that the Thruway Authority appears not to be following to collect the money.
I encourage everyone who drives on the Thruway to write their state Assembly person and senator and urge them not to approve any toll increase until this money has been collected.
I had heard that the Thruway Authority is looking to raise tolls in 2025.
Robert Zurlo


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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion, Opinion


Bill Marincic

Bruce Levy, Your letter shows common sense, but soon you will start getting attacked by the swamp, which in my opinion doesn’t have common sense.

christophe Stalka

Mr Levy. No rational person would argue against the need to set up an adequate immigration system. It certainly is the responsibility of a congress to do this . Instead they focus on nonsense like laptops

I do not agree giving these people a leg up to get started in terms of government assistance in the short term is a bad thing. Let’s start them off right rather than flying them to Martha’s vineyard and dumping them in them middle of no where

A lot of liars like to spread misinformation about our government safety net programs like marinic big bm aka Zach was trying and failing to do yesterday but he needs to try.

BM, actually, progressives have been calling for comprehensive immigration reform for years. It is the far right who insists on wasting our valuable money, labor, and resources on an ineffective and ugly monument to bigotry that Mexico will never pay for, Trump’s Wall.

Do you consider that an attack from the swamp? If so, explain why.

This is just to note that no response to your comment will be anything other than another Mole for everyone to try to Whack. You’re not interested in rational debate so you just recite your little script that’s been spoon-fed to you by people who lie to you.

The Obama immigration legacy “is complicated”, according to the Cato Institute, which is all you little minions need to whine and squeal, as programmed. Go look it up yourself and have an idea for once.

Bill Marincic

As a presidential candidate, Obama promised to “put comprehensive immigration reform back on the nation’s agenda during my first year in office.” After victory in 2008, he had the clout to do so: sky-high approval ratings, 257 Democrats in the House and, for a while, a filibuster-proof majority of 60 Democrats in the Senate. And yet, immediately after being sworn in, Obama began to send signals that immigration reform wasn’t a priority. Reform was a “serious concern,” Obama told a group of regional reporters in March 2009, but not an urgent one.

Immigration activists pressed hard for Obama to act; after all, he had promised. As 2009 unfolded, Obama encouraged the activists to believe he was committed to introducing a comprehensive reform bill. After a White House meeting, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois, told reporters Obama had promised a bill “in the very near future.”

The next month, April 2009, the White House sent out word Obama was preparing to move. “Mr. Obama plans to speak publicly about the issue in May,” the New York Times reported, “and over the summer he will convene working groups, including lawmakers from both parties and a range of immigration groups, to begin discussing possible legislation for as early as this fall.”

Things seemed to be on track. Labor leaders — representing some of the very organizations that had killed reform under George W. Bush — announced their support.

Throughout June, Obama and top Democrats promised action. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said comprehensive immigration reform “is going to happen this session, but I want it this year, if at all possible.”

Obama told a Hispanic group he was “committed” to passing reform. After meeting with congressional leaders, he declared they all “want to actively get something done and not put it off until a year, two years, three years, five years from now.”

As summer 2009 went on, though, the talk slowed down as work on health care reform consumed the administration. Immigration fell out of the first tier, if it had ever really been there. By August, Obama put reform at the bottom of a long list.

Immigration reform would have to wait for 2010. And then 2011. And then 2012. And then 2013. And now 2014.

And that has led to the question of why the president didn’t act when he had the chance. Wasn’t the immigration system just as “broken” then as Obama says it is now? The answer is, in Obama’s world, there was always something more important than immigration reform. And no, it wasn’t because the economic crisis was so severe that Obama could focus on nothing else; indeed, for him, the crisis year of 2009 was mostly about Obamacare.

During the days when his power was at its peak, Obama pursued higher-priority issues even as he led immigration activists to believe they were up next. Which leads to the conclusion that perhaps immigration reform — the substance of it, not the politics — has never been all that important.

Now, there’s still something more important: protecting vulnerable Democrats from voter disapproval of unilateral presidential action on immigration. And that has led to the question of why the president didn’t act when he had the chance. Wasn’t the immigration system just as “broken” then as Obama says it is now? The answer is, in Obama’s world, there was always something more important than immigration reform. And no, it wasn’t because the economic crisis was so severe that Obama could focus on nothing else; indeed, for him, the crisis year of 2009 was mostly about Obamacare.

Byron York is chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner.

BM, please try to face the facts. During his first two years in office, Obama delivered on his promise to extend health care to millions more Americans through the ACA. The Act would have covered millions more if all Republican governors had raised the income level necessary to gain coverage through Medicaid. He also restored a healthy economy after deregulation, wasteful tax cuts, and spending on the Iraq War (which we initiated based on Bush administration lies about Hussein possessing weapons of mass destruction) brought about the Recession of 2008. Read what jclark posted below and try to understand immigration is not the problem fear mongering demagogues use to stir up ignorant and insecure people. Obama had priorities and did great good for this nation. He is a true family man, the kind of real Christian I admire, and was beloved by our people and many other nations.

Trump and other MAGA leaders are greedy liars who care far more about themselves than the country and see the Republican party and evangelical Christianity as the way to increase their wealth and power.


BM–Immigration was at a 50 year LOW under Obama´s presidency. That´s what 45 inherited, although he lied about immigration and had to target those ¨rapists and criminals¨ for his beloved wall.

Obama had only 2 years of ¨total control¨ of the House–from 2009 to 2011. The dems had only 57 seats in the Senate, though, needing 60 for ¨total control.¨

His main objective was healthcare–and he did it! The ACA is more popular and we now have more Americans covered. Are you going to give him credit for what he DID do?
Are you going to acknowledge that McConnell led with blocking anything Obama wanted to do?

Many Democrats, myself included, criticized Obama for “wasting” his Democratic majority in Congress that he had until 2010, when hordes of Tea Partiers were elected in reaction to the passage of ACA. He has been sharply criticized by Republicans ever since for his failure to enact an immigration reform bill, as he had promised (see Byron York’s op-ed in the Washington Examiner as quoted by BM above). That critique ought to be tempered for two reasons: 1) his so-called majority was not bullet-proof because a number of “Blue-Dog” Democrats opposed the ACA and other items on the Obama agenda, which required the administration to apply a full-court press to get an even weakened “Obamacare” passed (remember the public option was Democrats’ primary goal), and 2) he had to resort to using executive actions to accomplish anything in the remainder of his term, even immigration modifications, after McConnell openly admitted Republicans’ aim was to make him a one-term president.

As a result, Obama relied on an executive action to allow the “Dreamers” – immigrants who were brought into the country illegally by their parents – an exemption from deportation if they enrolled in his program.

If you recall, that move drove Republicans into a state of apoplexy, and it remains in the courts a decade later because conservative organizations continue to fight it. Beyond that, on his first day in office, President Biden submitted a comprehensive immigration reform bill to Congress, where it sits to this day. Check it out BM.

I’ve used this analogy before, but it’s worth repeating. Republicans remind me of the child who killed his parents but then had the chutzpah to beg the court for mercy because he was an orphan.

Re: Bruce Levy’s letter arguing for a return to the policy of sponsorship for immigrants like the one that existed when his descendants arrived at Ellis Island. Two facts are omitted from the letter: 1) by far, most of the immigrants flooding the southern border are openly applying for refugee status, which would exempt them from any sponsor requirement, and 2) President Biden restored the sponsorship program last January. Someone should fact check this, but I believe up to 30,000 immigrants from Cuba, Venezuela and a few other South American countries will be allowed into the U.S. every month provided they can name a sponsor.

Oops . . . I meant ancestors. But while I’m at it, I would suggest Levy read the story about the passenger ship “St. Louis” that was carrying some 3,000 Jewish refugees attempting to escape Nazi persecution. We rejected them. I hope he doesn’t want us to return to that policy.


A not perfect but bipartisan immigration bill is on the table in the Republican controlled house. Admitted by two female members, one from Texas, one from Florida. The Dignity Act, a simple 100 page bill to do SOMETHING on immigration.

Since Republicans control the House lets all wait for this proposal to make headlines, vs trying to hold the Director of the FBI who has shown the Biden maybe corrupt documents to leaders in contempt for not showing the paper copy to all the members. A document Barr said held no credible evidence and came from Giuliani’s swamping thru Ukraine looking dirt on then candidate Biden. When asked if going to investigate Biden family, only fair to do Ivanka and Jared, Congressman couldn’t end interview fast enough last night on NewsNation. HYPOCRISY every day from this mob.

Bill Marincic

Barr wanted nothing to do with that, he knew he would get stonewalled and the dems would run out the clock and he was tired of being accused as Trumps hatchet man. Even you should know better, but why let the truth get in the way of lefty facts?

Guy Varoma

Bruce Levy I believe it still is a requirement to have a sponsor today. Unless you are seeking asylum. And even then they are asked if the have a relative to stay with.

Mr. Bill 🤡 yes Obama had both the house and the Senate. But he wanted to pass the ACA (Obamacare) before anything else because he had barely a 60 vote majority in the Senate. By the time it passed he lost the Super Majority he would have needed to pass immigration reform. And also once they had a deal in place with Bohner the Republican speaker, the majority leader, until the Tea party lost their minds and called it off.

Go research your comments please….I really do hate calling you ignorant daily

And, Guy, how the Republicans fought the ACA with lies and attempts to frighten the uninformed. Does everyone remember the “Death Panels” Republicans, notably the witless Sarah Palin, ranted about? Now most embrace the ACA. The same thing happened with Social Security and Medicare.

Do you all remember the elderly lady with a sign telling the federal government to keep their hands off her Medicare?

Guy Varoma

Anthony I believed she said “Keep your Government off my Medicare”. Which was funny since we get Medicare from our government.

I’m convinced he gets a little thrill out of being shamed here. But hey, if it helps the DG pay the bills, so be it.

It’s not about a difference of opinion, it’s more like pinning on your own “Kick me” sign every day.

Guy Varoma

Mr. Bill 🤡 you never fail to entertain me …If you would only research your comments you wouldn’t me brought to task so easily. Your comments are knee jerked reactions. Preconceived notions like yours are usually wrong . …..I’m trying to help you….but it’s seems you just like being ignorant. WHo do you think you are Trump?

How the hell did this moron ever get into a position to influence so many people? This stupid and ignorant statement was broadcast over cable television. If you listen to Newsmax or some other far right “news” broadcaster, how do you feel about the following?

“The orange smog here in New York City. Have you heard about it? Many cities on the East Coast, primarily, have this big blanket of orange smug right over the top of it.

“Our woke friends to the north in Canada, their forest fires got out of hand and, well, this is what we’re dealing with. It’s complicating some people’s lives, but it’s manageable.

“I’ll tell you, it actually smells like wood smoke. It’s not an unpleasant odor, to be honest. It’s kind of weird when it seeps into the building, but outdoors, I can deal with it. Folks with respiratory issues though, that’s a real thing, a real complication.

“The White House is trying to exploit this, saying it’s all because of global warming and the normal talking points that go with that. I don’t think that’s the case. I think it’s a forest fire. This actually has happened a couple of times before in history.

“But it is pretty, it actually is pretty. It’s a beautiful, interesting aura the city has right now.” – Newsmax host Greg Kelly.

Who is this jerk, Greg Kelly?

Gov. Hochul released a public advisory yesterday on some localized social media, and the loons who leaped to calling it another fascist grab for power, and all the horrors they imagined from the pandemic flashing back in their tiny heads resurfaced. So confident they are.

Honest to god it’s hard to tell the real fear from the parody sometimes. And to think they procreate too (somehow).

Er . . . “a forest fire?” Excuse me, Mr. Greg Kelly, but there are hundreds of fires raging in Canada right now – and it’s not even wildfire season yet. I’m surprised he didn’t blame this extraordinary event on arsonists. Parts of Canada, like the U.S., have been experiencing a prolonged drought. That makes the forests tinder dry and extremely vulnerable to fires, especially those started by lightening. While it’s difficult to pin any particular weather event on climate change, climate scientists have been warning us for years that climate change will increase the number and severity of weather events, droughts occurring in the northern hemisphere being one of them.

The true test of a scientific theory’s validity is its the accuracy with which it can predict future occurrences, given the conditions the theory rests on. If climate predictions are accurate – and I have no doubt they are – forest fires and the resulting pretty orange haze that wafts over American cities will be the price we pay for basing our way of life on the burning of fossil fuels.

No matter how much the Greg Kellys on the fringe deny the existence of climate change, mother nature wan’t pay any attention. The earth will continue to exist; it just won’t be habitable by humans.

I’m tempted to calling Greg Kelly stupid, but that would be an insult to stupid people.

Let us bow our heads and issue a sigh of relief:


The 700 Club, (now deceased televangelist, grifter and conspiratorial hatemonger Pat) Robertson’s long-running program on the CBN, was his most common platform for hate. In the days after 9/11, he brought on pastor Jerry Falwell to discuss the tragedy.

“I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America, I point the finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen,’” Falwell said, to which Robertson said “I totally concur” and that the “agenda” has been adopted by the “highest levels of our government.”


The afterlife may be a bit of a shock for him.

Do people who believe the crap this hatemonger promulgated actually think he is “alive” somewhere with Jesus and Ernest Angley? Really? He is no more aware than the roadkill we see on highways. I feel bad about the cruel deaths of innocent animals, but Robinson’s or Angley’s death? I could NOT care less.

Some trivia I didn’t know about Jack Smith, Special Counsel for the United States Department of Justice:

– Raised in Clay, NY (Onondaga)
– Graduated Liverpool High School (Onondaga)
– Graduated SUNY Oneonta, summa cum laude
– JD, Harvard Law
– served as Investigation Coordinator in the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC). In that capacity, he supervised sensitive investigations of foreign government officials and militia for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.
– Reportedly a ferocious triathlete and competitive cyclist.

Many are telling me that deliveries of Depends and tissues to Shangri-Lardo, FL have spiked since Smith assumed his current role.
It’s just what many are saying…

christophe Stalka

im thinking some of these would be useful for the resident truth distorter. perhaps inflation has limited his access to his usual supply
Many are telling me that deliveries of Depends and tissues to Shangri-Lardo, FL have spiked since Smith assumed his current role.
It’s just what many are saying…

In the words of a lunatic:


“I have been summoned to appear at the Federal Courthouse in Miami on Tuesday, at 3 PM,” Trump wrote. “I never thought it possible that such a thing could happen to a former President of the United States, who received far more votes than any sitting President in the History of our Country, and is currently leading, by far, all Candidates, both Democrat and Republican, in Polls of the 2024 Presidential Election. I AM AN INNOCENT MAN!”

“This is indeed a DARK DAY for the United States of America,” Trump added in another post. “We are a Country in serious and rapid Decline, but together we will Make America Great Again!”


– So says the leader of the Republican Party.

christophe Stalka

Guess the jury didn’t agree with what Trump ‘thought’ . Hard to spin things when a jury is involved

I’m sure I hear weapng in the distance. I’m pretty sure I know who it is.

The sore losers and crybabies sound as if they have totally lost it and are saying truly outrageous things about the indictment of Trump. Here is a sample:

“Donald Trump’s latest indictment has prominent MAGA figures rushing to defend the former president in the most outlandish of ways. ‘This is the JFK assassination all over again,’ tweeted right-wing social media personality Mike Cernovich, who later posted, ‘The deep state killed JFK with bullets. Now they are using briefcases to assassinate those who stand in their way.’ Longtime Trump ally Rudy Giuliani couldn’t contain his devastation, either. ‘This is a day that’s one of the worst in the history of the United States,’ he said in a Twitter Space after the news broke.”


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