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Letters to the Editor
What you need to know for 08/20/2017

No need to publicly disclose what went wrong in Libya

No need to publicly disclose what went wrong in Libya

*No need to publicly disclose what went wrong in Libya *Will’s critique of Obama presidency went too

No need to publicly disclose what went wrong in Libya

It isn’t enough that we lost Ambassador Chris Stevens in Libya. The finger-pointing now starts as to who said what and when.

We all know that he was brutally murdered by a group of cowardly extremists. As for the nuts and bolts of the matter, they should be critiqued in closed session and only on a need-to-know basis. Then, and only then, should a determination be made as to what facts should be released to the public.

It is time we learned that we should never give the details of any military operation or methods of response to a terrorist attack, because in doing so, we play into the hands of the perpetrators.

The matter of intelligence-gathering and analysis is a delicate subject, and speculation and second-guessing have no place in the mix. Any information we disseminate is picked apart and sifted by an enemy and can be applied in the conduct of future operations. So let the experts do their job.

Mr. Romney should have kept his mouth shut [at the second debate]. Leave the intelligence to the pros.

Bob Coveney


Will’s critique of Obama presidency went too far

Re George Will’s Nov. 1 column, “Ground ready to fall out from under Obama”: I know Will is a staunch Republican, so I would not expect a fair appraisal of the Obama presidency. But this column is a snarky hatchet job with no solid facts to back it up, just a steady stream of negativity.

This from a man who for eight years supported the failed policies of George W. Bush: a trillion-dollar war in Iraq started on false pretenses, paid for with borrowed money, pursued with inadequate resources and left for Obama to clean up and deal with a destabilized region. Bush presided over seven years of anemic job growth followed by one year of full economic collapse.

Of course, there have been large deficits during Obama’s first term. Would Will prefer that Obama operate from the Herbert Hoover playbook for economic recovery, slashing government spending to balance the budget during an economic collapse? That didn’t work in 1930 and it won’t work now.

Will’s column carries with it the smell of pique and desperation from a man who knows he is about to lose in the marketplace of ideas and is lashing out in the “so’s your momma” fashion of an angry adolescent.

Richard Alvarez


Over-50s need not apply for jobs in cyber era

I was 17 and in Marine boot camp when Sputnik was launched. This I consider the beginning of the cyber era. Since then I’ve seen, and helped develop, some amazing and wonderful technology. But what about the downside?

The cyber era greatly devalues community effort, individual achievement and sense of control. The loss of jobs will take decades to support a middle class again, The signs: Half of graduates can’t find work, a single worker can replace 1,000 workers using robots.

If you’re over 40, your era and mind-set is like a speed bump on the way to the mall for the cyber-era employer. In some cases you may be useful, but big business wishes you just went away. How we deal with these problems is to quit pretending anyone can create jobs politically for decades or so.

We need to reduce the Social Security age to at least age 50. Higher education needs to close half of existing schools and have either a job guarantee or tuition refund if graduates can’t get a job in their field.

Grades K-12 will be more of a day-care center than job training centers of our current model. Math, science, formal logic and problem-solving are the areas needed for the future. Different but doable.

John Donohue


19th century solution, 21st century problem

Re Oct. 20 letter, “‘Free’ stuff for women comes with steep price tag”: Sheila Neugebauer’s train of dutiful women has run off the track.

After chuckling over her 19th century view of women’s health and reproductive issues, the realization comes that there are still many women enablers who are out of touch with reality.

In today’s world, for one reason or another, many women are single parents. They work out of necessity to support their families. A 50 percent divorce rate, plus a 50 percent out-of-wedlock birthrate, half of which have no declared fathers or paternal child support, is a social problem, all right, for which Ms. Neugebauer’s only contribution is to stick her head in the sand.

Carol G. Putman

Saratoga Springs

Medicare, Social Security aren’t broke, so don’t fix

To voters under 65: May I explain how Medicare and Social Security work?

My husband and I are nearing our 70s, and the present system is working well for us and helping us plan for our future. But it is a bit complicated, so here goes.

Social Security takes about $115 (plus or minus) out of each of our monthly checks and sends it to Medicare. (Your Social Security is based on your lifetime earnings.) That $115 pays for your basic Medicare. You can also choose to buy a supplemental or advantage health plan from a private company, but you must sign up for it.

These private company plans cover more than regular Medicare, like chiropractic, health club memberships, dental, vision, etc. You choose. No health exams necessary.

We rely on this excellent and comprehensive system, which provides for everyone.

You are making Social Security contributions when you earn a paycheck, so you deserve your payback. Please vote carefully for the candidates who are interested in supporting older people, rather than large corporations. Don’t worry, there will be enough money to pay for it when our elected representatives realize this is very important to us.

Merrie Wardell


Bipartisan welfare reform effort needed

With a large percentage of the U.S. population on some form of public assistance, I believe it is time for Americans to change the way we look at, and manage, our welfare system.

Individuals who receive welfare will most likely vote for the hand that feeds them. That is why this issue of welfare must be controlled and closely monitored, or every four years the party that overwhelmingly supports public assistance programs will be elected.

If you make welfare or any social program bipartisan, then no political party will be able to use this as their “ace in the hole.” I believe most Americans support programs that help those who are “truly” in financial or social need. Most working and taxpaying individuals, however, probably do not want to see their paychecks shrunk to give monies to people capable of working but choose not to.

Simply giving welfare to people without some realistic goal of self-reliance and independence is ridiculous. It is absurd to think that giving money away and not seeing any type of return from it is a good idea.

This country should set up a bipartisan plan to regulate and control welfare. Drug testing, workfare and full financial disclosure (e.g. listing personal assets like expensive cars) need to be implemented. This will give us a true understanding of how taxpayer dollars are being used.

John Grygiel

Ballston Lake

I wonder how those who support limited government would feel if they were in the devastating path of “Sandy?”

Would they reject help from Washington?

Bertha Kriegler


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