Women killing on the field of battle no cause for rejoicing
Love and pain compels this letter.
Several weeks ago women [were fully cleared] for frontline combat. As a former Marine taught how to kill, there is little doubt in my mind that women will be highly effective in combat. I am sure they will participate with the same esprit de corps as men. The psychological techniques of conditioning now thoroughly developed and highly refined turn all but the best of us into programmed killers.
And, yes, feminism works for gender equality, and a new gender equality has been achieved. “You’ve come a long way, baby,” as the expression goes.
Yet author and poet Sharon Doubiago expresses a jaw-dropping and pivotal insight: “Men create war to compete with women who create life.” As a man, I doubt I can completely understand the depth of this statement. If you are a woman, I am praying that you can.
This is breaking my heart. Please forgive me, but I don’t want you to have the same opportunity to participate fully in the murderous conduct of our species. I don’t want you to kill women, children, and men who are noncombatants and return home only to wake up to a new nightmare far worse than the nightmare of combat.
I don’t want you to be part of the suicide epidemic and receive the same neglect and mistreatment as your male counterparts. And most emphatically, I don’t want you to believe you have to kill to be equal.
The writer is a member of Veterans For Peace.
Private-sector workers need to retire sooner
The country is facing a financial crisis, along with massive unemployment numbers, and yet the situation is not being recognized in the local or national media.
I am talking about the inability of the vast majority of working people to retire. Yes, the baby boomers are supposed to be retiring in the tens of thousands every month, yet many are not. If the current people working continue to work well past age 65, is 20 percent unemployment possible?
Why are people not retiring? Most people in the private sector have no employer-guaranteed retirement. Yes, they are offered employer 401(k) plans, but were not able to save enough to retire. Governmental employees are retiring, but the private-sector employees continue to work. How is this inability to retire impacting the work force?
Nationally there are 85 percent working in the private sector, with jobs in finance or retail or other areas. About 15 percent work for the federal, state or local governments, along with schools. In New York, the numbers are closer to 80 percent working in the private sector and 20 percent for the various governments.
In the Capital Region, it is close to 60 percent private sector and 40 percent government, due to massive numbers of state workers and SUNY.
Yes, some people that were employed or are employed in the private sector have retired or will retire; but not those people who worked for decades earning $10 or $12 an hour. They have not saved enough.
When they continue to work into their 70s or 80s, the jobs they have will not be available to young workers entering the work force. That will increase the unemployment rate to unheard-of levels.
Edward F. Wagner
Maplewood Manor needs cash customers
The Feb. 12 Gazette reported the concern of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors re empty beds at Maplewood Manor because of the difficult paperwork necessary to admit Medicaid patients. The supervisors’ solution [is to grant] waivers from the current admissions requirements.
When this was a concern a couple months ago, I sent letters to six supervisors, suggesting that empty beds were not a bad thing, but an opportunity to fill them with paying patients.
The Medicaid rate is so low that it does not cover the cost of patients’ care; and it costs many millions of county dollars to operate this fine facility.
When a family member needed to be admitted to a nursing home several years ago, there was no space at Maplewood; so she was a paying patient at an out-of-county nursing home for four years. Recruit paying patients to fill those empty beds!
If a disabled woman can pick up litter, we all can
My friend’s aunt lives on Cutler Street. On one visit, he noticed a woman picking up trash on the street. He asked his aunt about it.
This older woman is handicapped and uses a walker. Periodically, she picks up trash on the street using a reacher, and puts it into a bag to be thrown out. She does this in the area in front of her house and the houses on each side of hers.
When asked about it, the woman said that just because this wasn’t the richest neighborhood in the city doesn’t mean it has to be the messiest.
If this woman, who is disabled and uses a walker, can take the time and effort, just think how much nicer the city would look if just one out of five neighbors on each block did the same thing.
If only Congress worked as hard as the cardinals
A puff of white smoke above the Sistine Chapel will announce when the College of Cardinals has selected a successor to Benedict XVI.
This meeting may rival the U.S. Congress in politicking, secret deals and incomprehensible machinations. At least the “Red Hats” have to stay in session until they complete their task.
I pray for a signal from Washington saying that they have done something — anything,
Francis W. Rodgers
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