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What you need to know for 01/19/2018

Slaughtering horses for food is nothing to make light of

Slaughtering horses for food is nothing to make light of

*Slaughtering horses for food is nothing to make light of *Limits on gun rights hardly unconstitutio

Slaughtering horses for food is nothing to make light of

When arguing a position, it’s always important to have reason, logic and fact on your side. By those criteria, Irv Dean has three strikes against him in his April 22 column, “Special today: Funny Cide with fries.”

In an effort to be sensational and sell newspapers, Mr. Dean makes light of the horrible and dangerous practice of horse slaughter for human consumption. After mocking the intrinsic value of horses to our culture and downplaying the dangers to humans of medicines used to treat all horses — not just racehorses — ending up in the food supply, Dean says, “don’t get the idea that I dislike horses.” Yeah, on a dinner plate.

Horses are sporting, recreational and companion animals. Their therapeutic and rehabilitative abilities are well documented for veterans, the disabled and people who are incarcerated. Like dogs and cats, if there’s no other way to care for them, they deserve to be humanely euthanized at the end of their lives, not sent to the slaughterhouse.

Beyond the sheer brutality of the practice, horse slaughter will enable dangerous, FDA-banned drugs found in horse meat to potentially threaten the U.S. food supply if cross contamination occurs with other meat, like what’s happening across Europe. Horses are not bred for food and should be removed from the food chain.

Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, Sen. Kathy Marchione and Assembly member Deborah Glick should be applauded for sponsoring bipartisan legislation to end the barbaric practice in New York.

Horse slaughter will be discussed by equine experts, government officials and others the at the 2013 American Equine Summit on April 27 and 28 at the Equine Advocates Rescue & Sanctuary in Chatham. I would welcome Mr. Dean to attend the event and get the facts for himself.

Susan Wagner


The writer is president of Equine Advocates.

Limits on gun rights hardly unconstitutional

Some people who insist the Constitution gives everybody the right to carry weapons might have not examined the entire document. Did they overlook that qualifying clause which precedes the oft-repeated phrase, “shall not be infringed?”

We need a “well-regulated militia,” in order to maintain a secure country. Why did the Founding Fathers add that qualification?

Could it have been to clarify constitutional Article One, which says that Congress shall have power to provide for organizing, arming and disciplining the militia? In those late years of the 18th century, all guns were handmade. No two were just alike and each had unique handling qualities. Parts were not interchangeable. Each person learned how to load and aim his own weapon. Most country families had a single-shot musket or two for hunting and to ward off marauders.

The Founders may have recognized the huge financial burden that Congress would have to carry in order to arm the entire militia with handmade guns, so they wrote an amendment that would allow people to bear their own arms in a well-regulated militia.

A military history instructor explained this to us as we served as citizen soldiers in the 1950s. By that time, our military weapons had interchangeable parts, the government supplied them, and we did not take them home.

If you look at the history of other constitutional amendments, you will see that legislative and judicial interpretations have qualified most of them. Our freedom of speech does not include the right to slander.

Likewise, the bearing of arms by people can (and should) be qualified, for the protection of the life, liberty and happiness of those who choose to remain unarmed. Qualification is not infringement.

Kernan Davis


Schenectady a better bet than life in the suburbs

After reading the negatives that real estate agents perceived about living in Schenectady, I would like to offer a few positives that any agent worth their 6 percent should be aware of.

I drive to my job off Exit 9 of the Northway, leaving my home in Schenectady at about 8 a.m. and returning at approximately 6:30 p.m. It takes me between 17 and 20 minutes via Aqueduct Road and the Rexford Bridge. My informal count of cars backed up on Aqueduct [Road], waiting to cross the bridge, has ranged from 45 to 75 minutes at approximately 6:15 p.m. — later than the usual traffic rush. And that does not even consider the cars on Balltown Road.

I have also observed the same situation on the southbound lane of Route 146 in the morning. Assigning a cost to that wasted time is difficult, but let’s assume the majority of those drivers work for GE, where the average salary is in the $90,000 range. Working 240 days per year and incurring an additional minimum commute of one hour per day equates to approximately $11,000 in lost “opportunity” costs.

Additionally, the airport’s [proximity], superior health care facilities, world class entertainment and a vibrant downtown make living in Schenectady a lot more feasible.

Agents should do their GlobalFoundaries clients a favor and show them the best bang for the buck in the Capital Region.

James Brodie


Racism, anti-Semitism, sexism much the same

There has been debate over whether that teacher’s assignment to defend Nazism was anti-Semitic [April 13 Gazette].

It can be difficult for some people to recognize bias such as anti-Semitism or sexism, but nearly everyone recognizes racism. If there is any doubt in your mind about bias in a statement or scenario, substitute African-American for the group.

If it sounds racist, then it is also anti-Semitic or sexist. Ask yourself, would there be any public debate if that teacher’s assignment had been for students to defend the Ku Klux Klan?

It is important to study the historical context of events without perpetuating the underlying biases.

Mimi Katz


Social Security another empty Obama promise

In the April 22 opinion section, a 93-year-old senior wrote that he was troubled by the cuts to Social Security that Obama will make. He stated that he regrets voting for this man because Obama promised that no cuts would take place during his second term.

Well, Obama didn’t keep all the promises made during his first term, why should he change now? The country is still in bad shape and the future doesn’t look to promising, either.

Why is this? Because the people who work for a living are now outnumbered by those who vote for a living.

Stephen Desmonie


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