Saratoga Springs City Center not right venue for gun show
The Saratoga Springs City Center is funded by us — the taxpayers of Saratoga Springs. Many of us are gun owners. Many of us are not. Most of us are inclined to believe in and support the Second Amendment.
Feelings run high on all sides of gun regulation. No gun regulation legislation that I know of advocates taking guns away from law-abiding citizens or eliminating the Second Amendment.
Many of us who are against gun shows at the City Center simply feel that gun shows do not belong at a tax-funded city exhibition center — a family cultural center.
In my view the City Center should provide a venue for events like home shows, garden shows, cultural events like the dance flurry, art exhibits, spelling bees, poetry readings, science fairs, plays, concerts, symposiums and conferences for political and cultural discussion. But guns? Guns at a community center feels like a contradiction of purpose, inspiration and intent, sort of like a poetic profanity contest in church — mutually exclusive.
We can support the Second Amendment, and we can support our City Center. Notwithstanding that deadly weapons, in fact, are on display at a gun show, there is nothing unacceptable about carefully regulated gun shows — shows that do not allow regulation-defeating loopholes.
Gun enthusiasts deserve a venue to present, display and discuss guns. Saratoga Springs and Saratoga County are able to provide such venues. But I don’t believe that our City Center is an acceptable venue for gun shows. Michael O’Dunne
Burdens of public sector unsustainable
The de facto abandonment of the local tax cap, rolled out with such self-congratulatory fanfare just a few years ago, should surprise no one.
The facts are very simple and glaringly obvious. The public sector in New York is too big, overstaffed, vastly overpaid, and showered with lavish health care benefits and princely pensions. There is a total disconnect between most private-sector levels of pay, benefits and pensions and those for state officials and state employees.
It is clear that elected officials from the governor and legislators down to local school board members are unwilling and/or too weak to take on the public-sector unions.
The burden of state government is both unsustainable and the single most important impediment to economic development in New York.
It looks like nothing short of a massive wave of municipal, school and county bankruptcies will free the taxpayers from the excessive burdens of the public sector. Bring on the bankruptcy judges.
James L. Goldsmith
Letter writer overreacted on question of ethnic slur
I had to write regarding the May 2 letter [“Food truck story made tasteless by ethnic slur”] written by Vito Spinelli. I believe that Vito did more harm by bringing up the fact that “Dago” was an ethnic slur toward Italian people many years ago.
The word Dago is used in many ways. For instance, it is short for Spanish “Diego.” A few other examples: an acronym for Department of the Army General, Dago Red (racing aircraft), Dago (a comic book character), “Dago red” (a cheap or sometimes homemade Italian or Spanish red wine).
So relax, Vito, I doubt that most people even knew what Dago meant.
Sending arms to Syria rebels likely to backfire
Thus far the administration’s efforts relative to the fighting in Syria have involved non-lethal assistance to some opposition forces, diplomatic efforts with Russia and the United Nations, and political maneuvering to try to unify the opposition.
Should the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime be established as a “clear-and-present danger” to Syrian civilians and international security, the president has stated that additional options will be considered. These additional options will most likely include arming “friendly” rebels.
Arming the Syrian rebels may yield some short-term advantage. However, past experience with arming rebels such as the Mujahideen in Afghanistan should provide ample concern that this option is fraught with danger.
First, providing arms to one side generally results in additional arms shipments to the other side, thus leading to a destabilizing regional arms race. Second, weapons in friendly hands often diffuse into enemy hands. Finally, “friendly” rebels at some future time may become “unfriendly.”
In the long run diplomacy, not weapons, will provide the only path to a stable solution in Syria.
Political correctness hampers war on terror
Americans face not one, but two enemies. Radical Muslim jihad terrorists have an ally fabricated out of thin air by politicians. It is political correctness and the eliminated descriptors of our enemy. Agencies of the U.S. government are not permitted to use words like “radical Muslim terrorists.”
Anyone who believes that intelligence agencies are not impacted by the inability to use the full English language when investigating and reporting on the increasing threat of radical Muslims has been biased into the “twilight zone.”
We now like to call mass shootings by Muslims who shout “God is great” in Arabic workplace violence. We condone Muslim clerics who teach radical theology because of politically correct limits on government agencies.
The surviving Boston bomber was quickly silenced with Miranda rights, interrupting lawful interrogation and limiting the early exposure of potential accomplices.
If we are forbidden to identify our enemies and describe them honestly, we are doing them a favor we can ill afford.
Wallace J. Hughes
YWCA supports Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Agenda
Fifty years after the height of the women’s movement, New York women still face significant economic challenges.
At the YWCA, we see women every day who live just one missed paycheck away from economic crisis. The women we serve, and all New York women, can no longer afford to make between 55 and 80 cents for every dollar a man earns. Women deserve equal pay for equal work. Women who work in small business need better protection from sexual harassment. Pregnant women need the opportunity to continue working with reasonable accommodations for their pregnancy.
YWCAs across New York state have been working to address issues of gender-based injustice for over 150 years. We are thrilled to work with Gov. Cuomo on his 10-point Women’s Equality Agenda. The Women’s Equality Agenda addresses many of the injustices women face.
The Women’s Equality Agenda will provide significant changes that will have a direct and positive impact on women’s lives. In addition to promoting women’s economic stability, the Women’s Equality Agenda will improve housing options for women, help end violence against women, and protect women’s reproductive health-care choices.
Join the YWCA in support of the most comprehensive women’s rights legislation we have seen in a decade, because New York women should not have to worry about losing their jobs, housing or safety.
The writer is executive director of the YWCA of NorthEastern NY.
Nice job of cutting costs at Sch’dy County Library
Re May 2 article, “Library sends reduction plan to county”: Hats off to the Schenectady County Public Library’s board of trustees for its intelligent and evenhanded reduction of services caused by the 10 percent — $521,000 — decrease in the 2013 county budget for the library.
Compared to the deliberately painful Obama sequester changes, this is the right way to handle fiscal issues. We have a great library system staffed and managed by well-qualified people.
Robert J. Coan
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