Better to fight a war with wiretaps than with bombs
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were fought by 1 percent of the population. Now, finally, the overall war on terror is being fought by all of us. We are participating by the National Security Agency’s surveillance of our phones, e-mails and Internet activities. The programs are overseen by federal judges and Congress.
So 100 percent of us are all-in. Machines are doing the data mining, and when red flags are raised and further investigation is warranted, permission is granted through court wiretap request.
So it is not run willy-nilly. No blood is shed, so our participation is painless — unless you are a paranoid terrorist. So for those of you who did not protest that your fellow Americans were sent off in harm’s way to defend your freedom, suck it up.
You are not in bodily danger with this data mining, and content is not listened to — only analyzed for patterns and unusual behavior of people in contact with targets or suspicious phone numbers overseas.
There were secret code-breaking operations conducted during WWII to find out what the enemy was up to. Then, the enemy was overseas. Today, they are in many countries, including our own. I’m sorry our efforts to discover the enemy are no longer secret, which only helps them further their plots. In this age of technology, the government would be remiss if it didn’t employ all the tools in hand to combat terrorism.
So you still have your life, your liberty and your pursuit of happiness. The supposed affront to your freedom is much ado about nothing
Bedbugs cannot be treated at all lightly
Re the June 7 article, “Bedbugs making their way upstate from NYC,” I felt the comments made by [Schenectady Building Inspector] Eric Shilling were rather simplistic.
While he did indicate that bedbugs are a problem in the city, the comparison the writer makes of bedbugs to mosquitoes is erroneous. Bedbugs are, by far, a much bigger issue.
As a former health-care worker in the city, I encountered an infestation while visiting a patient at her apartment. I was covered with bedbugs after spending 20 minutes with her. While this was an extreme case, it is the usual infestations that are more difficult to detect, hence causing the spread so rapidly.
Readers should educate themselves on the spread of bedbugs, as extermination is very costly and time-consuming. Furthermore, I don’t know who would be able to “sleep tight,” knowing that bedbugs are ready to bite!
Women’s Equality Act would increase abortion
Gov. Cuomo’s Woman’s Equality Act demonstrates his commitment not to women’s equality, but to the abortion industry.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, New York already has the highest level of induced abortions in the nation. In 2009, 119,996 of New York’s children lost their lives to induced abortion. Approximately 40 percent of pregnancies in New York City end in abortion.
Currently, babies in the womb are protected by New York state law after 24 weeks, except to save the mother’s life. The governor’s bill would repeal that law and also repeal the current state law that says only a duly licensed physician may perform an abortion.
Additionally, this bill would prevent a woman’s right to be informed of alternatives to abortion or the state of development of her baby; would prevent legislation allowing parents to know whether their minor daughter receives an abortion; could compel all medical facilities, even religious hospitals, to provide abortions; and would decriminalize coerced or forced abortions.
We need to contact our state senators and tell them to vote no on the governor’s Women’s Equal Protection Act as long as his radical abortion language is included in the bill.
Most wild baby animals should be left alone
Kidnapping is against the law: It’s a federal offense when it comes to human babies and a state offense when it comes to wildlife babies.
Despite the illegality of taking baby wildlife, hundreds of wild babies are kidnapped every breeding season. Most of the time, it is done by a well-meaning but uninformed human who believes the baby is in need of “rescue” because they do not see the mother in the area.
Not all animals, such as deer and cottontails, stay with their babies. The mothers leave the babies alone for long periods of time. Most fledgling birds spend three or more days on the ground developing chest muscles to fly. The parents care for the baby on the ground.
Conversely, there are some species, such as the opossum, that will not retrieve a lost baby and rescue is called for in that case.
Taking a wild baby when not necessary usually has deleterious effects on the infant. Wildlife rehabilitators are too often confronted with young animals that should not have been taken in the first place. Many times, they have been fed inappropriately or with the wrong feeding utensil and are too far gone to be saved.
Before taking any wildlife baby, contact the state DEC [Department of Environmental Conservation] or a veterinarian and ask to be put in touch with a wildlife rehabilitator for advice.
The writer is a state-licensed wildlife rehabilitator.
Nisky school bus drivers deserve better treatment
The Niskayuna school district is asking its school bus drivers to take a 12.5 percent salary reduction, as well as a 1 percent increase in their health-care premiums, in order to preserve their jobs.
Apparently, this is what the district considers “negotiation.” The full-time bus drivers that were forced out of their jobs last year in order to save benefit money for the district are struggling. The rest will struggle next year. These people take good care of the district’s children, and they are already paid less than other districts in the area.
Most children take the bus, either from home to school or during field trips or for athletics, so this affects every child in the district.
This is a shocking way to treat humans, especially when there are 31 people in the district making over $100,000 a year. The union was on one side of the table trying to save jobs and the district was on the other side trying to decide what crumbs they were willing to give the drivers before they kicked them out the door.
I hope you will not support them in this inhumane treatment.
The writer is the wife of a bus driver.
Free-spending Silver should bail out free clinic
The Schenectady free health clinic may be closing because of lack of funds [June 11 Gazette].
Perhaps Sheldon Silver, speaker of the state Assembly, could find another $103,000 of taxpayer money to help the health clinic?
Casual garb wrong for military pallbearers
I was appalled to see the Army carry team dressed in camos during their transfer of the remains of Lt. Col. Todd J. Clark at Dover Air Force Base June 12.
I believe this is disgraceful. Carry teams should be wearing dress uniforms to honor our deceased military.
The Gazette wants your opinions on public issues.
There is no strict word limit, though letters under 200 words are preferred.
All letters are subject to editing for length, style and fairness, and we will run no more than one letter per month from the same writer.
Please include your signature, address and day phone for verification.
For information on how to send, see bottom of this page.
For more letters, visit our Web site: www.dailygazette.com.