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Letters to the Editor
What you need to know for 01/16/2017

Snowden hardly a traitor, should be considered a hero

Snowden hardly a traitor, should be considered a hero

*Snowden hardly a traitor, should be considered a hero *Farley’s priorities were misplaced with bull

Snowden hardly a traitor, should be considered a hero

Even if [NSA leaker] Edward Snowden broke some laws in revealing the existence of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) vast snooping of our telephone and Internet communications, he has not — contrary to what the Obama administration asserts — committed espionage [June 17 Gazette]. The Obama administration has reached the point where it equates reporting the news with treason. This is unacceptable.

The Obama administration appears hostile to our well-established and highly cherished rights to freedom of the press and privacy. President Obama said America must make choices about balancing security and privacy while he simultaneously tries to squelch our ability to have an informed debate on this topic.

As for those who say that if we are not breaking the law, we have nothing to fear from these NSA programs, the federal government has a long history of abusing power. People involved in the civil rights movement, American Indian movement, Black Panthers, antiwar, labor groups, Muslim-Americans, have all experienced intense violations of their rights to live free, advocate for what they believe, and organize.

I, for one, am pleased with what Mr. Snowden has done. If the federal government is going to monitor our communications, we at least have a right to know they are doing it. How else can we organize to stop these abuses if we are not sure they are occurring?

Sadly, in the wake of the NSA snooping revelations, few members of Congress have spoken up in defense of our rights supposedly guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. On the Fourth of July, I will salute Edward Snowden for his courage, integrity and commitment to preserving liberty for us all.

Tom Ellis

Albany

Farley’s priorities were misplaced with bullet aid

The June 26 article, “Schools getting share of 15M pot,” states that Sen. Hugh Farley secured $275,000 for the Niskayuna school system and $150,000 for the Schenectady school district. That works out to about $65 per student for Niskayuna and $10 per Schenectady student.

That is so blatantly unfair and discriminatory against the deserving, (relatively) impoverished students of Schenectady schools as to be contemptible.

Why are these people returned to office if they are not looking out for all the constituents of their districts?

Dick Curtis

Scotia

The writer is a Niskayuna graduate.

Ignorance is not bliss in know-nothing government

Those who have followed recent Washington events have witnessed a lot of “I don’t knows” from government officials testifying before Congress.

The current administration has apparently turned the various bureaucratic branches of government into virtual islands of anarchist legislators. The president seems to get news from the media, rather than his staff, and revealed he neither directs nor follows the operations of government agencies. Several agency directors have stated to Congress they are not knowledgeable about most operations in their agencies. Department heads similarly appear to not direct or follow the workers in their departments.

Most affected is the U.S. economy. Small companies that create most of our new jobs are overwhelmed by the unprecedented tsunami of new burdensome government rules and regulations generated by unsupervised and seemingly partisan-leaning bureaucrats. Large companies with huge administrative staff cope with the onslaught with ease, and revel in the plight of their potential competitors.

The resulting continued high unemployment, lower tax revenues and higher unemployment costs, combined with the increasingly huge cost of welfare, health care and entitlements, are bankrupting America. The United States is on a path that may soon not have the wherewithal to sustain benefit payments. That bodes of a future economy in a deep depression and devastating poverty.

Bureaucracy is headache enough. Our current anarchist-style bureaucracy is the equivalent of a “weapon of wealth destruction!” Is Congress still capable of defusing this ticking time bomb before our economy is decimated?

I’m dubious and very worried about my grandchildren’s future.

Wallace J. Hughes

Charlton

Governor minces words over abortion rights

Regarding a woman’s right to have an abortion: Gov. Cuomo has been quoted as having said three times, “Because it’s her body, it’s her choice [ June 21 Gazette]."

The governor could have been a little more clear by saying, “It’s her baby, she can kill it if she wants to.”

Wanda GRigoleit

Rotterdam

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