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Letters to the Editor
What you need to know for 08/18/2017

Latest free trade plan would be detrimental to U.S. interests

Latest free trade plan would be detrimental to U.S. interests

*Latest free trade plan would be detrimental to U.S. interests *Perfect compromise struck in Ellis e

Latest free trade plan would be detrimental to U.S. interests

The public needs to be aware of the potential impact of the latest “free trade” proposal being rapidly developed in secret, labeled the Trans-Pacific Partnership [TPP]. Like NAFTA, it is even more dangerous.

It is not just a trade deal but provides corporate protectionism that would affect our daily lives.

Here are five concerns.

1) It connects the United States to 11 (at present) Pacific Rim nations with language that could lead to the downgrading of many of our governmental food safety regulations, if they are stricter than “international standards” (as most are) on the grounds that they would be illegal trade barriers.

2) Big drug companies would be allowed more years of monopoly pricing on their patents, and cheaper generic drugs would be prevented from being distributed. The idea would be to stop negotiations to achieve lower consumer pricing.

3) Financial reforms, such as the former Glass-Steagall Act, would be restricted by financial banks in the rim countries including Australia, Burma, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and possibly others, such as China, Indonesia and Russia.

4) On the Internet, corporations could get copyright protection for their input for 120 years, and Internet service providers could be transformed into a private police force to assure these copyrights.

5) The TPP would limit how governments regulate some public utilities to permit universal access to private competitors, which could have devastating effects on public service.

These are just a few of the major changes expected in TPP that could affect our lives. If Congress approves “fast track” handling of these changes, President Obama could approve it and future changes would be very difficult to make.

Our media need to become more familiar with the TPP proposals, which have been kept secret, and we need to insist that our congregational representatives pay attention and act accordingly.

John Detwyer

Scotia

Perfect compromise struck in Ellis editorial

Re Aug. 11 editorial, “A garage too high, too close”: Your editorial hit the nail on the head.

The Ellis Hospital proposal is to build parking spaces on spec, expecting demand to meet available space.

Your suggestion that the new garage should be built three stories high, as already agreed to by the zoning board, and 15 feet back from the sidewalk, as in the latest proposal from Ellis Hospital, gives both sides of the issue part of what they want.

I say this is a stroke of genius!

G.E. Scott

Schenectady

Enforcement will be key to immigration reform

Congress is in the middle of producing a sweeping change of immigration laws that will restore control of our borders and end the employment of undocumented illegal immigrants. Anyone who believes this probably still believes in the tooth fairy.

The main reason that we have the huge immigration problem is that immigration law has not been enforced. The federal executive branch of government, the White House — administration after administration — has selectively refused to enforce immigration law.

Congress has condoned the violation of the presidential oath of office that includes enforcing the laws of the United States. Breach of that oath is an impeachable offense.

What good will the new laws do if they are not enforced?

The most important role of Congress is to assure that the laws they enact are enforced. They would once again. perhaps, gain the respect of the electorate.

Wallace J. Hughes

Charlton

Dems overreacted to Obama clown parody

Re Aug. 13 AP article, “Clown banned for Obama act at fair”: Aside from the lifetime ban imposed on this clown, some Democratic lawmakers suggested imposing financial penalties on the fair he performed at.

These penalties are insufficient. Let me suggest that Attorney General Eric Holder (who better?) proclaim a “fatwa” requiring the clown’s execution, similar to the fatwa relative to Salman Rushdie. The clown’s actions are certainly no less an offense.

After all, this is America, and mocking or parodying our president needs to be discouraged. We must not have people making a fool of our president. (He is perfectly capable of making a fool out of himself.)

George Nigriny

Scotia

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