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Letters to the Editor
What you need to know for 07/27/2017

GOP, not Obama, at fault for problems

GOP, not Obama, at fault for problems

*GOP, not Obama, at fault for problems *Owners, not dogs, to blame for injuries *Writer ignored fact

GOP, not Obama, at fault for woes

A July 22 letter to The Daily Gazette asks, "How do you like drug cartels, smugglers, terrorists dictating and taking over the Southwest-West because President Obama allows them to simply walk into the county?"

Albert Marvell tells us it's time to stop blaming President Bush and the Republican Party for the ills of our country and put the blame on President Obama. Spoken like a true partisan Mr. Marvell, and I see your logic. One thing bothers me, and it's the fact that President Bush and the Republican Party are at fault for much of what has happened over the past six years.

It was President Bush who put our country into a war that will continue into the next century. As much as Republicans try to change history, the fact remains that going into Iraq was a terrible mistake that took far too many American lives, and the cost in dollars will never be recouped. The do-nothing Republican-led Congress has much in common with Nero, as they fiddle away and try to make us believe they care about the middle class.

The crisis with regard to the children who entered the country illegally is being portrayed as an invasion of drug dealers and smugglers with no regard for their welfare. While Mr. Marvell blames our president, our Congress and Speaker John Boehner refuse to act on anything but bills helping the oil companies and the wealthiest among us. It is John Boehner and the Republican Party that need to act to make our borders more secure. We need more resources, such as hiring more border control officers and a comprehensive immigration bill.

The sad fact is the Albert Marvells of this world are part of the problem, as they let dislike for our president blur their minds. Mr. Marvell talks about President Obama being arrogant and thin-skinned. This sounds more like Ronald Reagan, and he was a Republican hero.

As for the children who came here looking for help, it is our duty to help them. I pray Mr. Marvell never becomes a refugee and is turned away. With many Republicans seeking to involve us in yet another war, this could become a reality.

Gary P. Guido

Rotterdam

Owners, not dogs, to blame for injuries

This is in response to the July 23 opinion column ["Dangerous dogs have no place in our society"] about banning "dangerous dogs."

Banning dangerous dogs should not equal banning breeds that people think are dangerous. Most dog bites have been by cocker spaniels and Chihuahuas. Obviously, the bigger the dog, the harder the bite. I used to be a veterinarian technician, and let me tell you, I was wary of the cocker spaniels and the Chihuahuas more so than the "pit bulls" or Rottweilers.

Here are some real facts: The term "pit bull" is often used as a generic term to describe dogs with similar physical characteristics. Many of these "pit bull breeds" successfully fill the role of companion dogs, police dogs and therapy dogs.

They were once known as the "nanny dog," as they are sweet and well-tempered dogs. These breeds of dogs some uninformed people call dangerous are in the top five well-tempered breeds.

Unfortunately there are so many different breeds of what you would call "dangerous breeds" in the wrong hands. Who is anyone to stereotype? The problem lies with the irresponsible dog owners. The problem also lies with not enough laws to target dog fighting and target the people who abuse these animals. With any large dog breed, a responsible owner will always monitor their dogs. Fence them in. Leash on when in public, etc. It starts with irresponsible people, not dogs.

I am all for a law where dangerous dogs that have previous biting background are on a dangerous dog list. This list would include all dogs, not just breeds some people think are dangerous.

In reference to the gentleman who wrote the article I am responding to: You say you have a Boston Terrier. They are also very protective of their owners, which can result in aggressive and territorial behavior toward other pets and strangers. So would that make your dog dangerous? Should we ban that breed? I don't think so, either.

Breed-specific legislation does not work. It is wrong and unjust. It's not the dogs; it's the irresponsible people who are responsible. Like the old saying goes: Ban the deed -- not the breed.

Michelle Czwakiel

Schenectady

Writer ignored facts about Israel situation

Re July 24 letter, "Israel responsible for violence in Gaza": Once again Mr. Tom Ellis chooses to ignore the facts and attack Israel with hyperbole.

Facts:

1) Israel was created by the world as the first (and only) Jewish state following the atrocities of the Holocaust;

2) Israel ceded Gaza to the so-called Palestinians, land (and people) that Egypt turned down;

3) Hamas is a terrorist organization, with its stated objective the destruction of Israel;

4) Hamas started this most recent violence by shelling Israel and its civilians with rockets, increasing the number it frequently fires at its peaceful neighbor;

5) Israel has made it clear that all it wants is to live in peace, but cannot do so when others fire rockets into it;

6) Hamas deliberately places its weapons in civilian areas to use its civilians as public relations victims;

7) Israel agreed to a cease fire that Hamas/Gaza rejected.

Hamas should stop spending money on weapons and use those funds to raise the standard of living of its people. It, like other nearby countries, would rather have a starving class to foment terror.

Bruce S. Trachtenberg

Niskayuna

Church should have respectful dress code

I have been Catholic all my life, and I'd like to address the issue of dress in our diocese.

I'm concerned about it because it disturbs me deeply when I see women who come to our churches dressed inappropriately -- almost naked. It also bothers me that priests never say anything about it.

Last year, I brought this issue to the attention of Bishop-Emeritus Howard Hubbard. He responded by saying that he leaves this issue up to each local priest. I didn't agree with his reply because in the last 10 years or so, it has been getting worse. There's no longer respect for God's church in the way some people dress. It's just downright degrading and offensive to God.

So I think that this policy, of giving each parish freedom to address this issue, doesn't make any sense, because with this freedom some people are offending God and our faith by coming to His house the way they dress.

Let me give you an example of a policy in some Italian parishes that makes sense and doesn't offend God and our morals. My daughter of 24 is visiting family in Florence, Italy. She sent some pictures of herself via Facebook. One of these was taken in a church. She was wearing a light blue plastic bag over her clothes because she was wearing shorts. Let me assure you that my daughter's clothes are conservative even by U.S. standards (her shorts aren't too short and/or too tight).

Most large institutions, like schools, corporations and the armed services, have dress policies. Isn't it about time that our diocese do something about this disgraceful situation?

I hope that our recently elected Bishop Edward Scharfenberger will take action to stop this situation and establishe a dress code, so that this degradation/desecration stops once and for all.

Ottavio Lo Piccolo

Schenectady

Gaza situation could be much more cordial

In his July 24 letter, Mr. Tom Ellis blames Israel and the United States for the dire situation in Gaza. I offer a different approach.

There have been times, post-1948, when relations between Gazans and Israelis were cordial. On Saturdays, the roads leading to Gaza were crowded with Jews patronizing Arab stores, which sold consumer goods from Europe without Israeli import taxes. The shopkeepers and restaurant owners were happy to welcome their neighbors.

Thousands of Gazans crossed the border daily for construction jobs in Israel. Israel built factories in northern Gaza employing the local population. Israel left Gaza in 2005, leaving behind hundreds of greenhouses used for growing vegetables along with computer-controlled watering systems.

So what happened? Hamas destroyed the greenhouses. The previous intifada destroyed the factories and ended Gazan labor in Israel. Now Gazan unemployment is 41 percent.

Mr. Ellis stated there is malnutrition in Gaza. Every day, 400 truckloads of food enter Gaza -- I have seen these with my own eyes. Europe gave the Palestinians $6 billion. What happened to it? Did Arafat steal it? Was it used to buy long-range rockets from Iran?

Why isn't Gaza prosperous? Why isn't it like Hong Kong? The Palestinian people are intelligent and hardworking. (The valedictorian at Israel's top medical school this year was an Arab young woman). My daughter lives five miles from Gaza. Her village is thriving with agriculture. Her desert is green. Why can't Gaza be like that?

What has the Hamas government done for the people of Gaza besides keep them in poverty and train their kids to be suicide bombers? Why is the cement they receive from Israel used to build invasion tunnels and not better housing?

The sad part about the present situation is that it does not have to be this way.

Jim Strosberg

Niskayuna

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