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What you need to know for 01/21/2018

Revise, don't repeal New York SAFE Act

Revise, don't repeal New York SAFE Act

*Revise, don't repeal New York SAFE Act *Successful politicians take long-term view *ABC needs to re

Revise, don’t repeal New York SAFE Act

Repeal the SAFE Act? Hell, no. Revise and strengthen the SAFE Act? Hell, yes.

I am not a fan of Gov. Cuomo, but in this situation he did the right thing. His quick action prevented the National Rifle Association from organizing its typical blind opposition to any form of gun control. New York has now taken a significant step toward slowing the escalation of gun violence that we are experiencing.

As a gun owner and hunter, I firmly believe the SAFE Act is not a threat to my Second Amendment rights. If you believe the SAFE Act needs revision and fine-tuning, then let's do it. But don't fight to erase this effort to get a handle on the slaughter that is repeated on our streets, in our public buildings and at our homes.

Repeal? Hell, no. Revise and strengthen? Hell, yes.

Charles Rielly


Successful politicians take long-term view

Re Aug. 15 letter, "No longer believe in effective government": I must agree with the sentiments expressed by Marilyn B. Guidarelli as to failure of governments at all levels.

As one who has lived in both Carolinas, Georgia, Texas, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York, I have experienced ineptitude across the nation. I do not believe that all politicians are intentionally bad individuals. I do believe, however, that they all put personal goals above societal good. Everywhere I have lived, politicians have talked about doing the "right" thing. What that translates to is, "What will get me re-elected?" That, and that alone, is the singular goal of all politicians.

There are never simple answers to problems. If that were so, they would not be problems. The average voter does not have the depth of understanding of most issues to make "informed" decisions, so they make emotional decisions. The quick, easy fix. The choice that does not require effort, time and money. In the business world, people who make decisions that way go bankrupt. The time frame for all politicians is the next election day. If a proposed solution does not blow up before then, that's fine. Sometimes, the downside of a course of action does not come about for years.

Cases in point: contracts with public employees. The retirement benefits for public workers is a long-term, slow strangulation on all government budgets. Benefits are increasing exponentially, while retirees are living longer. Many people are retired for longer than they worked. The people responsible for negotiating the terms of these contracts are out of office when someone else has to make the hard choices of allocating scarce tax dollars to continue necessary governmental functions.

A military retiree will receive benefits according to rank. It does not matter how may 18-hour days he spent during the last few years. There is no additional money because of overtime. There are no "sick" days accrued. It is precise and cannot be increased by helping a buddy nail the taxpayers.

Poor decisions have consequences that impact the entire world decades after being implemented. The current disasters in the Middle East are the consequences of bad policies implemented by Great Britain, France and the United States at the end of World War I.

Countries were made up and governments were installed with no input from the inhabitants. All decisions were for the short-term benefit of those three countries. They were all wrong.

For politicians, the long-term public welfare is of no concern, because "long" means after election day. Sadly, it is all about the short-term public vote.

Frank Elfland


ABC needs to rethink show that aids killers

It is bad enough that all of the TV programs with police show cases of murder, abuse and depravity. At least with the programs that have been on, the perps almost always get caught. The lesson: If you try these violent acts, you will get caught.

Now in September, ABC is debuting, "How to Get Away with Murder." With all of the violence in the country now, can ABC really believe that no one will take the "course" to heart and think, "I can finally get rid of that person."

I believe in freedom of speech, but, if even one murder is committed as a result of this show, was it really worth it? I guess the government would rather censor something that promotes love and forgiveness (religions) than turn a blind eye to something that teaches and promotes violence.

And why is there no public protest?

Howard Riggert


Governor’s trip had a legitimate purpose

An Aug. 12 Gazette's editorial, in cynical terms, characterized Gov. Cuomo's visit to Israel as "just a show," and wondered aloud whether the governor was "dumb enough" to charge the taxpayers for a "political jaunt."

Solidarity visits from American political leaders have brought considerable encouragement to America's strongest ally and the only democracy in the Middle East. New York state has over $5 billion in exports to Israel annually, with over 100 grant recipients from United States-Israel bi-national foundations located in New York.

It seems that the governor of New York state has plenty of reasons -- in addition to political interests -- that justify a solidarity visit at a time when Israel is yet again being criticized by many for defending itself in the face of terrorism.

He deserves better treatment by The Gazette for this.

Lawrence Ziffer

Baltimore, Maryland

The writer is a former resident of Schenectady.

Nation has lost its way, needs a change

You know, the good old USA has lost its way. Our country is no longer true to these words. What a shame.

Whatever happened to the inscription on the Statue of Liberty: "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door." Author: Emma Lazarus.

The words now mean: "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me, and I will feed, clothe, deliver your children, pay your medical needs and house you in perpetuity."

It used to be that good folks came to this country to work and improve their lot in life. My dad, a Norwegian immigrant, did just that when, at the age of 16, he got off the boat at Ellis Island in 1924. A proud man, he worked hard to support an eventual family of 12. So proud he was that he even refused the surplus butter, eggs, sugar, flour and dried milk that was available in those days. (We could have used it.) Working was his way of life and this role model served everyone well.

Nowadays, many folks come to this country expecting a free ride, so to speak. It is not the government's job to perpetuate an individual's lifetime of free perks. (Our own folks as well.) It is the individual's responsibility for his/her own life. A little help to get going, sure, but not forever on the dole.

When governments (our congressman and representatives) are not responsible for their own actions, how in hell are the "people" supposed to be? Crisis to crisis our world goes. It seems these "crises" are manufactured for the benefit of our "leaders."

Our elected officials are supposed to be a cut above the rest of us. Sadly, many times this is not the case and we need change. Like diapers on a baby, sometimes they stink.

This fall and forever, I sure hope the good, hard-working folks of this great nation vote.

Leonard Muller

Greenfield Center

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