Lincoln should have let the South secede
Every place in the world today where there is a geographically separate culture, distinct from the main culture of a country, the common wisdom is that the population of that culture should be able to decide to separate from the main and establish its own independent country.
The parliament of Great Britain let Scotland make up its own mind. The Czech and Slovak states separated. India and Pakistan separated. But, in 1861, on the North American continent, where there existed two very distinct culture — one agricultural and based upon slave labor, and the other a rapidly developing industrial powerhouse — a Republican president was willing to start the most costly war the continent has ever known to prevent the schism.
That president is now a demigod and no historian ever dares to speculate “what if?”
Well, what if? What if the North had said, “Go and good riddance?” The South was an economic backwater until after World War II. The vast wealth and industrial might of the United States was in the North, the Midwest and the West. A new and more democratic constitution could have been written without the compromises agreed upon in 1787 to favor rural and slave-holding states.
And what of the Confederate states, a veritable concentration camp of a country, with an economic system doomed by fossil fuels? The most likely result would have been a series of bloody and ultimately successful uprisings by a people who were coming more and more to know the injustice of their condition.
In the Civil War, the North eliminated slavery. But the misanthropic culture of the South persisted and persists. I, for one, believe that the majority of the people of this country would be better off without Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and, yes, even Texas. Civil rights, voting rights, gun control and the right to health care would all be a given. The lack of a “Texas” mentality in international relations would certainly have prevented disastrous wars in the Middle East and might have prevented the war in Vietnam.
Mr. Lincoln, you certainly were charismatic and eloquent, but what were you thinking?
Ammo shortage not supported by facts
The Department of Homeland Security has about 161,000 armed personnel. If they each use 1,000 rounds per year in training (as some claim), that would only be 160 million rounds per year.
The New York State Police only use about 50 rounds per member each year for training. The FBI course uses 60 rounds. So even if we triple the FBI course for all 160,000 DHS armed personnel, we would only need 29 million rounds per year. As you can see, there is much more to this story than either you or I are being told.
The purchase of a billion rounds (supposedly a five-year supply to obtain a better purchase price) far exceeds what even the most extraordinary training program would use.
In fact, it is almost seven times more, and it’s only going to increase the surplus.
Taking over failing schools is no solution
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has totally lost his mind.
He now wants New York to follow the Massachusetts model of “failing schools” — whatever that is — to go into “receivership” in order to be improved. New York tried that years ago with a school district on Long Island and it was a disaster.
He obviously is just “grab-bagging” at anything because he has managed to get everyone in the state to turn out against his foolish proposals.
Time for him to just step off.
The writer is a former school superintendant.
Regs on chickens not needed in Charlton
We are writing in response to the Feb. 17 editorial piece, “With limits, chickens can live in town.”
A majority of Charlton’s rural, agricultural zones are within a New York state certified agricultural district, which is protected by the Right to Farm law. Every potential buyer of such land has to be presented with the statement that they are purchasing an agricultural property, which they sign at closing, stating that they will be living in an area with farming activities, including those that may produce odor or noise.
So, saying that those who can’t accept more restrictions on farming activities should move to a farm is backwards. They already effectively live on farming property. Rather, those who live in the agricultural zones who were notified of such when they bought the property and who find farming activities a nuisance should be the ones who should look for the “traditional suburban lifestyle” in a residential zone or in a different community.
We don’t even need to get into the inaccuracies of the noise issues mentioned, such as how roosters never crow at night (while dogs sometimes bark, or how hens can sometimes be noisier than roosters, or how there are plenty of other things that go on in a neighborhood that are far noisier and less musical than the crowing of a rooster).
We also don’t need to get into how chicken waste is a great fertilizer and no less “disgusting” or “dangerous” than pet waste, or how it takes at least six chickens to produce the same amount of waste as one mid-size dog. Granted, no one wants their neighbor’s pet defecating on their property, but that should be handled between neighbors, not by prohibiting dogs on small properties. The biggest problem with the editorial is the use of the term “suburban” no less than three times, when the proposed chicken restrictions have nothing to do with the suburban areas of Charlton. They are only for the “agricultural” and “residential agricultural” zones, where homeowners have already agreed to live in an area that will include farming activities that are protected under New York state law.
Corrupted politicians should pay the price
Enough is enough. If someone who represents the people in New York state is not doing the right thing for themselves or the people of New York state, they should be put on an immediate leave of what they are doing for the people and the state of New York.
This action should be taken if corruption charges are brought against this person from reliable sources. Then give these people “X” amount of days to defend themselves, as you are innocent until proven guilty. Or they can resign and let the law take its course. This should keep our government running a lot smoother.
Most of our leaders are good people. But as we all know, greed and power do bad things to a lot of so-called good people. Let those that do the bad stuff pay the price, whatever it is.
Lower drinking age not the right solution
In regard to your Feb. 22 editorial, “Lower drinking age to curb college binge drinking?” on college age drinking: So the state of New York is thinking about lowering the legal drinking age so that students can drink more overtly rather than hiding their nasty habit?
In your editorial, you stated that it is the mission, in part, to prepare this aspect of their lives so they would be prepared for their adult age drinking. Where is this written in stone? The mission of a college student is to learn as much as she or he can and become a reputable citizen.
It is sad that there are many college students that are — for the lack of a better term — alcoholics. These students are not social drinkers. They drink until they are drunk. Students today have enough problems without being saddled as an experiment and a graduate of an institution of inebriation.
Can the state of New York look more closely at the cause of unnecessary drinking on and off campus? Can the state of New York at least help them to graduate sober?
James E. Donahue
Why isn’t lake in park cleared for skating?
Monday’s [Feb. 23] Capital Region Scrapbook brought back wonderful memories of skating on Central Park lakes. In the photos, you could almost see the smiles on the faces of the people enjoying the great outdoors in a cabin-fever winter.
Last week, I took a ride to Central Park and parked my car overlooking the lake. I was hoping to see that happy scene depicted in the picture. The roads and paths were immaculately clean from all the snow. As I focused on the lake, I blinked my eyes in disbelief — not one skater. I looked again and the lake had not been cleared.
A $480 million development project is a tremendous asset for a city to have. But sometimes, it is the little things that make a city a welcome place to live.
The Gazette welcomes reader opinions on public issues.
For information on how to send a letter to the editor, see the bottom of this page. For more letters, visit our website: www.dailygazette.com .
Shorter letters are encouraged and will be given preference as to timeliness and space. There is no strict word limit, though letters of about 200-300 words are preferred. Excessively long letters will be published online only.
All letters are subject to editing for length, style and fairness.
Writers are limited to one letter every 30 days.
Please include your signature, address and daytime phone number for verification.