Rethink who we let enter the country
Here are some thoughts on attempts to exclude Syrian refugees from entering the United States.
Historically, Syrians have not caused us any harm, in contrast to other groups, some of whose members have indeed harmed us.
Four American presidents have been assassinated: Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy. The assassins have all been white males, three of them Protestant and one Catholic. Many members of our parasitic Congress share some of these same characteristics. Based on this and consistent with the ideology of our Republican friends, immigration to our country should be denied to anyone fitting into one or another of the following groups: white, male, Protestant, Catholic.
Furthermore, no Irish, Jews or Italians should be let in because of known criminal activity in the past by mobs of those ethnicities. (Check Wikipedia for listings of those mobs.) I have a long list of other groups to be excluded for similar reasons.
Frankly, I think the country would be better off if we let the Syrian refugees in and simultaneously deported those politicians that don’t want to let them in. My opinion.
Logging a bad idea for Kinns Road Park
Re Nov. 4 article, “Kinns Road forest set for some thinning”: What is the best use of the Kinns Road Park forest in Clifton Park? A source of cash from logging trees? Recreation for people?
Kinns Road Park is heavily used for recreation. When I walked there one afternoon, I counted 16 cars in the parking lot. Often there are 25 to 30 cars on afternoons and weekends.
It is used several times a week by the Shenendehowa High School cross-country team. When there is snow, it is also used by the cross-country ski team.
It is extremely popular with walkers, joggers, and families with children. Many people go there every day. Closing the park for two months for logging would seriously impact this recreational use.
What would be the impact of the logging itself? Would the logging decrease the shade, which provides welcome relief from the blistering summer sun? Would it diminish a natural site, which is treasured in an increasingly urban world? Would the heavy logging machinery leave the park’s presently smooth paths torn and rutted? The users of the park fear the answer to these questions is “yes.”
Health of the forest: Newspaper articles say the logging will be done for the health of the forest, because there are dead trees. Yet the scientists at the Cornell Ornithology Lab say that 90 percent of trees in a forest that reach the age of 20 years will die in the next 60 years. These dead trees, they say, are a valuable source of food and shelter for wildlife. They call the “thinning of a forest” an unfortunate forestry practice. So the real reason to log is for money.
Is logging a popular suburban park the best use of the park? If logging is necessary for cash, why not log a less heavily used rural forest instead of a suburban one so beloved by many?
Pot opponents don’t realize its benefits
Re: the Nov. 15 opinion, “Going up in smoke?”: Let Charles Stimson at the Heritage Foundation fear cannabis plants forever. We do still live in a free country.
The truth is that legalizing cannabis is not just about Americans smoking “pot” and getting high. The raw materials of these plants will revitalize four broad sectors of our economy: manufacturing, medicine, nutrition and, yes, adult recreation.
I suspect that historians will one day view “marihuana” prohibition (the actual spelling in federal and state laws) among the most disastrous public policies in America — as bad as alcohol Prohibition, slavery and depriving our country’s ladies of their votes.
Ending marijuana production, distribution, sales and smoking is the constant goal. So it boggles the mind why lawmakers and stalwarts like Stimson keep insisting on a policy that, by any measure, has failed after 80 years of aggressive enforcement.
More importantly, the non-smokable stalks of cannabis plants contain some of the strongest natural fibers on Earth, ideal for manufacturing clothes and ropes; as well as pulp that proves useful for eco-friendly paper, cement and insulation. Inside cannabis seeds we find very nutritious oils that already get widely consumed in snack bars and salad dressings.
Too many New York officials think no differently than Stimson, fearing the seedless female flowers of cannabis plants (aka marijuana) to the point of hysteria. Perhaps never will they admit the full value of cannabis freedom.
Fair should be free to ban Confederate flag
Re Nov. 17 editorial, “Confederate flag ban clashes with freedom of expression”: The Gazette opinion suggests that if the Washington County Fair were to ban Confederate flag memorabilia, the fair would be sending a message that it does not “fully honor freedom of expression.”
But isn’t the suggestion that the fair is morally, if not legally, obligated to display symbols which The Gazette describes as abhorrent a restriction on the fair’s freedom of expression? After all, the stated mission of the Washington County Fair is to promote an “increased awareness of agriculture in a fun, educational atmosphere.”
Shouldn’t the fair be free to express itself — as I hope it will — by banning merchandise that has come to symbolize, especially in the wake of the June shootings in South Carolina, racism and hatred?
Put focus on the real dangers that we face
Of course, we are horrified by brutal and public murders in Paris, Beirut, and Syria.
But we need perspective. Why does the media spend so much time on these public tragedies when more than 33,000 people are killed in America annually by firearms? A few of the more heinous attacks make the news, but nearly 100 Americans die daily from guns, most anonymously.
Why should I worry about walking the streets of New York, Washington or Paris, when I’m more likely to be shot near my home in upstate New York?
Rotterdam GOP blew chance to oust Dems
Yes, the final results are in for the 2015 town of Rotterdam elections.
Even though the Democratic administration has raised water fees, brush fees and numerous other town fees, they won. They also managed to allocate over $2 million in water/sewer maintenance fees to balance their budgets.
In spite of this fiscal mess, the Rotterdam Republicans, under Republican chairperson Tracy Donovan’s leadership, managed to lose all three seats up for election on the Town Board.
One might say, “They have snatched defeat from victory.”
I think it is time for the town of Rotterdam Democratic chairman to thank the Republican chairman for their success.
“It is time to give thanks for giving.”